Pupil safety is a priority - parents

St Peter's Primary School.

St Peter's Primary School. - Credit: Archant

CHILDREN’S safety must not be compromised - that is the message from parents who are considering the proposed expansion of a Portishead school.

Parents and residents attended two public meetings organised to allow the public to have their say over the expansion of St Peter’s Primary School in Halletts Way.

While less than 10 per cent of parents at the school attended the meetings, those who did were clear that they did not think the proposed purchase of a pocket of land by North Somerset Council, to create a drop-off point, would solve the road safety issues concerning them.

Mum Steph Hicks said: “The expansion will create more traffic in the High Street and, in reality, cars will not be able to get in and out of the new drop-off point without adding danger to those who are walking to school.”

Leroy Rosenior, a father of three, said: “I understand the need for more school places, but children walking to the school already face danger on a daily basis because of the huge volumes of traffic around the school site at the beginning and end of the school day.

Increasing pupil numbers will increase the traffic and the dangers that go with it and no solution was given to my concerns at the meeting.”

Sally Varley, who is leading the public consultation on the school expansion, said: “This is the only solution on the table from the local authority and it is the only option we can deliver with the resources available in time for September 2014.”

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Mr Rosenior added: “Safety has to come first and if it means bussing children to schools out of town to keep them safe then that’s what has to happen.”

If the plans go ahead St Peter’s Primary School will receive a £4million investment to increase numbers from the current 450-roll to 630.

Larger classrooms will be built for key stage two children, facilities will be enhanced and will include an upgraded resource centre with a library and ICT suite.

At the meeting, North Somerset Council representatives also said there would be no dilution of the school’s values and the ethos and ambience would remain the same, while the expansion could bring more opportunities, including specialised teachers.

The consultation period ends on March 11. More information can be found on the North Somerset Council Econsult website at http://consult.n-somerset.gov.uk