School expansion plan progresses

Flax Bourton Primary School could double in size to cope with a demand for spaces.

Flax Bourton Primary School could double in size to cope with a demand for spaces. - Credit: Archant

A primary school looks likely to double in size to cope with the increase in demand for places in North Somerset.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services Jan Barber is expected to sign a decision notice which will help pave the way for Flax Bourton Primary School to expand so it can cater for 210 pupils instead of 105 from September 2018.

The plan was recommended for approval by the council’s children and young people’s services policy and scrutiny panel last week.

The report states: “Flax Bourton is a very popular school, and this has been reflected in the actual numbers of first preferences for this cluster for September 2016 admissions.

“To resolve the need for extra demand in 2015/16 and 2016/17, Flax Bourton Primary School agreed to accommodate additional pupils in ‘breach’ reception year classes.

“While the school normally admits up to 15 pupils per cohort, up to 30 places were and are to be available for reception aged pupils from September 2015 and 2016. This increase in provision is to support the extra demand from the village of Flax Bourton and other nearby villages/hamlets in this part of the Backwell cluster.

“It is anticipated demand for new reception classes between 2017-2019 will continue to exceed the school’s current admission levels.”

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The report says without the expansion children will be unable to attend their local school and it will lead to an increase in the council’s transport budget.

Once the decision has been signed off, consultation will be held with the school, parents and villagers, with a final decision expected early next year.