School set to expand

A PORTISHEAD school is set to expand in September to meet the growing demand for pupil places.

Planning permission has been granted to site a temporary classroom at High Down Infant School in time for the start of the new school year in September. This will allow the school to accommodate an additional 30 pupils, increasing the reception class intake for 2012/3 from 90 to 120.

Despite concerns from neighbouring residents over the added congestion an additional 30 pupils would bring to the surrounding area, and from parents who fear play space and the educational needs of those already at the school will be affected, only three official objections were received. Fears over the felling of two mature trees to make way for the new classroom were allayed by the implementation of a condition to ensure replacement trees of a suitable size are planted.

In September 2011, in addition to the expansion of Trinity Primary School, St Peter’s and Portishead primary schools were instructed to increase their reception intake by 30. They were both granted permission for temporary classrooms to accommodate the additional pupils, but while St Peter’s plans progressed on schedule, an issue with existing drains delayed the temporary classroom at Portishead Primary, forcing breakfast and after school club pupils to use the school hall for activities.

Permission for the temporary classroom at High Down was granted just days before a public meeting to discuss proposals to change both High Down Infant and Junior Schools into primary schools.

North Somerset Council needs to extend primary school capacity in Portishead by 210 places and is looking into the possibility of making both the Down Road schools 420-place primary schools. The junior school currently has 360 pupils and the infants 270.