Schools will expand to cope with places shortfall


- Credit: Archant

ADDITIONAL space will be added to the two primary schools in Portishead to accommodate extra children in September.

Trinity and Portishead primary schools will both take up to 90 reception pupils each, rather than the usual 60, when the new school year starts, to help avoid any four-year-olds having to be schooled out of the area.

Parents worrying about the effects the increase in numbers might have on existing pupils and school resources have been assured the changes will not be detrimental to the existing pupils and facilities.

A statement issued to parents at both schools said: “All of the schools in Portishead have been working with North Somerset Council to secure places for children living in the town at our local schools.

“The school’s governing body was asked to consider admitting an extra reception class and after considerable thought and debate, has agreed.”

Portishead Primary School has secured funding and planning permission to expand the school hall, kitchen, office areas and school entrance, which was part of the governing body’s conditions for accepting the additional places.

The extension to the hall allows the room to be partitioned so that it can be used during the day as a flexible space but when opened up can accommodate the whole school for assemblies.

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The larger hall will also mean additional breakfast and after school club places will be available. In September, year six pupils will move in to existing cabin-type classrooms in the playground.

Headteacher Richard Riordan said: “The changes to the school building will meet the current needs and will provide an improved building for current and future pupils. Additional staff will also be employed which will widen the skills base of the school.”

Nursery children at Trinity Primary School are expected to move in to a purpose-built nursery classroom which would be sited on what is currently the multi use games area (MUGA).

The MUGA would then be re-sited as close as possible to its original site. The current nursery classroom will be re-designated as the additional reception class.

Trinity headteacher Karen Sancto said: “The governors say they felt they needed to support the local community and help pupils secure school places in the town.

“This change is for one year group only and the school will not be expanding permanently to become a larger school.”

Both schools have told parents they will keep them updated as work begins at the schools.