Serious flaws in school document

A CONSULTATION document involving the expansion of two Portishead schools has proved to be so flawed there have been calls for it to be scrapped.

Public feeling is running high over the plans to turn High Down infant and junior schools into two 420-place primary schools.

Speaking at this month’s Portishead Town Council meeting Cllr Arthur Terry said there are so many errors contained in the consultation document, issued by North Somerset Council to parents of High Down pupils and residents living in the Down Road area, he wants to see it withdrawn.

One matter in question is the number of homes the document says are due to be built in the town by 2016. It states that more than 1,100 properties will be built in the next four years, but Cllr Terry says that is not true.

The town council is to ask North Somerset Council to hold an open meeting to give the public the chance to ask questions and be informed of the full facts.

In addition, Portishead’s six district councillors will meet with members of North Somerset’s education scrutiny panel on September 5, to look at other ways of providing additional school places in the town. They want to see a 10-year plan drawn-up to deal with demands in the long term as well as looking at the immediate needs.

Councillor David Pasley said: “The High Down proposals are in no way a done deal and I am meeting with Nigel Ashton, leader of the council, to look at a variety of options that might help us meet the urgent need for school places in lower Portishead.”

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Cllr Pasley also confirmed the consultation period for the expansion of the High Down schools will be extended to October 12 to give more time for all options to be considered.

An online petition against the expansion of the schools, which can be found at has already gathered hundreds of signatures.

A Village Quarter Parents Group has also been set up which is campaigning for more school places in lower Portishead, near to the new housing estates where much of the demand is.

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