Concerns over pupil numbers

CONCERNS have been raised after pupil numbers in three primary schools were predicted to drop in the next four years.

The projected figures put together by North Somerset Council say that Churchill Primary School could reduce in size by 30 pupils by 2015, with Sandford Primary School predicted to see a drop of 23 places, and Winscombe Primary School 15.

The figures are part of a draft consultation document commissioned by North Somerset Council, and were debated by councillors at a meeting of Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council on Monday evening.

Churchill Primary is set to have 190 pupils from the start of the new school year in September, Winscombe Primary 178 and Sandford Primary 122.

Councillor Steve Bridges said he was concerned by the figures, saying: “If you put the figures together, then the amount of vacant places between Winscombe and Churchill will just about cover the amount at Sandford, which is worrying.”

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Councillor Gavin Rider said schools would have to try and bring in extra pupils from outside of their immediate catchment areas, adding: “This is becoming a market place and we have to try to get our schools the most competitive advantage we can, that’s the way we have to approach it.”

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