No expansion for Haywood Village despite requests for new school places from 18 families

PUBLISHED: 12:30 27 July 2017

Haywood Village Academy's headteacher Craig Jones.

Haywood Village Academy's headteacher Craig Jones.

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Haywood Village Academy has been told it cannot expand to teach more children in September despite a consultation finding there is demand for new year groups.

Students at Haywood Village Academy.Students at Haywood Village Academy.

The school – which is in the heart of the 900-home Haywood Village development in Weston-super-Mare – opened its doors in September last year and had just 32 reception-aged pupils.

The plan was for the school to grow gradually, as its students aged, until it reached its 420-child capacity but by February high levels of demand saw the school expand to offer a year one class.

The school went out to consultation to see if there were enough children to warrant it opening new classes, for pupils in year three through to year six.

But the consultation has now ended and the school has confirmed it will not open any new classes in September.

The school had interest for 18 children, aged between six and 11.

The school’s headteacher Craig Jones told the Mercury: “We are satisfied we have explored the option at this time.

“The consultation has certainly proved there is a demand to open (new classes), more likely in year three and year four, but it is not significant yet.”

He said North Somerset Council’s school admissions team has ‘worked hard’ to ensure children living in Haywood Village have been allocated places in schools within the town, and are not having to leave Weston to go to school.

To be able to open a new class there must be a minimum of 22 pupils in each year group, there must be time to employ a new teaching team and funding must be agreed between Cabot Learning Federation – the multi-academy trust which oversees the school – and North Somerset Council to support providing a class with lower-than-average numbers.

The academy will now maintain a register of interest for parents who would like to see new year groups opened. Mr Jones said: “We continue to encourage parents to keep contacting us.

“We will review this again in the first week of October.

“Meanwhile we continue to prepare this summer for the one hundred families who will have their children join our new nursery, our reception classes or our classes in year one and year two.”

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