New primary school at Locking Parklands could be delayed by 12 months

PUBLISHED: 09:58 09 January 2017

Locking Parklands.

Locking Parklands.

Archant

Parents in Locking Parklands who had planned to send their children to the village’s new school this September could be set for disappointment, as its opening will be delayed by 12 months if a temporary site is not found.

A new 420-place academy in Weston-super-Mare’s Locking Parklands development should have been ready to open in September, but delays to the north-south spine road means it is now likely to be September 2018 before it opens.

The £10million road – which will join West Wick to the Weston Villages developments and provide access to the school – was held up in planning. A redesign of the road was needed after people raised concerns about the road’s speed limit.

The delay means developers cannot yet access the school’s site, so building has not begun.

Educate Together Primary is the multi-academy trust which will run the school once it opens and was set to take its first cohort of 60 students in September.

The trust has already begun its recruitment process for a headteacher and it is now in a desperate search for either a piece of land to house temporary classrooms or a building it can use until it has its permanent home.

The trust’s development officer, Nikki Buglass, said: “We are running out 
of time because the application deadline for parents for school places is January 15.

“We have families who wish to attend the school this September, so their child can be educated and form friendships within their community. It is essential the school finds a home.

“We have had parents emailing who are concerned because they want children to go to school in their area. They want to be able to walk down the road to the school and go for a coffee with parents afterwards with people who are their neighbours, they want their children to be at school and be playing with children they live near to.”

North Somerset Council is working to confirm temporary classroom accommodation but a spokesman for the authority said it will contact parents with alternative options if the school’s opening is delayed.

Ms Buglass told the Mercury the school would hope to take in both reception and year one cohorts in September 2018, and added: “This would mean a slight bit of upheaval from one school to another when they are young, but people want their children to have an easy journey to and from school with their neighbours’ children.”

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