UPDATE: Council to spend millions creating school places

FIVE schools in Weston will benefit from more than �10million of spending to expand or replace their buildings, and increase the number of pupil places.

FIVE schools in Weston will benefit from more than �10million of spending to expand or replace their buildings, and increase the number of pupil places.

North Somerset Council agreed to spend �9.6million increasing the number of places at two primary schools in Weston and one in Yatton at a meeting on Tuesday.

The money comes on top of about �2million pledged to convert three Weston schools to primary schools, increasing the number of places at each.

Ashcombe Primary School is set to be the biggest beneficiary, with �4.8million set aside to create new buildings and double its capacity to 420 pupils.


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Locking Primary School will also see an increase in pupil numbers, with 105 new places at a cost of �850,000.

An extra 105 places will be created at Yatton’s infant and junior schools collectively, at a cost of �210,000.

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The changes are needed because of an expected shortage in the number of primary school places and will be implemented by September.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said the expansions would help meet new demand from the construction of new housing in Locking, such as the planned Weston Villages development.

Hillside First School will change to a primary school, with an extra 30 places.

Mendip Green First School and St Martin’s Church of England Junior School will change to primaries, gaining 150 and 135 extra places respectively.

A report presented to councillors stated that Weston and Yatton are areas of the largest population growth.

Councillor Jeremy Blatchford, executive member for children and young people’s services, said: “We are committed to improving and expanding our schools to fit the demands of our increasing population and this investment demonstrates this.

“We are also pleased to be expanding the number of places available in some of our schools which will offer parents and pupils greater choice when selecting their preferred school.”

The school investment comes after a Mercury investigation showed a catalogue of faults in North Somerset school buildings, with more than �30million needed to bring them all up to standard.

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