‘There won’t be enough school places for pupils’

COUN­CIL URGED TO SCRAP CATCH­MENT AR­EAS IN TOWN

Hull Daily Mail - - NEWS - By Trudi David­son East Rid­ing Chief Re­porter trudi.david­son@reach­plc.com

FEARS chil­dren will be un­able to get places at Bev­er­ley’s most pop­u­lar schools are spark­ing pressure to scrap catch­ment ar­eas in the town.

It comes as the dead­line for sec­ondary school ap­pli­ca­tions for the next aca­demic year looms next week.

Bev­er­ley High School and Bev­er­ley Grammar School were both over­sub­scribed for Septem­ber this year, with ap­pli­ca­tions for 11-year-olds mov­ing up from pri­mary school.

In the pri­mary sec­tor, Keld­marsh was the hard­est pri­mary to get into in the East Rid­ing, with Mo­le­scroft also over­sub­scribed.

Now, East Rid­ing Coun­cil­lor Kerri Harold says the coun­cil needs to re­view or even scrap Bev­er­ley’s catch­ment ar­eas.

Cllr Harold, who rep­re­sents Min­ster and Wood­mansey, said: “There is a con­cern, be­cause the places are not re­ally where the need is.

“I do think the catch­ment ar­eas need to be looked at, it is some­thing that has been talked about for quite a while.

“Bev­er­ley is grow­ing and the shape of it is chang­ing dra­mat­i­cally, with 2,400 homes planned on the south side.

“Our town has grown and bulged at one side. Catch­ment ar­eas are de­funct.

“They need to re­move the catch­ment ar­eas, look at Bev­er­ley as a whole and solve the prob­lem look­ing at Bev­er­ley as a whole, rather than do­ing it school by school.”

Keld­marsh was the most dif­fi­cult East Rid­ing school to get into this year, with 46 first pref­er­ence ap­pli­ca­tions for 30 places – 1.5 per place – with just 65 per cent of par­ents who put it as first choice be­ing of­fered a place.

Cllr Harold, who is chair­man of gover­nors at Keld­marsh Pri­mary, says the coun­cil also needs to ex­tend Keld­marsh to help meet de­mand for places. She said: “They need to get on with phase two of Keld­marsh, there has been ad­di­tional land al­lo­cated for that.

“Not all of the chil­dren in Keld­marsh live in the catch­ment area and that will be the case right around the town. “It’s now parental choice. “Even though our schools are fully sub­scribed, we have not got 100 per cent catch­ment chil­dren.”

Cllr Harold says if catch­ment ar­eas are not rel­e­vant any more they should be scrapped, as has hap­pened in Goole.

St Mary’s ward Coun­cil­lor Elaine Aird has also asked the coun­cil for re­as­sur­ances over how fu­ture de­mand for Bev­er­ley school places will be met.

She says an ex­pected 20 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of homes by 2029 is rais­ing res­i­dents’ con­cerns about school places in Bev­er­ley, which has three sec­ondary schools and eight pri­mary schools.

Cllr Aird has been told by the coun­cil there are hun­dreds of sur­plus school places in Bev­er­ley and that a high pro­por­tion of chil­dren ob­tain their pre­ferred school.

But Cllr Aird in­sists coun­cil­lors sym­pa­thise with those par­ents who can­not get a place at their pre­ferred school for their child.

She said: “We are con­scious that, though Bev­er­ley has sur­plus school places at pri­mary and sec­ondary stages, some Bev­er­ley schools are over­sub­scribed.”

“Bev­er­ley is grow­ing and the shape of it is chang­ing, with 2,400 homes planned on the south side. Our town has grown and bulged at one side. Catch­ment ar­eas are de­funct Cllr Kerri Harold

Coun­cil­lor Kerri Harold is call­ing for a re­view of Bev­er­ley's school catch­ment ar­eas

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