‘There won’t be enough school places for pupils’
COUNCIL URGED TO SCRAP CATCHMENT AREAS IN TOWN
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