News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Redland Green Catchment Area - Latest Developments

Westbury on Trym parents have been thrown another curved ball concerning admission to Redland Green Secondary School.

Last academic year, Westbury on Trym was located within the area of first priority (i.e. the catchment area) for Redland Green School. Many local parents were therefore understandably disappointed when their children failed to secure a place at the new school in 2007. In fact, virtually no families outside of the immediate neighbourhood around the new school were allocated places.

In response to this fact, the Bristol Admissions Forum (part of Bristol City Council) has put forward a proposed change to the area of first priority for Redland Green and at the same time is proposing a new area of second priority (encompassing Westbury on Trym).

The proposal is on the Council web site here.

The proposed area of first priority would include Redland, much of Bishopston, both sides of Kellaway Avenue and Westbury Park. The northern boarder would be at the junction of Westbury Road and Brecon Road (at the corner of St Ursula's School) and would run from there through Henleaze to Tescos at Golden Hill. The official map of the proposed area is here.

The area of second priority would mean that once all applicants from the first area had been allocated places (and not all will, of course), then priority will be given to children in the area of second priority. This area runs to the north and west of the downs, taking in Sneyd Park, Westbury on Trym (to the south of Canford park) and part of Stoke Bishop around Coombe Lane. The official map can be viewed here.

The proposed changes will become operational from the academic year 2009/10.

Meanwhile, governors at Elmlea Junior School - which so many of last year's unsuccessful students attended - have written a one-off newsletter to all parents inviting them to comment on the proposals via the junior school's governing body.

The bottom line seems to be this:

  1. Westbury on Trym parents were spectacularly unsuccessful in getting their children into Redland Green School last academic year
  2. The council is recognising this and changing the catchment area to reflect this reality
  3. The designated area of second priority may appear small comfort to Westbury parents as it offers little realistic prospect of spaces being offered to their children
  4. The best chance of a family getting their child into Redland Green School is to move to the catchment area - but even then, a place is not guaranteed
  5. Westbury on Trym remains in the area of first priority for Henbury School.
One added variable: if, as looks likely, Colston's Girls' School does become an academy, this move is likely to ease pressure of applications for Redland Green School in the coming years, which may result in more families from the area of second priority being accepted to the school.

Trym Tales has published numerous posts about the Redland Green School and application process. Please click here to see all items on this subject area.

Individualised programmes in maths and English for all ages and abilities. Redland Kumon Centre.


Paul Harrod said...

This is a very good summary, and it is disappointing that even though Colstons' Girls and Cathedral school are becoming academy schools it is projected to do so little to the current catchment areas.

Your readers may be interested to know that I have written to Cllr Pickup asking him to confirm:

1) What is the size of the current school roll at Portway School? Given it is below capacity does he concede that the Labour Government's policy of only funding same-site school rebuilds has failed north-west Bristol?

2) Does he think that a change in the site for Portway School might have offered better value-for-money for the city's residents, especially those living outside the catchment area for Redland Green School?

3) Can he confirm what proportion of the space at Portway School is currently not being used for front-line educational purposes and what it is being used for?

4) Is there an action plan in place for increasing the school roll at Portway School?

5) With the rebuild being funded through a Private Finance Initiative, does he acknowledge that taxpayers' money is now committed over decades to a project which is not fit-for-purpose?

6) Does he personally continue to support the Labour Government's policy on same-site school rebuilds funded through Private Finance Initiatives

Paul Harrod
Liberal Democrat Prospective MP, Bristol North West

atlanticwriter said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

The feedback I get is that education related posts are the most popular pages on Trym Tales so I think the readers would be very interested in the response you receive for these questions.

In fact, why not write a guest post for Trym Tales on what you find out about Portway?

suzana said...

I read your post and it contains very useful information. Thanks for this useful article.

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