In the week that Elmlea Junior School officially became an independent academy, it has emerged that, despite an original agreement to preserve its playing field, the new school has agreed to allow the neighbouing Infants' School to be redeveloped on the Junior School field.
Last year, when Elmlea Infants' School was seeking permission from Bristol City Council to rebuild on the popular Junior School field, parents and neighbours opposed to the digging up of the field succeeded in halting the plan. A local action group, Acies, was formed and gathered around 1,000 signatures on a petition opposing the development of of the field. Local MP Charlotte Leslie was also a vocal opponent of the move.
Trym Tales understands that, following the transition to an academy - an independent state funded school - Elmlea Junior has gained greater control over the use of the land on which the school sits. Consequently, academy head teacher Claire Galliers has reached an agreement with Infant School head Inge Fey which would allow the Infants School (which remains under LEA control) to use the Junior School playing field as part of its modified development programme. A full rebuild (estimated at £4.5 m) was ruled out last July due to public spending cuts nationally. It is unclear precisely what the nature of the building work on the field may be in light of these cuts. .
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