Council applies for funding to provide new primary school in Bradley Stoke

Primary schools in Bradley Stoke.

A new primary academy could be provided in Bradley Stoke to ease pressure on school places in the town.

The government recently announced a new £982million Targeted Basic Need (TBN) Programme which is seeking bids for new Academies and Free Schools in areas of high demand for places.

South Gloucestershire Council has prioritised a bid for a new primary academy in Bradley Stoke after identifying the need for an additional two forms of entry ready for September 2015.

In a joint statement, Cllrs Rob Jones and John Ashe (Con, Bradley Stoke South) and Cllrs Sarah Pomfret and Brian Hopkinson (Con, Bradley Stoke Central & Stoke Lodge) said:

“From talking to Bradley Stoke parents on the doorstep, it’s clear that a significant number have not got their preferred school place and as a result have been left disappointed because of the pressure on school places in our town.”

“We can help put an end to these worries by ensuring that there are enough good school places in our town to meet local demand.”

“A number of existing primary school sites have already had extra classrooms installed, but there’s only so much you can do before space runs out.”

“We, therefore, support this funding bid for a new primary academy.”

The deadline for applications was 30th April 2013 and the outcome of bids is expected to be announced in June 2013.

Source: Press release from the Conservative Group on SGC

The Journal understands that the preferred location for the new academy would be the Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) site, which means that if this primary academy bid were to be approved, BSCS would become an ‘all-through’ school.

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  1. Our town councillors have only realised this recently??? Where have they been?? No doubt the Olympus Academy Trust will snap this up and if a new primary school is built lets hope it’s in North or South Bradley Stoke as there will be a direct guaranteed access from this primary to BSCS to continue an “academy education” if its sited centrally then there will be even less hope of these children getting into their local secondary school!
    Another example of a knee jerk reaction and unsustainable planning for the future.

  2. .. and then we’re back to the same problem all over again when they hit year 7, because BSCS isn’t even big enough now! Their motto is ‘in the community, for the community’ – they forgot the bit about having to live literally on the doorstep to get in ….

  3. The article has been updated to indicate that the preferred location for the new primary academy is understood to be the BSCS site.

  4. A secondary education for children is an important decision for many parents, the fact that BSCS already has divided a town more than capable of filling the school with its own children by accepting out of area children it now seeks to create an exclusive zone to admit children from its own primary school first. This is a poor decision that will only increase anger from the local community that hasn’t been consulted and will divide it further!

  5. Well that will make it 100 times worse for all the families that live in Bradley Stoke, that currently can’t get in as it is! Talk about being pushed out of your own town 🙁 instead of building a primary, you need to extend the secondary school already there!!

  6. Don’t we need another secondary school??? This is ridiculous as with the Leisure Centre, BSCS and the nearby housing there is already a major lack of parking in this area already!
    We still have children from “our community” having to travel by bus miles away at a cost to get to school when they could be walking/cycling.

  7. Where on the BSCS site would they put a 2 form entry primary school, one of that size takes up quite a large area. Also I dread to think of the traffic chaos that would cause, it’s already awful because of the secondary school, and asking parents not to drive just doesn’t work.

  8. I see our Conservative councillors are saying they are leading the campaign for a new primary school since they were “talking to residents on the doorstep” presumably during the last town by election. This project has been in the pipeline for months with the lead being the Olympus Academy Trust. Nothing to do with our glory seeking councillors at all!

  9. I think it is wrong for Caroline to sneer about the fact that our local councillors have been listening to our opinions on the doorstep – election or otherwise. I for one am pleased that people like John Ashe take the trouble to visit. Wonder if her comments are sour grapes? Funnily enough there was a candidate in the recent election named Caroline – and she lost – again.

  10. Not sour grapes at all Bradley stoker, just a very concerned mother worrying about her children’s education! The comment regarding our councillors only realising now that we are short on primary school places is comical when the demographics have been around for some years for public viewing and have been complained about for some time. For the councillors to jump on the bandwagon of OAT’s intention to link a primary school to BSCS to say “hey, look we are listening” is also comical when they haven’t been listening to residents who can’t get their children into their local secondary school for years!
    Now OAT’s intend to build their own primary because no other BS primary wanted to convert, with a direct link to BSCS will cause further divide in the community and even less children from North and south gaining admission to a to their local school! Patchway, also converting to academy will link with charlton heyes so secondary school children will have no choice but to go out of area to Castle in Thornbury. Oh, did I mention they are converting to Academy too! Could we see BS children unable to get in there too??
    Every child has the right to a good education, and the parents have a right to a preference of school, but what happens now when there’s no spaces?
    That is my concern Bradley Stoker, not political point scoring!

  11. Well Caroline if it’s that much of a problem for you maybe you could always consider moving away? Maybe you could then stand for election (and lose) elsewhere too. Then you’d be three-times-a-loser. A hat trick of defeat would ironically be quite an achievement for you.

  12. Can I request that contributors stick to the topic of the article and refrain from making personal insults? Thank you.

  13. A very constructive comment there! Are you suggesting all concerned parents should move out the area just to try and get the best education they can for their children? Not a viable or clever solution although I expect many parents are thinking of doing just that.

  14. Not that I would want councillors knocking on my door but I do wonder how many doors they knocked on as they certainly didn’t knock on mine along with many others I have spoken to!!

  15. Clearly there is a shortage of quality schooling at both levels in Bradley Stoke. We for 1 did move to BS to ensure that my child got into the Best performing local primary school – St Mary’s. We have already decided that the local high schools – BS etc are questionable and will be looking at St Bede’s in Lawrence Weston – we are more than willing to move there if it ensure’s a place! One must play the system and be prepared to ‘downsize’ etc for the sake of an oustanding education.

  16. Statement in this week’s BSCS newsletter:

    The Olympus Academy Trust has agreed in principle to accommodation for primary provision being built on the Bradley Stoke Community School site which would be run by the Trust. Some members of the local community will find it odd that we are not trying to expand our secondary facilities to increase capacity and provision but there are 2 significant reasons why not at this stage: –
    1) There is not currently a shortfall in secondary places in the wider area for which we have shared responsibility with Abbeywood and Patchway although there may be concerns within the local community about preference
    2) There is no funding available to support new secondary accommodation

    See: [PDF, 2.8MB]

  17. Glynn I do hope you have a faith and your children are baptised /christened because only children from faith schools can Attend St Bede’s in LW,and living in LW doesn’t help your child getting into that School, there are many children that live in LW and can’t go to that school even though its on their doorstep.

  18. It’s interesting to read the comments concerning schools in Bradley Stoke. When I moved here over 25 years ago there were no schools and my two girls went to Little Stoke Infants/Juniors.

    I got involved and made a point of campaigning for local schools and was relatively successful. However, when it came to the secondary school there was a lot of opposition from both Patchway and Filton schools and the political parties in each area (Labour in Patchway and the Conservatives in Stoke Gifford). Despite that we campaigned hard and won.

    900 places at BSCS was all that we could force through without major delays (it had already taken almost 10 years to win the argument). Then when BSCS opened and our own children weren’t getting in there was a campaign to expand the school. The Conservatives opposed this and campaigned for a 6th form and won the local elections on the back of it. Unfortunately, we are now seeing the repercussions of that decision.

    I would point out that current admissions policies would mean that any primary school based on the BSCS site would not give those attending the guarantee of a place at BSCS.

    A new primary school at BSCS would be a nightmare. There are currently huge issue with traffic and parking and the idea of mixing primary traffic with secondary traffic is just crazy and is an accident waiting to happen.

    The BSCS site is already overcrowded and so any new build would be limited. Existing parking provision is insufficient so where would the all the new staff park? So many concerns.

    I hope councillors read the concerns of the contributors to this article and respond positively to alleviate them.

  19. Very good points Jonboy. I have been campaigning for better access to BSCS for some time. As you said the school was built too small however, by building an academy primary school on the BSCS site will actually give all those pupils a direct access to BSCS under their academy admission criteria creating an all through academy education. This will have a massive impact on the amount of local children gaining access to BSCS as parents are already struggling in Bradley stoke with the amount of children who come from stoke Gifford and other surrounding areas. With a 2 form primary school of approx 60 children getting direct access for a 180 (less the usual guarantees of admission) that leaves approx 40 spaces for the rest of Bradley stoke!(105 spaces were left for this years intake)
    Not to mention the impact of extra traffic! Like I said, all very good points and I too hope our town councillors will take note and act accordingly. A new primary is needed just not there.

  20. Hang on. There is an entire world outside of Bradley stoke in which you can send your kids to high school.

    I myself, someone who lives in Bradley Stoke (Ormands Close, can see bscs from my window) was not one of the lucky ones to get into BSCS in 2006, as the footpath was not even recognised then!

    So I spent my 7 years of education at Patchway High, no more than a 25 minute walk (judging by the comments even a 5 minute is too much for the little gems peoples kids in BS are), had to make new friends from scratch and I got as good an education as any other student.

    If High School places are such a problem in BS then look elsewhere, why would you want to send your child to a school where they only accept certain individuals, just because of their postcode!

    Also it is unfortunate to see primary Schools such as Stoke Lodge slowly running down due to decrease in numbers.

  21. My partner and I are outraged that having been through the appeals process with my daughter due to start high school in September she has been refused a place at BSCS, 0.8 miles away and sent to a school 2 1/2 miles away.

    The reason for the outrage is not for petty reasons such as distance to travel or that we just prefer a school, but on grounds of pupil safety and well being.

    After a family issue we have a 5 year restraining order on a violent ex husband and father after 2 years filled with attacks, persecution, harassment and stalking. 5 year orders are rare but due to the severity and the extensive police file which even includes ABH and GBH which is why we have a ‘Safe Zone’ made by an court exclusion order.
    Bradley Stoke Secondary is within that ‘Safe Zone’ which is why we needed our daughter to go there, so we could ensure her safety was ensured and protected as this is paramount to us. The other schools in the area are not covered by this protection and we have been advised that unless something happens such as an attack, we are unlikely to get the Safe Zone extended to cover another school because they have already ensured a safe are with safe schools.

    Despite the admissions personnel agreeing that they had not come across a case this severe, the appeals panel has decided not uphold the personal safety of one student despite the clear risk, threat, possible abduction and physical attack. I repeat that these worries don’t just come from us but also the police, current school, courts and professional psychologists.

    And the reason for the appeal for our daughters safety … wait for it … and I quote:

    ‘Health and Safety issues created by the placement of lockers in corridors’
    ‘access issues to Bradley Stoke Community School’
    ‘The limited Dining facilities with Bradley Stoke employing a five-shift system’
    ‘the impact of the oversubscribed Post 16 Centre will have on the mainstream school’
    ‘That there is no proposals to increase accommodation at Bradley Stoke’

    Well with sound and just reasons like these for rejecting our appeal against the real dangers faced we can only assume that no-one was going to get an extra place for any reason this year.

    Its nice that the local council and independent panel put the safety of lockers over the safety of its constituents, students and young people.

  22. Small clarification regarding admissions to BSCS.
    I gather it used to be distance along certain routes, and the cycle ways were not recognised.
    Has this now changed to straight line “as the crow flies” distances?

    Thanks in advance,


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