A parent has spoken of her disappointment at a U-turn on school expansion plans which she feels has left 30 children facing a difficult time.
Julie Smith, whose son attends Reinwood Infant School, said there had been a ‘big lapse’ and ‘breakdown which is now too late for our children’ as Kirklees Cabinet changed their minds about where new pupil places would be.
They had originally planned to extend Reinwood Infant and Nursery and Reinwood Junior School, plus build a new primary school as part of all-through school plans at Royds Hall Community School.
But they’ve now backed a scheme with two forms of entry at Royds Hall, with nothing at the two Reinwood schools.
However, Reinwood Infants has already taken in a ‘bulge’ class and Mrs Smith said parents faced having to uproot their children because there would not be enough space for them to move into the junior school.
She told Cabinet members: “I fully appreciate the finances, but how do I explain that to a seven-year-old who now only has a one in four chance of going to the junior school?
“Had we been made aware of this before September we would probably have re-thought the way we selected a school for our children.”
Cabinet backed the plan for 420 extra primary school places at Royds Hall, which will save them £1.5m in the long run.
Joanne Bartholomew, the council’s assistant director of Place, said they had identified the need for seven to 10 forms of entry in the area, which could be additional forms in current schools or new builds.
As a result of the Cabinet’s decision, 60 new reception children will join the Paddock school each year until there is full provision from reception to Year 6.
Clr David Sheard, council leader, said: “I think we all appreciate the situation the parents at Reinwood are in, obviously they have genuine concerns about what will happen to their children.... we must speak to them and to address their concerns and take them on board.”