Leeds City Council addresses immediate need for school places in an innovative way
It really was a case of a community coming together to solve a local problem recently when Shakespeare Primary School and the Bridge Community Church joined forces with Leeds City Council to find urgently needed additional school places.
Plans were already underway for the permanent expansion of Shakespeare Primary but the city found itself with an immediate problem after an unexpected influx of families to Leeds.
Julian Gorton, the head teacher of the school was very happy to take the additional pupils but lacked the space to do so. Bridge Community Church were approached as they had an unused venue that was ripe for conversion. All the stops were pulled out to ensure the building was ready on time, fully equipped for use as a school and staff recruited so that the children could start and settle immediately into their learning.
This week marks the official opening ceremony of the new Shakespeare Primary School, which has been awarded Leeds ‘School of the Year’ 2018, and as the pupils have now moved to their new accommodation, Bridge Community Church have been left with a refurbished and much more usable space.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor (Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment) said:
“I want to express my very sincere thanks to both Shakespeare Primary School and the Bridge Community Church, as well as Council officers, for their dedication, enthusiasm and determination to find an innovative solution to the problems we were facing.
“We have created an additional 12,000 primary school places since 2009 but I think the speed and creativity of this particular provision was a first. I am delighted that we were able to provide the needed places in time and that those children did not miss out on their education. I hope this ground breaking scheme can act as a blueprint for future projects.”
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