Parents’ protest over Sheffield school place plan

Parents of school children from Dobcroft Infant School, Pingle Road, are protesting about plans to expand the school. Picture: Andrew Roe
Parents of school children from Dobcroft Infant School, Pingle Road, are protesting about plans to expand the school. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Parents are to stage a protest over the controversial expansion of a Sheffield school they insist there is no need for.

Sheffield Council is to ‘pause’ consultation on permanently expanding Dobcroft infant and junior sites after concerns were raised.

However a temporary expansion with an extra 30 pupils from September is to go ahead.

Parents say the council’s own figures show there is no need for such an increase.

They will take their protest to the town hall on March 18, when cabinet members will discuss the recommendation to halt consultation.

Mum Sarah Jones, of Parkhead, said: “They are going to force these extra 30 kids to learn in a library when their own figures don’t show any demand so we are asking - why do it?

“The school is already over capacity for what it was designed for.”

Figures seen by The Star show expected demand for places from catchment residents at Dobcroft Infants is 65 pupils in September 2015. Its admission number is 90.

At Ecclesall, Greystones, Holt House, Hunters Bar, Lowfield, Sharrow, and Nether Edge schools expected demand from catchment is also below admission numbers.

Labour Sheffield Hallam candidate Oliver Coppard, who studied at Dobcroft, has urged the council to ‘look again’ at its proposals and said current plans could ‘damage pupils education’.

A council spokesman said it had ‘listened’ and was recommending more time to explore alternatives for the permanent expansion.

She added: “This is to ensure we have enough local school places from September 2016 in the south west.

“We are putting on an extra class at Dobcroft in September 2015 as planned to meet local demand.”