Councillors approve plans to expand catchment area of Sheffield secondary school

Councillors have approved plans to expand the catchment area of a Sheffield secondary school.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 5:43 pm

King Edward VII Upper School (KES) will now give a higher priority to those children living in the Hallam Primary School catchment area from the 2021 academic year.

It comes after a consultation was launched over plans to extend the catchment area for the school on Glossop Road which Sheffield Council said follows a “significant increase” in the population in those areas.

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King Edward School headteacher Linda Gooden.

The proposals formed part of a broader piece of work between all secondary schools in the area and the council to ensure that all pupils have access to a good school place near to where they live.

The existing catchment area for KES Upper School stretches through areas including Crookes and Fulwood and encompasses feeder schools such as Nether Green, Sharrow, Lydgate, Walkley, St. Mary's and Westways Junior schools.

However, the new plans allow families in the Hallam Primary catchment area a higher priority for an additional school along with their current catchment status for both Tapton and Merica Academy.

Linda Gooden, headteacher of KES, said she supported the move as long as it did not negatively impact students entering from the existing feeder schools.

King Edward VII Upper School building on Glossop Road

In a letter to the council, she said: “In principle, the Governing Board and Leadership Team are in support of extending the catchment area of King Edward VII School to provide local school places for families and children.

“However, it is essential that families who currently select King Edward VII School from our existing main feeder schools are not disadvantaged by the addition of Hallam Primary School to the catchment area. Disquiet is already evident in our existing feeder schools.”

Concerns were raised by some of the 77 people who responded to the consultation, but overall 32 per cent of respondees thought the plans were a good idea with 34 per cent agreeing but adding they had some reservations.

Those who agreed said the plans could lead to an “increased choice of decent school for children to attend” and “will allow more choice and help ease the oversubscription of schools” while 28 per cent said the plans were not a good idea with some voicing worries that those attending existing feeder schools may now have issues getting a place at KES.

King Edward VII School was oversubscribed by demand from within its own catchment area for secondary school places in the 2019/20 academic year.