Parents’ fears mount over school expansion

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Education chiefs are expanding a Sheffield school by 50 per cent – despite parents’ concerns it could drive it into special measures.

An extra 100 children will be brought in to Acres Hill Community Primary School in Darnall to cope with urgent demand for primary places.

The move comes on top of new Reception and Year One classes which were introduced last year.

Parents have voiced fears pupils’ education is at risk in the £485,000 expansion.

Ofsted reports have shown standards have already begun to slip after the increase in numbers.

Terry Niven, whose grandchild attends the school, said: “It is inadequate in size to deal with the extra pupils. They said it was to help with demand for school places in the area but they are fetching children from outside.

“Ofsted has gone from scoring the school level two across the board to level three – the only thing not affected was the behaviour of pupils.

“Another 100 pupils is going to drive the quality right down into special measures.

“Parents have put in a lot of work with fundraising and they are frightened this is going to have a devastating impact on their children.”

Education bosses have described the expansion as a ‘temporary measure’ until a new primary and secondary school for Darnall and Attercliffe is completed in 2015.

But, when pressed, the council could not offer any guarantees the additional children would have to move once it is complete.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for children, said: “There has been a major increase in birth rate around the primary school age and we need to accommodate that. Schools across the city are being asked to find extra places.”