Parents want end to new pupils at troubled Sheffield school

Meynell Primary School'Meynell Road'Sheffield
Meynell Primary School'Meynell Road'Sheffield
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PARENTS are calling for a halt to new admissions at a Sheffield school left shaken after a five-year-old pupil was found with a penknife.

Mums and dads have sent letters to education chiefs and Angela Lant, headteacher of Meynell Primary School, Parson Cross, which has seen an influx of pupils from Slovakia.

Parents argue it is unfair to add more pressures on a school that inspectors already found required improvement when they visited last year.

They say it was lucky the knife incident did not have a more serious outcome.

Their letter says: “Why were more children allocated places in an already oversubscribed school, before any improvements could be implemented? Give us the help, time and resources we need to make a real difference at Meynell.”

Moves are already afoot to integrate Meynell into a family of schools formed after nearby Chaucer linked up with Tapton, in Crosspool.

And the council says it is examining Meynell admissions as part of a wider review of places in the area.

In their letter, parents claim that, after visiting Meynell, Tapton headteacher David Bowes said facilities were appalling, resources minimal and teaching standards poor.

The letter says: “How can changes be organised and implemented with fresh challenges being added to an already volatile situation?

“We come together to ask that new admissions be halted until existing problems have been addressed.

“Only when the needs of existing pupils are met will we be able to effectively introduce new students into our school and be equipped to deal with any needs they have.”

Mrs Lant said the school was focused on improvement.

She said: “Already we have reduced class sizes from 35 to now being in the 20s.

“We have put more robust procedures in place, restructured leadership and teaching staff, increased monitoring and improved the quality of training for our teaching staff.

“That being said, we know we still have a way to go and must not be complacent.

“We are doing everything we can to improve things and I will not rest until we get Meynell back on track.”

Sheffield Council officer Alena Prentice said: “Plans are expected to be agreed later this month to build two new primary schools to address admissions issues.”