Bristol Free School 'frustrated' with city council

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A group which is trying to set up an academy-style school in Bristol has said it is becoming "increasingly frustrated" with the city council.

The Bristol Free School wants to use the former St Ursula's School site to run a secondary school.

But in a statement it said attempts to hold meetings with Bristol City Council have been "turned down or ignored".

Barbara Janke, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council, said their priority was for more primary space.

The Free School had planned to use St Ursula's School, which is currently occupied by a primary academy, on a short-term lease.

School clarification

Originally the group behind the plan, Parents Voice, wanted to run an all-through school with ages from four to 16.

But when the funding bid was sent to the government in February the school director, Nick Short, said the bid was changed to secondary only because the council wanted to keep them separate.

"The Department for Education are well aware of this and of our increasing frustration with the council," the statement added.

"We also shared our admissions model with the council in January and invited comments. To date we have received none."

Mrs Janke said she has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, for clarification on how the council should proceed.

"We have always supported a school in this part of the city and we really do want to see this," she said.

"This year we have 120 additional applications for primary spaces in this area than places so we are going to have to open a two-form primary school.

"What we want to know is what is proposed for this site."

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