June 2018: News From The Mayor

May 29 2018

We are meeting the need for school places in north Bristol

Enabling our city’s young people to get off to the best start in life and raising aspirations for all is one of my key priorities. My administration, particularly my cabinet lead for education and skills, Cllr Anna Keen, is working hard with our Learning City partners on this agenda. Central to this is increasing school places as demand is reaching an all-time high.  In the past few years over 10,000 additional places have been created in Bristol.

We are looking to expand existing secondary schools to meet demand while working in partnership with other organisations to build new schools. One example of this is the plan approved at a recent cabinet meeting to spend £25 million on a new secondary school in Bristol. CST Trinity Academy is set to be built on land adjoining Stoke Park primary school in Lockleaze. It will be run by Cathedral Schools Trust, which already runs a number of other schools in the region including Bristol Cathedral Choir School. It is planned to open for Year 7 students in September 2019, growing year-on-year to an eventual capacity of 1,220 students, including a sixth-form. 

We have also approved £1.7 million to expand Bristol Brunel Academy by 80 places – 16 per year group – at the school in Speedwell Road over the next five years. Both of these initiatives are funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Work is currently under way at Cotham and St Bede’s schools to provide more places by the end of this year. We know that we need new schools in South Bristol and East Central Bristol as a priority, and are in conversation with the ESFA to ensure plans are being developed which are right for Bristol. 

As well as this, Whitehall primary school has expanded its capacity by a third and is now able to accept 30 extra pupils each year. The project was delivered through a partnership between Bristol City Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Skanska, and is a great example of working collaboratively to achieve the best outcome. 

As well as increasing school places, we are working to raise aspirations in secondary school pupils by ensuring meaningful career and work choices are widely available. Last week, I visited my old school, City Academy, to celebrate the Bristol WORKS programme. WORKS is a Bristol Learning City Partnership initiative, a unique collaboration between employers, learning providers and communities. It is designed to help students experience work in a whole new way, to raise aspirations and help to develop a skilled local workforce. Four new schools are set to take part during the next academic year, which marks real progress in delivering for Bristol’s young people.