A HORSFORTH primary school is doubling its reception intake to help cope with a lack of places for local children.

West End Primary will have reception places for 60 children in September 2021 compared to the 30 it normally takes.

The move has been welcomed by ward councillor Jonathon Taylor who says it follows concerns that many youngsters living in the Horsforth area would be without reception places in local primary schools this year.

He is now calling for serious work to be undertaken to determine if Newlaithes Primary is viable for expansion,

Councillor Taylor has been calling on Leeds City Council to provide additional reception spaces. Cllr Taylor said there were plans for a temporary new form at West End - amounting to 30 extra spaces.

He said he welcomed the initiative, and looked forward to supporting long-term plans to address the issue.

He argued that every family deserved access to a local school place, adding: “We have been pressing the Council on our concerns that there aren’t enough places for Horsforth children in Horsforth schools for some time.

“Last year, thirteen children did not receive a place in a local school, and some areas of Horsforth are not even covered by catchment zones. With no surplus places, it is even more difficult for families outside of the catchments to get these places.

“We are pleased that our calls for additional provision have been listened to, and a temporary bulge has been proposed at West End Primary.

“Though this is a solution only for this intake, it signals a change in approach and that our concerns are being listened to. With a greater number of reception places, we are confident that parents using all five preferences should receive a local school place.

“Serious work must now be undertaken to determine if Newlaithes Primary is viable for expansion, as suggested in the Site Allocation Plan. If this administration is to continue to approve housing development on Greenbelt land in Horsforth, it must provide the school places to support it.

“It is not fair on existing Horsforth residents to close catchments further, or families on new developments who are often blamed for taking the places we have.”

West End Primary School’s website says: “In September 2021, we have places for 60 children in Reception (we usually take 30).”