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South West school expansion has damaging impacts

l agree with comments in last week’s Special Report: ‘Sheffield families lose out as market forces fuel house price rises’. The desire to live in good school catchment areas is driving up house prices in south west Sheffield.

This trend can only intensify if current City Council proposals for school places, plus ambitious Academy development proposals, combine to hugely increase capacity.

In Ecclesall Ward a new 1200 place secondary school is proposed for the Bannerdale area and 400 additional secondary school places are proposed at Silverdale School. Ecclesall infants school is expanding to cater for 630 infants and juniors while the existing Ecclesall Junior School will begin to take 180 pupils from Clifford School in Nether Edge.

The problem is that much of this proposed new provision is not where children live.  Silverdale School already takes about 25% of its pupils from outside its catchment.  The local road infrastructure in the vicinity of these different schools is not designed to carry the volume of traffic that will undoubtedly be generated as more children are transported daily across the city.  The current combination of proposed school provision is bad for children facing long school journeys, bad for Ecclesall residents on roads choked by traffic, and bad for would be home buyers.  It will also add to almost permanent traffic jams on all roads struggling through Hunters Bar.

The problem will not begin to ease until all children in Sheffield can access good schools in their local neighbourhoods, and parents no longer feel driven to bid up house prices in ‘desirable’ school catchment areas.  The council need to revisit, reconsult, and revise these proposals.

Stewart Kemp
Ecclesall Ward Green Party

Topics: Council, Ecclesall, Education, Featured, Stewart Kemp