Beverley High School could cut admission limit to tackle class sizes
BEVERLEY'S popular girls' school has called for its admission limit to be cut to tackle overcrowding.
Beverley High School has urged the council to cut the number of 11-year-olds enrolling so it can reduce class sizes.
Headteacher Sharon Japp has warned that staff and pupils are struggling to manage in overcrowded buildings at the over-subscribed secondary.
She also claimed the council is creating an imbalance of single-sex places because a lower admission limit operates at the boys' school in the town.
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Beverley Grammar School's admission limit for Year 7 entry is 140 children, compared with 151 at Beverley High School.
Ms Japp told the council: "In this time of funding cuts, you may think we would welcome such a high admission figure as more pupils equates to more funding, however we have a moral obligation to consider the impact on the quality of teaching and learning for all pupils."
She said the 869-pupil school in Norwood has the third-highest average class sizes in the East Riding.
Maintaining a high admission figure for the girls' school would also result in surplus places at Beverley's Longcroft School, she warned.
Ms Japp said Beverley High School, which celebrated its centenary in 2008, was not designed for such high numbers of pupils.
Numbers also grow mid- year, when children moving into the catchment area are allocated places.
Ms Japp said: "Teachers and pupils are struggling to manage in an already overcrowded environment, with main teaching blocks constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, which were never designed for so many pupils.
"Large groups in small teaching rooms are not conducive to good behaviour or movement and we do not wish to see this exacerbated, 50 per cent of our classrooms have a maximum recommended capacity of 25.
"The amount of time each teacher can spend with each pupil is reduced every time another girl is added to a teaching group. This can have a substantial effect on oral and practical work."
Ms Japp asked the council to cut the school's admission limit from 151 to 145 children.
But the council's cabinet has decided to set the figure at 150 from 2014/15.
Officials advised councillors the admission number of 151 was based on the school's net capacity of 924 places.
But entry will now be fixed at 150 to allow year groups to be organised into five tutor groups with standard teaching groups of 30.
The council's pupil services manager Steve Attwood said: "The local authority has to manage the provision of school places and has a duty to ensure that parental preferences can be met as far as reasonably possible."
He said there is no indication pupil numbers at Beverley High School are unmanageable at the moment.
The school was oversubscribed with 165 first-preference applications for places this September, with 151 accepted.