OTLEY'S secondary school has added more Year 7 admission places to cope with an 'unprecedented' demand.

The one-off move by Prince Henry's Grammar School will see it accept an additional 25 pupils, on top of its usual limit of 255, this September.

That should spell good news for those pupils from Bramhope and Pool-in-Wharfedale who failed to secure a place at Prince Henry's at the first attempt.

As reported by the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer in March, 19 children from Bramhope Primary were affected - as were three from Pool C of E Primary.

Bramhope Primary's Headteacher, Rachel Colbourn, announced the update in the school's newsletter.

She said: "In order to accommodate the unprecedented shortage of places I am delighted to inform you that, after much internal planning and discussion (including with the Local Authority), Prince Henry's will, for this September only, accept 25 students over and above their usual Year 7 admission limit of 255.

"In line with the Admissions Code and admissions laws, the additional places will be offered to pupils from the existing waiting list which is ranked in line with their published over-subscription criteria.

"As a result, I can confirm that all but one of our Year 6 Bramhope pupils will be formally offered a place by the Local Authority.

"I have already spoken with the family who will not be offered a place and they have a very strong appeal case."

All three children who were affected at Pool Primary are to be offered places, which Headteacher Sally Fox described as: "A huge relief to everyone."

Headteacher of Prince Henry's, Janet Sheriff, said: "The Local Authority will begin the process of filling the places from the waiting list shortly and all additional offers will be made by Friday, May 18.

"Personally I am delighted that we are able to accommodate additional students this September, as I understand how the lack of places causes anxiety to local children and their parents.

"In order to plan for the future, I will be working hard to secure the funding needed for additional classrooms so that Prince Henry's can admit extra children every year."

The news has been hailed by local councillors.

Councillor Caroline Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) said: "This news will be such a relief to most of the parents who have had constant worry about children being allocated schools at the other side of Leeds, in some cases.

"It is good that such a pragmatic approach has been taken.

"I would like to thank Janet Sheriff for agreeing to this and local head teachers at both primary schools who have worked quietly behind the scenes to achieve this result.

"It means most families can now get on and plan their child’s future schooling knowing they don’t have another few months of worry.”

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) added: "I really welcome this news; it has been a worrying time for parents with this hanging over them.

"The children concerned have also been upset thinking they are not going to be at school with the friends they have made over the last seven years.

"I would like to publicly thank Rebecca McCormack in School Admissions for her help with queries we raised with her.

"Most of the children can enjoy their last term at school now knowing they will be going up to secondary with their peer group."