Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Academy hopes for Bristol private school

St Ursula's School
St Ursula's School currently has fewer than 200 pupils

A third private school in Bristol has announced it wants to join the state sector and become an academy.

St Ursula's School, an independent day school in Westbury-on-Trym, has struggled to attract new pupils and currently has fewer than 200 children.

The chair of governors made the announcement at a public meeting set up by parents campaigning for a new school in the area.

If the bid is successful, St Ursula's would be the ninth academy in the city.

'Lots of hurdles'

Chair of governors, Charlotte Leslie, who is also standing as the Conservative candidate in the general election, said: "Difficult economic times have hit people very badly. It's far more difficult for parents to send their children to a private school.

"Things are changing in north west Bristol. Lots of young families are moving here and I think the need for additional state school capacity is very well known.

"It's a very complex procedure. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome and, as yet, there's no guarantee that our bid would be a success.

"We've got a blank piece of paper and an intention. The first thing we've got to do is put together an expression of interest outlining the kind of academy we think would fit the bill."

St Ursula's School is an independent Catholic day school offering education to boys and girls aged four to 16.

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