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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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£700,000 gives four Cumbrian primary schools room to grow

Two village schools north of Carlisle are expanding to cope with predicted booms in housing and populations.

Councillor Anne Burns photo
Anne Burns

Houghton and Rockcliffe Schools are to grow in size, as are Seaton Junior School near Workington and Bridekirk Dovenby near Cockermouth, as part of a £725,000 investment by Cumbria County Council.

They are expanding in response to rising birth rates and new housing, which will bring an influx of residents.

A total of £410,000 is going to be spent at Houghton School. Two new classrooms will be built, taking up its annual intake of pupils to 30, up from the current 22.

The county council is investing half of the funds with the other half coming from North Associates, which is building almost 100 new homes at Hadrian’s Camp on Houghton Road. At Rockcliffe, £105,000 will pay for an extension to a resource room. It will provide a new classroom and the school’s intake will go up from 15 new pupils a year to 20.

Seaton Junior School’s project will cost £190,000 for a new classroom while £225,000 will be spent building a new classroom at Bridekirk Dovenby primary school.

Funding, agreed by county councillors yesterday, is from the authority’s Basic Need funding pot.

This is funding allocated to local authorities by the Department for Education, with the allocation based on an estimate of school places pressure in each council area.

Councillor Anne Burns, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “A great deal of work goes into assessing trends in population, admission patterns and new housing developments so we can predict where and when we’re going to have greater demand for places.

“This investment will ensure these four schools are equipped for the future and can continue providing an education for the growing numbers of children in their communities.”

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