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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Plan for 1,200 new school places in Carlisle gets go-ahead

Investment of £12.65 million to provide 1,200 extra places at Carlisle primary schools is going ahead.

Cumbria County Council’s cabinet has given the final seal of approval following the completion of a legal consultation process.

The plan is to add 176 extra places in reception classes from September.

This will eventually provide 1,232 more places as the expanded year group works its way through schools.

The showpiece is a rebuild of Pennine Way Primary, on the old North Cumbria Technology College site in Harraby, to open in September 2014 at a cost of £8.8m.

Caroline Sutton, the council’s assistant director of children’s services, said: “The reason we’re bringing these proposals forward is because of a significant increase in the birth rate.

“If we didn’t make changes to pupil admission numbers, we’d be likely to have too few places from 2012 onwards.”

The council says it has chosen to expand schools where there is demand for places and room for expansion.

But Sarah Nuttall, headteacher of Bishop Harvey Goodwin Primary School in Currock, queried the plan to spend £1m on four new classrooms at nearby Upperby Primary when her school had spare capacity.

She asked councillors: “Is that the correct way to spend money?”

But Stewart Young, the council’s deputy leader, said: “The timescale is tight. We’ve not got the leeway to delay.”

Councillors also agreed to proposals to expand St Catherine’s RC Primary School in Penrith, increasing the intake to 20.

Have your say

All for investing in children's education. Great News for Pennine Way.

Don't worry, Bishop Harvey. If the pupil projections for your area are as seriously underestimated as the 2007 projections for North Carlisle, you will fully subscribed in no time.

Well done, Stewart Young,let's bring some capacity into the area. There has been too many families without a local school.

Posted by A parent on 16 March 2012 at 18:40

Why are the Council spending/wasting money (the majority of their budget)on a new school at Pennine Way and creating extra places at a school that has NEVER been oversubscribed and probably never will be! Stuart Young says time is tight BUT that should not mean rushing into decisions which are OBVIOUSLY WRONG!They are expanding schools that have room to do so - easy option. Why not build a new school to replace Stanwix where everyone wants to go. Extra places will not solve the existing problems. As usual the Council are being shortsighted.

Posted by confused on 16 March 2012 at 16:05

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