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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Party marks group’s effort to save Bootle school

A COMMUNITY came together to celebrate saving Cumbria’s smallest school from closure.

More than 100 people packed in Captain Shaw’s hall on Friday night to toast its future.

Cumbria County Council’s cabinet rejected plans to close the 16-pupil Bootle school earlier this month, saying the community should be given time to turn its fortunes around.

The council proposed shutting Captain Shaw’s in October, because of low pupil numbers, but decided to give the school a second chance thanks to a tireless community campaign.

Friday’s celebration saw Bootle residents, school pupils past, present and future, plus parents, teachers and governors, come together to celebrate their victory.

There was a disco and karaoke, everyone brought something to eat or drink and the party ran into the early hours.

Trudy Harrison, a parent governor at Captain Shaw’s, said: “It was a celebration to say, ‘We’re here to stay, please join us.

“It was to celebrate that result, but also to mark the start of a new chapter for Captain Shaw’s.

“We wanted to make sure that was the last time that Captain Shaw’s was threatened with closure, and we discussed with the community the exciting projects we’ve got for the future.”

Mrs Harrison said The Friends of Captain Shaw’s, a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the future of the school, would be working to attract young families to Bootle.

She said there are 20 houses for sale within a mile of the school, and 60 more in planning, and the group would be offering help and support to anyone considering re-locating.

She said: “We want to enable people to move to Bootle as easily as possible.

“What’s great about Bootle, is it’s the kind of community where children, parents, grandparents and everybody in between is welcomed and valued.

“We want to send the message out to any prospective parents that every single child is treated like a member of the family.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the work of The Friends of Captain Shaw’s is asked to call the school on 01229 718279, or visit www.capt-shaws@cumbria.sch.uk

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