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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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School in Millom given permission to build new classroom

A SCHOOL in Millom has been given planning permission to build a classroom after 25 years of teaching in a cloakroom and storage cupboard.

Staff at St James’ Catholic Primary School, in Lonsdale Road, Millom, have been teaching a class of 30 children in a storage room with a sink, combined with a cloakroom. It is also used as a corridor between classrooms and the school hall.

Headteacher of seven years Nerissa Nicholas, 43, said: “When the school was originally built there were two classrooms for infants because the numbers were less. We have been using a cloakroom and a practical space which we use for storage and a sink.

“I have been at the school for 20 years and my mum before me, and that’s the way it’s always been.

“It’s also the corridor so pupils and staff use it to go between classrooms and have to go through it to get to the school hall so it can be quite disruptive.”

Copeland Borough Council planning committee approved the application for a Year two classroom earlier this month. The contract has gone out to tender and the school expects work to start on the first Monday of the summer holidays, July 22.

The work, which will cost £230,969, is expected to be completed by the end of November.

The school received the majority of the money as a grant from the Diocese of Lancaster at the end of January after three years of being unsuccessful, but had to raise 10 per cent (£23,0000) itself.

Mrs Nicholas, who has been a teacher at the school for 21 years, added: “It’s been difficult teaching in that space but we have made the best of it. I’ve had two stints of teaching there and it’s not ideal. With reception children it’s not so bad because their learning is play-oriented but for Year Two it’s much more formal learning. It’s been a struggle at times for the children not to get distracted.

“When I started it was accepted as just one of those things and nobody wanted to teach there.”

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