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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Ulverston school’s plan to expand welcomed

PARENTS have welcomed a school’s decision to push ahead with plans to expand and accept pupils up to the age of 11.

A consultation into plans to increase the age range at Ulverston Church of England Infant School, in Church Walk, received an “overwhelmingly positive” response.

If approved, the plans would see the infant school gradually expand by adding a new year group each year from September 2013.

The change would mean pupils would no longer be forced to move schools at the end of Year Two.

The consultation process was supported by nearby Sir John Barrow School, in Argyle Street, one of the schools where many of Church Walk’s pupils transferred after Year Two.

Letters were sent to parents at both schools informing them of the plans.

Helen Pemberton, headteacher at Sir John Barrow School, said the schools were working together in the best interests of the local community.

A statement from Ulverston Church of England Infant School thanked everyone who took part in the consultation.

It said: “Every response was considered very carefully but, after a very full discussion, we believe we have made the right decision for the school.”

The school said it received 62 written responses to the consultation, which took place from October 22 until November 30, and 84 per cent of respondents were in favour of the plans.

Headteacher Bernadette Calvey previously explained the reasons behind the plans, saying the school had suffered as a result of not being able to offer junior school provision.

The school will now publish a notice publishing details of the proposed changes to the age range it caters for.

If the plans are approved by Cumbria County Council – the local education authority, in April, Church Walk would become the only Church of England primary school in Ulverston.

That fact was a major driving force behind the decision, with a number of parents having previously raised the issue with the school.

But the school does not plan to expand physically as a result of any changes.

It said it plans to reduce its intake and make more effective use of the space it has available.

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