A CONSULTATION has been launched over plans to close a Barrow nursery school.

Cumbria County Council wants to hear the public's opinion about the future of Bram Longstaffe Nursery School on Barrow Island.

The school, which caters for two to four-year-olds, was put in special measures following an Ofsted inspection late last years and council bosses also said its budget has been in deficit 'for a number of years'.

It is hoped the building, which other services operate from, will continue as a community hub.

The nursery is proposed to close on August 31 this year.

Allison Johnston, councillor for Barrow Island, said: “The nursery is one of Barrow Island’s longest serving assets and has always been really popular. It is a shame that it has gone into special measures as well as the financial difficulties that they are having.

“It comes as no surprise and it was inevitable that some action would be taken. This is a huge concern though as it could be another asset gone, and it is important to keep these for the people of Barrow Island.”

A consultation report released by Cumbria County Council said: “The proposal is in response to the fact that the most recent Ofsted inspection, in December 2019, concluded that the school requires ‘Special Measures’. This means that the school is not delivering the standard of education expected.

“The school’s budget has been in deficit for a number of years, and there is little or no prospect that it can be brought back into a healthy position.

“We know that there are many other services operating from Bram Longstaffe, and are committed to retaining these.

“We are not proposing to close the building or call it something else, and would like to see it continue to develop over the coming years as a valuable community resource.

“This consultation is only about the nursery school provision on the site.

“The county council wants to hear your views on this proposal before deciding to make any changes.

The report added: “It is proposed that if the school is to close, the building should be retained as the location for the hub.

“Whilst we can’t be certain at this stage of exactly which services might operate from the building, the county council is fully committed to retaining it for community use.”

A meeting will take place at Bram Longstaffe Nursery School, Farm Street, on February 27, 2020 from 6.15pm to 7.45pm.