NORTH Walney Primary and Nursey School may close due to declining birth rates on the island, according to the council. 

Westmorland and Furness Council has opened a consultation on the potential closure of the school from August 31 next year. 

The consultation is a chance for everybody with an interest in the school to express their views. 

"There is concern about a decline in the number of pupils across all year groups over recent years and the resulting impact on the school’s financial position," a council spokesperson said. 

"Currently there are just 27 pupils, with the school able to accommodate up to 161 children. As a result, achieving a balanced budget is becoming increasingly difficult.

"In line with national trends, the number of births in the North Walney catchment area has also reduced in recent years, as it has across Walney Island. Because of this and a surplus of school places across the surrounding area, the chances of significant growth in pupil numbers for the school are low." 

READ MORE: North Walney Primary School faces closure as consultation launched

The consultation will close on December 12. 

At the start of the consultation on November 1, the council lead member for education Sue Sanderson said: "The decision to close a school isn’t one the council would take lightly and it’s important we hear the views of everyone with an interest in North Walney Primary and Nursery School.

"Sadly, we’re concerned the school’s current financial position is unsustainable and it’s difficult to see how things will improve in the future if pupil numbers do not improve.

"As a former headteacher myself, I sympathise hugely with the staff, pupils, parents and local community surrounding North Walney School and we’ll support them throughout this process.

"Our decision to consult on this issue is also not a reflection on the dedicated staff at North Walney, who have done everything they can under difficult circumstances and will continue to do so until a final decision is made on the school’s future.”

School budgets are directly linked to the number of children at a school and funding allocations are based on a nationally agreed formula.

This means no additional financial support can be provided to the school.