Call for extension to talks on Lancashire school plans

Artist's impression of the new look Trinity CE Methodist Primary School

Artist's impression of the new look Trinity CE Methodist Primary School

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Parents of youngsters at a village school are demanding an extension to a public consultation over its future.

Trinity CE/Methodist Primary School in Buckshaw Village is bursting at its seams and has almost doubled in size since it first opened in 2011.

Parents say plans to extend it further should be put on hold until the results of last week’s Ofsted inspection are made public.

County Hall chiefs are consulting over proposals to turn it into a three form entry school, taking the annual intake in reception class up to 90.

This would take the roll up from the current 420 to 630. However, there is not enough room to extend the existing building so the education authority is proposing a split site school, separating the infant and junior departments far more than 120 people have signed an online petition against the extension with many more parents saying it would be impractical to ferry children from the same families to the separate site.

Instead they are calling for another site in the village, just over a kilometre away and earmarked for school use, to be used for a new self contained primary school.

Social media sites have also been set up.

One mum, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Ofsted went in last week and the report of the inspection findings will not be made public until July 15, that is two days after the public consultation on the extension to the school plans closes.

“People want to know what the inspectors say and how the school is doing before they put their final views on expansion down.

“This is something which needs to be taken into consideration.

Imagine how it would look - and how we would feel - if the consultation closes then two days later we learn that it isn’t doing very well.

“What parent is going to want to send their children to an ever growing school in those circumstances.?

“We don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for an extension to the consultation period so that we can have our say in full knowledge of the school we are being asked our views on.

Not everyone already has children at the school so we don’t all know how it is doing.

The last inspection was in 2012.”

Other parents have called for a public meeting to discuss the educational options in the village.

Matthew Tidmarsh, Lancashire County Council’s head of asset management, said: “We need to increase the size of this popular school to meet the growing need for places.

“We are running a representation period on these expansion plans over four weeks from 16 June to 13 July. This is a statutory notice period set out in Department for Education regulations and can’t be extended.

“We will take account of all views as part of the decision – making process.”