Decision to extend school gets a caning

Trinity CE/Methodist Primary School in Buckshaw Village
Trinity CE/Methodist Primary School in Buckshaw Village

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to extend a fast-growing village school is set to get the green light- despite objections from parents.

Parents and residents in Buckshaw Village are angry that Lancashire County Council has brought forward a debate on proposals to extend Trinity CE Methodist Primary school by splitting the infants and junior departments on two separate sites.

The proposal is due to be considered next week by Lancashire County Council’s executive scrutiny committee and is recommended for approval, subject to planning permission being granted,

The school has almost doubled in size since it was opened in 2011 and there is no room to extend the existing site to cope with demand so the Local Education Authority wants to divide it up on two sites, with infants on one and juniors on the other.

Parents had called for an extension of a public consultation exercise, which finished just days before the school broke up for the summer, to await the outcome of an Ofsted inspection.

County Hall chiefs refused and said they had to comply with legal requirements.

A report to the committee states: “ Under the statutory school expansion process, a decision should now be taken

about the proposal. If the authority fails to decide the proposal within two months from the end of the representation period, the proposal and any representations about the proposals must be passed to the schools adjudicator for decision.”

Besides individual objections from parents of children currently the school and those of future pupils, the education authority also received a 130-signature petition opposing the plan for a split site school as well as letter from Chorley Counci and South Ribble MP Seema Kenendy .

The MP supported parental calls for a new primary school to be created in the village rather than dividing up Trinity.

One mum, who did not wish to be named, said parents were angry at the recommendation and added: “The expansion and split of the school is not in the best interests of the children, their families or the local community. It is a short sighted ‘quick fix’ that still won’t provide enough places to meet local demand, and will have knock on effects for years to come.

There are serious questions to be asked as to why Lancashire County Council are pushing ahead with these nonsensical plans, against the community’s wishes.”

Another parent of a child already at the school said that parents feel “let down” and added: “Buckshaw Village’s residents have been massively let down by Lancashire County Council in regards to the planning and provision of primary school places. They knew that around 3000 family homes were being built here over the last decade, with 1000 more to come. Yet here we are today in this frustrating situation.”