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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Falling rolls spark school review
People across Cumbria will have a chance to have their say
A major review of the future of education across Cumbria is to be held.

The issue of surplus places in schools across the county needs to be tackled along with other organisation issues.

On Wednesday, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet agreed to a process to look at the issues, which will include a school organisation forum.

No firm proposals have been put forward yet but one possible option may be some school closures.

In line with other areas of the country, Cumbria is facing the problem of falling school rolls.

There are currently about 9% to 10% of unfilled primary places in schools, but that is expected to rise to 18% to 19% by 2007/8 - well above the 10% limit - if no action is taken.

'Challenging process'

In secondary schools, the current unfilled places are about 11% to 12% and are expected to rise to 13% to 14% by 2007/8.

The council said the review, which will look at the county's 335 schools, needs to reflect the population changes to make sure schools are in the right place and the right size.

Cabinet spokesman for children's services Councillor Philip Chappelhow said: "It will be a challenging process and will, I'm sure, raise difficult decisions for some areas.

"We are approaching this exercise with an open mind and want people to engage with us to find solutions to suit their area.

"We want to make sure that this county provides the best educational opportunities for every single youngster in the area."

Last month, it was announced secondary schools in Carlisle were to get 30m from the government in the wake of the floods which hit the city in January. That project will be fitted in with the whole review.

30m for city's flood-hit schools
11 Aug 05 |  Cumbria
Flood fund appeal tops 750,000
05 Jul 05 |  Cumbria
Flooding costs could reach 250m
15 Mar 05 |  Cumbria

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