PARENTS are to be consulted on plans to close a nursery and merge it with a primary school from next summer.
Hartlepool Borough Council is proposing to close Seaton Carew Nursery, in Brompton Walk, and merge it on the same site as Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, in Crawford Street, also in Seaton.
The next stage is to begin a public consultation, which will start in September, to avoid the summer holidays.
Amanda Baines, headteacher at Holy Trinity, is also acting head at Seaton Carew Nursery and the plan is to merge both from September 2014.
The consultation will also include proposals to extend the age range at the primary school from five to 11 to three to 11 to cater for the nursery school children.
Dean Jackson, the council’s assistant director of education, spoke at the children’s services meeting and said the nursery site cannot sustain its current level of activity which includes breakfast clubs and after-school provisions and was losing money.
A council report added: “Seaton Carew Nursery is no longer financially viable and is currently reliant upon additional Schools Forum funding which is only guaranteed until August 2014.”
The committee accepted the proposal to consult on the merger.
Once the consultation is complete a further report will come back before councillors on the committee.
Holy Trinity C of E Primary School is set to be rebuilt under the new Government-led Priority Schools Building Programme, but the funding from central Government does not cover nursery school provision.
Therefore the local authority will need to find between £150,000 and £200,000 of funding for the new nursery area for 26 children, within the new school building.
The children’s services committee agreed to submit a funding request to the finance and policy committee for further talks around that issue.
Labour councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of the committee, said: “It will be for the finance and policy committee to determine where the funding comes from.
“I am pleased to note that the Diocese will be asked to make a financial contribution.”
Other schools to be rebuilt are Manor College of Technology and Barnard Grove Primary School.