DESPITE requests from the Pendle MP, a local councillor and headteacher, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Barnoldswick will not be allowed to expand.

Pendle’s youngest councillor, 18-year-old Lyle Davy, returned to his old primary school to look at the school’s challenges with MP Andrew Stephenson.

They were told that in recent years demand for school places has far exceeded capacity.

The school can admit only 20 children each year, but this year it had applications from 27 Catholic families.

Headteacher Natalie Wood said: “We have five classrooms with an overall capacity for 140 children.

“In September 2014, we will have 147 children on roll, the highest capacity ever. This is a result of successful appeals.”

The school had hoped to secure funding to add another two classrooms, to boost yearly admissions to 30 children, enabling it to better cater for children from Barnoldswick, Earby, Kelbrook and Salterforth.

“This is proving extremely difficult and we have been informed by Lancashire County Council that there is no need as there are sufficient places for pupils in our locality,” said Mrs Wood.

“However, there are not sufficient places for Catholic families wanting their child to attend a Catholic school in their own locality.”

Lynn Mappin, Lancashire County Council’s manager for school planning, said: “Though we will continue to monitor demand, there are no current plans for expansion.”