JOBS at a Blackburn school are under threat after plans were approved to reduce the number of pupils and close one of its sites.

Cedars Primary is to lower its published admission number from 75 to 60 pupils per year from September 2017.


The three-form-entry school, undersubscribed in each year group apart from year four and year six, has been hit by the opening of The Olive School, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School becoming a free school and an influx of EU migrants putting Cedars' budget under increasing pressure, education bosses said in a report.

The number of jobs to be lost has not been revealed.

Cedars is aiming to fully move into its Hawthorn Street site, close the St James’ Road building and become a two-form-entry school in September 2017.

In a report to Blackburn with Darwen’s executive board, The Olive School – opened in September 2013 – has been named as one of the reasons why Cedars is undersubscribed.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School becoming a free school in September 2014 was also cited as a reason, with Lammack Primary School, St James’ CE Primary School and St Michael with St John’s CE Primary School also losing out, the report said.

A spokesman for the council said in the report: “Additionally, over the last three years there has been an influx of migrants, primarily from the European Union, into the area and due to the school being undersubscribed the school has admitted many of these children. Most of the children do not speak English and in some cases have never previously attended school, which has required the school to provide additional support out of a reduced budget."

From September 2017, each new reception class will have a maximum of 60 pupils, meaning the school will drop from a maximum roll of 525 to 420 by 2023.

Chairman of governors Simon Jones said: “The school will still be good and we are striving to be outstanding.”

Cllr Dave Harling, the council’s executive member for schools, said: “It is up to the school to manage any reduction in staffing numbers."