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A North Derbyshire school which has had to shorten its teaching hours due to the lack of a local bus is set for an expansion to help rushed and stressed parents and guardians 

A North Derbyshire school which has had to shorten its teaching hours due to the lack of a local bus is set for an expansion.

Mickley Infant and Nursery School, in Milton Avenue, between Alfreton and Clay Cross, has 60 pupils and many families also have children at Shirland Primary School – around two miles away.

The problem this presents is that some parents and guardians need to be in two places at the same time, for drop-off and pick-up.

This has resulted in the infant and nursery school having to shorten its school day, with Mickley finishing at 3pm and Shirland finishing at 3.15pm.

Derbyshire County Council is now planning to expand the Mickley site into a primary school in its own right so that parents and guardians no longer have to hot-foot it from one school to another each day to collect their children on time.

This would involve erecting a flat-pack building containing three classrooms to the rear of the current school – at a cost of £1.25 million – increasing pupil numbers by 10 and with one new teaching role.

In its planning application, which will be decided in the next few months, it details that families had previously gathered funds to pay for a school bus – making the process of hot-footing it between sites much easier.

However, this has proven to be financially “unviable” the authority says.

The authority, which also organises school transport, said through its property arm Concertus: “The estate where Mickley Infant and Nursery School is situated has poor public transport links and this is exacerbated by the fact that the bus that pupils and parents currently use has been stopped in the evenings.

“Historically, the parents have organised and funded the bus, but it is no longer financially viable.

“As a response to this, Mickley Infant School has been forced to shorten its school day as parents are unable to be at Shirland Primary School and Mickley Infant School at the same time to pick up siblings.”

It says the schools and local community support the plans to expand Mickley into a primary.

The school currently caters for 40 infant pupils and 20 nursery pupils, with a staff capacity of 6.5 overall – comprising a head teacher, a full-time teacher, two part-time teachers, three full-time admin staff and one part-time admin employee.

Through the plans, the school would increase capacity to 70 pupils overall and seven overall staff numbers, with parking also expanding from five to eight spaces.

It says more school places are needed in the area due to a combined 120 new homes which are set to be built within the catchment, with Shirland Primary School unable to expand any further.

Mickley Infant and Nursery School in Milford Avenue, Mickley. Image from Google. 
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