Failing Stainburn and Southfield schools set to be closed

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Two west Cumbrian schools are expected to be closed and turned into an academy after failing Ofsted inspections.

Stainburn and Southfield schools in Workington have been placed in special measures with closure proposed for 31 December.

The 1,200 students affected would be taught in the academy from January, operating out of one or both existing buildings.

A six-week consultation will begin on Monday.

Labour county councillor Anne Burns, who has responsibility for education, said the decision had been taken following the failure to raise standards "over a number of years".

She added the council was now "trying to make sure we put the right leaders in place" in the county's schools.

Pupils currently at Stainburn and Southfield would be automatically enrolled in the new academy, as would those who have applied for Year 7 places for September 2014 at either school.

A new building for the academy is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "In light of the recent Ofsted inadequate judgements, we believe the best way forward is for Cumbria County Council to seek closure of both schools and run a competitive process to set up a single academy under the leadership of a strong sponsor."

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