School to launch pre-school provision
PROVISION for pre-school children is to return to a dale village.
Staff at Cotherstone Primary School have unveiled plans to offer both funded and private places for toddlers aged three and older.
As well as addressing the current lack of provision in the village, headteacher Chris Matthewman said she hoped it would help boost numbers at the school.
Cotherstone Primary has 47 pupils – but there was just one new starter when the school year began earlier this month.
“It seems the perfect opportunity for us to open a pre-school,” said Mrs Matthewman.
“We have taken advice from the early years team at Durham County Council. We have funded places – and private places for those who are not entitled to funded places.”
She added: “We are hoping to get some funding from Teesdale Action Partnership to update the outdoor early years area.
“It would be the first time pre-school would be run by the school.”
Cotherstone Primary School is partnered with Bowes Hutchinson’s Primary with Mrs Matthewman as head of both.
Looking after the new pre-school will be Cotherstone class one teacher Jenny Lee and teaching assistant Carolyn Murtagh.
Mrs Matthewman said a pre-school was needed at Cotherstone.
“We have children from Cotherstone who come to Bowes and we did have children in Cotherstone last year with parents who did not have transport and did not have any nursery provision,” she said.
“By doing this we hope to avoid that situation.
“If we have something on site, that is obviously helpful.
“It also supports the school and help keeps numbers up – and it’s better for the children in the village.”
Mrs Matthewman said it had been hoped to launch a pre-school earlier, but plans were put on hold due to Covid.