A closed village school could soon be used as a nursery and outdoor learning centre.

Acorn Early Years Foundation has submitted to Milton Keynes Council a ‘change of use’ application for Emberton School in Olney.

Plans detail the ‘conversion (of Emberton School) to hybrid use for a school and nursery (total capacity 37 places) and construction of a new 21-space car park, with access from the High Street’.

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A new footpath leading to the school is also mentioned.

No external alterations to the existing school building are proposed.

It will also provide up to 16 new jobs, a document states.

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“The village school in Emberton closed in 2020 due to insufficient numbers of children attending, although the governing body of the Village Schools Federation (VSF) are hopeful that the school might be able to re-open at some point in the future,” a cover letter reads.

“In the meantime, they would like to lease the building to the applicant to use as a nursery, outdoor kindergarten and outdoor learning centre. This will ensure that there is an ongoing educational function at the school.”

It adds: “It is proposed that during school holidays an outdoor playscheme will take place in the field to the rear of the school building. Two outdoor shelters will need to be provided to facilitate the playscheme.”

There are currently 57 children on the waiting list for places at the nursery.

“The admissions policy prioritises vulnerable children and local children, and in the event of any future lockdown, children of key worker families,” the cover letter states.

“Funded places are made available for low-income families with two-year-olds, and all children aged three and over are entitled to fully funded places of up to 30 hours a week.”

It could open in January 2022.

Council officers will now decide what becomes of the application.

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