AN infant and junior school could merge as a result of falling pupil numbers.

Plans have been made to amalgamate Cotsford infant and Cotsford junior schools, in Horden.

Durham County Council is putting forward the plans because it says both schools are experiencing a significant fall in pupil numbers and have had to make redundancies in recent years to balance their budgets.

The junior school has 110 pupils on the role while 64 children attend the infant school.

The council’s cabinet is expected to approve a formal consultation on the proposal when it meets next week.

A spokesperson said: “It is felt that joining the Cotsford schools together to create a single primary school will enhance education in the area and will lead to a more sustainable establishment in the long term, providing equal access for all.”

It means the schools would have a single leadership team, saving £63,000 a year.

Additional redundancies could be made if the schools are combined on a single site in the future.

Councillor Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Councils cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Our schools have seen unprecedented funding cuts since 2009 and now some are facing significant financial pressures.

“Due to a reduction in pupil numbers it has been predicted that the Cotsford schools are likely to become financially unviable in future, so we are working to together to find a resolution that will work for all who are involved.”

A consultation will be held so people can have a say on proposals.