A mum and former childcare boss is canvassing support to set up a new independent school in Cumbria.

Ali Pate has organised a meeting in Wigton about the possibility of setting up a fee-paying school.

She said: “The plans are at an early stage.

“I am looking into the idea and trying to canvass support.

“At the meeting I would hope we could discuss what ages the school will cater for, how it would be funded and where it might be.

“We have support from the World Health Innovation Summit (a health conference taking place in Carlisle) and hopefully they will be able to come to the meeting and tell us about how we could attract lottery funding.”

The school would be classed as a Steiner inspired but not a full Steiner school.

The nearest Steiner schools are in Lancaster and Edinburgh.

The Steiner ethos is said to aim at working for all children, irrespective of academic ability, class, ethnicity or religion.

The first Steiner school opened in Stuttgart in 1919 for children of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory.

Mrs Pate, of Newtown Road, Carlisle, said: “The school will be fee paying.

“But we would want it to be open to everyone from all backgrounds so that is something else to discuss.

“It would be open four days a week, not five.

“I think five days is too much.

“It’s too much for the children and too much for the staff.”

Mrs Pate, who up until recent weeks ran Little Steps Childminding in Carlisle, said she first got the idea when researching schools for her eldest child, who is due to start in September.

She said: “I think in this country children go to school too early.

“In Europe they start about six. I think four is too young.

“The school would have a curriculum and a weekly routine as children need that.”

The meeting, on Thursday, March 9, will be held at the Bridge Yoga Studio on the Western Bank Industrial Estate in Wigton, from 11am until 1pm.

More details are available on the Facebook page Potential Independent School Meeting.