COUNTY HALL workers in Leeds will soon be sharing premises with primary school pupils in the city.
But they will not face the ignominy of sitting on tiny chairs or squatting on Lilliputian lavatories. The administrators will have their own refurbished office within the schools.
The move is part of a strategy by the city's education authority which could eventually see private businesses moving into school buildings where pupil numbers are dropping.
Tinshill primary has moved its pupils downstairs in readiness for the arrival of around 50 council workers, expected to be education officers, who will take over 16 classrooms on the floor above.
Headteacher Diana Mann said the school, originally built for 600 pupils, now has 300 and might otherwise have closed. "We are breaking new ground and if it's going to save other schools, then we are happy to share ideas," she said.
Another Leeds school with surplus spaces, Fir Tree primary, has become the base for a community involvement team, made up of local councillors and their staff.
Peter Gruen, chairman of Leeds Community Planning for Schools Group, said that the council wanted classrooms to have a wider communal role, supplying space for ITC facilities, libraries, after-school clubs and parents' community rooms.