St Hildas St Hildas

Closure proposals of village school expected to move to next stage

The findings of a consultation for the proposed closure of a rural North Yorkshire primary school at the end of August due to dwindling pupil numbers are set to be considered.

For the last 15 years, St Hilda’s Church of England Primary School in Ampleforth, has had no more than 36 pupils. It currently only has 13 children on roll. The educational establishment has seen a consistently low intake of new pupils in recent years.

A consultation was launched on March 1 following a request from the school’s governing board. The six-week consultation also included a public meeting.

The outcome of the consultation, to be discussed at North Yorkshire Council’s executive meeting on Tuesday next week (May 7), revealed there were 80 responses with the majority unsupportive of the proposed closure. However, several of the 80 respondents expressed the view that the school was not viable and that it should close.

North Yorkshire Council’s assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, said: “Thank you to all those who took part in the consultation. It is clear from the responses from local residents and parents that there is a lot of support for St Hilda’s Church of England Primary School and it holds a special place within the community.  

“However, low pupil numbers can make it challenging for a school to operate within its budget as well as maintaining a high quality provision, teaching and learning.”

If the proposed closure is agreed next week, statutory notices will be published on May 22. which will provide the opportunity for representations to be made until June 19.

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A final decision is due to be taken by our executive on Tuesday, July 16.

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