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School with just 13 pupils to begin closure consultation

School with just 13 pupils to begin closure consultation

Published at 8:22am 7th July 2016. (Updated at 12:16pm 7th July 2016)

Governors of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Bishop Thornton have asked North Yorkshire County Council to start a formal consultation to close the school at the end of the current academic year.

It currently has just 13 children on roll, with no new starters in September, and faces a budget deficit before the end of the next academic year.

The County Council's Executive says there is concern that children at the school won't have access to the full range of experiences they need.

The Diocese of Leeds is supporting parents to find alternative Catholic schools in the local area, at primaries in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.

County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Schools, said: "We understand and acknowledge the difficult decision the governors of St Joseph's School have made in asking the County Council to consult parents and the public on the future of the school.

"We will carry out that consultation in a careful and thorough way, ensuring that any decisions are made on the basis of clear understanding of the situation of the school."

St Joseph's was founded 130 years ago.

An informal, month-long consultation by the governing body received 45 individual responses from the community.

A final decision will be made by the Executive on 16 August and closure would be effective from 31 August.