Parents' dismay as village school near Harrogate faces closure

Parents' dismay as village school near Harrogate faces closure

Published at 7:52am 6th December 2017. (Updated at 12:35pm 6th December 2017)

Parents say they're devastated over the proposed closure of a village school near Harrogate.

Burnt Yates Church of England Primary School had been hoping to merge with a neighbouring school in Ripley, but that option appears to have fallen through.

Parent Linda Smith said: "I'm absolutely devastated. I can't believe that it has come to this after the whole process that we've been through.

"I'm shocked and disgusted that nothing more can be done for such a fantastic school."

The story goes back to last year when the school was placed into special measures following an Ofsted inspection.

As part of an action plan for improvement, it was told that it had to find a suitable academy sponsor.

However, the trust approached decided that Burnt Yates was too small and not financially viable to join it.

The Regional Schools Commissioner was then approached about an amalgamation which would see education continue on the site as part of a split-site school.

However, Ripley governors agreed last month that they should not proceed to consultation.

Mum Becky Burniston, who has a son at Burnt Yates, said: "I had hoped we'd be able to overcome any problems and get them sorted out and resume as normal, but obviously we've not.

"My little boy was just in tears, I got home late and telling him before he went to bed, I think he cried himself to sleep."

North Yorkshire County Council said it had supported all partners so that teaching and learning could continue on the Burnt Yates school site, but in some cases, the alternatives are not there.

A spokesman for the Church of England Diocese of Leeds said all avenues had been explored to try and save the small school: "Despite every effort, we are in the sad situation where Burnt Yates Church of England Primary School now faces closure.

"Obviously, we will do all everything to support the children and parents to help them find suitable alternative schooling.

"Because the school was put in an Ofsted category, it was legally required to become an academy.

"However, it has been impossible to find an academy trust able to engage with Burnt Yates, or any other local school with which it could amalgamate."

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