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North Yorkshire village to lose its primary school

North Yorkshire village to lose its primary school

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 7:07am 20th June 2017.

A Yorkshire Dales primary school is to close due to falling pupil numbers.

Rathmell Church of England Primary School, near Settle, will close for good at the end of the school year in what's being called a "difficult" decision.

Just fifteen pupils were on roll in September, leaving only 4 children in class 1.

The catchment area around Long Preston Endowed C of E Primary will be extended to serve the area from September 1st.

Governors consulted on school closure claiming that falling numbers and the resulting reduction in the school budget would make it extremely difficult for the school to continue to provide a high quality of education for pupils.

It follows the announcement earlier this year of the closure of Horton in Ribblesdale Primary for similar reasons.

The County Council says it has worked to support families to try to meet their individual preferences for other schools.

"This has been a very difficult decision for the Council" said Cllr Patrick Mulligan, North Yorkshire's Executive Member for Schools.

"We do not take the decision lightly to close a school and we do our best to support our small schools.

"We have worked closely with governors and the Diocese to consider alternatives, including collaborating with other schools to make sure that good standards of teaching and learning are available to pupils.

"We supported governors in their closure consultation because there are real concerns about the quality and breadth of education and social experience that Rathmell could continue to provide in the future and for the school's financial viability given the low numbers.

"The two are not unrelated and we cannot ignore those concerns.

"It is with great sadness that Governors have taken this course of action", said Rathmell's Chair of Governors, Hilary Young. "We are rightly proud of the educational standards and Christian ethos at Rathmell school and have explored every avenue to maintain its future.

"I take this opportunity to thank and pay tribute to staff, parents, children and governors who have always worked so hard and are now making the best of a regrettable situation."