Herefordshire Council is to consider formally consulting on the closure of Whitbourne C of E Primary School.
The number of children attending the school has been falling for the last few years and currently stands at just ten children on the register. Schools are funded on a per-pupil basis so the falling numbers have been putting a financial squeeze on the school. Following Informal consultation, the school’s governors, diocese and local authority agree that the school is no longer viable as a stand-alone entity It has also been unable to agree a partnership arrangement that might have secured continuing state funded education in the village.
The council sought ideas during informal consultation in February and March this year when meetings with parents, staff the community and the diocese were held. The possibility of federation, collaboration with another school, or even the development of a free school have been discussed. The school would not be permitted to become a stand-alone academy as there is not a viable financial plan in place.
The decision to formally consult on the closure of Whitbourne C of E Primary School will be made by the cabinet member for infrastructure and education next month (30th May). If approved, the local authority will cease to maintain the school with effect from 1st September 2013.
The council and diocese remain open to working with any groups or organisations wishing to continue providing a community education facility on the site.