County Council confirms decision to close Saltfleetby Primary School this year

Lincolnshire County Council has today (Friday) confirmed that Saltfleetby Primary School will close this year.

Lincolnshire County Council has today (Friday) confirmed that Saltfleetby Primary School will close this year.

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Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed the decision to close Saltfleetby CE Primary School, which will take affect from August 31, 2016.

The news comes after the ‘difficult’ decision was made by the Interim Executive Board to request that the County Council start consultation to close the school.

The local Primary School has been struggling due to ‘low pupil numbers’ which were projected to continue falling and the school was not generating the finances needed to secure a viable future.

The final decision on whether the school should close rested with executive councillor for Children’s Services, Coun Patricia Bradwell, which was made today.

Coun Bradwell commented: “I understand why some parents and the community have such passionate support for a village school such as Saltfleetby where their children are settled and enjoying their education.

“But after careful consideration, it is clear that low pupil numbers and future low projected numbers will not secure a viable future for the school, so I have taken the difficult decision to close the school.”

She added: “Children should be entitled to a breadth of curriculum and quality of teaching and learning that will enable them to reach their full potential. Finances won’t allow this to happen with such low pupil numbers.

“Despite the hard work of the staff and Interim Executive Board, numbers have remained low and the number of children in the immediate area alone is not enough to support a sustainable primary school.

“There is sufficient surplus capacity within neighbouring schools in the area to accommodate the children, and suitable arrangements will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition across to their new schools.”

Following an extended consultation period, pupil numbers have continued to fall and the school would not be able to set a balanced budget or deliver the breadth of curriculum that children should be entitled to.

There are currently only 16 pupils on roll across 7 year groups, with a potential capacity for 56.

There were expected to be only 13 children on roll in September 2016.

Alternative federation and academy options with other schools have been pursued by the local authority but there has been no alternative solution found.

Do you feel this decision was the right one? Email your views to chloe.west@jpress.co.uk.