More time is to be given to consider the high volume of responses from a consultation on the future of Clapham Church of England Primary School.
A public consultation on the proposed closure of the school ended last Thursday (April 4th). As the majority of the many responses were submitted in the final few days of the consultation, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive has postponed its meeting to consider the proposal to Tuesday April 30th, two weeks later than the original date of April 16th.
“Given the important decision before the Executive and the high volume of responses from the community, we have postponed the meeting to consider the future of the school,” said Andrew Dixon, North Yorkshire’s Strategic Planning Manager for the Children and Young People’s Service. “It is only right that we allow sufficient time to explore the various issues raised by these responses before any decision is taken. We wish to thank everybody who has contributed views during the consultation as it is so important that the Executive are fully informed on this matter.”
Numbers of children attending Clapham primary have fallen in recent years from 42 in 2014/15 to the current 28, with further reductions predicted.
The fall in numbers, combined with financial pressures and an inability to secure a substantive headteacher, had brought into question the sustainability of the school and had led school governors to conclude reluctantly that a consultation on closure was in the best interests of current and future pupils of Clapham.
Andrew Dixon said: “The County Council backed the governors’ decision to consult with great regret. North Yorkshire did not take the decision lightly to initiate a process which could see the closure of one of our small schools. We are encouraged that so many engaged in the consultation process and will give full consideration to all of the views submitted.”