“Sad day” as decision taken to close Kell Bank Primary School

This story was published 25 March 2021

A North Yorkshire primary school with only six pupils on roll will close its doors for the final time at the end of the summer term.

Child writing

North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive has given the go-ahead for the closure of Kell Bank Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Healey, near Masham.

The Council will cease to maintain Kell Bank with effect from 31 August 2021.

In a final report to the Children and Young People’s Executive, officers explained that the proposal was not related to any issue with school standards but due to falling rolls over a number of years and very low pupil numbers, which mean that the school is not financially sustainable. 

Stuart Carlton, Director of North Yorkshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Service said: “Whenever we have to take forward a proposal for school closure we do so with a heavy heart. We know the value of village schools but such low numbers cannot financially sustain a school and can have a negative impact on the social and educational interests of children remaining.

“During the consultation on closure there was generally an acceptance that with only six pupils on roll, the school would not be able to continue.  This week’s decision to close Kell Bank is immensely sad given its long history but there was no alternative in the circumstances.”

As part of this decision the catchment area of Masham Church of England VA Primary School will be expanded with effect from 1 September 2021 to include the area currently served by Kell Bank School.