Braybrooke Primary School could close

Cllr Andrew Grant

Cllr Andrew Grant

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A village school could close because falling pupil numbers mean it might no longer be financially viable.

Northamptonshire County Council is set to launch a public consultation on the proposed closure of Braybrooke Primary School following a request from the governing body.

Cllr Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and schools, said: “The school governors have looked at the current and anticipated pupil numbers.

“With 20 pupils expected to be on the school roll next year, and as a school’s budget is determined by pupil numbers, there are concerns that the school won’t be financially viable.

“While falling pupil numbers are not unusual in small rural schools on the whole they have avoided closure by working collaboratively with other schools, whether in federations or by sharing a headteacher but so far no viable option has emerged for Braybrooke.”

A report to be taken as a cabinet member decision next week (September 11) recommends giving the green light to a public consultation from Tuesday, September 18, until Wednesday, October 24.

This would include a public meeting on Tuesday, September 25.

Depending on the results of the public consultation, the process would then move into the statutory closure stage with a final decision taken by cabinet in February 2013.

If a decision is taken to close the school, all the pupils who currently attend will be allocated places in schools near their home address.

The cabinet member decision will take place at midday on Tuesday, September 11, at County Hall, Northampton.

The report relating to the proposal is available on the council’s website.