Village school with just two pupils left on roll to close this year

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A VILLAGE school which went into special measures last year and now has just two pupils remaining on roll is to close at the end of the year.

Governors of Farnley CE primary school, near Otley, have decided to shut it down after its numbers declined over the years.

A North Yorkshire County Council statement said the decision was taken because of concerns about the school’s future “in the face of falling rolls and difficulties to secure the strong leadership required to ensure improved educational outcomes.”

The governing body has been working with the council and the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Families previously on roll have been found alternative school places. Two children remain on roll, but they also have also been offered alternatives. A report proposing closure earlier this year warned that the number of pupils had fallen to 16 last year from 45 in 2012/13.

The report said that even with 30 pupils on roll the school would still have faced a deficit of £41,000 this year.

Coun Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for schools said: “We do understand how difficult it is when numbers on roll fall below what is educationally as well as financially viable.”

“The Governing body, the County Council and the Diocese have been determined to act in the best interests of the children.”

The school was placed in special measures by Ofsted last year. Its most recent monitoring inspection, in July this year said that the school was not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures.

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