Clapham Church of England Primary School thrown lifeline after North Yorkshire County Council agrees to halt closure process

A Yorkshire Dales primary school has been saved from imminent closure.

Campaigners said they were delighted after North Yorkshire County Council agreed to end the closure process at Clapham Church of England Primary School.

Clapham Church of England Primary School was proposed to shut at the end of August following concerns, principally, about pupil numbers.

However, a recovery plan to reverse the school's fortunes will now be implemented by school governors, after councillors agreed to halt the closure process and delay a decision on the school's future.

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The decision was made this afternoon at a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council's decision-making executive body in Northallerton where evidence about increased pupil forecasts based on new housing opportunities in the village was put to councillors.

Improved financial forecasts relating to higher pupil numbers, as well as new leadership options for the school, form the basis of an action plan that has been devised jointly by campaigners at the Clapham Community Action Group and the school's governors.

In a statement released following the meeting, Councillor Patrick Mulligan, the county council's executive member for education and skills said: “Consulting on the closure of Clapham Church of England Primary School has touched upon some very significant matters about how children are thriving there and has galvanised governors and the community to put forward a viable action plan – congratulations to all involved.”

Iain Crossley, chairman of the Clapham Community Action Group which has worked with school governors to develop a plan to arrest the school's decline, said: "We are delighted that for the first time councillors have taken the option to stop a closure and keep Clapham Primary School open.

"We are looking forward to working with the governors to continue to develop the school for the benefit of local children. Already parents have expressed their confidence in the school and this can only continue to develop."