Yorkshire Dales primary school with just six pupils left on the register to close this summer confirms council

A 200-year-old primary school in the Yorkshire Dales is to close, North Yorkshire County Council confirmed today.

Kell Bank Church of England Primary School has served the villages of Fearby and Healey near Masham for 200 years, and was rated as 'Outstanding' in its last Ofsted report in 2013.

But pupil numbers have dwindled over recent years, and there are now just six pupils left at the school despite it holding a capacity of 50.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

NYCC revealed plans to close the school last October, and opened a consultation process ahead for parents, residents, staff and governers.

Kell Bank Church of England Primary School has served the villages of Fearby and Healey near Masham for 200 years, and was rated as 'Outstanding' in its last Ofsted report in 2013

At a meeting of its Children and Young People's Executive yesterday, the plans were confirmed, meaning the school will close its doors for the last time when it breaks up for the summer holidays.

The decision was taken as the school would be cumulative deficit of some £50,000 by 2023 according to council reports, and there are concerns that its existing pupils will not have opportunities to interact with enough children of their own age, or take part in team sports.

Two of the current pupils at the school are in Year Six, and will progress to secondary schools when the school closes.

The other four pupils will be given places at Masham Church of England Primary School, three miles away, which is oversubscribed.

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.

“This situation is not related to school standards but due to falling rolls over a number of years. 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. Today’s decision to close Kell Bank is immensely sad given its long history but there was no alternative in the circumstances .”