Harrogate district school to close due to low pupil numbers
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Oct 6, 2021
Baldersby St James Primary School, which is due to close in August 2022.
Baldersby St James Primary School, which is due to close in August 2022.

A Harrogate district primary school is set to close after too few children are attending the school.

Baldersby St James Church of England Primary School has announced it will close in August 2022.

It will be the second school in the district this year to announce its closure for similar reasons. Kell Bank Primary School, Masham, shut in August 2021 after it had only six children.

Hope Sentamu Learning Trust, which runs Baldersby school, announced it decision after it said low pupil numbers “show no prospect of improving for many years ahead”.

The trust said the school currently has 22 pupils in two classes, one for key stage one and the other for key stage two. Some year groups have just one student.

Baldersby St James has a maximum capacity of 60 children.

Helen Winn, chief executive of the academy trust, said:

“This has not been an easy decision, but after a great deal of consideration, we came to the conclusion that this is the best resolution for the children concerned and their education.

“As part of the process, we have carefully looked at potential options, including speaking to other local multi-academy trusts, looking at the possibility of sharing the delivery of the curriculum with schools within and outside Hope Sentamu, and changing the nature of provision at the school but ultimately none of the options were practically viable.”


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She added that the low numbers has “proved impossible to deliver the broad, balanced curriculum that the children deserve”.

Meanwhile, senior councillors at North Yorkshire County Council look set to offer no objection to the decision.

The county council, which is the local education authority, has been consulted on the closure.

In a report due before the council’s executive next week, authority officials will propose new catchment areas to be consulted on.

Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, Dishforth Church of England Primary School and Topcliffe Church of England Academy would take up the catchment areas left by the school closure.

The academy trust is now holding a “listening period” with the county council, pupils, parents and staff to give their views on the process until October 22.


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