Hereford & Worcester

Herefordshire village primary school could shut

A village primary school in Herefordshire could be shut in August next year.

Dilwyn Church of England Primary School has 31 pupils and 21 unfilled places, Herefordshire Council said.

Its cabinet will make a final decision after a statutory notice to close the school is issued in September.

The council stated a report said consultation responses showed strong community support to keep it open, but did not offer solutions to issues.

The school's problems included low pupil numbers, the range of different options available to children and how financially sustainable it was.

'Always difficult'

The council said there have been up to 36 pupils in all but one of the four preceding years.

St Mary's RC High School in Lugwardine had submitted a proposal to work in close partnership with the school, the council said.

However, it added that cabinet members did not believe that would address problems such as pupil numbers and finance.

Councillor Phillip Price, cabinet member for ICT, education and performance, said: "Decisions to close schools are always difficult, but we are currently in a climate of budget reductions, cuts and falling pupil numbers.

"In this particular case, the review concluded that despite a desire to keep the school open, there are no robust proposals in place to guarantee this."

After the statutory notice is issued early in September, there will be a six-week period during which comments or objections may be made before a final decision is made.

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