Whitby primary school with just two new pupils to close

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image captionSt Hilda's Roman Catholic Primary School is expected to close in April after a final council vote

A primary school which enrolled just two new pupils is set to close after councillors agreed the move.

Governors of St Hilda's Roman Catholic primary in Whitby announced last year they wanted to close the school due to a drop in pupil numbers.

When the plan was revealed St Hilda's had 24 pupils, only four of whom were Catholic.

North Yorkshire County Council's executive agreed to move ahead with the closure before a final vote in March.

St Hilda's originally had the capacity to take 105 children but this was reduced to 74 in 2019 as the number of pupils tumbled, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Just two children joined the Reception class in September 2020 with nine moving on to secondary school.

'Deeply saddened'

A meeting of North Yorkshire County Council's executive heard that attempts from a group of parents and governors to try and find a solution to save the school had failed.

Councillor Patrick Mulligan, executive member for education and skills, told the meeting that "regrettably" the council had to move forward with closing the school.

Councillor David Chance, who represents Whitby's Mayfield cum Mulgrave area, added: "As a Whitby councillor I am deeply saddened to see this closure happening but I see no other alternative."

A report prepared for the council said just one response to the consultation had been received from a parent who disagreed with the closure but "acknowledged that there was no chance that the school could be made sustainable".

A number of pupils moved to St Hedda's Roman Catholic Primary School in Egton Bridge when the closure proposal emerged in September.

The executive voted to move the closure to its next stage with a final decision due on 9 March. If approved, the school will close on 9 April.

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