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Parents have lost battle to save a village school

Closure: Parents and supporters have lost the fight to save Out Rawcliffe School

Closure: Parents and supporters have lost the fight to save Out Rawcliffe School

The death knell has sounded on a tiny village school.

Plans to close Out Rawcliffe School have been approved by Lancashire County Council, despite a last-minute attempt to get a reprieve.

Plans to close the school were mooted early last year after local authority officers and Blackburn Diocese discussed the future of the Church of England primary school with the governors as a result of falling numbers.

The under-subscribed school has just 10 pupils on roll, compared to its capacity of 70.

Only one child has been admitted to the reception class in each of the past two years.

The village is a sparsely-populated community and the pupils live some distance away from the school and each other.

Besides falling rolls, the schools was only deemed satisfactory by Ofsted, while there are empty places at four good and two outstanding schools nearby.

Neighbouring school Great Eccleston The Copp CE has nearly 70 spare places.

A consultation exercise was launched over the future of the 165-year-old school, which until the past few years received glowing Ofsted reports.

The governors of Out Rawcliffe CE Primary School and neighbouring Melling St Wilfrid’s CE Primary School had agreed to join forces, with just one headteacher running both sites, if the school could be saved.

However, this was not considered a viable option and a decision has now been made to close the school at the end of this school year.

Local councillors tried to get a stay of execution after the decision by Susie Charles, cabinet member for children, by asking for it to be “called in” by the education scrutiny committee.

The committee was told the closure was backed by the Blackburn Diocese.

 

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