Kell Bank school set to close doors for last time

A Harrogate district primary school with just six pupils left on the register will close its doors for the final time next week.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:45 pm
Fwd: Press release for Kell Bank School

Kell Bank Church of England Primary School near Masha, which marked its 200th anniversary last year and was rated as outstanding’ in its latest Ofsted report, will host events on the run up to the last day, July 23.

Chairman of Governors Jeff Loveday said the events starts on Thursday July 15.

“At 6pm there will be the annual school leaving service for our children who are “going up to the big school” and also a thanksgiving for the last 201 years.

“Following the service, we open an exhibition of memories, records and other items gathered together to go on show at Fearby village hall.

“The exhibition runs from Thursday evening to Saturday at 3.30pm. Times are 10am-3.30pm each day.

“The following week, we have an open afternoon at the school from 1.30-3.30pm where past staff and pupils are invited to visit the school.

“After this, around 4pm, a tree planting and a seat will be commemorated in the name of the school on the village green, followed by a gathering of children, staff and governors at the school.”

The school was marked for closure by North Yorkshire County Council last October after numbers dwindled over recent years from 45 in 2013 to just six this year but efforts to save the school failed.

Speaking earlier this year Stuart Carlton, the council’s director of 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.

“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.

“The decision to close Kell Bank is immensely sad given its long history but there was no alternative.”

A report said the decision was taken as the school would fall into a deficit of around £50,000 by 2023.

There were also concerns that the existing pupils will not have opportunities to interact with children of their own age or take part in team sports.

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

The others will be given places at Masham Church of England Primary School.