Clapham Primary School closure consultation ends

School governor Maria Farrer and Jill Gates, member of the Clapham Community Action Group, presented the action plan and petition to Stuart Carlton, corporate director of Children and Young People's Service at County Hall, Northallerton, on April 4 2019.
School governor Maria Farrer and Jill Gates, member of the Clapham Community Action Group, presented the action plan and petition to Stuart Carlton, corporate director of Children and Young People's Service at County Hall, Northallerton, on April 4 2019.

Petitions were hand delivered to a director at North Yorkshire County Council as part of a bid to save Clapham CE Primary School from closure.

The formal submissions and petitions were delivered to North Yorkshire County Council headquarters at County Hall, Northallerton, on Thursday April 4, into the hands of Stuart Carlton, corporate director of Children and Young People’s Service, on behalf of the Clapham Community Action Group and the school governors.

Jill Gates, a member of Clapham Community Action Group, said: “The community and the school governors have presented a well-researched case which supports the long-term sustainability of the Church of England primary school in Clapham.

“We know the Leeds diocese is deeply committed to supporting rural schools and communities.

“We now need to ensure the county council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Craven District Council deliver on their policy of attracting younger people into the area by retaining access to local primary schools for the long-term viability of local communities.”

Iain Crossley, chair of Clapham Community Action Group, which is working with the school governors, said: ‘We have a meeting with Coun Patrick Mulligan this week to explain our proposals for the school and the development of wraparound care which has not been available over the last year.

“The community has worked together to create an innovative Education Fund to support the school through a temporary drop in pupil numbers.

“There has been a huge response from the community to the consultation, together with the petition, which shows how important basic services such as primary schools are to rural communities.”

Tracey Bilton, Friends of Clapham School, said: “Only last May, the school governors met with parents and we were given the strong impression by North Yorkshire County Council the school had a three-year plan to ensure the

stability of our children’s education.

“The timetable for the consultation process appears to have been designed to ensure the school closure proceeds. Even before the consultation had ended, North Yorkshire County Council were telling parents wishing to put their children into the school it will be closed and so they have not expressed an interest for next year.”

Mr Crossley added: “Over the last few weeks a number of concerns have been raised about whether North Yorkshire County Council has carried out the consultation process in line with the statutory guidelines.”