Whitby's St Hilda's RC School to close doors for last time next month

A Whitby Roman Catholic primary school with just two pupils will officially close its doors for the final time next month

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 1:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 1:32 pm
St Hilda's RC School, Whitby

The governors of St Hilda’s Roman Catholic Primary School, a voluntary aided school run by the Diocese of Middlesbrough, announced last year it wanted to move ahead with plans to close the school due to a drop in pupil numbers.

Following two consultations, North Yorkshire County Council today confirmed the closure, which will take place on April 9.

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

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

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.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive today voted to shut the school.

The meeting heard that attempts from a group of parents and governors to try and find a solution to save the school had failed.

North Yorkshire County Council children’s services boss Cllr Janet Sanderson said that “very regrettably” the council had no other option but to approve the closure.

She said: “We have to be realistic.

"The number of children attending is falling and there are currently only two children left on the roll.”

Cllr Sanderson added: “With such small numbers I don’t see how it is sustainable.”

Whitby member Cllr David Chance said: “I’m sad that it has come to this but parents have voted with their feet in some cases.”

A report prepared for the executive stated that just one response to the latest consultation had been received from a parent who disagreed with the closure.

A number of pupils moved to St Hedda’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Egton Bridge seven miles away when the closure proposal was announced in September.

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