Fears for village if school closes

Easton Garford School
Easton Garford School

A campaigner fighting to save a village school fears other facilities will leave the area if it closes.

Councillor Chris Close is part of a group seeking to save Easton Garford Primary School.

There are concerns over the school in Easton-on-the-Hill, Northamptonshire, which is run by Peterborough Diocese Education Trust (PDET).

The Trust says there will be only 28 children at the school in 2017/18 and 18 in 2021/22.

It claims that this means the school is not financially sustainable with its current staffing structure.

Under funding formulas the PDET says the cumulative loss to the school over the next five years is set to be £350,000.

To combat this the PDET proposes spreading teaching across Easton Garford and Ryhall Academy, in Rutland.

Coun Close, of Collyweston Parish Council, close to Easton-on-the-Hill, fears a knock-on effect if the school closes.

He said: “There’s always the concern that if the school closed the post office and pub could too.

“We don’t want to see facilities leaving the village.

“If there is no school then families may also not want to move to the village.

“This could have an impact not just for the kids but for the village as a whole.”

Coun Close also wants a public meeting on the matter.

Northamptonshire and Rutland County Councils are talking to the PDET on the issue.

Miranda Robinson, PDET’s chief executive, said: “Given the financial climate, we feel this is the best option for continuing to provide the good quality of education children currently receive from the dedicated staff at the school.”

A petition for the school is at www. you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-easton-garford-school