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Church school with just two pupils set to close

Mon 22 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

The UK's smallest known school with just two pupils, is set to permanently close its doors this week.

Bleasdale Church of England Primary, near Preston will be shutting after 180 years of teaching, following Lancashire County Council's declaration that it is 'no longer financially viable'.

A sharp decrease in students from 16 to two over the past five years, lead to a public consultation into the village school earlier this year, after which the decision was made to shut it down.

 

From September the numbers would have dropped further as one of the school's two students, Jonah will be moving on to secondary school.

Associate head teacher David Fann told BBC News there was "shock and numbness" amongst the school's seven staff members at the news.

He said: "It will hit them hard. When the school goes...I worry for the community."

The head teacher commented that the school was "the core of the community" and its closure was very sad news.

It comes after a recent study has revealed a 50 per cent drop in the number of small schools in England in recent decades, with those in rural settings twice as likely to close.

The report from think tank Onward shows that nearly 150 rural primaries have shut their doors since 2000, forcing pupils to travel longer distances for their education.

 

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