East Riding's smallest primary school at risk of closure
THE East Riding's smallest school is the latest facing the threat of closure because of national funding changes.
With just 20 pupils, Langtoft Primary, near Driffield, is the East Riding's most expensive school per pupil to run.
Cash-starved East Riding Council is already facing angry protests over its controversial proposals to close 26-pupil Gembling Primary School and 88-pupil Dunswell Primary School.
The council, which is one of the worst-funded in the country, has blamed national funding changes for jeopardising small schools.
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More primaries could be at risk when the impact of the new national funding regime is seen after April.
Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager at the council, said: "Langtoft is by far the most expensive school, costing us £15,500 per pupil compared with the average £3,500.
"Clearly, at that, it is not financially viable and not good value for money.
"The education the school provides is good but it comes at a very expensive price and one that we don't feel we can sustain."
The council is looking to shut Langtoft in July. It survived a previous closure threat in 2007 after parents protested and links were forged with other schools.
The primary shares a headteacher with Northfield Infant School, Driffield, and Langtoft's key stage two pupils attend Driffield Junior School.
Mr Butler said: "They have tried innovative ways of making themselves sustainable.
"They have succeeded from an educational point of view but, unfortunately, it is at a high cost which can't be justified.
"It has a disproportionate amount of funding for a very small amount of children. "There's only 15 or 16 in the main school and five in the nursery."
Mr Butler said some Langtoft parents already send their children to larger schools.
The council is proposing to close Langtoft and transfer pupils to Kilham Primary, which is about three miles away, from September.
Langtoft parents will get the chance to quiz the council on the closure move at a meeting at the school on Monday, February 18.
Parents and governors in Dunswell are due to have talks with the council tonight about controversial moves to shut their village school.
Dunswell Primary's chairman of governors Neil Thompson said: "People are up in arms. It doesn't just affect the school, there's a pre-school and the sports hall that would be affected too.
"It's a nice little school. I know the authority has its own agenda but people are not happy about it – it's the focal point of the village."
Dunswell's governors are launching a bid for academy status in an attempt to keep their school open if the council decides to press ahead with closure.
The council says Dunswell Primary is financially viable but it cannot justify maintaining it because 75 per cent of the 88 pupils are from outside catchment area, including Hull.
The authority is proposing to close the Beverley Road primary in July next year.