A PUBLIC consultation has been launched to decide whether a village school near Romsey will close for good.

Hampshire County Council has launched the consultation to decide whether Ampfield Church of England Primary School will shut at the end of the current academic year.

The news comes following a request of the school’s governing body and in agreement with the Diocese of Winchester.

The school has seen a consistently low intake of new pupils in recent years and, as of September 2023, had just 26 pupils enrolled. 

The primary school has also experienced growing pressure on its finances. 

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As a result, governors are concerned that the school cannot be sustained financially or without impacting the quality of its teaching.  

A statement on the county council's website states that children of mixed ages are taught together and this impacts the school’s delivery of the National Curriculum, which requires children to be taught specific sequences of knowledge according to their age. 

The school is an 84-place primary school for pupils aged four to 11. It is federated with John Keble Church of England Primary School in Hursley. This means that both schools share the same governing body, but are funded separately.  

The public consultation will run from Friday, September 29 until Friday, November 3.

Parents, carers and other stakeholders will also have an opportunity to share their views and ask questions at two public meetings including Monday, October 9 at the Ampfield Church of England Primary School from 7pm to 8.30pm and Tuesday, October 10 at the John Keble Church of England Primary School at the same times.

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A report setting out the responses to the consultation and recommendations will be presented at a Decision Day in January 2024.

A final decision on the future of the school is expected to be taken in the spring.

For more information including FAQs, and for details on how to respond to the consultation, visit hants.gov.uk.