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Newark and Sherwood District Council set to discuss future of North Clifton Primary School as numbers continue to dwindle

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Councillors are set to discuss the future of a school that could close as pupil numbers continue to plummet.

North Clifton Primary School in Church Lane, which has an Ofsted rating of good, has seen the numbers of children at the school reduce from 36 to 26 over the last five years.

In October 2020, there were only three pupils in the school’s reception year. This is due to reduce to two pupils from this September.

North Clifton Primary School. Picture: Google (48496512)
North Clifton Primary School. Picture: Google (48496512)

The reduction in numbers means the school has seen a decline in the funding it receives, resulting in significant financial challenges.

The low number of teaching staff employed by the school has also presented with a challenge around safeguarding.

Nottinghamshire County Council launched a consultation in June to seek people’s views on the school’s future. The consultation has now closed.

North Clifton Primary School. (50866737)
North Clifton Primary School. (50866737)

Five options are under consideration, one of which includes closing the school.

North Clifton Primary School primarily serves the small villages of North and South Clifton.

Its website shows there are eight staff at the school, with pictures documenting the school’s past, dating back to 1912.

If it closed, the next nearest Nottinghamshire school is Dunham-on-Trent Primary, which is 4.3 miles away by car, within Bassetlaw district.

Newark and Sherwood District Council logo (46313641)
Newark and Sherwood District Council logo (46313641)

Other options include continuing to run the school with no change, making it an academy, collaborating with another school such as sharing senior staff and possibly governing bodies.

The last option is amalgamating with another school within reasonable travel distance.

Objections and comments are still being received and a final decision will be made in Spring 2022, with the course of action implemented in Summer 2022.

Councillors at Newark and Sherwood District Council will discuss the plans on Wednesday, September 8, at an economic development committee.

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