A CAMPAIGN group is hoping councillors will back their call to keep Clapham Primary School open when North Yorkshire County Council’s executive meets on April 30.

The consultation into closure plans for Clapham Primary School has ended after 226 written submissions were received along with more than 200 signatures on a community petition.

A recovery plan for the school should it remain open had been developed jointly by school governors and the Community Action Group and was also forwarded to the consultation.

A spokesman for the county council said: “As part of North Yorkshire County Council’s commitment to support small rural schools wherever possible a special executive meeting is now being held. Councillors will consider all the evidence from the many responses to the consultation.

“They will then decide whether to authorise publication of statutory notices for closure, or whether stop the closure proposal to allow the school’s governing body to work out a sustainable future for the school with the newly formed Clapham School Action Group.”

Numbers of children attending Clapham primary have fallen in recent years from 42 in 2014/15 to the current 28, and further reductions had been predicted.

“We recognise the importance of our small rural schools and the huge financial pressures they face and we are committed to supporting them whenever we can – this is evidenced by the fact that we have more of them than any other county in England,” said Stuart Carlton, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for the children and young people’s service.

“We are very aware of the crucial role village schools play in the life of their communities and we fully recognise that where possible children should be educated locally in a school that provides high quality education - nobody wants to see a village school close.

The council’s executive will now considering two options: proceed with closure or allow the governors to implement their plan for the continuation of a rural primary school which has supported the community for over 150 years.

Iain Crossley, Community Action Group chairman said: “We are pleased that for the first time councillors have been given the option to stop a closure and keep Clapham Primary School open.

Tracey Bilton, Friends of Clapham School said:”If the council had no secret programme of school closure then they should follow the wishes of the governors and withdraw the consultation.’

Maria Farrer, School Governor said: ‘North Yorkshire County Council now accepts the pupil forecasts are higher than originally anticipated and the governors submit that there are now reasonable grounds for a withdrawal of the request to consult on closure.’