Statutory consultation to be requested on proposed closure of Ampfield Church of England Primary School

Permission to formally consult on the proposed closure of Ampfield Church of England Primary School in Romsey from 31 August 2024 will be sought from Councillor Edward Heron, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, at his Decision Day on Friday, 19 January

Jan 11 2024

This follows an informal five-week public consultation in autumn 2023 which gathered feedback on the potential closure of the school, at the request of the school’s governing body and in agreement with the Diocese of Winchester.

The recommendation to close the school will be presented to Councillor Heron, alongside feedback from the initial round of consultation.

Ampfield Church of England Primary School is an 84-place primary school for pupils aged 4-11 in Romsey. It is federated with John Keble Church of England Primary School in the village of Hursley. This means that both schools are led by the same headteacher under one governing body but are funded separately.  

The school has seen a consistently low intake of new pupils in recent years and, as at September 2023, had only 26 pupils on its roll. Given this small number, children from a wide age range are taught together and this in turn impacts on the school’s delivery of the National Curriculum, which requires children to be taught specific sequences of knowledge according to their age.

As school budgets are primarily based on the number of pupils on roll, the school has experienced growing pressure on its finances. Low pupil numbers also impact on the school’s leadership and workload management, as well as limiting the opportunities for children to socialise with peers in their own age group.

As such, Governors are concerned that the quality of the school’s educational provision and its financial stability can no longer be sustained and therefore requested to begin the process of consulting on the future of the school last year.  

Should a decision be taken to hold a formal consultation, a public notice would be published on the County Council’s website allowing parents, the local community and others with an interest in the school to give their views on a proposal to close the school from 31 August 2024.

In the event of a decision to close the school, the children currently on roll could be relocated to John Keble Church of England Primary School if their parents so wished. Alternatively, parents could apply in the usual way for places at other local schools, with support from the County Council’s Schools Admissions team.

Full details of the recommendation to formally consult can be found on the County Council’s website.