Village school closure comes one step closer

Shelton Lower School credit: Google Maps
Shelton Lower School credit: Google Maps

Shelton Lower School looks more likely to be closed by council bosses, after a consultation found no suitable way to make it financially viable.

Although the school is rated Good by Ofsted, it has not been full for a number of years and only five children are due to start in the September reception year intake.

These numbers are forecast to decline further if the school remains open.

Parent Caroline Burns, who has a child in Year 4, says the consultation itself has helped cause the closure.

She said: “The council started this whole consultation off with the wrong figures. Since then they’ve caused 14 children to be pulled out of the school because parents were worried about the school’s future.

“I believe that the consultation has caused the school to close.”

Cllr Steve Dixon, portfolio holder for education at Central Beds Council, said: “We understand that parents will be disappointed about this decision, so our job now is to make sure they know what will happen if the school closes.”

Headteacher Sue Welbourn is on sick leave and was unable to comment. It is not known how long she has been absent.

There will now be a four-week period until July 23 where parents and stakeholders can put forward their views on the proposed closure at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations

The school would not close before August 2019.