Why we closed our rural school: Bishop Jonathan

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield and the chair of our Board of Education writes in the Yorkshire Post today on the closure of Horton in Ribblesdale Church of England Primary School.

This is an excerpt: 

First, the  Horton-in-Ribblesdale Church of England Primary School is a tragedy and a real blow to the local community. No question. And that closure is a matter of huge regret to me and all my colleagues on our Diocesan Board of Education. Full stop.

Second, I wish that it could have been otherwise. I grew up in rural Cheshire and I was Chair of Governors at a Church of England village primary school for 16 years.

At their best, such schools offer a unique and very special contribution to their pupils and to the communities they serve. Closing a village school can feel like tearing the heart out of a rural community, because children represent its future. But, in the end, I also believe that North Yorkshire County Council took the right decision. Given the numbers of children involved and the resources available to support the school, the evidence indicates that it was not in the best interests of the children’s education to keep the school open. There, I’ve said it, and I know it won’t go down well with some people. So now that we have got all that out in the open, what are we going to do about our small rural schools?

 

Read in full here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/jonathan-gibbs-we-must-save-...