AN ‘INADEQUATE’ primary school could be closing its doors for good at the end of the academic year.

Hampshire County Council has agreed a consultation on the closure of Hatherden Church of England Primary School in Hatherden Lane, Andover.

It follows a four-week stakeholder consultation period in late 2021, during which options including being taken over by an academy trust or federating with another school were explored, but to no avail.

READ MORE: Rural school at risk of closure as council launches consultation on its future

The school, which received an inadequate rating by Ofsted in 2019 and has been monitored ever since, has just two classes and only two teachers.

One of them, Dan Genn, is also doubling-up as the interim headteacher.

Hampshire County Council and the Diocese of Winchester is supporting the school by planning the curriculum, freeing up the teachers to focus on the day-to-day running of the school.

But at a decision day yesterday (Wednesday, March 23) executive lead member for children’s services, Cllr Roz Chadd, agreed that keeping the school open is not a financially viable option.

She said: "This isn’t a decision that has been taken lightly, by either myself or the county council. We have explored all avenues before coming to this point.

"Having visited the school, I was completely amazed by the incredible work the staff have been doing for those young people, and are with them every step of the way.

"At the end of the day, what’s important is the educational sustainability for the children at that school. Having only two classes in a school doesn’t feel right, and doesn’t feel like it’s the best for the children’s futures."

For September 2022, just five parents have put Hatherden down as their first choice school, with seven set to join the early years class.

The Diocese of Winchester has also given its backing to the school’s closure.

A public notice will now be issued for the consultation and a final decision will be made after that.

SEE ALSO: Andover councillor urges education authority to keep Hatherden School open

The county council has given assurance that the children will be given places at other schools, and new jobs will be found for the teachers.

Cllr Chadd said: "I am personally in agreement with the recommendation. I know there will be lots of questions about the futures of children, staff and the building itself, and if a decision is made to close the school that will all be part of the process going forward."

It’s understood that the school wishes to remain open if possible, but staff did not comment.

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