AN ANDOVER councillor has said he is ‘lobbying’ the county council to ensure an ‘educational establishment’ remains on the site of Hatherden School.

As previously reported, 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.

At her decision day last week (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: "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."

READ MORE: Rural primary school staying open is 'not viable' says education member at decision day

In December, Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Councillor and ward councillor for Bourne Valley, in which Hatherden School is situated, said that potential closure would be a ‘real shame’, and would be ‘far too premature’.

Now, he has responded to the latest development by saying he will continue to fight to retain and educational facility on the site, given the long history of the school.

He said: “It’s hugely disappointing that the County Council is recommending that Hatherden School is closed. Whilst I recognise the school has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted which has led to reputational damage, falling pupil numbers, difficulties in recruiting, financial instability and an Academy order, there were early signs from Ofsted monitoring reports that the school was beginning to make progress.”

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

He continued: “In my previous consultation response, I urged the County to ensure that the Regional Schools Commissioner start a fresh campaign to find an Academy sponsor so the school could be kept open. I have subsequently heard from the County that a robust process has been gone through and no Academy Trust is prepared to take it on.

“This is doubly disappointing considering that generations of young people have been educated in Hatherden for the best part of 300 years. I am, therefore, currently lobbying the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services to suggest that if she does close the primary school then some form of educational establishment must remain on that site.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from your area by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.