A PARENT at a rural school at risk of closure has expressed her ‘heartbreak’ as the county council deems the school ‘unviable’.

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 on 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

Alice Brewer has been involved with the Hatherden community since her daughter started there in 2014. She currently has a child at the school, and has a third child who would be due to attend in a few years’ time.

Reacting to the news, the 33-year-old said: “It’s desperately sad, because [the school is] 300 years old! The teachers are absolutely amazing. They have gone above and beyond and we have done everything we can.”

SEE ALSO: Andover councillor 'lobbying' county council to retain an 'education establishment' at Hatherden school site

Alice, who lives on Artists Way in Andover, specifically chose to travel to the school due to its “friendly atmosphere”.

“It’s a small, Church of England School. We all know each other. There's no cliquiness, we are a little community who all look out for each other,” she said.

Urging people to engage with the upcoming public consultation, she continued: “It’s just heartbreaking. Everyone I have spoken to has been really positive about the school. I’ve not come across anyone who wants to close it.”

Alice added that, while parents feel the closure is a “foregone conclusion”, they are unwilling to go down without a fight.

“[If it closes] it will mean a brand new start for all of us, me included,” she said.

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