A PRIMARY school with just 33 pupils and two teachers is set to close for good.

Hampshire County Council is proposing to close Hatherden Church of England School in Andover, with the establishment being deemed no longer financially viable.

In 2019, the school was rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted, and a consultation was launched earlier this year on its future.

Now, a report has recommended that the school be closed by August 31.

Steve Crocker, director of children’s services, said: "Were the school ever to be judged good, and no-longer in receipt of additional support, it would be challenging for a school of this size, with the related reduced leadership and teaching capacity, to respond to the commonplace challenges faced by schools on a regular basis, such as the recent review of the primary curriculum.

"Over time, budget reductions, driven by smaller pupil numbers, have led to a restructuring of the staff team.

"This has resulted in fewer staff, taking on a widening set of management responsibilities, which reduces the sustainable capacity for their impact without external support."

READ MORE: Parent reacts to looming closure of Hatherden Primary School

In 2020, the school had 47 pupils, but this dropped to 33 the following year.

Only five pupils are due to join the school in September.

A public consultation on the future of the school was held between March 25 and May 6, with seven of the eight responses being opposed to the school’s closure.

These responses were critical of the lack of alternatives to the school being closed, the value of having a rural school and the fact that the school did not have a budget deficit.

The Samborne Trust, which owns the building, was also opposed to the closure.

Mr Crocker said: "The Sambourne Trust stated their disappointment in not being contacted and involved in early discussions in regards the future of Hatherden CE Primary School.

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

"Discussions with the Trust and diocese on the matter of ownership are now underway. Ownership of the site and its potential future use while a matter of on-going discussion is not a material matter in the decision to close the school."

The final decision on the school’s future rests with Cllr Roz Chadd, executive lead member for children’s services and deputy leader of Hampshire County Council.

She will make her decision on Wednesday, June 8.

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