Thursday, 11.30am: IT HAS just been announced that the final attempt to stop the closure of Ludford Primary School has been lost.
The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has published a decision on a request by Lincolnshire Council, to close Ludford CE Primary School.
The adjudicator, Alan Parker, approved the proposal - meaning that the school will not re-open next week for the new school year.
The closure decision made by the county council was announced on the last day of term in July but parents and the village community fighting the closure hoped that they might succeed in having that decision overturned.
They have now lost that final battle.
In a statement just released by The Office of the Schools Adjudicator, it says Mr Parker reviewed the provision of schools in the surrounding area, and the impact of the proposal on the community and concluded that, notwithstanding the presumption against closure of rural schools, the specific conditions required by the statutory guidance had been met and the case in favour was sufficiently strong to uphold the decision.
This would be a loss to the community and the decision had not been taken lightly.
However, he believed that numbers had already declined so far, with little prospect of recovery, that the school would struggle to survive.
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Schools adjudicators are independent of the Government.
They decide on school organisation issues, disputes on land transfer and assets and admission arrangements which cannot be resolved locally. They were appointed under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
Their role is to look afresh at all cases referred to them, considering each case on its merits and taking account of the reasons for disagreement at local level in the lights of the legislation and the
guidance in the School Admissions Code.
Copies of the determination reached by the adjudicator can be obtained from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator.
It can also be found on the Schools Adjudicator website –
Individual adjudicators are not in a position to comment on their
decisions but, if clarification of those decisions is needed, enquiries can be addressed to: The Office of the Schools Adjudicator, Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington. DL3 9BG