A RURAL primary school near Stokenchurch is at risk of closing by August this year as a consultation is launched by the council to help determine its future.

The Mary Towerton Primary School is located in Studley Green, High Wycombe and the latest government data indicates that it provides education to fewer than 33 pupils aged four to 11, with eight pupils across Key Stage 1.

The school has a published admission number of 14 with a capacity for 98 pupils.

As well as this, the council said school admissions for September 2023 currently show no first preferences from parents.

An Ofsted inspection in October 2019 recognised the school as ‘requires improvement’. Since then, the school has had high teacher turnover and many pupils have left the school.

As a result, the council must make a decision on the future of the school and has launched a petition allowing residents to have their say.

Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services Anita Cranmer said: "Buckinghamshire Council is running a consultation on the future of The Mary Towerton School in Studley Green, running from 28 February to 2 April. This is a piece of work that is supported by the governing body of the school.

"The consultation has come about as a result of a variety of reasons, including progressively low pupil numbers and the increasing level of financial support required for the school. There were no first-choice preferences for the school this year, which will mean that the school would have less than 18 pupils in September 2023. This is in the context of a high number of surplus primary places across the area.

"No decision on the school’s future will be made until the conclusion of the consultation. After this time, responses will be reviewed and a final decision on the future of the school will be made before the end of the summer term."

Should The Mary Towerton Primary School close on August 31, 2023, parents and carers would be able to express a preference for a place at an alternative school.

Bucks council said staff are aware of the circumstances and the recognised trade unions have been notified of the consultation.

Staff, parents and the wider community are invited to submit responses to this consultation. There will also be a separate consultation for staff from March 8 to April 12, 2023.

A public meeting is being held at The Mary Towerton Primary School at Studley Green, Water End Road, Studley Green, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 3XN at 7pm tonight (March 14). 

Visit https://yourvoicebucks.citizenspace.com/schools/mary-towerton/consultation/subpage.2023-02-20.2019583824/ to find out more.