A Hampshire primary school will close this summer due to a lack of children in the area.

Hampshire County Council has agreed to close Ampfield Church of England Primary School in Romsey in August.

The decision was made today (March 26) by the executive lead member for children’s services, Cllr Edward Heron, after an informal five-week public consultation in autumn last year and a five-week statutory consultation which closed on March 1.

The school’s governing body formally requested the consultation process in agreement with the Diocese of Winchester, following concerns about the school’s low pupil numbers and the implications for its future sustainability.

Daily Echo: Ampfield Primary SchoolAmpfield Primary School (Image: Contributed)

During the statutory public notice period, 14 responses were received. One comment said: “Cannot see why there is a consultation on closure. Decline since new headteacher in post. HCC (Hampshire County Council) has shown no thought or concern for the parents or children. Situation poorly handled and executed.”

Another expressed concerns over children with special educational needs (SEN) and the impact of the closure.

They said: “A child with SEN attends the school and has made significant improvement since joining. I am worried any change will damage the children’s education, their happiness, their health, and all to save a little money. Ampfield is a special school and should be supported as such.”

In February 2024, the school had only 20 pupils, compared to its 84 capacity, and forecasts show a further reduction in future numbers.

Due to the small number of children attending, the council said pupils from a wide age range are taught together, impacting the school’s delivery of the National Curriculum.

Ampfield Church of England Primary School is federated with John Keble Church of England Primary School, located in the village of Hursley, approximately two miles away by road.

A report said that a recent reduction in the national birth rate and a lack of housing developments within the Ampfield catchment area have led to falling pupil numbers.

It said Ampfield CE Primary School, for children aged between four and 11, has one of the lowest numbers on roll in the county and has had a consistently low intake in recent years.

Alongside the low pupil numbers, the school also experienced growing financial pressure.

Children could be relocated to John Keble Church of England Primary School if their parents wished.

Alternatively, parents can apply for places at other local schools with support from the county council’s school admissions team. In this instance, school transport may be provided in line with the county council’s policy.