Axe falls on tiny Peak school with no pupils

AXED: Flash Primary School. NBUA101118A.
AXED: Flash Primary School. NBUA101118A.

A TINY Peak District school with no pupils on its roll has closed this week after councillors said they could not justify the cost of keeping it open.

Flash CE Primary School, which previously had just seven pupils, faced the axe in 2011, but it was agreed to postpone the closure when the Healthylea Federation with St Bartholomew’s Primary School in Longnor was created.

However, in September 2012, the roll at Flash Primary School fell to zero pupils and at a meeting on December 19, Staffordshire County Council agreed to close the school after the authority, the Healthylea Federation and the Church of England diocese all agreed that it was no longer viable.

Children in the catchment area will be offered places at Blackshaw Moor and Churnet View Middle School.

Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education, Finance and Transformation, said: “The closure of any school is a difficult decision to make.

“We postponed the closure in 2011 to help the school form a very successful federation, but parents have gradually found alternative places to send their children where they can mix with others.

“It’s very sad that the school will be closing, but we can’t justify the cost of keeping an empty school open.

“However, we have not discounted the fact that more children could move into the area, which is why we have taken the decision to consider which school to add Flash’s catchment area to, and ensure children in the area still have access to a good quality education.”

A report that went before the council’s cabinet for their meeting said: “Should the school close, the school site and buildings will revert to the county council. No decision can be taken about the use of the school but the county council would consider ways that it could be used in a sustainable way for the benefit of the community or to increase local housing.”