Village school with just 11 pupils could be closed by Falkirk Council

Blackness Primary School
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)

A village school with just 11 pupils could be closed for good by Falkirk Council, if councillors agree to start a consultation.

A report will go to members of Falkirk Council's education, children and young people committee next week, recommending that Blackness Primary School be closed as pupil numbers have remained low for several years.

If the change goes ahead, pupils would attend Grange Primary School in Bo'ness, three miles away, with free school transport provided.

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The report reveals that the cost of educating pupils at Blackness is around £32,388 per pupil every year, compared to a council average of £5,815 and closure would save the council more than £215,000 every year.

The council says it recognises the "high quality" of education at Blackness but says that children attending Grange Primary would benefit from a wider range of learning experiences and a wider peer group at their age and stage.

A proposal to mothball the school in 2022 was met with anger from members of the local community who insisted that the school roll was set to rise.

While it has gone up from eight pupils to 11, five of them are placement requests from outside the catchment area, according to the report.

At the time, members of the parent council said that the closure of the school would have an impact on the whole community and urged councillors not to press ahead.

The decision was deferred for a year, but the latest report says numbers of pupils have not increased significantly and do not look likely to rise in the future.

This time, the council says that mothballing would cost money and create uncertainty for pupils.

The proposal will be discussed by members of Falkirk Council's education, children and young people committee on Tuesday, May 28, at 10 am in Grangemouth Community Education Unit, Abbot's Road, Grangemouth. The meeting will also be livestreamed on Falkirk Council's YouTube channel.

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