Low pupil numbers 'not good for learning' suggests headteacher at Northamptonshire school faced with closure

Parents and children say they will be devastated if Great Creaton Primary School closes.
Parents and children say they will be devastated if Great Creaton Primary School closes.

The headteacher at a Northamptonshire school with less than 20 pupils has said the children "must come first" in the face of a county council consultation to shut it down.

Although parents say they have not "given up the fight" to save Great Creaton Primary, the school is currently operating with only 19 children and could close its doors for good.

Parents say the school could be saved if they could only get "bums in seats" and get more children in.

But the headteacher, Mrs Emma Mercer, has suggested the low subscriptions is bad for individual learning.

The school is currently operating with just two classes split into juniors and seniors.

Mrs Mercer said: "The bottom line is we've got to do what's best for the children.

"Is it good for pupils to go to a school where there are less than 20 children? One of our class rooms only has two children in it. How can we deliver a curriculum that relies on grouping up when there's only one other person in the class? What if you're the only one of your gender in a year group?"

However, Mrs Mercer says they are recruiting new teachers and have carried out extensive marketing to attract new pupils to the school.

In consultation papers, the county council says Great Creaton Primary is "no longer serving the community it was originally intended to serve" and points out that by 2019 the school could run with just one class.

In the consultation, 75 per cent of responses strongly disagreed with closing the school down.

One parent, Sally Fox, said: "We're very much trying to save the school. Our action group has handed out over 25,000 flyers to draw attention to Great Creaton Primary.

"We just need the council to give us a chance to get bums in seats. We need children in the school to save the school. But the council seems quite negative."

Great Creaton Primary has earned a 'requires improvement' rating from Ofsted on its last two visits, but parents say this does not reflect individual experience and call it "kind, friendly and loving'.

Some seven students have left the school since the consulation began.

Northamptonshire County Council has called any suggestion that the closure is linked to its financial situation "a misconception".