- Durham OnAir
Proposals to close a rural primary school considered
Proposals to close a primary school that has the lowest pupil numbers of any school in County Durham are being put to councillors next week.
Durham County Council’s Cabinet is being asked to approve the closure of Forest of Teesdale Primary School at the end of this academic year, as part of the council’s duty to secure good outcomes for all children and young people.
The school is located in the small rural community of Forest-in-Teesdale. It currently has
just one child on roll and there are no anticipated developments in the area that would
Although the most recent Ofsted inspection in 2018 judged the school to be ‘Good’, it also
identified many weaknesses.
As a result of this, a decision was made to enrich and widen the curriculum at the school
through collaboration with three other small primary schools in the upper dales, leading to
the creation of the Upper Durham Dales Federation.
While the federation has worked to provide more social opportunities for all pupils across
its schools, no further pupils have been enrolled at Forest of Teesdale Primary.
Cllr Ted Henderson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We
are committed to securing good outcomes for all our children and young people here in
County Durham. We believe that the proposal to close Forest of Teesdale Primary School
is in the best interests of all involved.
“Educating children in a larger school will allow for more social interaction and a broader
curriculum, which will help to improve educational outcomes for all and have a positive
impact on students, staff and the wider community. It will also help to ensure our schools
are sustainable and able to meet the challenges of a changing educational environment.”
A six-week consultation, which was carried out by the council in February this year, found
that three-quarters of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed with proposals to close
This was followed by a statutory notice being published on 5 May 2022, which received no
If approved by Cabinet, the Forest of Teesdale Primary School will close on 31 August