A glens school is set to be mothballed later this year when its two remaining primary pupils move up to secondary.
Lethnot primary has catered for just a handful of youngsters over recent years, but the roll will fall to zero at the end of the summer term and today Angus councillors will be asked to start the process that will result in the school’s temporarily closure from August.
Last night a local councillor said mothballing was the only viable option at the present time, but he is fearful the move may signal the beginning of the end for a primary that was highly rated by education inspectors on their last visit there.
In a report to this afternoon’s Angus education committee in Forfar, council head of schools and learning Pauline Stephen sets out the situation facing the Glen Lethnot Primary.
“Currently, an acting head teacher oversees the work of Lethnot and Tarfside primary schools.
“In addition to the shared head teacher there are two part-time class teachers at Lethnot. There is also part-time administrative support,” states the report.
The school has no pre-school class, three P7 pupils and one P5 youngster.
“The P5 child’s family have recently relocated to another area in Scotland. There are no other younger children living in the school catchment area,” adds Ms Stephen.
Consultation with parents would take place immediately and education chiefs are recommending that the mothballing decision should be reviewed at the end of this year, with Edzell primary temporarily realigned to the school’s catchment area.
Local councillor Bob Myles said: “The sad fact is that there are no children in the area and it is a shame, but mothballing is the only option.
“I would like to see it kept open, but the simple fact is that you can’t keep a school open if it has no children.
“The danger is that once it closes it may be very difficult to get parents to put their children to the school in the future if the numbers are going to be very low.”
He added: “Looking a little further afield, the numbers at Tarfside primary are falling and I wouldn’t like to see the situation there drop any further.
“There is no doubt that pupils get a special type of education in these small rural schools and a lot of the kids from them go on to do very well when they move up.”