Rural primary school to close after parents move children elsewhere

In its latest school roll from September 2023, Kirkbean Primary School had just 11 children.

Rural Kirkbean Primary School to close after children move elsewhere STV News

A rural primary school in Dumfries is to be “mothballed” after it closes its doors at the end of the academic year.

On social media, Kirkbean Primary School’s headteacher Helen Anderson said that there was a “very low” school roll projection for 2024-25 prompting parents to decide to move their children elsewhere.

She said that the move would give the “school community a little more autonomy and dignity by not having the decision made for us the following year” ahead of an expected forthcoming low enrolment.

She added that the decision to mothball the “amazing wee school” has not been taken lightly and appreciated that the news would be “extremely disappointing.

“Kirkbean Primary will leave a legacy of nurtured, happy children, a great inspection, high attainment, a Gold Rights Respecting School Award, a great building and super community support for events and fundraising,” she added. 

Locals described the news as “very sad” and “a blow to the community”.

In its latest school roll from September 2023, there were just 11 children.

The primary school first opened its doors in 1860 and was to have its future sustainability assessed by Dumfries and Galloway Council over the next academic year.

A Dumfries and Galloway Council spokesperson said: “Due to the very low numbers at the school, the parents of Kirkbean Primary School have made the decision to move their children to alternative schools at the end of the current academic session. 

“Officers will work with the parents through this transition phase and a paper will be brought to the council’s education and learning committee in due course to advise them of this and to agree next steps for the school.”

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