Parents have launched a campaign to keep a ‘lovely school’ open after a consultation on its possible closure was announced.

After a discussion at a recent governors’ meeting at St Hilda’s Primary School in Ampleforth regarding pupil numbers, financial prospects and future sources of leadership,it was decided to approach North Yorkshire Council and request the closure consultation.

However, parents have said several families are planning to send their children to the school and have launched the campaign and a petition to keep it open.

Amanda Smith, a parent, said: “My daughter moved here in September from another school and I have no regrets, she is very happy here and her learning has really come on in a short time. She has settled in really well, made friends easily and is very fond of the staff, the change in her has been huge. She is really benefitting from the smaller class sizes. I now plan to send my younger daughter here in 2025.

“I’m extremely impressed with the level of education this school offers and it is varied as well. There is lots of outdoor space, they do fun activities and have dedicated sports sessions twice a week. I definitely do not want to see it close because of bureaucrats at the Council and find it absurd that we might lose another rural, village, Church of England School so soon after the sad loss of Hovingham, these schools are important for our communities.”

Geoff Cole, a parent and governor, said: “St Hilda’s is a lovely school, which offers a family-feel, nurturing environment for our children and offers a high level of education. My child is very happy here and we would hate to see it lost for future generations to enjoy so we will be doing all we can to prevent it being closed.

“The school deserves a chance to continue to thrive, not to be closed in a knee-jerk reaction. We would urge anyone who is considering sending their children in the future to come and see it for themselves at the open afternoon and to register their interest.

“We are looking for reassurances that if families pick St Hilda’s as their first choice this year that in the event it does end up closing, they will be guaranteed their second-choice school, but we sincerely hope it does not come to that.”

Another parent, Eilidh Newton said: “Both my children have excelled at St Hilda’s. My youngest, who has special educational needs has been given fantastic support.”

St Hilda’s School was originally built in Ampleforth in 1890 on the site that is now the village hall. It moved to its current location in the 1960s and has played an integral part in the community.

The chair of governors at St Hilda’s, Johanna Senior, said: “After a discussion at a recent governors’ meeting about our pupil numbers, our financial prospects and future sources of leadership, governors very reluctantly came to a decision to approach North Yorkshire Council and request a consultation on the closure of the school.

“We considered all other options for the future of the school, although none of these were feasible.”

North Yorkshire Council’s assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, said:

“Projected pupil numbers indicate that St Hilda’s Church of England Primary School in Ampleforth faces a challenging financial position.

“The governors’ request for consultation will be considered on February 20. Should consultation be approved, this would give parents/carers and all other stakeholders an opportunity to submit their views prior to a decision being made.”

A ‘Things We Love’ themed open afternoon is being held on Friday, February 9,between 1.30pm – 3.30pm for parents to find out more about the school.

Anyone wishing to visit the school can arrange an appointment at any time or if you are interested in attending the open afternoon, contact the headteacher Faye Dodds-Aston on: or call 01439 788357.

To sign the petition go to

The school’s website is: