A consultation is currently under way on a proposal to permanently close a small village primary school close to Hitchin.

Hexton JMI School, which was founded in 1846, offers 10 places in each year group - a total of 70 places across Reception to Year 6 - but has been struggling to attract pupils in recent years.

In September 2021, when the school had just 31 pupils, Hertfordshire County Council publicly consulted on a proposal to permanently close the school, but took the decision not to proceed at the request of the school’s governing body, to allow it the time and opportunity to increase pupil numbers.

However, since then, the county council says the number of pupils at the school has fallen further, with the Published Admission Number only 10, and just one child starting in Reception this academic year.


The low pupil numbers, leading to financial pressures, mean the school only runs two classes - all Reception and Year 1 and 2 pupils are taught in one class, and all Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils in another class.

"Achieving good educational outcomes from teaching across such a wide range of age groups presents significant challenges," Hertfordshire County Council said.

"Although staff are doing their utmost for the pupils, the breadth of need in each class creates difficulties for leaders and teachers in planning the school’s curriculum so that it is coherent and appropriately sequenced to meet the pupils’ needs."

The county council says demand for places at the school is unlikely to increase in future years, with information from GP registration data identifying that only four children below school age, who will be seeking a reception school place over the next four years, currently live in the village.


The county council is now consulting on the proposal to permanently close the school on August 31 next year.

If the closure goes ahead, all staff at the school will be at risk, and pupils will need to apply for a place at another school through an in-year application process.

The consultation is open until October 1. To have your say, complete the online response form at hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.