Plans to close Hexton JMI School - which now has only two pupils - are set to go ahead. 

Back in 2021, closure proposals were dropped by Hertfordshire County Council – in order to give the school the chance to increase its numbers.

However, pupils numbers have continued to plummet ever since.

Earlier this year – when there were just 21 pupils –  the county council drew-up new plans to close the school.

When the council consulted on its latest closure plans at the beginning of this academic year, there were just 11 pupils registered at the school.

But on Monday (December 4) a meeting of the council’s cabinet heard that there were now just two.

Low pupil numbers, say officials, can make it challenging for a school to operate within its budget – as well as maintaining high quality provision, teaching and learning.

At the meeting councillors agreed that the council should now publish a statutory notice of its intention to close the school, from April.

“It’s a very sad state of affairs to close a rural school,” said executive member for education, libraries and lifelong learning Cllr Caroline Clapper.

“But unfortunately the school is neither financially nor academically viable.”

As part of the public consultation, 15 responses were received by the county council.

Cllr Clapper said a respon

se by the school’s governing body had made it clear that while this was not something that they wanted, it was something they completely accept.

She reported that the two remaining children at the school were from Luton, and that the council was working with them to try and relocate them.

Also speaking in support of he proposal was executive member for children, families and young people Cllr Fiona Thomson.

“It’s always sad to consider a school closures in rural areas,” she said. “However I think the figures really speak for themselves.

“Certainly the school as it currently stands is not in a viable position.

"So again I would echo with a heavy heart it probably is the right recommendation.”

Initially the proposal had been for the school – which can take up to 70 pupils – to close in September 2024.

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But now – with just two pupils on roll – the plans have been amended so that the school would close on April 14.

Following the decision by the cabinet a statutory notice will be published on January 4.


If no objections are received by January 31 the executive director for children’s services could then approve the closure.

However if an objection was to be received, the final decision would be taken by a further meeting of the cabinet, on March 18.