A PRIMARY school that has served a Dales village for 360-years looks set to close after pupil numbers dwindled to just eight.

Governors of Arkengarthdale Church of England Primary School have voted unanimously to seek to consult on the school’s closure.

Its governing body has written to North Yorkshire’s Director Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Carlton, to request the county council begin consulting on a proposal to close the school at the end of the current academic year.

Arkengarthdale’s Chair of Governors, Charles Cody said that numbers in the school have fallen to an unsustainable level despite all the efforts to attract more pupils.

Mr Cody said: “We have no option but to seek the school’s closure from the end of the school year in the best interests of the children currently attending.

“We take this step with very heavy hearts as nobody wants to see the closure of this village school, which will have been with us for 360-years, but we have to be realistic.

“Currently there are eight children on roll and this number will fall to just five by 2019/20.

“We simply do not have numbers of children in the dale and the area to keep this school open."

It is likely that approval to consult on Arkengarthdale school’s closure will be decided by the county council Executive next January.

Stuart Carlton said the governing body’s decision was incredibly sad, but taken in the best interests of the school’s current children.

He said: “We have done everything possible to support the school and its governors to sustain school provision for the dale.

“The governors know all their families extremely well and are very knowledgeable about the area, but it appears there simply are not the children out there for the foreseeable future to keep this school going."

For children currently attending Arkengarthdale, Reeth primary school, 3.5 miles away, is the nearest alternative.

County Cllr John Blackie said the school's closure would be 'a black day for the Upper Dales'. He added: “In 21-years of being the County Councillor for the Upper Dales this is the first of the seven primary schools here that we appear in danger of losing and I very much hope it will be the last."