A REDESDALE school is facing potential closure after councillors rejected a proposal for it to convert from a first to a primary.

Northumberland County Council cabinet members agreed at its meeting on Monday that another informal consultation on the future of West Woodburn First School should take place, with closure being one of the options.

The local authority raised serious concerns about the viability of the school going forward, with just three pupils currently on roll.

Coun. Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is not about money, as the school would have a surplus in its budget, it’s largely about parental choice.

“It’s also about the fact that there are falling birth rates in the area which puts pressure on some of our very small rural schools.”

The future of West Woodburn school was left unresolved during a major shake-up of education in the west of the county, which saw Bellingham, Wark, Kielder and Otterburn all convert to primaries in September. There were concerns about the viability of it becoming a primary school alongside the rest of the Haydon Bridge partnership due to its declining pupil numbers.

In April this year, the governing bodies of Otterburn Primary School and West Woodburn agreed to join to become The River Rede Federation, which now wants West Woodburn to convert to primary.

A statutory consultation into the school converting to a primary received 12 responses of against and five for the change.

Head of the council’s school organisation and resources, Sue Aviston, said that the next consultation would need to target parents of potential pupils for the school in addition to those who have already shared views.