A PRIMARY school with just 48 pupils is facing closure after a decline in pupil numbers.

St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School in Wimborne - part of the Plymouth CAST Multi Academy Trust - is just 23 per cent full.

Now the Trust has informed staff and parents that they plan to close the school in July.

The school was graded Inadequate across the board in its last full Ofsted inspection in 2019 when inspectors said the safety of pupils was at risk, teaching was inadequate and staff ignored school policies.

In a letter to parents, a spokesman for the Trust said: “I am sorry to be writing with the news that we are considering the future of St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School.

“The school has experienced a sharp decline in pupil numbers in the last two years. In September 2019 there were 134 pupils, the figure significantly fell last September to only 48 pupils and is predicted to decline further. This means that we are only 23 per cent full.

“Running a small school is extremely difficult and, despite the brilliant work of our teachers and support staff, is increasingly unsustainable.

“The decline in pupil numbers means that the school will receive less funding, which in turn impacts our ability to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for your child.”We have explored a number of options to keep the academy open but unfortunately, have concluded that St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School should close at the end of the academic year.”

The Trust’s board of trustees has written to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), at the Department for Education, to initiate the closure process.

The viability of the school will be considered by the RSC at a meeting on February 25.

Anyone who wishes to make representations can do so by emailing RSC-SW.HTB@education.gov.uk until February 18.

Virtual meetings will also beheld for parents.

Any final decision to close the school will be taken by the Secretary of State for Education.