The closure of a Wirral Catholic school looks set to be approved by councillors tonight.
St Laurence’s Catholic Aided Primary School in Birkenhead has seen pupil numbers plummet over the past decade from more than 200 to 75.
With 135 empty desks, or 64% of its capacity, the school has "significantly passed" the government threshold of 25% and 30 surplus places which triggers closure.
A six-week consultation period ended on December 2 last year.
During this time, the council's director of children’s services, Howard Cooper, received one written comment from St Werburgh’s Catholic Primary School, where most pupils would be expected to relocate.
The school raised concerns about reorganising classes and staffing levels.
A protesting e-mail was received from just one parent of a pupil at St Laurence’s, who said she would home educate her child should closure go ahead.
A report by Mr Cooper, to be studied by the cabinet, says: "Surplus places at this school are high and projected to continue to be high.
"Travel to alternative, high quality school provision is not difficult, and community access to services currently housed within the building would not be significantly impacted upon by closure.
"Taking all factors into account, it is recommended that this proposal [for closure] is approved."
Government guidance says councils should not normally approve the closure of a school with a religious character when it would result in a reduction of the proportion of denominational places in the area.
But this does not apply where the school is severely under-subscribed.
The historic ratio of community-to-denominational places in Wirral has been approximately 70 to 30, and that would "remain relatively stable" at 69 to 31.
The closure would release around £91,300 annually into the council's schools budget.All staff at the school will be made redundant.
Mr Cooper says that the authority "has a long and successful track record in assisting redundant teaching and non-teaching staff into new positions."
But he notes that Wirral does not have a redeployment scheme in place for teachers at present, and relies on the co-operation of school governing bodies when making appointments.
If cabinet agrees with the recommendation, as seems likely, St Laurence's will be earmarked to close on August 31. THE GLOBE