She plays alone at break, has her packed lunch with staff and team sports are out of the question.
For one ten-year-old girl, this is a normal school day – as she is the only pupil there.
The Year 6 student receives a ‘full curriculum’ in brightly decorated classrooms that were previously packed with children.
Despite having only a solitary pupil, there is a full-time teacher, a part-time headteacher, support teachers and a receptionist.
The bizarre situation at Ings Community Primary and Nursery School in Skipton, North Yorkshire, has come about because of plans to close it in December.
The bizarre situation at Ings Community Primary and Nursery School in Skipton, North Yorkshire, has come about because of plans to close it in December
Last term there were 42 primary school children. But when parents were told in June that the local authority wanted to shut the struggling rural school, 41 decided to move to a different school for the start of the academic year.
However, the parents of the girl, whom the Mail has been asked not to name, insisted she stayed.And with one girl remaining, the school had a legal obligation to keep running. Under safeguarding rules, three staff must be present at all times.
Her father, a married man in his 30s with another toddler daughter, appeared unconcerned yesterday that his child was alone at school.
Speaking as he picked her up at 3pm, he said: ‘I went to this school as did a lot of members of my family. I don’t understand why it should have to close.
‘I can’t get my daughter into the school of my choosing, so I’m going to home school [her] when she has to finish here.’
Headmistress Donna Makepeace insisted last night that her pupil is receiving a good education. She said: ‘It is a vibrant learning environment with displays on the walls about what she is learning. She learns food technology, which she shares with the staff at lunchtime.
The 10-year-old schoolgirl gets the whole playground to herself as there is no other pupil to enjoy it with
‘She seems happy, she seems fine. This is what her parents want for her.’
David Portlock, the chairman of governors, described the situation as ‘surreal.’ He said: ‘We have to provide and are providing education for this one child.
‘The school statutorily has to stay open, and if … families turned up with 30 or 40 kids all saying they wanted to go to Ings then we would have to accept them.’
Next month, North Yorkshire County Council is likely to confirm at a meeting that the school will close at the end of the term.