A six-week consultation period started on Monday into the future of Great Bircham’s King George VI Church School with a recommendation to close it at the end of the year.

Pupils were transferred to Docking primary from Easter as an interim measure because of falling pupil numbers.

The school had 14 pupils, with less than half living in its catchment area.

Norfolk County Council said the school had also struggled to secure a permanent headteacher and that proposed funding changes threatened its future.

Governors,  the council and the Diocese have not been able to find a solution to the school’s long-term future.

The consultation proposes closure with pupils remaining at Docking, unless their parents wish to send them elsewhere.

James Joyce, chairman of the county’s children’s services committee, (pictured) said: “Our priority has to be to ensure that Norfolk’s children are receiving a good education and we do not believe that will be possible at King George VI, in the long term.

“The school is currently judged to require improvement and although it has shown some signs of progress, the leadership and financial pressures it is facing will make it extremely difficult to offer the good teaching and learning that children need both now and in the future.”

The new national funding proposes a national per pupil rate, limiting the way the county council allocates funds.

The consultation ends on July 11. The council will then decide whether to proceed with the proposal, which would result in a statutory notice being posted and a further four weeks of consultation.

Michael Chenery, county councillor for the area, said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation process and give their views on the school’s future.”

There is a meeting for parents, carers and other interested members of the community on Wednesday, July 2 at 6pm at the school.

Some parents campaigned to save the school back in March and enlisted the help of North West Norfolk MP, Henry Bellingham. Comments can be made online at: www.citizenspace.com/norfolk/consultation/king-george-vi-school or emailed  to: schoolreview@norfolk.gov.uk