A RIBBLE Valley primary school is set to lose out on more than £20,000 worth of funding after only five children signed up to start reception in September.

Sabden Primary School aims to have around 15 children in each class but is set to be two or three pupils down in the new year.

The school is appealing for parents from around the Ribble Valley and Burnley who are struggling to find a school for their child to come forward and apply.

The formal deadline for applications closed on January 15, with the school set to find out its final pupil numbers on Wednesday, April 16.

Headteacher Lisa Tichiner said part of the problem was that the village was struggling to support two primary schools.

Along with the Whalley Road school, the village also houses Sabden RC Primary School in Watt Lane.

Despite the funding shortfall from the government, the headteacher has refused to announce any redundancies.

Mrs Tichiner, who is due to retire in the summer after 40 years of teaching, said: “For several years now we have not had a problem with admissions and we have managed to get up to the 15 pupil mark before the deadline.

“However for some reason this year has been harder and we find ourselves in a difficult position.

“Some people put that down to a slight dip in the birth rate but it could also be down the fact that the a village the size of Sabden struggles to support two primary schools.

“There is also a problem that some parents who live outside the village area don’t know that they can send their child here.

“Parents as far away as Burnley can do so and it would help to keep our class sizes up.

“This is obviously going to put strain on us but I will not be looking at laying off any members of staff at this time.

“This is not a bad school, we were rated ‘good’ in our latest Ofsted report in 2011, it’s just that we have been unlucky.”