INGLETON and Settle middle schools are to close in September 2012 following a vote by North Yorkshire County Council’s executive to scrap the three tier school system.

At a final meeting, councillors decided to bring North Craven's education system into line with the rest of North Yorkshire so that pupils transfer schools just once, age 11.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Although the middle schools in North Craven are highly regarded and much loved by many parents and children in the area, the county council has taken the decision with some sadness after a wide ranging review and consultation."

From September 2012 children will remain at primary school until the age of 11 and then transfer once, to a single school based on the current Settle Middle and Settle College sites which will serve 11-18 year olds in future. Education for young people over the age of 16 will be provided by Settle College or Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale.

"Today’s decision addresses long standing concerns about falling pupil numbers, the financial viability of schools and will ensure the breadth and quality of the education on offer to children and young people across the area for the future," the spokesperson added.

County Councillor John Watson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said: "We felt the time had come to re-evaluate the current system of middle schools in North Craven and firmly believe that today’s decision will ensure high quality education which will serve the best interests of children in the area well into the future."

"This has been a very difficult decision, but now it has been made we hope that our communities will come together to support the change for the good of children and young people in the area.”