Brighton parents stage protest outside Hove Town Hall Brighton News

More than a hundred schoolchildren, parents and teachers gathered to show their support for St Peter’s Community Primary and Nursery School, in Portslade, which could be closed in new plans by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The group gathered outside Hove Town Hall on Thursday ahead of a full council meeting where parents will present a petition with hundreds of signatures urging the council to reconsider.

Councillors announced they were considering closing St Peter’s and St Bartholomew’s C of E Primary School, in Brighton, due to dwindling pupil numbers, in October and have since faced fierce opposition to the plans.

“Heartbroken” parents, teachers and pupils from both schools have challenged the proposals.

The campaigners held banners, chanted “save our school” and hit drums. 

They also held signs encouraging drivers in Norton Road to honk their horns to show support, many of whom did. 

Parents and pupils of St Luke’s School primary school in Queen’s Park and Patcham Infant’s school were also there to show their support and to campaign against plans to reduce their pupil numbers. 

Councillor Jacob Taylor, co-chairman of the city council’s children, families and school’s committee, has previously said he wants schools to stay open but must take action to save money.

“There are no easy solutions to falling pupil numbers,” he said.

“With more than one in five primary school places in the city is now empty, more of our schools are finding themselves in extreme financial difficulty and without the resources needed to provide the support they would want to.”

Cllr Taylor said the cost of empty reception age places is currently around £2 million.

He also said closing school is a “last resort” and that reducing admissions numbers at some schools instead is a better option for our city as a whole.

“The council is facing its worst ever financial crisis due to rising inflation and continuing government cuts,” he said.

“All our schools do a great job for their pupils and wider communities, and I’m very sad that we’re having to make these proposals.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-14 17:15:00

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