2,000 back fight to keep Dunswell Primary School open
PARENTS battling to save their closure-threatened school are being backed by a 2,000-plus name protest petition.
The campaigning parents say residents and businesses are backing their fight to keep Dunswell Primary School open.
The village primary near Beverley is one of three East Riding primaries at risk of being closed by the cash- strapped council.
Dunswell parents are planning to march through Beverley to hand in their protest petition at County Hall on Saturday, March 2.
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Dunswell Action Group member Julie Reed said: "We have collected more than 2,000 signatures and we are still collecting.
"Everyone is being very supportive, including local businesses.
"If the school closes. the lights will go out in Dunswell. "It's part of the community and this would rip the heart out of it.
"It doesn't just affect families with children at the school, it affects everyone in the community."
Mother of five Mrs Reed, of Hull, has three children at Dunswell Primary – Georgina, seven, Louie, nine and William, ten.
She said pupils will join the protest march through Beverley, when they will sing the school song Dunswell Smile.
Mrs Reed said: "We hope the petition and the march will send a strong message that this is a community school.
"We are trying to get the council to listen. We don't want them to close this school."
East Riding Council is one of the worst-funded authorities in the country and is looking at how many schools it can justify maintaining.
Dunswell Primary is financially viable but 75 per cent of its 88 pupils come from outside the catchment area, including Hull.
Dunswell could be shut in July next year, while Gembling and Langtoft Primary schools, both near Driffield, are facing the threat of closure this July.
Parents at both Gembling and Langtoft have expressed shock over the speed of closure plans for their schools and are also fighting the council on the issue.
The authority has insisted it must look at how many schools it can keep open as a result of major funding changes being brought in by the Government.
Paul Butler, the council's inclusion and access manager, said: "The introduction of this national formula will take away the ability of the council to include local factors to reflect the situation of East Riding schools.
"Although the amount of money available remains the same, about half the schools in the East Riding will receive less money than they do at present.
"To support all schools, and in particular those that are losing money, we need to reduce the overall number of schools that we have."