Video: Parents vow to fight closure of Dunswell Primary School
FURIOUS parents have vowed to fight the council's controversial plans to close their children's primary school.
More than 130 people affected by the possible closure of Dunswell Primary School hit out at East Riding Council at a heated meeting last night claiming it would devastate the village.
The council is one of the worst-funded in the country and is looking at how many schools it can justify maintaining.
Dunswell could be closed by July next year, with Gembling and Langtoft primary schools, both near Driffield, possibly closed by the end of this school year.
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"Cobbles to East Riding Council's plans," said Julie Reed, of Dunswell Action Group.
"The fact residents in Beverley got the council to change its mind in getting rid of the cobbles gives us hope we can do the same."
Julie has three children – William, ten, Louie, nine, and Georgina, seven.
"We will fight the plans" she said. "One of my sons even offered to bring in his piggy bank to give to the council to keep it open."
Dunswell is financially viable, but 75 per cent of its 88 pupils come from outside the catchment area, including Hull, so the council says it is not sustainable.
East Riding councillor Ros Jump, who represents Cottingham North ward, said: "Whether the pupils live in Hull or not, the council gets paid per child and not where the child is living.
"The council needs to look at the bigger picture. If this school closes it will impact the local sports hall, church and pre-school as these are all facilities used by the pupils."
Governors are launching a bid to covert the school into an academy, independent of local authority control, in the hope of keeping it open, should the council press ahead with its plans.
During the meeting, residents expressed concern there were not the school places available, should the school closed.
Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager at the council, blamed a new national funding regime for the possible closures.
He said: "It is not a done deal and we are carrying out a consultation to find out residents' views.
"We could look at further possible school closures in the future."
Mr Butler said the closure of the school would lead to long-term benefits, however parents claimed it would "kill the heart of the community".
One of the council's proposals is to close the school and provide temporary accommodation at nearby Woodmansey Primary School.
One parent, who spoke in reply to this said: "It would have a devastating impact. You propose temporary accommodation at Woodmansey on a site that is flooded.
"The school is also on a dangerous bend. How can you guarantee my children's safety?"
Pupils from the school designed banners, which had been put up around the village institute prior to the meeting, that read "listen to the little people and save our school".
A petition has been launched by parents which can be signed in The Ship Inn in the village.