Those fighting to save All Saints Primary School in Freshwater took the battle directly to cabinet members last night (Thursday).
Concerned parents, pupils and villagers descended on West Wight Sports Centre ahead of a cabinet meeting, to air their grievances over the possible closure of the school.
Concerned parent Carly Wyre Nock told Isle of Wight Radio:
“They can’t rip the heart of this community out. They can’t do it.
“These children need schooling here.
“There are other options there are children that are being driven out of this village that need to come back.
“We need to look at improvement and building on what we’ve got not taking something away.”
As reported by Isle of Wight Radio, its future remains in doubt, after a councillor’s attempt to call-in the decision to launch a consultation fell short of the required number of signatures.
The Isle of Wight Council has previously stated that closing All Saints, which has 81 pupils, is its preferred option as it tries to manage surplus places.
Last night the Island’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education told parents all consultations had to have a preferred option, adding that he would be open to ‘viable options’.
Councillor Paul Brading told Isle of Wight Radio:
“I want to make it crystal clear that all we’re doing at the moment is consulting for a consultation…
“It’s the preferred option because numbers are dropping; standards of the school sadly are not what I would expect – and they would expect – for their young children; geographically it is close to another school.
“The paper’s also got four other options. Closing St Saviours and moving into the All Saints site is one. Closing both schools is also one. Closing both schools would mean it becoming an academy – I’m sure no one wants it to become an academy after the track record of academies in the West Wight in the past. And, one option is to do absolutely nothing.
“Equally, as I said earlier we welcome any other viable proposals that parents come up with under consultation.”
Listen to the interview with Councillor Paul Brading in full here:
Watch the meeting where parents aired their concerns to councillors here: