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Deanes closure protest march on county hall
PUPILS, parents and teachers have gathered outside County Hall in a last ditch effort to save their school.
About 50 people rallied together outside the Essex County Council headquarters to show their anger at plans to shut the Deanes School in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley.
The protest comes ahead of a cabinet meeting on November 7, where councillors will decide whether to issue a statutory notice to shut the school.
Essex County Council officers have recommended councillors close the school in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, following a further six weeks of consultation with pupils, parents, schools, councils and communities on its future.
In their report, which is due to be considered by cabinet members on November 7, officers claim falling pupil numbers mean the school is no longer sustainable and recommend it is shut on August 31, 2016.
But defiant parents, have vowed to continue fighting the proposed closure.
Zoe Cooper, whose son is in year 11, said: “We are here today as one final push.
“Ray Gooding needs to understand the effect his decision is having on the education of our children.
“My son is sitting his GCSEs next year and is already having extra lessons because of the stress this is creating.
“We just want the council to stop this nonsense and know that we are not going away and we will not stop fighting this.
“We are worried about the council cabinet meeting next week. We just hope they see sense.”
Families are angry Essex County Council announced plans to move forward with the proposed closure, despite a report from a cross-party group of councillors recommending the school stays open.
The decision will be discussed at cabinet next month.
If members vote to shut the school, the case could be called in by a county councillor which will mean the final decision will be made by full council.
Sarah Raven, from the Save the Deanes campaign, said: “I am hoping that on November 7, Ray Gooding will make the sensible decision and not proceed with the statutory notice.
“If it goes the other way, and the decision is passed to full council we hope the councillors will stand up for what they believe in and not vote this through.
“This is about democracy.
“The council need to know that we will not let this go and will continue fighting this until the end.”
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