Dedicated campaigners in have gathered almost 1,000 signatures against the proposed closure of a village primary school.
Parents and residents of Langtoft hit the streets of Driffield on Thursday 14 March and again on Saturday 16 March with petitions to gather support for Langtoft Primary School, which has been earmarked for closure by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
The school has been selected along with Gembling Primary School and Dunswell Primary School for possible closure as part of a bid to save money following national changes to the way funding is allocated to schools.
Jo Richardson, who is heading the Save Langtoft School campaign, said: “The petitioning went really well, we have been amazed by people’s support and the majority of passers-by have given us their signatures. Hopefully if we try extra hard we can push for 1,000 signatures.
“People around the village have been signing the petition and pupils have been getting their friends and family to sign them.
“The school is so important - we can’t emphasize that enough. It is just the cost-per-pupil they are looking at but it shouldn’t be, it should consider the cost to the village.
“It is just about keeping up the momentum and our main aim at the moment is to get an extension so we have got more time to fight it and show the council it is worth fighting for.”
Following a previous meeting at the school on Monday 18 February between parents, residents and East Riding Council officers, another meeting took place on Tuesday 19 March for further consultation.
At the meeting, Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager for the council attended along with Alison Michalska, director of family, children and adult services at the council, to answer further questions from the public.
Mr Butler said: “The council has not had to review the future of a school for some years now, but unfortunately the national changes to school funding means that we have no option. Whenever we review the future of a school, we will always look for ways to help it to become more viable and sustainable, but this is not always possible.
“We will be consulting everyone who is affected by the reviews and take into account their views before presenting any proposals to the Cabinet of the council.”
A change in the Government’s funding formula is set to restrict the way in which local authorities allocate funding to schools - and in the case of East Riding Council, which is already cash-strapped, will reduce the number of criteria considered from 37 to 12.
As a result, the council argue they will be unable to include local factors reflecting the situation of schools in the county.
East Riding Council has recently come under scrutiny from the National Association of Small Schools over the length of time allocated to the school for its consultation period.
John Wilson, assistant director for children, family and adult services at the council, said: “The council has followed statutory guidelines and fully complied with statutory regulations.”
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Weather for Driffield
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east