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Campaigners battle to save school
PARENTS and pupils at Chineham Park Primary School this week staged their own “Save Our School” protest.
The public consultation over the possible closure of the school ended last week and Hampshire County Council education chief Councillor David Kirk will make a decision about its future on December 17.
Parents and pupils are determined to do all they can to keep the school open and have collected more than 2,000 signatures in support of their campaign.
As previously reported in The Gazette, the children have also recorded a special song called “Save Our School.”
Around 500 copies of the single, written by head teacher Gwen Clifford, have been produced, and money raised from their sale will go to Children in Need.
Last week, parents found out Mrs Clifford will be away from the school for a “period of time”, but parents have vowed to carry on with their campaign in her absence.
Leading the battle, campaigning mother Sharon Lunnon said they will not give up, and added: “We want to keep momentum up and awareness of the situation as there’s the decision meeting on December 17.
“We want to carry on. We don’t want to sit and wait for the meeting. We also have a petition we are handing in on the day, and the children are taking it to the meeting.”
For Monday afternoon’s rally, which took place at the end of the school day, many of the children had made banners with direct messages to Cllr Kirk, asking him to save the school.
This week, no one has still been able to confirm the reason for Mrs Clifford’s absence.
Her role has been taken on by the head teacher of Marnel Junior School and the assistant head of Everest Community College.
A spokeswoman for Hampshire County Council said they still do not know why she is away, adding: “It’s a matter between the IEB (Interim Executive Board) and the head teacher. It’s a personnel matter.”