Parents and children to join teachers’ protest at County Hall

Rodmell school facing closure SUS-160316-231343008
Rodmell school facing closure SUS-160316-231343008

Teachers from a school threatened with closure are to join parents and children in a demonstration outside County Hall.

Last week, staff from Rodmell Primary School, Lewes, voted to hold a full-day of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday, May 25) in protest against East Sussex County Council proposals to close the school.

Now, with the support of the parents and children - and a mock-up classroom - their walkout will take them directly to the people who could save or condemn their school.

The demonstration will begin at 11am and will last for about an hour.

Councillors have voted against the proposals to close both Rodmell and Pells Primary schools after a petition opposing the plans gathered more than 5,000 signatures.

However, while most councillors voted to stop the closures, the ultimate decision will be made by Councillor Nick Bennett, cabinet and lead member for schools.

Phil Clarke Secretary of the Lewes Eastbourne and Wealden NUT said: “All the teachers at Rodmell have voted to take this action because they know this successful school which is due to be oversubscribed by 2020 is worth fighting to save.

“We know we have parental support for this action and will be working with parents on the day to campaign to keep our small schools open.

“It is fundamentally undemocratic that a small group of councillors can overrule the vote of the whole council.

“We call on the cabinet members to respect the view of our elected representatives and not move to close Rodmell and Pells schools.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “While we understand the concerns people have, we are disappointed teachers at Rodmell have opted to take industrial action.

“It’s important to stress that no decision has been made yet. The consultations on the two proposed closures run until Friday, May 27 and we’d urge people who feel strongly on this issue to use the consultations to make their voices heard.

“Like most councils in the country, we operate a cabinet system which means that most decisions are taken by cabinet, or delegated to lead members.

“A decision on the two proposed school closures is due to be made by cabinet on Tuesday, July 19 and will only be taken after members have carefully considered all the responses to the consultations and the recommendation made by full council earlier this month.”

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