Video: Protest over closure of Charles Read Academy

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Parents and students held a protest outside Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen against the proposed closure of the school.

Pupils joined their parents in front of the school yesterday (Thursday) carrying banners and posters saying “Save our school”.

Pupils protest at Charles Read Academy at the proposed closure of the school. Photo: 050A

Pupils protest at Charles Read Academy at the proposed closure of the school. Photo: 050A

The West Grantham Academies Trust last week announced its proposal to close the school and move its 230 pupils to St Hugh’s Academy in Grantham by September 2014.

A Facebook page set up just three days ago by parent Laura Hilton to protest the closure has already attracted 200 names.

She said: “The students have made some very close friends and it could be very detrimental to move them away. They could lose contact with friends and some children take a long time to form friendships.”

Protest organiser Sharon Broughton-Eley, a parent with three special needs children at the school, said she had hoped more people would have joined in but is organising another protest at the school on Friday next week.

She has also arranged for petitions to be available for signing outside Morrisons in Grantham tomorrow (Saturday).

Speaking at the protest, parent Nettie Lohmann-Bond, who has two boys at the school, said she had moved her family to Little Bytham to be closer to the school.

She added: “I think it’s quite devastating if they close the school. It is providing something quite rare because other schools are much, much bigger and students lose their identity when in a big school.”

Jacob Doughty said his daughter was taking her GCSEs at the school, including land studies, a subject which he said is not available in other schools nearby.

He said if the school closed other students, including his son in Year 8, would lose the option to take it.

Lincolnshire County Council and trade union Unison have also opposed the closure.

West Grantham Academies Trust chief executive Trudy Brothwell said the school is closing not because of poor attainment but because of a change in funding.

In league tables recently published, 38 per cent of Charles Read pupils achieved five A*-C grades at GCSE but Mrs Brothwell said there was no link between the proposed closure and attainment at the school.

She said that the decision was, in part, due to Government funding changes which allocate money per pupil.