A six-year-old boy whose north Northumberland school faces the axe has taken the matter to the very top – by writing to the Prime Minister.
Daniel Davison, like many other pupils, was very upset when he learned that Embleton Vincent Edwards CE First School could close next summer as part of the proposals for the Alnwick Partnership, which is back out for consultation.
The Year 1 pupil wrote to David Cameron asking for his help in preventing the closure as he loves the school, his friends and his teachers.
Not to be outdone, his older sister Grace, nine, who also attends Vincent Edwards, sent a letter to the Queen.
And just to ensure that all bases were covered – and so he wasn’t left out – three-year-old Jake, who is in the school’s nursery, decided to write to Woody, from Toy Story, at his home in Florida!
According to mum Leanne, Daniel was really excited when he received a letter back from the Prime Minister’s office, thanking him for his well-written letter and advising that it had been passed on to the Department for Education. “He was really chuffed,” she said.
“The kids had been told that the school was potentially being closed next year and they were really upset. Daniel came home and said, ‘we have to fight it’.
“He kept wondering where he would go to school and saying he would be sad to leave his friends and the school. It’s really occupying his mind.”
She continued: “His dad suggested writing to the Prime Minister, the top man. It made Daniel feel important to know he was doing something.”
Leanne agrees with her son that the school should not close. “It’s the heart of the village,” she said. “If you take away that then Embleton is going to become a retirement village.”
A campaign has been launched by parents and the community to fight the possible closure. Search for Save Embleton First School on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat campaigner Julie Pörksen is questioning the transparency of the decision-making at Northumberland County Council over its plans to potentially close Embleton and Branton first schools.
Ms Pörksen explained that she noticed that the revised catchment area maps are dated May 21, a full four weeks before the council meetings on the reorganisation.
She said: “The governors, parents and teachers of Embleton and Branton schools have a right to know when the decision to propose school closures was taken and by whom as it was not part of the original consultation – and the decision appears to have been taken some time ago.
“The council must come clean on its decision-making processes for these school communities and also others across Northumberland who may be at risk from dubious council decision-making arising from future consultations suggested for other partnerships such as Berwick and Morpeth.”
A county council spokesman said: “It has always been the intention this would be a transparent process and we would refute claims it isn’t.
“All consultation feedback and analysis of the consultation, plus the report setting out the recommendations and rationale behind them were published and remain in the public domain.
“The maps are dated more than two months after the closing date of consultation on March 11 and were drafted during the period when officers were considering feedback and looking at all potential solutions for the Alnwick Partnership.
“It is only fair we approached parents, governors and staff only when we were fully clear on what the final proposals would be.”