A petition and fund-raising campaign have been launched in a desperate bid to save a village school from closure.
Last week, the Gazette reported that the governing body of James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) Federation has started a consultation on a proposal to shut Acklington C of E First School at the end of December.
With 13 children on the roll, falling pupil numbers and the impact this has on the education provided has been cited as the main reason for closing the facility.
The governing body also says that the buildings are dilapidated and the mobile classrooms are beyond repair and would need replacing.
The consultation document states that all pupils would be found places at other local schools, but staff could be at risk of redundancy.
The news has caused dismay in the community and sparked objectors into action.
An online petition has been started to try to save the school, which is described by campaigners as wonderful and one-of-a-kind in the area.
The petition – signed by more than 300 people so far and available at tinyurl.com/kkrn4lc – states: ‘The children love the school and it would be awful for them to see it go.’
Alongside this, an online campaign to raise £80,000 to help buy new mobile classrooms has been launched at tinyurl.com/k5edb5r
A statement from concerned parents reads: ‘We are devastated by the news that the federation is consulting about closure.
‘This has come as a huge shock and the needs of the federation’s youngest children have been overlooked. We feel that governors have been hasty to propose closure before fully exploring effective alternatives.’
The Save Our School Acklington C Of E First School page has been started on Facebook. Messages from pupils, saying how much they love the school and how they want it to stay open, have been posted on it.
The consultation runs until June 26. Visit www.acklington.northumberland.sch.uk