Petition plan to fight school closure threat

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SUPPORTERS of a Doncaster school have set up a petition and formed a protest group as efforts to save it from closure step up.

Doncaster Council is looking into closing Sycamore Primary School in the summer, because of surplus places at its St Wilfrid’s Road site in Cantley.

But angry parents of current and former pupils have now set up a campaign group following a meeting at the school to plan how to fight the proposed closure.

Around 70 parents turned out for the meeting, and agreed to set up the Friends of Cantley Sycamore Action Group.

Union representatives from the National Union of Teachers and the public workers union Unison also attended.

The school’s vice-chair of governors, Annie Morgan, whose children are former pupils at the school, will chair the new protest group.

She said they had now launched a petition against the closure, which is being circulated around the Cantley estate where the school is based. Parents have pledged to knock on doors with the petition. It has also been passed on to businesses in the area.

The group is contacting McAuley School and Hall Cross School, where Sycamore pupils go when they leave, to ask for support.

Mrs Morgan said: “We’ve got the nucleus of a committee to fight the closure.

“There has been a lot of very positive support for keeping the school open. It was quite overwhelming.

“We are going to man a stall at Doncaster Market on Saturday to raise the issue. Some of the mums have already started making banners for the stall.”

The school was holding an open day today to show both the community it serves and borough councillors the work it does, from 10am until 2pm.

Mrs Morgan was stunned to see the school proposed for closure just months after an Ofsted report praised it as a ‘good’ school.

A council report to cabinet said the school had a capacity of 203, but had only 83 pupils on roll. Mrs Morgan says the school is too hard to find on the council’s website.

The council’s director of children and young people’s services, Chris Pratt, said the council would listen to what parents, staff and governors said before making a decision.