THE determined headteacher of the Deanes School is calling on the community one last time to help save it from closure.
Inspector David Lennard from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator will be visiting the school, in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, on Thursday to decide whether to overturnEssex County Council’s decision to close it for good from August 2015.
The Government body, which operates independently from the Department for Education, will hold a public meeting with parents, pupils and residents on Thursday to hear evidence on why the controversial decision should be reviewed.
Hundreds of worried residents turned out to make their voices heard during the consultation meetings over the school’s future last summer and numerous public protests were made.
Headteacher Jan Atkinson is imploring the community to do the same again and show the overwhelming support needed to keep the Deanes open.
Mrs Atkinson said: “The adjudicator is independent and will listen to us. It is essential everyone attends this meeting. The adjudicator must not be left in any doubt about our support.
“He will take the feelings of parents, students and the community into consideration. Every current parent needs to be there.
All future parents need to attend.
All past parents need to attend.
Everymember of the community who uses the Deanes’ facilities needs to be there. This is our final chance to save the Deanes School.”
The decision to close the school was taken by the county council’s ruling Tory cabinet last November.
This was despite opposition from thousands of worried parents and pupils as well as formal objections from local MPs and Castle Point, Basildon and Southend councils.
The school is still awaiting the outcome of its bid for academy status, which rests with Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Lisa Stroud, assistant headteacher, who has worked at the school for more than 20 years, said: “Finally, we have our chance, teachers, parents, students and community members, for a fair hearing of the future of the Deanes School.”
The meeting will take place at 7pm at the school on Thursday.
For more information, call the school on 01268 773545.