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220 parents at closure school's open evening
10:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
DEFIANT parents turned out to show they still want to send their children to the Deanes School, even though it faces closure.
More than 220 parents and eager future pupils flocked to the secondary school, in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, for an open evening, despite uncertainty surrounding its future.
The school is set to be shut by Essex County Council in 2017 due to declining pupil numbers.
However, the closure fear doesn’t seem to have put parents off considering it as a starting point for their children’s secondary school life.
Lisa Stroud, assistant headteacher, said: “Although some people had doubts,I had no doubt whatsoever about how successful the open evening would be. This just proves how interested people are in the Deanes and they still want their children to come here.”
David Coaker, who has been a governor at the school for the past 18 months, added: “I have spoken to parents who aren’t put off about the fact Deanes might close. They are more concerned about their kids getting a good education at an outstanding school.
“We have not given up and the fight is still on. I’m confident we’re going to get a positive outcome.”
The open evening saw the main hall packed with guests keen to hear what the school has to offer current Year 5 students.
Youngsters were also able to enjoy guided tours of the school, dance and musical performances and heartfelt speeches from teachers, governors and current students.
Headteacher Jan Atkinson said: “I must admit I was unsure we would even be having an open evening, but staff, students and parents decided together we would come back fighting.
“We are open for business and are not going to stop fighting.
“I think what comes across from this whole experience is parents telling us we value everybody here at Deanes.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cleaner,adeputy head, whether you’ve got a special need or a gifted and talented pupil, everyone is treated with absolute respect.
“I have had parents crying in my office saying their child would be lost anywhere else.”
School staff believe if they prove they can attract 120 pupils a year then the Deanes School will stay open.
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