PARENTS have launched a campaign to save a village primary school site which is threatened with closure.

Consultation is due to take place over the proposed closure of the school site in Sherburn Hill, near Durham, with pupils instead being asked to travel a mile-and-a-half to Sherburn Village.

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The 49-pupil site is part of Sherburn Primary School, formed by the merger of Sherburn Hill and Sherburn Village primaries in 2015.

Durham County Council approved consultation on the closure in September, but parents only learned about it after one mother stumbled across a notice of the decision online.

Mum-of-two Joanne Brydon said: “No information has come to any of the parents.

“I know it’s a small school but they work in other places, so why not here? I know it’s money but at the end of the day it’s the heart of our community. The children are devastated.”

The council is proposing that all children at Sherburn Primary School are taught at the building in Sherburn Village from the start of the next academic year.

The council says pupil number reductions means that there is significant pressure on the school budget, which has already meant a reduction in staff, and education on both sites is becoming financially unviable.

It also says that because different year groups are being taught together at Sherburn Hill, it is having an impact on results for children.

Alison Curtis, whose granddaughter is a pupil, said: “Sherburn Hill and Sherburn Village have always been separate villages and everyone is feeling like the council is trying to make them into one.

“Everyone is angry because everything seems to be in Sherburn Village.

“We’ve lost the community centre, two pubs, the club. That school is the hub of the community and if it’s taken away then there is nothing.

“As a village we feel very bitter because we feel we have become a dumping ground.

"We’ve lived in Sherburn Hill all our lives. Our grandparents and great grandparents all worked at the pit. It used to be a fantastic community and over the last few years we’ve seen it go downhill.”

Mum Sally-Anne Brown said: “We can’t go down without a fight. We’ll be on the school roof if it comes to it.

“We feel like we’re being systematically stripped of everything. We’re a big enough village to have a school.”

Phil Hodgson, the council’s interim head of education, said: “Following a review of arrangements at Sherburn Primary School, we have agreed that consultation should take place on a proposal to close its Sherburn Hill site.

"Should the proposal be agreed, the school’s two sites would amalgamate at its centrally located Sherburn Village building.

"Pupil numbers at the school have decreased with the Sherburn Hill site having only 49 children at present.

"We believe that bringing all staff and children together on the Sherburn Village site would improve educational outcomes and create a more financially viable school.

“While we initially planned to carry out consultation in September, we agreed to delay the process at the request of the school’s leadership.

"We are currently in discussions with governors over when the consultation will take place and will announce this as soon as we can.

“We’d like to assure everyone with an interest in the school’s future that they will be given the chance to have their say before a final decision is made.”