PARENTS are planning a protest to show their opposition to plans to close their village’s primary school site.

Durham County Council is consulting on plans to close the primary school site in Sherburn Hill at the end of this academic year, with its pupils moving to Sherburn Village from September.

Parents are invited to the school for a meeting next week but are planning to make their views known by staging a playground protest.

Alison Curtis, whose granddaughter is a pupil, said: “We think the decision has probably been made but we are not standing back and letting it happen.

“People are very angry. Nobody wants it. We all want to see the school stay open.”

She added: “We’ve lost so much over the years on the hill. We feel like the council is trying to make Sherburn Hill and Sherburn Village into one village and we’re not. We’re two separate villages but we don’t get money spent at all up here.

“We feel if we lose this little school we’ve lost the community. It will be like the heart has been ripped out. People are very bitter about it.”

Sherburn Hill and Sherburn Village primary schools merged in 2015 to create Sherburn Primary School, which has 164 pupils, of which 45 are taught on the hill.

The council is proposing all pupils are taught in Sherburn Village from September.

Sheila Palmerley, strategic manager for school places, said: “Since the two schools amalgamated in September 2015 pupil numbers have reduced more than expected, putting significant pressure on the school budget, so maintaining two sites is not in the best interests of the pupils and staff, nor is it likely to be sustainable in the long term.

“The Sherburn Hill site has just 45 pupils with classes containing children from more than two year groups – which could impact on education outcomes for some pupils.”

Meetings take place at Sherburn Hill school on Tuesday and at Sherburn Village school on Wednesday, at 5.45pm. MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, who has voiced concern over the proposal, has also arranged a meeting, in the Sherburn Hill chapel on Thursday at 5pm.