It must be equal: WHILE there will be nothing that can be done to prevent the closure of schools, we feel that the possible merger of Hurworth and Eastbourne should not be done at the cost of Eastbourne.

We disagree that the new school should be called Hurworth and feel that a new name would be appropriate so as not to make one better than the other.

We feel strongly that all teachers should be treated on merit over possible jobs and not as quoted "But, for Eastbourne teachers there may be job losses". Will there be job losses for Hurworth staff?

The children that are at Eastbourne now with some good teachers, need to remain positive. Our fear as parents is that the good teachers at Eastbourne will find more permanent positions leaving the remaining children at a disadvantage yet again.

While Eastbourne does have problems, so do other schools - but the constant bad publicity reflects on the school and disheartens pupils, staff and parents.

If a merger is to go ahead it needs to be done on an equal footing or those from Eastbourne will wrongly be made to feel inferior.

Good luck to everyone at Eastbourne and here's hoping the good, dedicated staff and pupils show Hurworth that we are as good as them - and not people to look down on. - D and P Pattison (parents of a pupil at Eastbourne), Darlington.

Fighting talk

AFTER leaving Hurworth parish council meeting I would like it to be known of the overwhelming feeling against the closure of our comprehensive school.

As a 31-year-old father of two toddlers, I was absolutely shell shocked by the closure announcement.

I have always taken comfort in having a settled family in a village with an outstanding school where my two girls would be given a chance to achieve whatever is in their ability.

I am a former pupil of Eastbourne School and I am not suggesting they do not have issues that are not to be addressed, but why should such a dramatic and risky decision be made that will have a detrimental effect on Hurworth pupils be taken in the first place? Is it to do with land value?

Having moved to the village three years ago to give my children a better chance of a good education, am I to move again?

Let the council education department know that they have got one big fight on their hands. There were a lot of angry parents, grandparents, parish councillors and residents at that meeting. If they think they can rip the heart out of the village they are sadly mistaken. Do they forget it is us who give them their income and jobs?

I hope that this letter is one of many you receive from people expressing their anger at this proposed closure. Please let the council know we will not give up. - George Adams, Hurworth.

Who decided what?

THE council states it will not be closing Hurworth, it will be moving the school to a new, modern building on the outskirts of Darlington.

The school will be called Hurworth School. This is adding insult to injury. Have the council really thought things through?

Personally I think not! Firstly they state that they currently have to transport 60 per cent of the pupils to Hurworth. Well logic would state that by moving the school to the outskirts of town, not only would they have to transport the pupils from Hurworth, and Middleton St George, they would also have to transport the pupils from town, consequently increasing transportation from 60 per cent to 100 per cent. Surely this is an increase in costs and a massive disruption to all families involved?

Secondly, the proposed site is near Cummins. Who thought about building a school near industrial buildings? The site will also be near Orange. There is enough controversy about mobile phone masts near schools, is this a suitable site? Again, I think not!

Has the council thought about the increase in traffic congestion? The top of Yarm Road is bad now. By increasing the traffic, surely this would get worse. - Nicola Bellwood, Hurworth.

Devastating news

I WAS devastated to hear the news that Hurworth School would be closing. This is the best school in town. How can the education department take that risk?

They say the school needs modernising, but why? It is fine, so what if the corridors are small?

In private schools there are small classes and their results are excellent. That shows it works. If it moves to a new site, with big classes, the teachers' time will be taken up with badly-behaved children.

I am a former pupil of Eastbourne School. That is why I don't want my children going there. I was one of the lucky ones.

I went up to the school about ten years ago advising people on a career in hairdressing. I was appalled, it was like a prison. It had cameras everywhere. Pupils shouted at teachers.

I feel sick to my stomach for the future education of my children. - L Adams, Hurworth.