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Parents and pupils protest at closure of Castle Hall school in Mirfield

CONCERNED parents and children will join hands around their school in protest against its closure.

CONCERNED parents and children will join hands around their school in protest against its closure.

The group aim to increase pressure on Kirklees Cabinet to scrap plans to close Castle Hall School in Mirfield.

The Council is due to post statutory notices of closure on the Richard Thorpe Avenue school on June 19.

The same day members of the community will hold hands in a chain around the school against the controversial plans.

Parent Karen Rowling said: “It’s symbolic – like giving the school a great big hug.

“But it’s also a way of saying ‘hands off our school’.”

Mrs Rowling has a daughter in Year 7 at Castle Hall who has grown in confidence and is doing well in her exams.

Mrs Rowling added: “We can win this, but to do so we need the support of the whole community.

“We have many public events and demonstrations planned, the more people that come out in support, the stronger we become.”

Mrs Rowling and other parents founded the Retain Education at Castle Hall (REACH) campaign against the move.

The public are invited to the protest on the school’s field on June 19 at 3.30pm.

Alan Wilkinson, who has two daughters at the school, said: “During the first consultation, the community rallied together, showing a united front in support of retaining two excellent secondary schools in Mirfield.

“This time round we will be stronger, louder and even better organised. We will take this fight all the way.”

The event marks the start of a six-week period in which local residents can object to the proposals.

Mr Wilkinson added: “It’s about time that the Kirklees officers and cabinet start to listen to the people of Mirfield and Ravensthorpe, and understand that there is massive public condemnation for their plans for the future of education in Mirfield.”

As well as this event, REACH plans to march from the Mirfield school to Oldgate House and to do a bike ride from the classrooms to Whitehall.

They have also set up a website to inform local people about future protest plans.

The Castle Hall closure was proposed last year as part of Kirklees Council’s £200m schools plan for north Kirklees.

With the closure of Castle Hall, the Council plan to expand Mirfield Free Grammar.

Council officials have justified the proposal by saying the number of 11 to 16-year-olds in the town will drop from 1,000 in 2007-8 to 800 by 2018.

For more information see www.savecastlehall.co.uk

 

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