Shropshire

Stiperstones School 'human SOS' hillside demonstration

Pupils, teachers and parents have staged a hillside protest in Shropshire to save their village primary school from closure.

Children formed a human SOS on the side of a hill near Stiperstones School to demonstrate against the plans.

Parents are being urged to write to Shropshire Council to object to proposals to close the school along with eight others across the county.

Pupils have also recorded a protest song which has been posted on YouTube.

Sue Cooke, acting head teacher, said: "The whole village is behind us, everybody is fighting to save the school.

"It's a bit of a publicity stunt but we wanted everybody to see how strongly we felt about it."

She added the village had already lost its post office and a number of bus services so the proposed closure of the school, which is 139 years old, felt like "another knock" for rural life.

About 30 children took part in the protest.

Image caption Shropshire Council plans to close nine schools

But David Taylor, director of children's services at Shropshire Council, said some closures were necessary to prevent more happening.

He said: "The trouble is if we don't do anything about this then I think it's much more likely many more schools would close."

He added the council had lost more than £10m from the schools budget over the last five years.

On 28 February public consultation began which will run for six weeks.

Public meetings will also be held at each of the schools.

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