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Pupils in picnic protest outside meeting to determine Burnholme Community College’s future
PUPILS from a York secondary school under threat of closure will hold a silent protest outside a meeting which will decide its fate tomorrow.
Councillors are being asked to back plans to shut Burnholme Community College because of falling numbers at a meeting at Burnholme Social Club tomorrow night.
Only 40 students have applied to join the school in September, leaving it with a roll of only 270.
City of York Council said running costs would be at least £580,000 a year, with every other York secondary school subsidising it by between £60,000 and £70,000.
When school finishes tomorrow, pupils from Burnholme will be walking across the road to the social club ahead of the council meeting and holding a “picnic” outside.
Dawn Leatt, chairman of Burnholme Parents Group, said they had set out the case for keeping the school open in a 17-page document which had been sent to councillors ahead of the meeting.
She said: “Pupils from the school will be staging a silent protest aimed at the councillors who will be inside the building deciding on the future of Burnholme Community College.
“Councillors will have to walk past a sea of children, all unhappy, none of them speaking. Pupils at the school say they have not been given a chance to give their opinion about the future of their school at the meeting and they are unhappy that no-one has asked them what they think.”
As The Press reported last week, the council’s cabinet has been recommended to approve issuing public notices proposing the closure of Burnholme which would be followed by a six-week period to allow representations before full council makes a final decision.
If Burnholme closes, current Year 9 to 11 students would complete their studies there while Year 7 and 8 students would move to new schools in 2013 and 2014. Those living more than two miles from their new school would get free transport.
The school’s catchment area would be merged with that of Archbishop Holgate’s CE School’s. Consultation would be held over the future of the Burnholme site. The council said it wanted to maintain community facilities.