More than 6,000 people have signed petitions opposing the proposed closure of South Shields School.
South Tyneside Council issued a statutory notice for the closure of the school on Nevinson Avenue after it failed to find an academy sponsor.
The secondary school is facing the prospect of closure on August 31, 2020.
While the council received 129 requests for pupil transfers to other schools following the changes, a campaign has been launched to keep the school open.
On Thursday, two ‘Save South Shields School’ petitions were submitted at a full council meeting at South Shields Town Hall, with a total of 6,630 signatures.
This included an online petition with 2,738 signatures – 984 from people living in South Tyneside – and a physical petition with 3,892 signatures.
The council’s mayor, Coun Ken Stephenson added the petitions were not up for debate at the meeting and would be referred to council officers for consideration.
The move to take South Shields School out of local authority control was triggered after it received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted last year.
It is understood that its failure to attract an academy sponsor was linked to falling pupil numbers which had an impact on the long-term viability of the school.
In a statement, head teacher of South Shields School , Allie Denholm, praised the “humbling level of support” from parents and carers.
“It has been extremely motivating for everyone connected to the school and has been a tremendous support for all staff here,” she said.
“I have absolute faith in the resilience of our team who will continue to be wholly professional and also provide a positive support system for the students through this challenging period of the school’s history.
“I want to reassure everyone involved that myself and my incredible team of teaching and support staff here at South Shields School will continue to provide the highest level of care and education to our students.
“Our Year 10 and 11 students have made rapid improvements since the start of the school year.
“That level of dedication from our students has been matched with a humbling level of support from parents and carers.
“As always, we remain fully committed to the wellbeing and success of every student here.”
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman added: “The petitions will be considered through the appropriate channels as per the council’s constitution.”
The latest consultation on the school proposals is due to last four weeks, ending on December 19, during which anyone can submit comments.
Following this, education rules mean the council has two months to make a decision on the school’s future, which is expected to be done when cabinet meets on January 23.
The hard copy petition presented to council reads:
“Save our school. The local authority plan on closing this school down and based on low pupil numbers, however other schools within South Tyneside have less pupils than (sic) South Shields School.
“The school have just received the best grades ever and is the second best school in South Tyneside for GCSE results.
The impact this would have not only on the children of South Shields School but also other schools within South Tyneside would be increased (sic) class sizes, less one to one support, teachers would end up over worked and this could increase staff sickness levels which in turn would mean an increase in supply teachers and a negative impact on our children’s education.
“Remember pupil numbers are set to rise if we close South Shields School. Where will these extra children go.”
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