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EDUCATION bosses are facing a huge backlash from parents over the closure threat hanging over 10 primary schools.

Parents have launched a campaign to fight a review of Skelmersdale's schools which could see a mass closure programme with four new super schools to replace them.

Thousands of residents attended four public meetings in the past month urging Lancashire education authority to have a rethink.

Education and archdioscean leaders say drastic measures are needed because pupils numbers at all community and Catholic schools are falling across the town.

But parents have promised to fight to save seven threatened community schools - Delphside, Fairlie, Little Digmoor,Elmers Green,Park County,Clough Fold and Brookfield.

The plan is to merge all seven into three super schools at Brookfield, Hillside and Clough Fold.

Last week three Catholic schools were also earmarked to be merged into one. They are St Mark's,St Matthew's andSt Luke's.

The closures are earmarked for 2006/ 2007 and will see nearly 1,400 unfilled places being slashed with current pupils moved.

Parents want the council to keep all 10 schools open.

Parent Sean Flanagan, 40,moved into the area so his three young children could attend Delphside where his wife Pauline, 37, went as a child.

He said: ``If the mergers go ahead we would end up with big class sizes and mixed age classes.

``We are fighting to keep the schools as they are.

``I think the education authority are wrong, they have not taken into account how this will affect the children.

``The children love the school,it has got a really good atmosphere.

``It is completely unreasonable to ask three to 11-year-olds to walk 20 minutes before they even arrive at school.

``Not only that, they will have to get used to a whole new set of teachers and different children.''

Lancashire county councillor Geoff Roberts said he welcomed any suggestions from parents and said no final decision would be made until after a full public consultation.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2003
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