PUPILS from across Lewes came out to demonstrate support for their schools amid plans for a Multi Academy Trust.

As Christmas shoppers looked on, the children held a sweet protest - holding up candy canes against the cuts.

Save Lewes Schools claims damaging budget reductions have prompted six local schools to consider forming a Multi Academy Trust.

The campaign believes a MAT is not the answer and will ruin the distinctive character of the schools.

However, Tony Smith, head at Lewes Priory, insists no final decision has been made.

He has told The Argus that much research has been done.

He said schools can no longer rely on East Sussex Council as in the past because it is under pressure financially.

Rudy, who is five and a pupil at Western Road, said, “I love my school.

“I don’t want it to change.”

Plans are being considered to turn Lewes Priory, Southover CE Primary, Western Road Community Primary, South Malling CE Primary, Wallands Community Primary and Iford & Kingston CE Primary schools into a MAT.

Save Lewes Schools wants to help teachers find a better way to secure more funding for schools in the area.

Parents have held several meetings with school leaders in recent weeks and a delegation from Save Lewes Schools will meet Maria Caulfield MP in January to discuss their concerns.

MATs have been growing across the country.

It’s essentially where a group of schools come together.

They share best practice and many eventually have shared roles.

This often saves money but means the schools can work together in a better way.