HUNDREDS of parents and teachers have railed against “divisive” plans to close three schools and move another six miles away.

West Sussex County Council has consulted residents on whether it should close a number of primary schools across the county.

Council officers have recommended the closure of Clapham and Patching Primary in Worthing, Stedham Primary near Midhurst, and Rumboldswhyke Infant in Chichester.

Their report also endorses the idea of moving Warninglid Primary six miles away to Pease Pottage, near Crawley.

Though governors of Clapham and Patching claim “no change is not an option” for the school, council officers said no option was left but to close the school as two academy trusts had rejected the idea of taking it over.

But one resident accused the council’s plans as being “too focused on money rather than focusing on the needs of the children”.

And in a survey of parents, children, and residents, only 14 per cent of respondents backed the closure of the school.

Meanwhile, the governors of Stedham Primary have remained adamant the school does not need to change.

But council officers believe enough spaces can be created at school in nearby Midhurst and Easebourne to accommodate pupils if the school closes.

One angry resident said closing the school would “take away the heart” of Stedham’s community.

But another said there were not enough children in the village to keep the school open.

Almost eight in ten respondents to the survey said no change was needed at the school.

Controversy has surrounded the county council’s planned closure of Rumboldswhyke Primary, which was rated inadequate by Ofsted last year.

Though council officers have recommended it be closed, 90 per cent of parents, teachers, and residents responding to the survey believed the school should become an academy, the only other option on the consultation.

Some shared their frustration at the lack of choice given to parents.

“WSCC should hang its head in shame,” said one.

“The soul of Chichester has long gone. Now to propose shutting down this most fantastic school is incomprehensible.”