PARENTS have organised a protest after a primary school was told it may have to slash its admission number for students in half by 2023.

Carden School in County Oak Avenue, Brighton, will have to reduce numbers from two classes of reception children from 60, down to 30 by September 2023, if proposed plans go ahead.

The reduction in admissions is required due to a falling birth rate in the city, which would lead to classes not being filled in schools.

Brighton and Hove City Council forecasted 325 spare places this September, rising to 744 by 2024, if they were to do nothing.

This would increase the risk of the government stepping in and potentially closing an entire school to meet targets, if the council did not act.

But parents at Carden School say they do not think the decision to half the school's numbers is the “right choice” due to having a stable number of students in the last few years and the diverse community Carden School serves, adding that they want it to be “used to its best potential.”

Abby Kinslow, whose five year old son, Gabriel, attends the school, said parents will make their voices heard during the six week consultation process, which is currently ongoing.

The mother-of-three said: “We are not going to accept this decision quietly. So we have organised a protest, we will have all the children in the school, alumni in the school are coming from Patcham High School and other places.

The Argus: Some parents are worried siblings will be split from each other with the new changeSome parents are worried siblings will be split from each other with the new change

“We have invited everyone we can think of to march down from the school to the park. We will be singing songs, holding banners and saying we don’t think this decision is right. We are encouraging the local authority to think again and not go through with it.”

The protestors are hoping for hundreds to turn out to the march, which will be from 3.15pm on Wednesday, November 24, from the school to Carden Park.

Abby added: “To be fair to them, they are struggling. The council don’t want to reduce schools and don’t want to close any schools, but they have to do something because of the falling birth rate in Brighton.

“That is why we are protesting as loudly as we can. We understand they have to do something, but we don’t think this is the right choice."

Alistair McNair, Conservative councillor for Patcham and a governor at Carden School, said the school has a “special case” and should not have forms reduced.

He said: “I think with Carden Primary, because it is quite an isolated school, because it serves a distinct community, it looks after children with special needs who have speech and language issues. Also it has a distinct communities like travellers and just people who might find it harder to move elsewhere.

The Argus: Gabriel with some classmates Gabriel with some classmates

“I think Carden has a special case and we want to stay a two form school, its number aren’t falling. It has stayed at 45 students, which is one and a half forms for years.”

Councillor Sarah Nield of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, said the consultation gives people a chance to share their “views” and “suggest alternative options”.

She added: “The proposals for the seven schools are in no way a reflection of the quality of education that they provide pupils.

“Locally and nationally we are facing a very serious problem with falling numbers of children set to start school in the next few years.

The consultation can be found on the council's website.

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