HUNDREDS of people turned out for a protest this afternoon to support a school facing a potential cut to admission numbers.

Parents, teachers and pupils all joined a march from Carden School in County Oak Avenue, Brighton, to Carden Park in what was labelled an “emotional” demonstration due to the strength of feeling from the community.

They are angry about Brighton and Hove City Council's plan to cut admission numbers at seven schools in the city.

The move has been prompted by a falling birth rate, which would lead to classes not being filled.

Carden Primary School and Queen’s Park School are the only schools that will have to reduce numbers by half, from 60 down to 30, from September 2023.

Parents at Carden Primary School say this is not the “right choice” due to the diverse community the school serves, coupled with its recent good Ofsted report.

As the marchers reached the park, they sang Pink Floyd’s hit song Another Brick In The Wall, replacing the lyrics with “hey LA! Leave us kids alone”.

The crowd could also be heard chanting “no cuts to Carden. Keep Carden thriving!”. Many people played instruments and blew whistles in support of the school.

The Argus: The crowd gathered at Carden Park in Hollingbury, near the schoolThe crowd gathered at Carden Park in Hollingbury, near the school

Abby Kinslow, one of the many parents who organised the march, said the protest reiterated the “strength of feeling” in the community for the school to remain as two-form entry.

The mother-of-three said: “It was actually quite emotional, I welled up a little bit just knowing that we’re all in this together. We all feel the same way, that we want to make our voices heard and we are capable of doing that.

“Everybody loves their school, or at least most people do but I think the strength of feeling here is immense because it’s so important in the community. It really is the beating heart of Hollingbury. The Old Boat Community Centre and Carden School are the two places where people gather.

“I’m surprised by how many parents have played such a key part. It shows how much people care and a WhatsApp group of about 50 different people have been really active.”

The Argus: Councillors Alistair McNair and Anne Meadows showed their support Councillors Alistair McNair and Anne Meadows showed their support

Alistair McNair and Anne Meadows, councillors for Patcham and Hollingbury, showed their support for the march and said they were not surprised at the strength of feeling for a “great community school”.

Cllr Meadows said: “I think it’s great to see the local community come together with such passion for something they have such high regard for.

“It’s a testament to the school, it’s beggars belief that they would cut the admissions of a school that is doing so well.”

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