Parents attended a meeting about proposals to close a struggling secondary school last night.

Council officials said the rain and winds may have kept a lot of people away from discussing the future of East Brighton College of Media Arts (Comart).

Liz Wylie, assistant director in the children, families and schools department at the city council, said: "We did advertise the meeting on a local network of noticeboards.

"But as for the weather, I didn't arrange the rain and it couldn't have come at a worse time to discourage people from coming."

Those that did voiced their fears about children being moved to other schools and the impact on their education.

Simone Stead, who has two sons at the school and a daughter at another secondary in Brighton, said: "My children who go here have aced their maths exams at key stage three and my elder son is doing really well.

"I have a daughter at another secondary which is supposedly better but she is failing.

"I am going to have a daughter who I am struggling to get to school everyday whereas my 14-year-old boy has never missed a day's school."

Mrs Wylie responded: "It's not just your testimony but other parents have given testimony to how well their children have done here."

A series of meetings are being held to allow parents and residents of Whitehawk to discuss plans to shut the college.

Comart is under threat because falling pupil numbers no longer make the school financially viable and for several years it has been operating at a deficit.

Poor GCSE results and high truancy rates also mean the school could be put back into special measures when it is inspected by Ofsted officials early next year and there are real fears if this happens it would be difficult to justify keeping it open.

Mrs Wylie said: "We are saying this is the conclusion officers have reached and there needs to be a public consultation on this."

Education director David Hawker added: "We got to this point after a number of months of deliberation, which started at the beginning of this year when we took stock of the number of pupils coming into Comart, the budget position that created and the likelihood of us being able to give a high-quality education.

"We came to the conclusion we needed to have a fundamental look at the future of Comart."

Education officials considered several options before coming up with the closure proposal.

They looked at other small secondary schools but decided Comart could not be run in the same way because it would not be financially viable.

They also looked at plans for an all through school for ages three to 19 but decided the buildings would not be suitable for younger children.

Parents who were asked said they were concerned about bullying and the social impact of young children mixing with older ones.

Mr Hawker said: "The conclusion the officers reluctantly came to was closing the school in 2005 was the only remaining option."

Further meetings on the school's future are being held over the next month.

The consultation process will finish at the end of October.