Hundreds attend meeting to discuss possible closure of Mablethorpe’s sole secondary school

More than 200 people attended a public meeting to start a fight to save Mablethorpe's only secondary school.

More than 200 people attended a public meeting to start a fight to save Mablethorpe's only secondary school.

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Campaigners have set up a steering group to begin a fight to save Mablethorpe’s only secondary school described as the “lifeblood” of the town.

More than 200 people desperate to save Monks Dyke Tennyson College attended an emergency public meeting on Monday after it emerged the school had been earmarked for closure due to a £1.4million deficit.

The announcement came as a shock and has raised concerns about Mablethorpe being downgraded from a town to a village, if the closure goes ahead.

Coun Tony Howard, a major driving force behind the fight, said: “The school in Mablethorpe is a lifeblood for the town - not just facts and figures, it will affect the whole town, severely affecting the housing market and local businesses.

“After speaking to a colleague at East Lindsey District Council planning - the town would be reclassified as a large village if the school should close and would be the only village I know of with a town council.

“When the railways closed, this was a blow that the town never recovered from, this would have the same effect.

“It’s always been a case of promises, promises, promises not being delivered and this is a sorry state of affairs.”

Lincolnshire County Council children’s services director Debbie Barnes told the meeting, at The Dunes Complex, the school was only half full - and faced “real challenges” over funding.

She said: “We have a number of real challenges and key issues which include falling pupil numbers, costs and the quality of education for the students.”

Out of the 200 year-seven places for this year, the school has only 64 pupils - and overall, MDTC is only half full.

Schools are funded based on pupil numbers so this means MDTC is only getting half of its allocated cash.

MDTC headteacher Mike Eyre, chair of governors Rachel Tickhill, residents, parents, pupils, current and ex-teachers, the mayor, councillors and future pupils were all present at the meeting.

Residents raised concerns about travel implications for children who would have to move to a school out of town and the fact that the Mablethorpe site is up for closure and not Louth - which has three secondary schools.

The consultation process will begin in September and a final decision on the closure is set to be made in January 2016.

Following the official meeting, residents stayed behind to address further concerns together and a steering group was formed to begin a campaign to fight the possible closure of the school.

If you would like to get involved with the campaign search for ‘Save Tennyson School’on Facebook.

Or you can e-mail Coun Howard at thetonyhoward@gmail.com.