CHILDREN and parents at a city centre nursery and infant school which faces the axe took to the streets of Chester in protest yesterday.
Waving placards and donning Tshirts bearing the message 'Support St Paul's', they walked from Boughton St Paul's Nursery and Infants School to County Hall to make their views known on the planned closure.
Earlier this month county councillors agreed to take the proposal to close Boughton St Paul's to formal consultation as part of the Transforming Learning Communities re-view which aims to cut surplus places.
Boughton St Paul's has 62 pupils on the roll and capacity for 81 but it was described as a 'good school which embodies the principles of Every Child Matters very well' in an Ofsted report carried out in December.
Parents, teachers and governors are not convinced their children matter enough to Cheshire County Council.
Sue Churchill, chairman of governors, said: 'We are the only city centre school and if they close us they'll never be able to get another site like this again.'
As an alternative to closure, the school has proposed becoming a primary school with a half-form entry which would require the construction of an additional classroom.
Referring to the number of developments in the area around the school, Sara Barnsley, vice-chairman of governors, said: 'Look where it is. That has got to be in their minds.
'We're in the heart of the community, the school has been here for centuries offering good schooling to generations of children.'
Helen Williams, the mother of three children who have attended the school, said: 'I live in Upton and have travelled across town for nine years to bring my children to this school because they get a unique education h e re.
'My children are able to go swimming, they can walk into town and visit the cathedral. They can get on a train and visit Liverpool. The art here is amazing and it is a very caring school.'
If the school was to close the pupils would be likely to be absorbed at Cherry Grove Primary School.
Parent Sam Read, who attended the school along with her brothers and sisters, said: 'I want my children to continue going in the future.'
Jaymes Turner has two children at the school and one he hopes will start next year. He said: 'Our eldest, Jayke, has just left the school. We cannot begin to express the start to his education that Boughton St Paul's has given him and continues to give our other children.'