ISLE of Wight Council bosses have approved the closure of All Saints Primary School in Freshwater.

Cabinet members unanimously supported closing the school in August at last night's (Thursday) meeting.

The move is aimed at reducing the number of surplus primary school paces in the West Wight — but it will only go ahead if Yarmouth Primary School governors agree to relocate their school to the All Saints site.

A public consultation on the plans, carried out by the Yarmouth governing body, closes today (Friday), and a decision is due to be made on Monday.

The council said it was protecting the future of long-term, sustainable education in the West Wight.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Paul Brading, cabinet member for children's services, said it was the right decision to tackle the surplus of school places.

He said: "Whenever you are looking at closing a school, it's never going to be popular with everybody. It's about following a process, and it's about the children.

"It is not about how much money we have got — it is about looking at what is right for the children. It's about taking into consideration all of the comments, but ultimately we have to make a decision.

"If it is done for the right reasons, then I think it is the right decision to make."

The decision proved unpopular with parents and school supporters. Those who attended the meeting asked how the council would support local businesses following a loss of trade once the school had closed, and whether the council would be prepared to fight any possible legal action.

Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, agreed the decision was the right one for the future.

He said: "There are a number of things that are important here and I was really pleased everyone understood it is the children who are important.

"Obviously, we wait to see what the governors decide on Monday but if they take a particular course of action we can then work together with the community to give West Wight what it really needs, which is that future for young people."

The council is confident it will secure a multi-million pound funding package from the Department for Education to rebuild the All Saints site — described as the biggest investment education in the West Wight has ever seen.

Cllr Brading said: "I am fantastically excited. I have seen schools on the Island rebuilt in the last twelve months, including Cowes Primary School, and it looks absolutely fantastic.

"I am also pleased that what was going to be a £1.5 million refurbishment is now up to £5.5 million for a 95 per cent rebuild, keeping the front facade of the building as it is and building out the back.

"The question is what the investment will look like through the fine tune of the design — it is what will happen, rather than will it happen."