PARENTS of pupils at an at-risk Isle of Wight primary school are asking for help to save it from closure. 

Chillerton and Rookley Primary School's future has been placed under threat after only 34 of a potential 91 places were taken, with no first-preference applications received for the 2021/22 academic year.

In a last-ditch bid to secure the school's future, parents are now asking for the public to submit views to the council as part of a Save Our School campaign started on Monday February 22.

How the County Press first reported the closure plan.

A letter drafted to the IW Council from a parent of one pupil said: "I am writing in response to the proposed closure of Chillerton and Rookley Primary School. 

"If the closure is due to falling pupil numbers then surely this is a mistake. Children were moved from the school in order to comply with social distancing measures, which one would hope are not permanent.

"The last meeting I attended at the school, with (principal) Mr Snow and (chair of governors) Di Barker present, was informative and we spoke about needing more pupils at the school.

Isle of Wight County Press: Consultation over primary's future after falling numbers and rising deficitConsultation over primary's future after falling numbers and rising deficit

"I suggested flexi schooling would bring in a lot more children and Di Barker agreed this would be potentially a good idea."

Transitioning from full-time to 'flexi-school' would mean children attending school for part of the week, and learning at home for the rest of it.

Chillerton and Rookley recorded an estimated budget deficit of around £101,000 for 2020/21, forecast to grow to £225,000 by 2023 due to a decline in pupil numbers.

In a letter to the Isle of Wight Council, governors said amalgamating Chillerton and Rookley Primary School with its sister school at Godshill would "reduce the risk of both schools having to close due to budget constraints and falling pupil numbers."

However, some parents feel it would be difficult for their children to travel to Godshill on a daily basis.

Keith Herbert, spokesperson for the Save Our School campaign, said: "Parents were reassured a number of times, in writing, by the executive head teacher there were no plans to close the school — this was not true. 

"The pupil numbers appear to have been manipulated by the Stenbury Federation over time to favour closure."

Regarding the reduced intake for 2021/22 he added: "There are no new pupils joining because there are currently no pre-school or reception classes on site.

"Our argument is that if the school was effectively run and invested in, it would certainly be viable and have the ability to attract sufficient pupil numbers as it has previously done."

A letter sent to parents on behalf of Chillerton and Rookley Primary on July 3, 2020 had categorically refuted rumour of closures, stating: "There are NO plans to close Chillerton and Rookley Primary School."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Neither the Stenbury Federation or Mark Snow have issued a response to the matter, despite both being approached by the County Press.

Those wishing to add their voice to the discussion can do so by emailing the Isle of Wight Council at

A deadline of March 19 has been set for those wanting to submit their views and comments on the matter.