'It should not be the only option' - MP Emma Lewell-Buck joins fight against closure of South Shields School

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has hailed the possible closure of a school in her town as "an insult" to teachers, pupils and parents who have been working hard.

Attending a protest in the town today, the MP called on people across the borough to join the fight to save South Shields School, which is threatened by closure.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mrs Lewell-Buck revealed that she had been contacted by "thousands" of parents, pupils and staff about the school's future - and that she was going to continue standing up for those affected by its potential closure.

South Shields School was rated as "inadequate" following its most recent Ofsted inspection in October last year. By law, South Tyneside Council cannot maintain a school rated "inadequate".

Read more: Parents and teachers team up in fight to save South Shields School from closure

Over the summer, it was announced that the school may face closure after failing to find a sponsor to convert it into an academy.

A protest against the closure of South Shields School took place today.

A protest against the closure of South Shields School took place today.

South Tyneside Council then launched a consultation, appealing to pupils, parents, staff and the wider community to share their views on why it should remain open.

In August, the school celebrated a huge leap of success in its GCSE results, with grades in core subjects rising by 22% on the previous year.

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: "It cannot be right and it should not be the only option that closure is being looked at when you have a school that has its best GCSE results that it's ever had and that Ofsted has said is moving in the right direction and improving.

"What an insult to those staff and the headteacher and all those pupils who have pride in their school and have worked hard to get their school to that improvement level to now be told, 'the only option for you is your school's gonna close'."

Parents and children took to the town centre to protest the school's closure.

Parents and children took to the town centre to protest the school's closure.

The South Shields MP is also calling for more information to be provided by the council, so the community can understand the wider impact the school's closure could have on the borough.

She went on to thank everyone who attended the protest in the town centre , despite the wet weekend weather.

Related content: Head teacher's statement on D-day for under-threat South Shields School

She added: "Days like today have been amazing.

"Get behind the campaign because if this is made easy, the closure of this school, your school could be next."

No changes will be made to South Shields School during the current academic year 2018/2019.

The first stage of a consultation on the school's future was launched by South Tyneside Council on September 20, and will run until November 2.

Its aim is to seek the views of those affected, with questionnaires made available at previous meetings held for parents and carers.

More on South Shields School: Find out what happened at a consultation meeting here

All answers to the questionnaires should be returned by November 2 to School Admissions, South Shields Consultation, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall and Civic Offices, South Shields, NE33 2RL. They can also be emailed to southshieldsconsultation@southtyneside.gov.uk.

The responses to this first stage of consultation will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on November 14, before a decision is made on the next stage of action.

*Parents and pupils are advised to call the council's dedicated number 0191 4247847 for more information and support.

*For more information, visit the council website here.