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COUNCIL staff visiting a school threatened with closure were greeted with a silent protest by pupils today (Oct 10).

Greenwich Council is consulting on closing Blackheath Bluecoat due to falling pupil numbers and an increasing financial deficit.

On a visit today, the council's director of children's services Gillian Palmer was met by pupils holding up banners and posters against the closure.

The protest followed an extended citizenship class last week focused on saving the school.

During the day they painted banners, penned poems about the closure and learned about the powers of councils and peaceful protest. News Shopper: Mercy Adegunwa-Peace age 13 and Janine Mugira age 12.

Charnelle Maytil, 13, said: “It's important because our voices haven't really been heard.

“We're all family here but now everyone's going to be scattered in different schools.”

If the school is axed, a phased closure would begin at the end of the school year.

Art and design teacher Diana Lowe, who has worked at Bluecoat for 22 years, told News Shopper: “People are devastated by it because they love working here.”

She said: “We're not going to take this lying down. We'll do everything in our power to show this is a school worth saving.”

Prospective parents who put Bluecoat as their first choice will not be penalised on their second choice if closure does happen, the school says.

Youngsters have also set up an online petition signed by more than 450 people at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18101