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Pupil 'devastated' as St Bees closes its doors

St Bees. Credit: ITV Border

As pupils at St Bees School, in West Cumbria, leave today, they know that the doors could be closing for good.

The school's governors announced it would be closing earlier on this year, because of falling pupil numbers.

A project team has been set up to analyse the options, and they say the school could re-open in 2017.

But it's been a difficult morning for many of the pupils there:

I'm completely devastated. It's been a really hard morning."

– Lydia Tuck, Pupil

St Bees School to close its doors on 'saddest day'

St Bees School. Credit: ITV Border

St Bees School will close this afternoon, following a lengthy battle between governors and people campaigning against the decision.

In March, the governors announced the 432-year-old school would have to close because of falling pupil numbers.

The Save St Bees Campaign was set up to reverse the decision, and a project team was then formed to look at the options.

They say the school could re-open in 2017, in a different form.

But today, the school's doors will close, and Save St Bees say it's "the saddest day in the 432-year history":

This is the saddest day in the 432 year history of our school. Many will have to look to themselves and live with what has happened.

Those who were entrusted with being guardians of our school and our children have failed miserably. They continue to hide from the shame.

Let them. We will learn from their failings. In going forward we will make sure when our school reopens, it will be run in an open and transparent way - engaging with all of its stakeholders.

For the sake of our children, today we are celebrating a school that for years brought great joy and harmony to pupils, parents, staff and the local community.

Someday soon, we will once again be celebrating our school's achievements and its magnificent pupils."

– Save St Bees Campaign

The school has 300 pupils, and employs 130 staff.

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St Bees school likely to remain closed until 2017

Credit: ITV Border

A project team set up to look at options for St Bees School in West Cumbria say it could reopen in 2017.

The independent school closes to pupils on Friday because of falling student numbers.

Governors had originally hoped it would reopen next year, but that now looks unlikely.

Anthony Fox is leading the project team and told ITV Border:

The project team's aspiration is to have some form of education on site at St Bees at the start of academic year 2017/18.

"However none of us can give any guarantees that that will be the case because there are a range of factors and contingencies relevant to shaping the future.

"It should be clearly understood by all concerned that whatever it is that, hopefully, starts up again in 2017 will be a different institution from the current school."

– Anthony Fox

Campaigners apply for interim injunction to halt St Bees closure

Credit: ITV Border

A legal move to halt the closure of St Bees has been made as part of the ongoing battle to save the 400-year-old school.

Parents have applied for an interim injunction to prevent the school's closure this summer.

The school's governors had previously said they hope to re-open St Bees next year, but campaigners say by then its long history will be destroyed and confidence in the school lost forever.

St Bees parents 'angry' about school's 2016 plan

Parents campaigning to save St Bees school says they're "surprised and angry" about the governors' decision to re-open the school in 2016.

Parents say the school should stay open this summer rather than forcing children to go elsewhere for one year.

A spokesperson for the governors has told ITV Border it is no longer feasible to continue with the current school model. Katie Hunter reports:

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