Angry parents and pupils staged a protest outside County Hall in Chichester on Thursday over fears three small rural schools in West Sussex could close.

The County Council is considering proposals to close Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School in Worthing, Stedham Primary School in Midhurst and Rumboldswhyke C of E Infant School in Chichester, which all have fewer than 100 pupils.

It's just devastating. It breaks my heart. It's such a beautiful small rural school and my children are happy there. All the children thrive there, it's a nurturing environment. You can't close it. Not all children are happy in big schools, it's just not fair, you've got to give us parents a choice."

Jemma Hunt, Parent

Another two schools also face an uncertain future under the plans to review and reorganise five of the county's 53 smaller schools.

Recommendations suggest one would relocate and another would join a federation.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The council says schools must not only be big enough to be viable for the future but should be able to offer a broad curriculum too, and change is necessary.

But many families say their children benefit from smaller class sizes and a nurturing environment.

It's a very unsettling time and the uncertainty is there, we recognise that. What we are trying to do is get the review process over as quickly as possible so that parents have a sense of what the future is for them.

Paul Wagstaff, Director of Education & Skills, West Sussex County Council

If plans move to the next stage, a consultation process will start in February.

Campaigners say they will fight all the way to keep their schools open.