PARENTS have vowed to fight plans to close a village primary school.

Essex County Council has started a consultation into the proposed closure of St Mary’s Primary School in Woodham Ferrers.

The school has approximately 55 pupils on its roll but has capacity to take on 105.

Data shows it only takes on 14 pupils a year.

The school, which serves pupils from as far as eight miles away, would be shut as of August 31 2019 if plans go ahead.

The decision to start a consultation has been taken by County Hall, the governing body at the school and the Diocese of Chelmsford.

A meeting will take place next week to discuss the plans.

In the consultation document Clare Kershaw, director for education, said: “This is in response to the persistently low number of pupils who attend the school and the significant financial problem this presents.

“Every indication is that the number of pupils attending the school will drop even further over the coming years.”

The document said a number of options had been explored to keep the school open but “none appear to be feasible”.

Robert Fraser, from Nevendon, has two children at the school. He grew up in the village and his parents live there.

Mr Fraser said the school has pupils from Maylandsea, Stow Maries and Chelmsford on its roll.

He said: “We will be doing all we can to fight the closure of this school that has quite literally served generations of local and further afield families.

“We have got no intention of going down without a fight.

“We have got quite a few questions we are going to be putting to them. A petition has been set up and parents are going door to door to get signatures.”

If the plans go ahead spaces would be made available for pupils at Collingwood Primary School in South Woodham Ferrers.

Transport would be provided from St Mary’s to Collingwood in the morning and afternoon each day.

Parents would also have the option of applying for alternative schools but places would depend on each individual school’s admissions policy.

The consultation will run until Tuesday November 20.

A decision will be made at the end of November 2018 on whether to publish a formal proposal to close the school.