THE closure of a Burnley school has moved a step closer after education chiefs agreed to issue a statutory notice of their intention to close it.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet committee agreed to inform parents, carers students and interested parties of their plan to close Hameldon Community College for good.

The Coal Clough Lane school has suffered with falling student numbers, poor Ofsted ratings, financial difficulties and staffing issues over the years.

Once the notice is published, a six-week representation period will start.

If the proposal goes ahead, the school would close on Friday, August 31.

Cllr Gordon Birtwistle, who attended the cabinet meeting, said he has lodged a plan to keep the centre open.

He said: “I believe we need to bring another aspect to the school in order to make it financially viable.

“We need to add some sort of skills training centre to the site, such as apprenticeship training or other highly skilled training schemes.

“This way we can save the building, save the school and attract more students to the site. We cannot sit on the fence with this, we need to act fast and act now otherwise we will lose it for good.”

Earlier this year, parents campaigned to keep the school open as they feared it could leave those living on nearby housing estates struggling to pay transport costs to take their children to other schools.

The school has around 320 pupils ranging from 11 to 16-years old.

Cllr Bill Brindle, whose ward boundary lies within the school, said: “I do not agree with any school or college closing.

“It is a very, very sad state of affairs when this happens.

“The problem is the school can take up to 700 pupils, but there is less than half of that attending. We need to encourage parents and perspective parents to take their children to Hameldon Community College and not go further afield. But that is something we need to work at.”

County Cllr Susie Charles, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I’d like to reassure everyone that all views we received during the consultation were considered very carefully, before the decision was taken to move to the next stage of the process. Unfortunately, the suggestions we received during the consultation are not viable, so we have no other option. Our paramount concern is always to provide the best education we can for all young people.”