PARENTS have just 25 days to raise legal fees needed to launch a case to keep St Nicholas and Larkrise special school open.

Of the £10,000 to be raised for the Keep Special Schools Local campaign to pay for solicitors, £2,295 has already been given by 97 people.

Solicitors have moved to challenge the consultation process carried out by Wiltshire Council during its proposed changes to SEND provision that could see a £20m Centre of Excellence built on Rowdeford School grounds in Rowde.

Parents say keeping St Nicholas in Chippenham is crucial for creating a sense of community for its pupils.

The schools faces closure under a plan to build a state of the art school by Wiltshire Council in Rowde to create 220 extra schools places.

Nearly new sales, bag packing and quiz nights have been planned to add to the fund, but now they need the help of their community.

Duncan Carter lives in Chippenham and his daughter, Tilly, 11, attends St Nicholas. He said: “In the last week we have gone to the School at least four times because of seizures. If she goes to Rowde that will be a 90 minute trip and could lead to some parents not putting their child in school because they do not know if they would be able to make that trip. It could lead to more 999 calls or normal call outs becoming emergencies if parents cannot get there.”

A peaceful march from Larkrise School to County Hall in Trowbridge due to take place last Saturday was postponed due to heavy snowfall last Saturday and has been rearranged for February 16.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “These are ambitious proposals but we are ambitious for our children. We want them to attend a great school which provides the facilities and support for them to really thrive.

"I want to reassure parents that we want to take them with us every step of the way. I would encourage them to actively participate in the consultations so we can keep discussing these proposals and ensure every child and their family is involved.”

Lawyers have described the case against the consultation as “important” as they bid to protect childrenSolicitor, Keith Lomax, said: “The challenge against Wiltshire Council is important as children with special needs have particular difficulties, which can isolate them and their families from their community.There are specific requirements for the council to engage with communities, and when a council runs roughshod over us, as we say Wiltshire Council has, then we need to stand up and shout.”

To donate visit: