PARENTS of pupils attending a much-loved Wirral special needs school have vowed not to give up after a further attempt to save the facility by opposition councillors was rejected.

Wallasey Conservative councillor Paul Hayes made a plea for the Labour administration to re-think its plan to close the Lyndale School in Eastham during Tuesday’s full council meeting.

He said: "The issue of Lyndale is not about money, it's about how we educate the most vulnerable children in our community.

"The council should continue to keep Lyndale open. Surely members will join me in the fight to keep it open."

His thoughts were echoed by Tory leader Jeff Green, who called on the council leader to admit he had 'got it wrong' over the proposed closure.

Liberal Democrat leader Phil Gilchrist urged Labour to 'climb down gracefully' over the plan to shut Lyndale's doors for good.


Chrissie Woodland with son Alex.

But council leader Cllr Phil Davies said there was no evidence to support keeping Lyndale open.

The school, which cares for some of the borough’s most vulnerable children, is set to close in August 2016.

Chrissie Woodland, whose eight-year-old son Alex attends Lyndale, said: “It’s not a surprise, it’s not a shock but it’s still disappointing that they still don’t understand how special this school is and how vital this school is to our children and their development and education.

“We still hope that they are going to realise how important it is and change their minds and keep the school open.”

Dawn Hughes – who won a landmark case last month to keep her 12-year-old daughter Ellie at Lyndale – said: “I am very disappointed in the Labour councillors, and I can only say that it was their responsibility to look at all evidence regarding Lyndale, and to vote for the right thing. 

“They failed to do that and they have failed the children at Lyndale.

“There was lots of proud talk from Phil Davies and other Labour councillors about how they were protecting the most vulnerable.  I found it insulting given that they have turned their backs on the children at Lyndale.

“Local Authorities have a legal duty to provide for each individual child's need.  Labour councillors had a duty to look at those needs on Tuesday night and vote in the best interests of the children, but their actions didn't match their fine words about protecting the most vulnerable, and it is the children at Lyndale who will suffer for it.”


Dawn Hughes and partner John Healing with daughter Ellie.

Wirral Council’s cabinet unanimously voted to go ahead with closing Lyndale when they met in December.

Parents had been hoping for a miracle but after 12 months of pleading with councillors to leave the school open, their hopes were dashed.

It follows more than a year of anguish for parents, who have fought tirelessly to convince councillors that the Eastham school is vital to their children’s future.

Wirral Council first announced it was “minded” to close the school in December 2014 citing a change in Government funding and falling numbers.

Lyndale will close on August 31, 2016, with pupils transferred to either Elleray Park or Stanley School.