THE Lyndale children sat in their wheelchairs which were brightly lit by coloured fairy lights and festooned with jolly streamers, and they sang and signed:

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, 

And the dreams that you dare to dream,

Really do come true...

Those of us in the hall for the final leavers' assembly of the now doomed school fell silent knowing that for these children and their families the dream has ended.

Yet the hope they'd dared to have was a humble one.

While overcoming obstacles that would crush most of us, they dreamed they would be allowed to remain at Lyndale, surrounded by familiar faces and teachers who care for them deeply.

But now the place they have come to regard as refuge and where they found sanctuary has been snatched away from them.

Their little community has been split up and the children will be scattered into classrooms across the borough.

Then Lyndale will be closed up, probably bulldozed eventually and the land...well, who knows?

Wirral Council has assured everyone concerned that this shocking act isn't a land grab to raise capital.

Refusing to heed the protests of parents, carers and staff, the town hall juggernaut was unstoppable from the moment a senior education officer said she was "minded" to close the school down.

It was hardly a bolt from the blue, as anyone who knows anything about Lyndale will tell you.

They had fought battles against the council's axe for years but this time there was a colder, harder edge to it.

This time there would be no happy ending.

Back in the assembly hall - packed with parents, grandparents, carers and teachers - people were choking on tears as the pupils finished their sentimental song.

The hall was full, standing room only - yet of the education officers and councillors who voted in favour of closure there was no sign.

Not one of them had arrived to wish the children well at this final leavers' assembly.

They should have been there.

They should have sat at the front and looked into the eyes of those extremely vulnerable young people as they sang.

They should have seen the hastily wiped away tears of parents trying to put on a brave face for the sake of their kids, and felt their sadness and sense of loss.

Perhaps then they might have understood what they've done.

A banner was hanging near the school's entrance door.

"Time To Say Goodbye."

But it really didn't feel like time to say goodbye to Lyndale at all.