Colvestone parents to host street party ahead of crucial council meeting on school’s future

Save Colvestone campaigners outside the Town Hall in May. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Parents fighting to save a Dalston primary school are holding a street party ahead of a crunch meeting to decide its fate.

Families from the Save Colvestone Primary School campaign have organised an after-school event with games, music, gardening, arts and music.

The play street party from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Friday 22 September will also include refreshments and early years activities.

Parents said: “Everybody’s welcome as we showcase our historic community school.”

A play street sees a road temporarily closed to traffic so children can enjoy games safely.

The school on Colvestone Crescent is one of six primaries Hackney Council is considering closing or merging because of a drop in the number of pupils.

More than a fifth of reception places in Hackney’s primaries went spare in the last school year.

Colvestone could be forced to merge with Princess May primary school in September 2024 if the plans go ahead.

Education bosses said the fall in pupil numbers means the six schools have been hit with a £4m deficit.

The issue is affecting schools across the capital, and is blamed on falling birth rates, families leaving London because of Brexit, the pandemic and high housing costs.

School funding is based on the number of pupils and Hackney Council said it is not viable to keep on losing money. It said the drop will affect education, with activities such as school trips under threat.

Some parents say they value smaller classes, which they believe help children to thrive.

Seventeen per cent of children at Colvestone have special needs and a further eight per cent have education, health and care plans, and parents are concerned about the impact of moving to a new school.

Parents also said if the school closed, their nearest options would be faith schools.

Hackney Council has pledged to work with families to find suitable places for their children, including those with special educational needs, if the merger goes ahead.

Green bosses also said they would continue to press ahead with plans to create a Twenty-First Century Street on Colvestone Crescent.

It unveiled the plans in 2020 and said they would include “a new green space, cycle parking, electric vehicle charging, a school street, and an increase of tree canopy cover to 40 per cent along Colvestone Crescent”.

A school street means motor vehicles cannot use it at drop-off and pick-up times.

Hackney Council has not yet published its cabinet papers about the future of the schools, and is set to make its final decision in December.