Plans to close or merge six primary schools could still go ahead, despite overwhelming opposition to the proposed changes.

Hackney Council announced in March that it was considering reducing the number of primary schools in the borough due to a “significant fall” in pupil numbers.

The findings of a consultation on the plans were published yesterday (September 19), with 89% of 613 respondents opposing the proposals.

Despite the backlash from parents, a council cabinet report has backed pressing ahead with the changes.

Under the plans, two schools – De Beauvoir Primary School and Randal Cremer Primary School – would close at the end of this school year.

Colvestone Primary would merge with and move to the site of Princess May Primary School, and Baden Powell Primary School to Nightingale Primary School, in September 2024.

The changes were proposed after 21% of reception places in the borough were left unfilled in the last school year.

Hackney Council said that this had caused some schools to face “serious financial and sustainability pressures”.

But during the council’s consultation, many voiced concerns about the impact the changes would have on pupils’ wellbeing.

Commenting on the proposed closure of De Beauvoir Primary School, one parent said: “Moving [my son] will make him feel alienated and in a completely new environment[.]”

“I know this will affect his mental wellbeing as it will be difficult to handle this change and will be a completely new academic curriculum, which will in turn worsen his grades.”

One teacher claimed that the proposals were already impacting children. They said: “My wellbeing is deteriorating as I have to constantly readjust and support my children as their friends leave randomly week by week.

“The anxiety in my class…is completely unfair and out of their control.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Hackney’s Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for children's services and education, claimed that the data had forced the council to consider “incredibly difficult decisions”.

She said: “But this is the only way to ensure that we can minimise the long term negative impact on Hackney education and more widely on the council’s budget, at a time of extreme financial pressure.

“We are committed to securing the future of Hackney schools and to provide as much continuity as possible for children, families and staff.”

Hackney Council’s cabinet will meet on Monday (September 25) to decide whether to publish statutory notices of its intention to close or merge the schools.

This would trigger a 28-day representation period during which any person can object to or make comments on the proposals.