Parents and pupils at a Black Country school chained themselves to the gates yesterday to protest at plans to close it because of falling numbers.
Beauty Bank Primary School in Stourbridge is one of five schools in the area Dudley Council has proposed to shut because a drop in the birth rate is leaving surplus places.
But at 3.15pm, to coincide with a visit by the local education authority, parents and children tied themselves to the gate of the Forge Road school and demanded it stays open.
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More than 8,000 people have also signed a petition against the closure, which is proposed for August 2006.
The signatures will be taken to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly at the end of next week.
Mother-of-two Samantha Wooldridge, aged 36, was amongst the 50 children and parents tethered to the gate by a 40ft chain she borrowed from Hollingsworth Garden Centre in Stourbridge.
"This school is not just bricks and mortar it is the heart of the community and we won't let it be taken away without a fight," said Ms Wooldridge who lives in Trinity Road, Amblecote, and whose seven-year-old daughter Natasha and son Connor, nine, attend Beauty Bank.
"We chose this school because it is the best in the area. Our children get an excellent education and it also offers a variety of adult education courses which I have benefited from too."
Parents have been given the choice of Amblecote, Greenfield or Gigmill Schools as alternatives but Ms Wooldridge, who went to Beauty Bank along with her mother and grandmother, said she will teach her children at home.
Sharon Perks, who has four children at Beauty Bank, said she hadn't slept worrying about the proposal.
"My son, who's nine, is shy and quiet so I don't know how he'll cope with the stress of all these changes. The children have all got close friends but will be separated if they have to move to different schools. It's not fair on them."