Scores of people staged a demonstration in Rye this afternoon (Tuesday, March 14), protesting against proposed cuts to Rye Studio School.
Students, together with parents and the general public, held banners and waved placards by the train station.
Last Thursday (March 9), Rye Academy Trust met with students and staff at Rye Studio School to announce that the school will not be taking any year 10 and year 12 students for the next academic year, starting in September.
Amanda Jobson, from St Leonards, whose son is at Rye College, said: “My son was shortlisted to go to the studio school but was then informed he can’t go as it is closing the classrooms for 14-16-year-olds.
“We think the whole school will eventually be shut.
“My son has written a letter to Parliament, as Amber Rudd, our MP, was really supportive of the school.
The studio school has been vital to my development. To deny that opportunity to other talented students is a travestyDominic Buxton, student at Rye Studio School
“We really need some rich benefactors to help the school. Fairer funding is needed for both Rye College and Rye Studio School to keep both of them alive.
“Rye College needs improvements and modernising.
“There are some wonderful kids at both schools, who are really talented and come from all over the place like Hastings, St Leonards and Kent.
“They come on the premise that they can have a creative pathway to all types of industries out there. This opportunity has now been taken away.
“My son feels devastated that they have done this.”
John Knowles, whose 15-year-old son attends Rye Studio School, said: “It’s a travesty.
“This is exactly what the Government wants, independent schools with links to industry and her we have one that’s going to shut.
“If you’re not going to take next year’s input of students, I can’t see how the school can remain open.
“My son is thriving at Rye Studio School. He comes home every night and wants to show me the work he has done.
“He enjoys being treated like an adult and students are given a lot of room to develop.”
Cathy Guest, who organised today’s protest, said: “I’ve written to Amber Rudd, asking her to intervene and work with the trust and to petition Education Secretary Justine Greening to give us emergency funding to keep the studio school open.
Dominic Buxton, 17, who studies film, music and acting at Rye Studio School, said: “This news has shocked all students and will have a significant impact on our amazing staff.
“I am finishing this July, and I hate the idea that I am leaving behind a school that is having to rebrand completely in 2018/19.
“I have written a letter to our MP, Amber Rudd to make her aware of what’s happening and I am leading the campaign, working with the local Liberal Democrat team and my fellow students, to save the school.
“Without the school and the support it has provided, I wouldn’t have been able to gain the amount of experience in the creative arts that I have over the last two years.
“Aside from going to New York, Denmark and building international relationships that will last for a lifetime, I have been fortunate enough to spend one week at Framestore in London, one of the world’s leading visual effects companies and gain first-hand experience - all thanks to Rye Studio and the amazing staff, who have all been very supportive.
“This will stand me in great stead for the future, and I am devastated that other budding filmmakers, actors and others will not have access to the same opportunities in the future.
“The studio school has been vital to my development, both personally and in the creative arts. I would not know what I would be doing now if it hadn’t been for the school.
“To deny that opportunity to other talented students is a travesty.”
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