AS A Loughton local councillor I am shocked and very angry to read on your paper’s website that, from January 2021, Oak View School in Loughton, which is a specialist provision for pupils with special educational needs between the ages of three-19, will be closing at 1pm every Friday.

Quite understandably, parents and guardians are furious that government funding cuts will force the special needs school attended by their children to close early on Fridays.

The parents, guardians and pupils from across the district have my full support in trying to reverse this decision.

I also sympathise with the school leadership and school governors who have been forced in to making this decision.

As the headteacher is quoted as saying, they felt they had no alternative in making this decision: “a move made out of necessity to allow us to continue to provide a first-class education to our pupils”.

As Oak View School is a school working with students with moderate, severe, complex special needs and pupils within the autistic spectrum, surely of all our local schools, this school deserves and requires proper funding to enable it to operate for its full hours.

I find it quite staggering to read in the website article that the funding levels for special education needs pupils has not increased since 2012.

Our MP needs to take this issue up as a matter of urgency.

Stephen Murray

Loughton Roding Ward

Independent district and town councillor