ANGRY parents have vowed to keep on fighting for secondary schooling in Swanage.

Education campaigners launched an online petition urging Dorset County Council’s cabinet to reverse its unpopular decision on a split-site school for Wareham and Swanage.

Petition organiser Nikki Harman, of the Education Swanage pressure group, said: “We deserve a secondary school in Swanage and we should be able to have a say on our future and that of our children.”

Cabinet decided not to include an option for a split-site school as talks continued, last week, in the ongoing Purbeck education system shake-up.

Campaigners, describing the ruling as “disgraceful”, say a town the size of Swanage needs some kind of secondary school provision within its boundaries.

Currently, secondary students travel to The Purbeck School in neighbouring Wareham, the campus with which Swanage campaigners want to twin.

County council children’s services director John Nash said: “The quality of education would be compromised if we were to split provision between Swanage and Wareham.

A report claimed the extra cost of providing a secondary school site in Swanage would be £14m.

The Purbeck Review was launched early last year to address more than 1,000 surplus school places in the district and will see the area move from a three-tier to two-tier education system.

Mrs Harman said: “Swanage is a coastal town with a growing population of more than 10,000.

“More younger families are moving into the town, but currently children aged 13-plus travel a 20-mile round trip to get to school each day.”

  • Education Swanage is a group of teachers, parents, governors and educationalists who produced a report supporting secondary school provision within the town. Visit for information or to access the online petition.