A school on the Lizard Peninsula is to close in the New Year, despite the best efforts of parents and the wider community to keep it running.

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas confirmed this lunchtime that it was with "great sadness" that he learnt of the impending closure of St Martin-in-Meneage CP School, which will shut at the end of January.

He was informed of the Department for Education's decision today by Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, Lisa Mannall.

She wrote to Mr Thomas saying it had been made “to ensure that all pupils continue to have access to a high quality education in a school with a sustainable future."

Mr Thomas has been giving his support to the Friends of St Martin School ever since it was formed by the local community when directors of the Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust, which manages the school, announced at the end of June that they planned to close it due to falling pupil numbers. At that time there were 12 pupils on the roster, a figure that has since fallen again.

Mr Thomas has argued that an opportunity should be created to work up plans to put the school on a secure footing and, more recently, sent out a questionnaire to local residents canvassing their views on the school.

He said today: "This is clearly not the news we wanted to hear and will be greeted with great sadness by many in the local community.

“St Martin’s School has served families in the village and surrounding area for well over 130 years and was rated a ‘Good’ school by Ofsted only this year.

“This closure raises questions about how the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust was set up six years ago and whether it has been the best thing for the children and their parents and the local communities.

“I have been promised further meetings with the Education Minister to discuss what can be learnt from this. We need to ensure that parents’ concerns about their local schools can be heard much sooner.”