Petitioners are making a final push for signatures to call on the education secretary to fund Kingston's new secondary school.

The desperate parents hope Michael Gove MP and the government will reconsider the decision not to fund the non-selective, co-educational, community school to open in the north of the borough by 2015.

So far 624 have signed the online petition, which launched shortly after Kingston Council discovered they were not included in the 42 schools the government is prioritising for cash under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

Petition organiser Catherine Greenwood, from Elm Road, Kingston, said a further hundred signatures were collected on a paper petition, bringing the total to more than 700.

The council had been relying on the money to finance the school, which is due to open on the North Kingston centre site in September 2015 to help address the shortage of school places in the borough.

The announcement, on Thursday, May 25, had been delayed several times and leaves the already stretched local authority to find an alternative way of raising the £30m for the new school.

It is expected that works will need to start in September 2013 for the school to open on time.

Mrs Greenwood said the group is deciding if they will deliver the petition to the department for education after it closes on Saturday, June 30.

She said: "The only problem is that we are hearing that there just is no funding for this type of school.

"But if we have to amend it slightly that’s fine, it’s just funding from another pot and at the end of the day we need the same thing, a school for our children." The 42-year-old mother of two said the situation is a huge concern for parents in the borough who already have to put up with having their children educated in bulge classes and temporary classrooms.

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