A CHELMSFORD secondary school is to close.
St Peter's College, formerly Rainsford High School, will shut its doors in August 2011.
Declining pupil numbers mean the school in Fox Crescent is no longer financially viable.
Essex County Council plans to build a state-of-the-art vocational centre on the site which will have 300 places for students from mid-Essex aged from 14 to 19.
Pupils aged 11 to 13 currently at the school – and those who will start in September - will be offered places at either Chelmer Valley High School or Hylands School.
St Peter's pupils and parents have been told the news and asked to give their views on what they would like to see included in the new facility.
A consultation has now been launched proposing the closure of the school and the building of a vocational centre.
Head teacher Simon Carpenter, who joined the staff in 2003, has spoken of his sadness at the decision.
He told the Chronicle: "What has driven the school and what has driven me is trying to make sure we are doing the best we can for the pupils and the community we serve, and I still do.
"It is with sadness and regret that we have to close the school but the proposal for the new vocational centre has been made with the best interests of the young people of this community in mind."