An MP's battle to save a Kent secondary school from closure with a legal review has "effectively ended".
After months of effort from Maidstone and the Weald's Helen Grant and the community, the chances of a legal challenge to stop the closure of the High Weald Academy have been quashed by solicitors.
She said: "I have now heard back from our solicitors and counsel with a substantive opinion on our judicial review claim. Unfortunately, they have advised that there is no reasonable prospect of a successful claim."
The MP said she was told by her counsel that "even if there might be said to be wrinkles in the Secretary of State’s process here, that did not make it unlawful, and certainly would not be the basis for ‘quashing’ the decision to require the process to be restarted, particularly when implementation of it is now so far advanced".
She added: "Naturally I am hugely disappointed with this outcome, but we had to try our best to stop this.
"We certainly gave the government something to think about, as there were definitely irregularities in the procedure, but clearly not enough to prevent the closure.
"I am convening a further meeting of our working group to share our thoughts and we shall go from there.
"I remain adamant that the town of Cranbrook and the surrounding area needs a non-selective secondary school and I will support any initiatives that could bring that goal to fruition."
Helen Grant and residents have been campaigning for months to save the school - formerly known as Angley School - which is run by the Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) and made the shock announcement it would be closing on September 27.
The school currently has just 276 of 1,500 places filled.
Year 7 to Year 10s have been offered places at another of LAT’s academies - Mascalls, which is 11 miles away from High Weald Academy in Paddock Wood.
In October, the MP accused the school of "breaking promises" made to students, claiming the Trust was back-tracking on a number of offers made to parents to move their children to Mascalls School.
At the time she said: "I am troubled in particular to hear that promises on transport, subject options and friendship groups are not being kept – placing even more pressure on parents and children at what is already a difficult time transitioning to a new school."