ANGRY parents are preparing to battle to save Cove's fire-wrecked Pinewood Infants' School from closure.

They have vowed to fight any attempts by Hampshire education chiefs to sell off the land rather than rebuild the school.

The shock news that the school my not be rebuilt was broken at a packed meeting last week attended by parents and staff.

Chris Holt, the county's primary school boss, told them that primary school provision in the area would be reviewed before any decision was made.

But he warned that if it was possible to accommodate the 95 children at other schools in the area, then Pinewood would not be rebuilt.

The meeting was called to discuss the future of the school, which was reduced to a blackened shell by arsonists last month.

Most of those who attended thought they were to be given a progress report about the re-opening of the school, in prefabricated buildings, after the Easter holidays.

Mrs Louise Fry, whose four-year-old son Benjamin is due to attend the school in September, said after the meeting: " "It was only when someone asked when the school would be rebuilt, that Mr Holt said he didn't know if it would be.

"The news that it might close completely came as a shock, and feelings were running high as soon as it sank in."

She feared that the question mark over the school's future would deter parents from enrolling their children, giving the county further ammunition to close it.

"We don't want our children palmed off to other schools," added Mrs Holt, of Pinewood Park. "Pinewood Infants is a vital part of the community, and everyone wants it to stay open."

Coun Don Allen, council executive member for education, confirmed last Friday that the school's future would be reviewed.

"This is normal practice after a disaster of this sort," he said.