The Legal Framework

A Consultation Document has been produced by the Children and Younger Adults Department of Derbyshire County Council. Entitled "Proposals for a Re-Organisation of Primary Education, Combs Infant School", it has this to say about the legal process.
The statutory procedures relating to school closures are contained within Part 2 and Schedule 2 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, Regulations made under the Act, and statutory guidance issued to Local Education Authorities (and other relevant bodies) by the Department for Education and Skills.

Any proposal by a local education authority ("the Authority") to close a maintained school must be preceded by a process of public consultation ith all interested parties following which the Authority will determine, in the light of the responses to the proposal, whether or not to proceed with publication of formal statutory notices. If a decision is made to publish notices, there follows a statutory period for representations during which written objections or letters of support to the proposal may be sent to the Authority. If there are no objections, and the proposals are not related to other proposals, the Authority must determine [within a prescribed period] whether to implement the proposals.

If there are objections to the proposals, the Authority must consider the proposals, [within a prescribed period], and may reject them, approve them, or (subject to certain further consultation) approve them with modifications. If this is not done [within the prescribed period] the Authority must refer the proposals, and the Authority's comments on them, to an independent Adjudicator, appointed by the Secretary of State. The Authority must refer proposals to the Adjudicator in certain prescribed cases, and it must refer proposals that it has already determined to the Adjudicator, if a request is made by the Roman Catholic or Anglican Diocese.

All proposals referred to the Adjudicator will be considered afresh and his or her decision is binding on all parties.

See also "Who to Write To"