Parents fear for future if pre-school closes

A PRE-SCHOOL looks set to close its doors next month, despite the efforts of parents to keep it open.

Wardour Pre-School, on the site of Wardour Catholic Primary School in Tisbury, could close as soon as February 8, but a group of parents argue that the closure will mean the number of children going to the primary school will fall.

And they fear falling roll numbers at the school could eventually mean it is federated with another school or might be closed altogether.

A statement from the group said: “At any point over the past three years, an average of 40 per cent of the entire register would have started their Wardour careers at the on-site pre-school.”

The row over the future of the preschool has been ongoing for several months, and parents were told by Wiltshire Council officials at an open meeting on December 11 that it had never been registered with the Charity Commission.

It later emerged that it was registered until late 2011, when its registration was suspended pending updated accounts.

Naomi Defriend, senior childcare development officer with Wiltshire Council, told parents at the meeting that Wardour governors, the pre-school’s “landlords”, had made a “non-negotiable”

decision to close it.

At another meeting held on Friday, parents say Wiltshire Council officials suggested February 8 as a date for closure, while the school’s chairman of governors, Miranda Thomas, told the meeting she had “nothing to do with any of this at all”.

The pre-school is run by a voluntary management committee and was judged as good by Ofsted inspectors in 2010.

Beth Dewey from the pre-school committee confirmed the date given at the meeting and said “it is very sad news”.

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