Shock as Havant school dumps nursery with little notice

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PARENTS say they are ‘disgusted’ that a school has put the contract to run a well-respected pre-school out to tender and told the current owner they must go.

Warblington Pre-school is run from the old caretakers house at Warblington School, Southleigh Road, Havant,

When the school sold off one of its fields for housing the preschool – which is a charity – was promised a like-for-like new building.

But last month the school suddenly announced the contract to run the attached preschool had been put out to tender.

And the manager Kerry Ainsley has been told she has not made the shortlist. She will run the pre-school until the new provider takes over in April.

Sarah Bellinger, from Emsworth, has sent three of her children to the pre-school. Her three-year-old son Alfie is there at the moment.

The 42-year-old healthcare assistant said: ‘The pre-school is a very special place. Alfie loves it there and it is like a big family.

‘The staff are fantastic and have a great rapport with the parents and the children.

‘They are a charity-run pre-school which means any money gets put back into the children, and it’s not a profit making business.

‘Unfortunately the school wants to allow others to bid on the new premises despite it being promised to Warblington pre-school, in the hope they can make money.

‘All along they have claimed they are thinking of the community, but not once have any of us parents or our children been involved in their decision to try and close our pre-school. It’s disgusting.’

In a statement Warblington headteacher Julia Vincent said all children currently at the pre-school will be offered a place under the new provider.

She added: ‘While we appreciate that there will be some disappointment that the current pre-school operator has not been shortlisted, we are confident that the selection process will ensure a new provider is found to meet the challenges that a new facility will bring and to ensure that children continue to receive good quality early years education.

‘Plans for the new pre-school mean that we will be able to offer a wider range of services for more children in the area.’

Miss Ainsley was unavailable for comment but, in a letter to parents, she said they would fight the decision.