04:30PM, Monday 27 February 2017
Charvil's only pre-school is set to close after more than 50 years, leaving five people out of a job and 11 children without a learning space.
Charvil Pre-school, at Jubilee Hall, in Park View Drive North, has been open since 1964
but was given a year’s notice in December by St Andrew’s Church in Sonning after it decided to close the hall.
Johannes Burger, chairman of the charity which operates the school, said the news had led to a shortage of applicants as parents looked to move their children elsewhere.
The pre-school has been offered an alternative venue but without the additional funding needed – around £15,000 – to get the East Park Farm Pavilion in Park Lane up to Ofsted standards the school will be forced to close.
Johannes said: “We will have to vacate the current premises in around July as we can’t do another intake for just a few months.
“Parents who walk their kids to school don’t have the availability in the area to just go somewhere else, and the nearest ones in Sonning and Twyford are already oversubscribed.”
Charvil parish clerk, Miranda Parker said: “We’re disappointed, the parish council feels there should be a pre-school in Charvil.
“We moved as many of the group as we could that used the hall into our building but its just not feasible to move the school here.”
The Reverend at St Andrew’s Church, Jamie Taylor said: “I like and respect the chairman and treasurer of the pre-school and honour what they have tried to do, and indeed our church has done a great deal to try and enable the pre-school to thrive.
“However, the current and projected losses on the building are just too great, and sadly that type of pre-school just doesn’t seem able to
survive because of poor local authority funding and perhaps changing needs of parents who more and more seem to >kern
Johannes added: “We’re going to be looking at a number of funding options to move to the Pavilion but we really need Wokingham Borough Council to step up and help find a place for the school.”
Wokingham council’s executive member for children’s services Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor (Con, Shinfield South) said: “The pre-school told us on January 30 they had
been served notice to leave the privately-run hall, and we replied the following day offering
to help them find a solution. We’re still doing this.
“If the pre-school is forced to close, despite ours and their best efforts to find a new home, parents will be helped to find alternative childcare through our family information service.”
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