Village pre-school fights for survival

A PRE-SCHOOL is fighting for survival after it was served notice to quit its current premises.

On December 2 staff and trustees at Acorn Playgroup and Pre-school were told they must leave their classroom, which is within Oaklands Primary School, off Great North Road, Welwyn.

The pre-school, a registered charity formed 17 years ago, has until July before it becomes “homeless” and is now desperately looking to relocate within the Welwyn area.

Those associated with the pre-school said it is “essential” for the area.

Chair of trustees, Julia Hutchinson, told the WHT: “Whilst we fully understand and appreciate the need for the school to have their classroom back for their own purpose due to increasing primary numbers, we will be homeless from the end of the summer term.”

She added: “We know that seeking to relocate gives us a large challenge, but feel strongly that Acorn’s survival is essential for our children, our parents and carers, for Oaklands School, as we are the natural feed for the school, and for the Oaklands and Mardley Heath community.

“We are extremely passionate in our belief that closure is not an option.”

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Julia also pointed to the pre-school’s recent Ofsted inspection in which it was deemed “good with outstanding elements”.

A county council spokeswoman said: “In the past few years the number of primary pupils at Oaklands School has increased and the demand for places is forecast to increase in the area over the coming years.

“As a consequence of its increased popularity, the school will now need to use its spare classroom, which is currently being occupied by Acorn Preschool, for teaching.”

A public meeting was held on Monday at The Robin Hood and Little John pub in Rabley Heath to discuss Acorn’s future.