THE uncertain future of St Michael’s Pre-School in Lyme Regis continues, with governors now proposing that the facility closes down in November.
It was first announced that the pre-school, managed by the adjoining St Michael’s Primary School, would close in July, with parents being given just a week’s notice of the decision.
They were told that the pre-school had run at a significant financial deficit since it first opened, and a shortfall of £20,000 was expected in the current financial year.
However, the decision to immediately close the facility was later reversed and it was agreed to re-open the pre-school for the new term in September.
Parents and supporters joined forces to form the St Michael’s Pre-School Fundraising Group, chaired by local resident Cheryl Reynolds, in an attempt to secure the long-term future of the facility. They have been looking into the possibility of forming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, which could run the pre-school as a charity.
In the latest development, parents received a letter last week outlining a proposal that the pre-school be closed on November 22nd.
Signed by headteacher Nick Kiddle and the new chairman of the school governors, Betty Wood, the letter said: “As a result of increasing costs, maintenance and falling income, the pre-school has become unviable to run, with a projected deficit of £20,000, an increase on the previous years.
“As part of our work with Dorset Council, Salisbury Diocese and following subsequent meetings held within the community, we would like to give parents, carers and staff further opportunity to share any feelings and thoughts about the closure, so that the governors are able to consider and support any next steps.”
A consultation period has now opened and will run until Friday, October 18, after which the governors will meet to confirm any actions and decisions.
The final decision on the future of the pre-school is expected to be announced by Thursday, October 24.
Meanwhile, parents are continuing their fundraising efforts to try and secure a long-term future for the pre-school.
The next event will be a traditional harvest home auction at Lyme Regis Football Club on Saturday, October 19, starting at 7.30pm.
Prizes will include many vouchers for local restaurants and attractions, including a £100 voucher for HIX Oyster & Fish House, plus much more.
Christmas table-top sales will be held at Axminster Football Club from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday, November 17 and on Sunday, December 15.
A coffee morning and cake sale with raffle and clothes drive will be held at The Anchor Inn in Burton Bradstock from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, November 24 and a Christmas bingo night will be held on Friday, December 6 at the Woodmead Halls in Lyme Regis, eyes down at 8pm.