DISTRAUGHT parents are ‘heartbroken’ after an Oxfordshire school reportedly told them it would not be providing places for children in September.

An email was reportedly circulated to parents at Our Lady’s Abingdon (OLA), a school for pupils aged three to 18, saying that the school would not be providing places for nursery, reception, and Years 1 and 2 next year.

The school contacted parents on July 3, the same day pupils broke up for the summer term, to explain the situation.

Shocked parents have now penned an open letter to the Radley Road school, after they were left with less than two months to find an alternative school, despite applications closing months ago.

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The letter states that ‘finding a new school on such a tight timeframe is obviously much more difficult due to the current lockdown restrictions’.

The letter further adds that parents ‘feel that the executives and governors have lost touch with the values of OLA’.

Parents also criticised the school for the way it has communicated the news, with the letter saying ‘we are disgusted not only by your decision, but by your approach to communication’, while describing the email as ‘impersonal’.

Funding is allegedly the reason behind the decision, however parents said if that is the case, they would’ve ‘fundraised, brainstormed and fought for the school’s survival’.

Low numbers of pupils is also cited as a factor in the decision, but in the letter, parents say numbers are consistent with previous years.

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The letter claims that no discussion took place with parents in the decision making, with the letter stating parents had ‘no idea the process was underway’.

Parents claims that their children have been ‘denied the chance to say goodbye to friends and teachers’ with the ‘emotional and mental wellbeing’ of students not considered.

As the school offers an education for students right the way through to sixth form, parents say that the school has ‘deprived children of the education that we chose for them in good faith on the basis that they could remain at OLA until they were 18’.

Parents are now imploring the school to work with them to find a solution.

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Meanwhile, one parent, who wished to remain anonymous, raised concerns for children with special educational needs.

They said: “The transition will have an impact on pupils, especially those that have already been off. Changing environment will be difficult for children and families.

“My first reaction to the email was shock and I didn’t think it was even real.

“Even though Our Lady’s is private, it’s not as expensive as some of the other schools so parents might struggle to find a place they can afford if they want to remain private.”

Our Lady’s has been contacted for a comment.