Parents have launched a petition to save a “beloved” Chesham pre-school after it was announced the school could be closed in December 2017.

Ivingswood Academy, on School Close, has proposed the closure of their pre-school due to increasing "financial pressures" on the Academy.

In a letter, written to parents by the acting headteacher, the chair of governors and chair of trustees, it was suggested that increased pressures on school budgets have rendered the pre-school "unsustainable".

"I am writing to let you know that owing to financial pressures it is proposed that the pre-school provision at Ivingswood Academy will close on December 31 2017," the letter said.

“The income we receive from pre-school funding is a set amount per child out of which we pay for staffing and learning resources. Regrettably, our pre-school income does not fully cover these running costs.

“This has resulted in a significant cost to the Academy which, in the current situation of increased pressures on school budgets, is unsustainable."

The proposed closure was unanimously agreed upon by the legal entity responsible for Ivingswood Academy, the White Hill Schools Trust.

The letter, sent to parents on June 19, suggested there may be some redundancies, but it was also suggested the closure will lead to extra funding for the academy's primary and nursery school.

It added: "The closure will mean that funding meant for the whole school will no longer be put towards bridging the funding gap in pre-school.

"This will benefit the academy in many ways, by supporting the provision of staffing and resources throughout the academy."

Following the announcement, a public consultation is running until July 19, which will allow parents' views to be considered.

Once the consultation has closed, the trustees of the academy will decide whether to put forward a case to the Department for Education for the closure of the pre-school in December.

Since residents were notified of the plans for the pre-school, a petition against the closure has gathered more than 300 signatures.

One parent at the school, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the plans would be detrimental to parents who need to juggle school runs.

She said: "Something needs to be done, our children have got nowhere to go.

"Parents are being forced to send their children elsewhere and it will be especially difficult for parents who don't drive.

"We want some transparency from the school, we want to know where the money is coming from and where it is going.

"No-one we have spoken to about the petition agrees with the closure, it would be such a shame to see it go."

Mark Shaw, deputy leader of Bucks County Council, pledged his full support to the petition and says the proposal could mean “very bad news”.

"It's potentially very bad news for residents and for local children from Chesham," he said. "It would be a huge shame for the school to close.

"What we see is the earlier children start school, the better their outcome, and this closure could have a huge impact.

"I'm very much supporting the parents with their petition, parents who may be forced to start searching outside of Chesham for pre-schools.

"We're looking as a council to see what we can do and we're working with the Academy to look at ways they can make savings."

Head to the consultation document have your say on whether you think the Ivingswood Academy Pre-School should close.