A CRICKLADE school will be closed by Christmas as its owners step down following an Inadequate Ofsted rating.

Meadowpark School pupils will have to find somewhere else to continue their education in the new year because its proprietors have decided to retire.

The Adver understands that parents have received letters about the closure and some are already moving their children out of class in preparation.

In June, Ofsted inspectors highlighted safety concerns at the facility and gave the school its lowest possible rating.

The report highlighted problems with the system for reporting safety concerns and investigating allegations made against staff, concluding that “pupils are at risk of harm”.

It called safeguarding at the school “weak”, said pupils’ welfare and needs had “not taken priority”, and that no clear procedures were in place to manage pupil safety.

Meadowpark Nursery had to close under suspension in May following a similar damning report from the inspectors.

The primary school once achieved the highest rating of Outstanding in 2014, when it was praised for the close attention given to pupils' safety, welfare and personal development, pupils' excellent literacy, numeracy, behaviour and progress, and the school's top quality leadership, management and curriculum.

Meadowpark School received Good ratings from the education authority in 2010 and 2017.

In a statement, the school's senior leadership team told the Adver: "After 27 successful years, the proprietors of Meadowpark School have taken the decision to close at the end of this year due to retirement.

"Since 1994, we have educated over 2500 pupils. Many of our pupils have gone on to secure places at top grammar schools and our alumni are now working in fields such as medicine, finance and the arts.

"The senior leadership team is working closely with the local education authority and Department of Education to ensure all pupils are successfully placed in alternative primary schools when the school closes in December.

"Leaders have written a new curriculum titled 'new beginnings' to support pupils and their families with the transition to their new school.

"Meadowpark was well known for its outstanding education and nurturing environment.

"Many children would run excitedly through our doors each day and did not want to leave when it was time to go home.

"A quick look through the Adver’s archives will show that a rich variety of events, visitors and charity fundraisers were a regular part of life at Meadowpark.

"We are proud of the rich legacy Meadowpark leaves behind.

"We would like to thank parents, both past and present, for their kind wishes and messages of support."