A PRE-SCHOOL which was criticised by Ofsted last year and graded as “inadequate” has informed parents that it will close for good at the end of July.

Ladybirds Pre-School, which is now based at the Brighton Hill Community Association, in Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill, was inspected by the education watchdog in June 2013, and told that children in its care were not safe after one was left to wander outside a play area on their own.

The visiting inspector, Melissa Cox, witnessed the incident when a child left the outdoor play space without adult supervision.

Following the inspection at their former premises at Hill Rise Hall, in Bach Close, Brighton Hill, latches were fitted to the gates with agreement from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which owns the park.

Parents have now been informed that the pre-school will close at the end of this month because of “unforeseen circumstances that are beyond our control.”

The letter sent to parents said: “It is with much sadness and regret that Ladybirds Pre-School Basingstoke will be closing at the end of July. We will not be opening in September.”

It added: “We are very sorry for the short notice and inconvenience this may cause you but this very difficult decision has only been finalised this week.”

The pre-school has 28 children on roll aged between two and five.

The Gazette contacted Ladybirds, and a woman who answered the phone, but who declined to give her name, said: “There are rumours going round that Ofsted has closed us but it’s nothing to do with Ofsted. We have just closed down, there’s nothing to say.”