SCOTLAND'S national deaf school is to close its nursery within weeks following a review of costs, parents have been told.


Laura Battles, principal of Donaldson's School, in Linlithgow, has written to families warning the facility will shut in June.

Her letter states: "The board of governors has concluded that the nursery operated at Donaldson's School for local children is financially unsustainable and, as such, has reluctantly taken the decision to close the facility at the end of this session in June.

"The review has uncovered that the nursery has run at a loss for a number of years and is not something the school can continue to offer."

The school said the 24 places subsidised by West Lothian Council under a partnership arrangement would be transferred to another council-backed nursery from August.

The letter adds: "I appreciate that this news will be coming to you unexpectedly and that you may be disappointed to learn the nursery will close."

The school also highlighted wider restructuring plans which could hit staff jobs.

The letter said: "A number of posts have been identified as potentially impacted by the proposed restructure.

"The school will be taking steps to minimise the impact of the restructure on staff as much as possible and it is anticipated that an alternative role will be identified for the majority of staff."

All six members of staff who work at the nursery will be involved in the consultation process.

One parent with a child at the nursery said the decision would be "extremely disruptive" to many of the children there.

She said: "There are obviously children who are half-way through their pre-school education and the last thing parents want is to have to move them somewhere else."

Two years ago the Donaldson's nursery was praised for the quality of nursery education it offers.

The early years provision - which caters for mainstream children - was rated excellent for care and support by the Care Inspectorate.

Inspectors quoted one parent as saying: "Staff have been wonderfully supportive and understanding, always available to share information about my child."

However, in 2014 there were concerns parents would no longer be able to access funded places under the Scottish Government's childcare policy.

The situation arose after a West Lothian Council decision to drop it from its list of partnership nurseries. Only partnership ­nurseries can offer parents the part-time free nursery places scheme put in place by the Scottish Government.

Campaigners argued the decision penalises working families as council nurseries are unable to provide the same flexible services.