“DEVASTATED” parents have launched a campaign to keep a Worcestershire school from closing.

Abberley Hall School, an award-winning prep school near Great Witley, faces closure by the end of the academic year if it does not find additional funding.

The school has suffered significant financial losses in recent years and has now lost the support of Malvern College.

READ MORE: Award-winning Worcestershire school could be closed by the summer

Abberley Hall joined the Malvern College Family of Schools in September 2019 and has been receiving grant and loan finance from Malvern College for the past three years.

A petition launched on the website actionstorm.org says: “The whole community of Abberley Hall School; staff, pupils, parents and local businesses are devastated by the proposed closure of Tatler magazine’s ‘Best Prep School of the year 2022’.

“If this happened, it would bring to an end over 100 years of unique and ground-breaking education which has benefitted thousands of children.

“We, the undersigned, request that the governing council of Malvern College do not call in the £1m grant given to the school in 2019.

'We moved here for this school'

“We ask that Malvern College Council honour the spirit in which the grant was given and in doing so give Abberley Hall a true opportunity to continue as a sustainable business.”

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Some shared their personal experiences of the school, with one person saying: “Both my children started their education here, we moved here for this school. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else."

A Malvern College spokesperson said: “We empathise wholeheartedly with the depth of feeling about the future of Abberley Hall and the Malvern College Council is working very closely with the Abberley Hall Board of Governors and the Abberley Hall Parent Group in a combined effort to support an ongoing future for the school.

"The council continues to go to great lengths to support Abberley Hall’s future, whilst bearing in mind its duties as trustees of the Malvern College charity. The funding that has been made available to Abberley Hall now totals £4m. Combined efforts are being made to agree further loans from Malvern College, together with a realistic repayment plan that can meet the needs of both charities.

"Firstly, subject to sufficient fundraising by the Abberley Hall community, and a clear operating plan for the way forward, Malvern College has committed to providing a further £0.5m of financial support for the academic year starting in September 2023.

"Secondly, Malvern College has outlined a plan for the total funding to date, that ensures no repayments of any type are made until August 1, 2024 and that repayments can be spread over a number of years.

"We are still engaged in very active discussions with the Abberley Hall Parent Group with regard to this debt restructuring should they, or another third party, take over the governance of Abberley Hall and are optimistic that, with collaboration from all sides, a way forward can be found.”