THE campaign to save a top independent school from closure has begun with an online petition.

Devastated parents were notified that Kingsmead School in Hoylake will shut its doors next month by chairman David Renison this week.

The decision, reportedly agreed and ratified by the school governors, comes after key partner KM Endeavour Limited (KMEL) revealed it was unable to reach an agreement to take over running the financially struggling private school from next term after 'comprehensive negotiations'.

The school, which opened 116 years ago, prides itself on achieving the best GCSE results in Wirral for all-ability schools.

A new pupil is believed to have started at the school only a few weeks ago.

Parents say pupils "will suffer mentally, emotionally and academically - without a doubt" when Kingsmead closes.

A campaign petition entitled Request for Government support for Kingsmead School children and families has so far had more than 900 signatures.

Urging our readers to support the fight, a spokesperson told the Globe: "The children that attend are amongst the most vulnerable in our area.

"Many children have additional needs, and the nurturing nature of the school, the small class sizes and the gentle way the wonderful teachers guide the children through school, is imperative to these children continuing to flourish through adolescence and into adulthood.

"The parents/carers have been given one week in which to find a school for their children; one week to 'virtually' see around mainstream schools (because a lot of schools won’t allow external visitors in).

"These already anxious children because of the Covid crisis, have now got to move schools, in the main - without their friends, to an environment that will be just too overwhelming for their needs.

"These children will suffer mentally, emotionally and academically - without a doubt.

Many may go to already oversubscribed mainstream schools, with huge class numbers - this is not acceptable.

"As mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds at the moment, please take a moment to stop and think about the impact that this school closure will have on 129 vulnerable children.

"Please sign the petition, thank you -"

In the letter to parents, seen by the Globe, Kingsmead School Chairman David Renison wrote: "Many comprehensive negotiations had taken place regularly and over a number of weeks despite the challenges caused by Covid-19.

"The Governors applaud the strenuous efforts which the KMEL leaders have made and likewise the great flexibility and hard work of our loyal staff in what has been very uncertain times for them.

"I wish to place on record my admiration and appreciation of all the efforts KMEL made to keep the school going: they worked tirelessly and selflessly towards that end.

"However, for understandable reasons KMEL has decided they were not able to proceed further with their plans to take on the running of the school from next term.

"The reasons include the large drop in pupil numbers expected to start this September term (the latest figure we have is less than 129), the substantial Covid-19 effect and the increased risk of not being able to turn around the financial health of the school without substantially more money being injected from donors, investors or the existing school trust.

"Accordingly, by the end of this summer term the school will have nearly run out of cash.

"I am very sad to confirm that the school will have to close at the end of this present summer term."