A PRIVATE school at Wantage faces closure after the number of pupils fell by half over two years.

Prep school St Andrew’s, in Wallingford Street, could close in July after the owners, Holborn College, in London, said it would provide no more funding.

The school, which is in its 60th year and rated outstanding by Ofsted, has seen pupil numbers fall from about 100 two years ago to about 50.

Parents were informed last March that Holborn College would continue to back the school, but the decision has been reversed due to worsening finances.

Last month, St Andrew’s took on a new headteacher, Paul Cawley-Wakefield, following the resignation of Suzy Lawrence.

Mr Cawley-Wakefield said: “Because of falling numbers and the school’s running costs, Holborn College will wind down its funding. It’s not a foregone conclusion that we will close, but that will be the case if we can’t bring someone else in to take over.

“I would love for the school to continue; it’s been here 60 years and is a big part of the community. We’ll do everything possible to keep it going, although if we can’t, then it’s my job to give it a dignified send-off.”

He said the school would not close before the end of the school year on July 16.

Holborn College spokesman Elizabeth Hess said: “The school is making unsustainable losses. We see this as being very much due to the prevailing economic climate and local competition. We are working closely with the schools in the area and the families to ensure the best options are provided.”

The school has called a meeting for parents on Thursday, January 21, at 6pm at the school.