A £7,000-a-year Hampshire independent school will close its doors for the last time this summer.

Woodhill School in Botley will not reopen again in September due to a “difficult financial climate”.

The parents of more than 40 pupils, aged three to 11, will now have to find their children alternative schools.

Parents were informed of the decision to close over the Easter weekend and bosses say that the six remaining teachers will lose their jobs. .

Headteacher for 20 years, Mike Dacombe said: "We have been running at a loss and the situation does not look good. Rather than let the school fade away slowly we took the brave decision to close permanently. It's hard, we are all sad. The parents do not want to stop sending their children here but it's the climate we're living in."

A new governing body was set-up in March 2018 however, following an Ofsted inspection in October 2018, Woodhill received an "inadequate" rating.

The Watchdog's report found that school leaders and the proprietor had not ensured all the independent school standards were met and that teaching was consistently not good enough across most subjects.

However, the school was praised for its pupils' behaviour and welfare and for its effective safeguarding measures.

Mike added: "After 50 years and over 2,500 pupils, Woodhill Preparatory School is set to close on July 12. Despite being a well-loved school by pupils and parents, an inadequate Ofsted report has contributed to falling numbers. Parents and staff have been given a full term’s notice of the closure so that they have time to find new schools. We are all sad that the school will be closing but are determined to make sure this last term will be a special one for the children."

Woodhill closed its sister establishment in Chandler’s Ford in 2014 also due to the "economic climate" and is now the last in the business group.

At the time 60 children were offered the chance to move to Woodhill in Botley where there were plans to expand.

Described as an Independent Preparatory Day School for boys and girls, Woodhill's mission is to provide “a happy atmosphere in which pupils can thrive and feel successful; achieve academic success and receive a wide range of academic experiences and opportunities within the wider curriculum.”