PARENTS of pupils at an outstanding Quinton pre-school are reeling after it closed suddenly due to safety concerns.

Christ Church Pre-School has closed its doors for good after 32 years - leaving eight staff out of work - after safety concerns over the building on Hagley Road West forced the move.

The pre-school had told parents of its 40 pupils it was closing for two weeks from December 27 for essential work to its building and would re-open on Tuesday January 21 - but after a surveyor's report identified immediate risks to safety including unsafe electrics and the danger of falling masonry in a shock move last week parents were told that it would not re-open.

A parent who didn't want to be named said: "The staff there are absolutely amazing. When my four-year-old son, who has sensory issues, started there he didn't speak, now you wouldn't know as he has full speech.

"We had a parents meeting yesterday (Tuesday) and we wanted to try to keep it going, by moving to a different venue, but they have said it has closed permanently.

"Parents offered to fundraise and some are in the building trade and offered to do work for free.

"We are upset - it was a shock - parents have been left in limbo with no-where to go.

"Some have had to take their children into work with them.

"I managed to get my son, who had a full-time place, into another nursery but only for three days a week and he doesn't like it there.

"My daughter was due to start in September."

The outstanding rated pre-school was based in the parish hall run by Christchurch, Quinton and was a separate charity, but under the church's umbrella.

Rev. Rachel Heathfield said they were forced to close the pre-school as a surveyor who visited the building identified eight issues which were of immediate risk to safety, some of which are caused by the fact that the building is standing on some sort of water source, which is causing damp, mould and compromising electrical safety and plumbing including the toilets.

She said nurseries around the country operate on a "financial knife-edge" and Birmingham City Council withdrew its funding for pupils from its patch from January 1, meaning that funds were not there to pay staff.

Rev Heathfield, said: "During the Christmas holiday the church undertook statutory safety tests on the parish hall.

"This was as a result of specific issues with the state of the building. These tests required a short period of closure.

"The results of these tests did not reveal any immediate risks to users. However, a number of additional areas of concern have been identified, both internally and externally. An emergency meeting of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) was held on 12th January at which the PCC reluctantly decided to continue the closure of the hall until further notice for the safety of all users.

"The PCC was aware of the impact that this closure would have on all its user groups, and particularly the pre-school.

"Immediate remedial repairs would still have required a significant period of closure, and would have had little effect on the large scale problems, such as the water level and drainage, from which so many issues derive.

"The PCC is devastated at the problems which this has caused, particularly for the pre-school - to parents as well as the loss of jobs for the staff, but the health and safety of all users is of paramount concern."

A statement from Christ Church Pre-School's Chair of Trustees read: "The temporary closure of the hall put financial pressure on the pre-school, and when we heard that this would continue for the foreseeable future, it became clear that the pre-school was no longer a going concern.

"Without financial viability and no building available for immediate relocation, the charity that runs the pre-school was left with no option but to cease to exist.

"We are extremely sad that 32 years of serving the local community has come to an end so abruptly and very much regret the disruption to children and parents at this stage in the school year."

The pre-school had eight full and part-time staff and 40 children, 25 of whom were full-time.