PARENTS of children at Minster School say they are “devastated” by its closure – and have hit out to question why they were not informed earlier.

As reported by The Press, the school in York announced last month that it was to close after York Minster reportedly suffered a £5.2 million hole in its budget as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The school shut for good on Tuesday last week.

And several parents – who last week took their children to the school for the final time – are upset, claiming there was a lack of consultation.

Helen Dawson, whose daughter, Imogen, was in year 1, said: “This is a desperately sad time for not just the pupils and staff, but for the heritage of York.

"The connection between the Minster and the school is a very special one that has seemingly been casually thrown away overnight. The news came out of the blue, so close to the end of the school year.

"It has thrown parents into a total panic trying to find alternative places for our children, at schools that they will not be able to visit before they start there. Choosing a new school is not something parents should be forced to rush into.

“We just cannot understand why the parents haven’t been given any opportunity whatsoever to help with saving the school, as would normally be the case."

Another parent said: “Parents, pupils and teachers alike are left devastated, shocked, angry, heartbroken at the closure of the school. There has been no consultation with any parents or any attempt to encourage fundraising to save the school.

"I know for a fact the teachers only found out minutes before letters were sent to the parents. I can only imagine how the staff are feeling. With only five weeks’ notice given to us, it is also very stressful for parents to find alternative school placements especially in this Covid-19 lockdown where visits to schools are prohibited.”

A spokesman for the Minster said: “The harsh reality is that the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the Minster’s vital tourism income virtually overnight. The scale of funding needed to continue supporting the school over the coming years is no longer available. The financial shock is very deep and it will take years, not months, to recover.

“When the scale of the crisis became clear we acted swiftly to inform parents. There was no time for a running commentary: the urgent priority was to protect the best interests of the children by helping their parents to secure new school places before the start of the new school year.

"As a result, over 90 per cent of the children have a confirmed place at their new school.”