A HEAD teacher and parents have spoken out after plans to open a pre-school at a Bournemouth primary were refused.

Victoria Bryan submitted proposals to the Regional Schools Commissioner in the hope of opening the much-needed facility at Kinson Primary School in September.

But she was shocked to receive a phone call saying the request had been turned down.

From the start of the new academic year, parents will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds.

Miss Bryan said the school has the space, staff and facilities for a pre-school and that she cannot understand why the application has been refused.

"We consulted with the local community and the response was very positive" she said.

"A lot of local nurseries have closed and I was told a new one would be very welcome."

Now she has written to local MP Conor Burns and to local councillors in a bid to enlist their support.

And six Year 6 pupils have also penned letters to Mr Burns and have launched a petition, which has more than 150 signatures.

Kinson Primary School is a stand-alone academy which is a member of the Bournemouth Septenary Trust, a group of seven local primary schools.

Miss Bryan said she was told the application had been refused because the school is not part of a multi-academy trust and added: "I don't know why that makes a difference."

Parent Susan Baker told the Daily Echo: "I am, like other parents, very disappointed - it would have had such obvious benefits to local young families.

"Young families will have no choice but to travel further afield. As a community we run the risk of losing these young children to other schools when they reach school age.

"A pre-school would also be an income to the school, enabling it to continue down a line of improvement."

Fellow parent Lucy Mustion, said: "I'll now be forced to take my son to pre-school in Wallisdown and it will add an extra three hours travel every day because I don't drive. It's going to be different for my son once he comes to school here not knowing anyone."

Parent Hannah Shelley, whose son is in reception at the school and three-year-old daughter is looking to join a pre-school, added: "I was so upset when I found out. Having the pre-school here would improve the transition and I think it would be a really positive thing for the area."