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DD's School Closing in a Week

(25 Posts)
SophiaLarsen Sat 09-Feb-19 00:45:06

Can't sleep. Got an email this evening to say the school (private) had gone into administration and would be closing in a week. They'd had some issues but had a good development plan, made new staff appointments, were taking on new pupils etc. The school newsletter came out at the end of the day with future diary dates etc, could we bring in newspaper for the art room etc, then 1.5 hours later an email to say that the school wouldn't be open after half term.

I am so sad for my child who has really gained in confidence there and the teachers are great. Its extra galling to be told on a Friday evening, leaving me impotent in trying to sort looking at new schools. I've heard that the other nearest private school has 3 places. I've done all I can tonight but putting out email enquiries etc. I've rationalised in my head and will swing into action on monday morning but I so gutted and its keeping me awake.

DD is so happy there. There hasn't't even been an email saying how next week will play out, just notice of a meeting with the administrators on Monday evening. My reply to the email notice asking basic admin questions got an auto response from the administration company.

Don't know why I am posting really. I just needed to get it all down.

Downeyhouse Sat 09-Feb-19 05:01:19

That is so sad. I am sorry that your and your daughter are facing this. I hope you can secure a new place for her ASAP.

FredFlinstoneMadeOfBones Sat 09-Feb-19 07:59:39

I'm so sorry how sad. The exact same thing happened to my nephews' school. My brother in law has been at the school too and suddenly just before they were due back after the summer they were told it wasn't reopening. Other local schools were very sympathetic and created a few extra spaces. The boys have settled in really well and are enjoying their new school. Both have a few from their old school at their new one. Good luck op.

thereinmadnesslies Sat 09-Feb-19 08:05:51

This happened at a local private school. Other private schools tried to help, one opened new classes in several year groups to take on the children. My friend was worried that her daughter would be really disrupted but she loves the new school and had moved forward quickly.

HexagonalBattenburg Sat 09-Feb-19 09:53:29

Happened at a school I taught at (believe me the staff were told by letters that arrived on a Saturday morning just the same as the pupils were and just left to deal with the fallout on the Monday morning while the owner locked herself in the office doing the "woe is me" routine with the only bloody photocopier in the school in there with her to add insult to injury )

If it helps - the local other private schools rallied round and everyone got placed somewhere they were happy with - the other schools got a rise in pupil numbers which swelled their bank balances so they were happy with it, and it wasn't as bad an upheaval for the pupils as everyone had initially dreaded. The staff's situation was another story as it was later found that pension contributions had gone walkies, people had nightmares getting references and I don't really think my career ever recovered from it to be fair.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Sat 09-Feb-19 11:47:50

Are you in touch with other parents? Do you know what they're planning?

BubblesBuddy Sat 09-Feb-19 15:30:05

I think parents of some private schools never look at the Charity Commission or company accounts! I really advocate everyone does this.

My DDs school rallied round to accept girls when a nearby one closed. They had traded on a cheap and cheerful model but it doesn’t work. There is a price to be paid for education and many small private schools cannot charge what they need to and they don’t get economies of scale either.

I assume they were trying to sell or borrow and all avenues have been closed off. I hope the children can get new school places.

4point2fleet Sat 09-Feb-19 18:51:55

A good number of the small private schools are not charities BubblesBuddy, and whist possible, it is not as easy to get clear information from Companies House about the health of a business.

SophiaLarsen Sat 09-Feb-19 19:17:43

Thanks for the messages of support. Yes, I'm in touch with other parents. Apparently there are a couple of plans for rescue bids but with only days to go I'm remaining unconvinced but will hear more on Monday night.

Yy to lack of ease of Company House info and a fellow mum did pay to check the finances just 2 months ago and they were good and solvent. This whole thing has come about almost overnight. The teachers are keen to keep going. They found out an hour before the parents.

There are the odd spaces at other local schools but not many. Getting fighting elbows out wink

BrizzleMint Sat 09-Feb-19 22:36:54

What bad timing with half term coming up. Good luck OP.

dietcokemegafan Mon 11-Feb-19 20:34:57

How did you get on with your phone calls today @SophiaLarsen?

Bamchic Mon 11-Feb-19 20:42:00

Hope things went well Sophia

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Feb-19 21:23:07

So if it was solvent a few months ago, what’s gone wrong? I haven’t had a problem finding info from the filed accounts. I also have not had children at a private school that wasn’t a charity. I prefer that set up because you can check financial facts and other information. Schools are much better off being charities. I would not necessarily want owners taking out lots of money which should be spent on the children.

SophiaLarsen Mon 11-Feb-19 21:50:51

No idea at the moment other than gradual decline. The administrators will investigate. Positive calls today. DD has a taster day at a school on Weds and we're going to an open day tomorrow. All schools aware of the need to act fast.

Feel drained! DD being very chipper.

Paddingtonthebear Wed 13-Feb-19 18:34:28

I think you are local to me OP.

Sad for the kids but hopefully you will find a place elsewhere. I’ve heard some of the other private schools in the region are trying to offer places.

NanooCov Wed 13-Feb-19 18:40:36

Checking Companies House accounts reveals very little about solvency due to time companies have to lodge accounts to companies House or charities commission - 9 months or 10 months respectively.

Catamaran1 Thu 14-Feb-19 08:55:52

When a local private secondary school announced they were closing at the end of August, another school laid on a school bus to pick them up and take them to theirs.

Catamaran1 Thu 14-Feb-19 08:58:43

Good luck with finding a new place

BubblesBuddy Thu 14-Feb-19 11:22:20

To be honest, few schools get into trouble over just one academic year. It’s gradual and you can see the decline. If numbers don’t stack up, either they are borrowing or they are unsustainable in the long term unless they get bequests or sell land etc. The numbers in each year group are also likely to be falling so there is less income. The school I knew that closed was dodgy for years but I’m afraid parents put their heads in the sand because it was a nice little school. Little is often the problem. Too small can lead to financial problems because you cannot charge what you need to charge if you don’t offer a full range of facilities and opportunities for the children. It is a real balancing act to keep very small schools going.

MrsWOLF1 Thu 14-Feb-19 17:14:37

If it's the school I think it is ,this is sad news .A small school that has been educating children for a very long time ,unfortunately pupil numbers are low and the last inspection wasn't great .I believe a current member of staff is hoping to put together a new plan to move forward .School is currently still open

MrPickles73 Thu 14-Feb-19 18:01:09

I believe you are at the same school as a friend of mine...
For what it's worth giving a week's notice is morally corrupt. Usually parents get at least a term to find an alternative. The staff are also left high and dry.
My friend has been very upset. Best of luck with finding a new school xx

GallicosCats Fri 15-Feb-19 14:34:13

The school I did my O-levels at - a tiny all-through girls' independent - closed at the same time I left under very similar circumstances to the OP. I remember the headmistress getting very thin-skinned in the last year or so and cancelling the end of year entertainment the previous summer because the satire had allegedly been too near the knuckle.

At the same time there were lots of grand plans for swimming pools etc., a shiny new prospectus, and a celebrity at the last prize giving. hmm With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I can see that they had inadequate facilities for science and PE, and traded too much on their 'caring' reputation by taking on pupils funded by the LEA, while neglecting the needs of the paying customers. They were in no position to keep up with the times.

I always bear this in mind when I hear the 'private is better' slogan.

Flashinggreen Fri 15-Feb-19 14:54:09

I really feel for you Sophia, this is also local to me, I hope you’ve managed to find somewhere for your DD. I’d also be pissed off half a terms fees were lost.

Paddingtonthebear Fri 15-Feb-19 17:49:53

Saw that it’s definitely closing forever today. So sad and abrupt for the kids.

MrPickles73 Sun 17-Feb-19 07:51:12

I hope you've managed to secure a new school ok.

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