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Crisis meeting held as parents try to save threatened private school
PARENTS have launched a rescue bid to try to secure the future of a prestigious private school.
Norman Court Prep’s governors invited parents to a crisis meeting at the school to see if any were prepared to invest in the school.
Without funding, closure in July was “inevitable”, parents were told in a letter from governors this week.
However, the owners of the school buildings and 50-acre grounds at West Tytherley, claim governors’ fears are premature.
Tim Parker said that there was hope in the form of ongoing negotiations with potential investors with “educational interests”.
Mr Parker, who represents his family’s company Lukin Beneficiaries Ltd, the landlord company, said: “I have been exploring various possibilities with different investors to carry on the school and, indeed, improve it.
“I have given ten years of my life and a lot of financial support to the school.
I certainly wouldn’t wish to see that effort wasted.”
The independent school, which charges annual boarding fees close to £21,000, caters for about 200 children aged three to 13 and is run by a board of governors and trustees.
Head teacher Paddy Savage admitted that concern over the school’s future had led to some parents considering moving their children elsewhere.
However, he said that 120 parents, along with staff and governors, had attended a meeting at which a committee of five parents and a governor with “considerable financial skills” had been formed.
He said that this committee would now be making contact with parents who expressed an interest in helping to secure the school’s future financially and would report back in a week’s time.
Mr Savage said: “The school is not closing.
“There is a rescue bid under way to prevent that from happening.”
Mr Parker, who has been a benefactor of the school for the past 18 years, said that there was no question of the school being sold, as had been rumoured, and that he was merely looking for investors to secure the school’s future because of the scale of investment needed.
He said that, as part of those negotiations, if the interested party wished to take on the freehold this would be considered.
A letter sent to parents from chairman of governors Elizabeth Prescott- Decie said that the intake of pupils in 2011 was lower than forecast and this had forced the school into cost-cutting measures and freezing non-essential budgets.