The governors of a school that will close in December have slammed ‘the increasing hysteria and hostility of some parents’.
Tring’s Francis House Preparatory School announced the plan last month on the same day the news was leaked to this website.
A sign appeared outside of the Longfield Road entrance to the private institution last week, warning that governors plan to sell it for ‘housing development’. The sign has now been removed.
In a statement, the governors said: “The suggestion that the school has been closed due to the owners wishing to sell the site for development is simply untrue.”
A quote in the parents’ statement claimed that they have been ‘left to fumble in the dark amid speculation at the real reasons behind the school closure’.
But the governors say this statement is ‘both highly inflammatory and misleading’.
They said: “The governors have been entirely frank and honest as to the reasons behind the closure.”
Chairman of governors Ron Busby wrote a letter to parents about this on Wednesday, June 18 – the same day this website published its first story about the closure
It explained that the governors took on the school from its previous owners in 2000, thinking they could increase pupil numbers and reverse financial losses.
But in 10 of the 14 years since then, the school has made a pre-tax loss. Pupil numbers in September will be around the same as they were in 2000.
Just 126 pupils currently attend the school.
In the governors’ statement, they say they are concerned by ‘numerous false and misleading rumours’ about the school closure and ‘the increasing hysteria and hostility of some parents’.
They say: “The governors understand fully, of course, that emotions are running high and that staff, parents and pupils alike are distressed by the announcement that the school will close in December.
“The governors have made significant investments in terms of time, effort and finance in running the school over the past 14 years.
“They deeply regret having had to make the decision to close the school but had no option due to its precarious financial position: falling pupil numbers and the withdrawal of support from their bank.
“The decision was made after long and careful consideration.”