CONFIRMED: After weeks of rumours, school announces it will close in December this year

The back entrance to Francis House Preparatory School
The back entrance to Francis House Preparatory School

It has been confirmed after weeks of rumours that Francis House Preparatory School will permanently close in December this year.

A statement released to this website today by the governors of the private institution – after we published this story yesterday – says staff, parents and pupils have now been informed.

The statement says: “This small independent school has a long and excellent record of success and is highly praised by parents and pupils for the quality of its teaching and pastoral care.

“However, it continually struggles to attract the pupil numbers necessary to secure the ongoing viability and future of the school.

“The governors have regrettably had to accept that there is insufficient demand for such a school in and around Tring.

“Having explored every sensible, legal and practical option available to them, the governors have concluded that an orderly closure is the best course of action.

“In taking that decision, they wish to place on record their immense gratitude to the head and all of the teaching and support staff for all that they have done for the pupils that have passed through their care.

“They also wish to thank those parents that have maintained their commitment to the school and sincerely apologise to them for the upset and uncertainty resulting from the decision to close the school.”

On its website, Francis House lists the names of 32 teachers and eight other members of staff. The school caters for children aged from two to 11 and is situated in Aylesbury Road, Tring.

Fees range from £890 to £3,040 per term according to the Independent Schools Council website. The authority was full of praise for the institution in its latest standard inspection report in 2010, when the school’s total number of pupils was listed as 110.

Francis House was founded in 2000 when the preparatory school of the former convent of St Francis de Sales closed. The school has a Christian ethos.