A £9,857-a-year school will close its doors next month, following a saga which first began more than three years ago.
Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley (RSSKL) told parents by email on Saturday afternoon that trustees had decided to make a “managed voluntary closure”.
Although several details are yet to be confirmed, it is understood that the school is unlikely to be legally or financially viable beyond that point.
The statement to parents said: “We foresee that the school is likely to be closed at the end of this summer term.
“The trustees have been newly elected and are currently reviewing options for education alternatives in September. Although the school will be closing we wish to emphasise that the community will live on and the new trustee board will seek to nourish and support this as much as possible.
“A variety of proposals have been put forward and we are actively exploring the options for a Waldorf educational setting in the future.”
Three main factors have caused the closure of the school, although bosses have not said which was decisive.
The school was appealing against moves by the government to close it, following a series of critical inspections which highlighted various failings, including leadership and safeguarding.
In addition the school had been unable to secure insurance for the next school year.
Finally, the school was under significant financial pressures. Falling student numbers threatened the school’s viability, and there was also a six-figure pension deficit. Former principal Tim Byford previously warned that the school’s budget could be cut by around 10 per cent next year.
One bright spot on the horizon appeared to come in April when the school appealed to parents for loans and donations, and for next year’s fees to be paid early, so that the school could fight its legal battle against the government’s closure efforts.
Parents subsequently offered to loan the school £750,000.
This week the school refused to say how many parents had paid their fees early, or made loans and donations, or how much money was offered by other organisations.
The school also declined to say what would now be done with this money.
A spokesman told the Gazette: “Even if the school closes, the community would live on and the new trustee board would seek to nourish and support this community as much as possible.
“A variety of proposals have been put forward and we are actively exploring these. We will provide further information about this as soon as possible.”
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