Recession threatens independent school

A crisis sparked by a combination of the credit crunch, low pupil numbers and sizable bad debts has forced a Norfolk independent school into applying for voluntary administration.

A crisis sparked by a combination of the credit crunch, low pupil numbers and sizable bad debts has forced a Norfolk independent school into applying for voluntary administration.

But the principal, staff, parents and the 113 students at Wood-Dene School, near Cromer, have pledged a unified front and said they would do everything they could to battle back from their predicament.

They said they were determined not to join an ever-growing list of independent schools which have been closing in the face of the wider economic downturn.

In the short term the application for voluntary administration will allow the school to stay open until the end of the current academic year, allowing children to sit their end-of-year exams.


You may also want to watch:


And in the longer term a committee of professionals linked with the school, which charges maximum termly rates of �2,204 for the most senior years, has been formed to seek a viable solution for the future and establish a stable financial footing.

Wood-Dene principal and founder Diana Taylor said last night that alongside business recovery experts Vantis, she would work as hard as possible to ensure the school's survival.

Most Read

Mrs Taylor, pictured left, who started the school in Cromer 24 years ago before moving it to its current home a few miles away in Aylmerton in 1986, added: "Yes, we have a fight on our hands, but there is no one in this building who will not join in with that fight.

"We explained the situation at a parents' meeting on Wednesday evening and the support has been overwhelming.

"It's not all doom and gloom; there is a viable business here and we are confident we can overcome the current problems. Every possibility will be looked into."

Several parents spoke about their support for Mrs Taylor and the school.

Liz Arnold, whose 13-year-old daughter Tegan has been at the school since she was six, said: "If your objective is to find a school where your child will be nurtured and gently disciplined with time and care to become a happy, confident and individual young person, look no further.

"The situation is not desperate because we have so much support among the parents and teachers."

Fran Osborne, who has one child in the junior school and one in the senior, said: "It's a fantastic school and I don't know where we would be without it."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus