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Parents ‘deeply saddened’ as Norfolk school says it will close without funding boost

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:40 17 November 2018

St Nicholas House School, North Walsham. The school faces closure if it cannot find emergency funding. Picture: Archant

St Nicholas House School, North Walsham. The school faces closure if it cannot find emergency funding. Picture: Archant

Archant Norfolk 2014

Pupils at a school in north Norfolk may not be able to return after Christmas unless funding is found to keep it open.

St Nicholas House Prep School in North Walsham has held meetings with parents and staff this week to tell them the school will be closing at the end of term unless “significant investment” can be secured.

In a statement, directors Andrew and Tessa Dewing said all involved were “devastated” at the situation.

“We are extremely upset that despite our best efforts we have to deliver this sad news,” they said.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents for their encouragement, the staff for all their hard work, care and commitment and everybody involved with St Nicks for their unwavering support.

“From the bottom of our hearts we wish all of you the very best for the future.”

They added: “St Nicks has been a very happy school where children have thrived. The pupils have all gone on to enjoy success wherever their educational journey has taken them.”

Parents Geoff and Mandy Beck said they were “deeply saddened” by the news.

“The school’s ethos is what makes it special, creating an incredible learning environment for the children.

“The dedication of the staff has enabled our children to thrive and we will be terribly saddened to lose the St Nicks community we have had the pleasure of being part of.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for their commitment and dedication towards our children’s education and to the shareholders for supporting it financially for so long,” they said.

The school in Yarmouth Road was subject to a buyout 
by parents in 2015, when it had 40 pupils.

During recent money troubles its parent group has committed some financial help, but Mr and Mrs Dewing said the losses “can no longer be supported”, with fees and pupil numbers too low to support the school’s costs.

It recorded a loss of £157,000 for 2017, with a similar figure expected this year.

After a second potential buyer dropped out earlier this month, the directors decided to seek insolvency advice.

St Nicholas House will continue to run until the end of term, when it will close its doors for the final time unless further funds can be found.

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