Private school faces closure due to financial problems

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Newham Recorder

An independent school in Forest Gate has suddenly announced it may be closing its gates – but hasn’t told parents when, the Newham Recorder reports.

A fortnight ago, parents from Grangewood Independent School received letters and emails telling them the school is anticipated to close due to “financial constraints”.

Emergency meetings on March 1 and 3 confirmed the contents of the letter, but parents have not been told when that closure is likely to be.

The school are in a consultation period with staff discussing possible alternatives.

Michelle Egbe has a son in Year Five and a daughter, now doing her A-Levels, who also attended Grangewood.

“We’re obviously really concerned,” she said. “We have parents whose children have just started at school, and parents who have three or four children in the school.

“How are we meant to get our children into other schools at this point in the year?”

Last year a parents group held a meeting with governors in which they were told the school had been sold in 2015. It is believed this went ahead without consulting parents.

According to the letter, difficulty recruiting pupils and low fees, combined with an improvement in the quality of education, has led to a gap between income and expenditure.

The situation was made worse by some parents failing to pay their fees.

In January, the school was still advertising for places in its nursery.

Michelle, who’s lived in Beckton for the last 20 years, said she had no suitable alternative.

“It’s been the most nurturing environment for him,” she said.

“Since starting at Grangewood he’s been a changed boy.

“It’s the ethos which makes it special – it’s so embracing. And the teachers are the most dedicated bunch you’ve ever met.”

A spokesman from the school said: “The Directors of Grangewood Educational Association have sent a letter to parents advising that due to financial reasons, they are considering the closure of the school.

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“They have not given a date for any possible closure.

“If the school does close, for the sake and well-being of the children, the staff would at least like the school to continue to the end of the academic year.”

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