Kilgraston School looks set to be saved from closure after an education provider stepped in and an action group raised £2m in just a few days, The Daily Record reports.
The paper reports that the Catholic girls’ boarding school is now in “advanced discussions” with Chinese-owned education provider Achieve Education Limited, to safeguard the future of the school and provide “much-needed financial strength and stability”.
Achieve Education also owns Chase Grammar in Cannock, Staffordshire and Abbotsholme School in Uttoxeter.
It was announced last Thursday by the board of trustees that Kilgraston would cease operations from June 24.
In response, a Kilgraston Action Group was formed on Friday to raise £2m in the space of a week to save the school.
Achieve Education says it will continue to provide the “same ethos, values and traditions” that pupils and parents have come to expect throughout its 96-year history.
The group will work in partnership with headteacher Tanya Davie and her team, who will continue to lead the school under the guidance of the Achieve Education advisory board, and actively support in the transition.
Achieve Education’s board of directors includes Michael Farmer, a former headteacher of the school. During his tenure, the school achieved the highest growth rate within its sector, and was recognised nationally in 2011 by being named the UK Independent School of the Year.
Another director will be Barry Farrell, who previously joined Kilgraston School in 2000 as bursar and helped turn around the school’s financial fortunes.
This was also recognised at the Independent School Awards 2011, with Kilgraston winning the prize for Outstanding Commercial/Financial Initiative.
A joint statement from Kilgraston School, Achieve Education Limited and the Parents Steering Committee, seen by ISMP, said: “We acknowledge the immense efforts and commitments of Kilgraston School’s parents, guardians, alumnae and other benefactors and it is this support and loyalty that has been a key factor in Achieve Education Limited moving quickly to keep the school open.
“We would like to work closely with parents and guardians, now and in the future, to restore faith in the school and the outstanding educational and pastoral opportunities it offers.
“We will now work in good faith, as quickly as we can, to try and achieve legal completion of this proposal in conjunction with parents, guardians, pupils and staff.
“It is all our hopes that Kilgraston School will have a bright, long and successful future.”