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St Mary's School "impossible to run" say governors
THE only all girl's school in Worcester has announced it will be closing at the end of the school year.
After 80 years in the city, St Mary's School will close its doors and all its students will have to find another education provider from September.
According to Andrew Cleary, chairman of the governors, who told staff members during a meeting earlier this evening just before parents of children who attend the single-sex school, it had become impossible to run the school.
He said: "As a St Mary's parent myself, this is a very sad day for all the families who have girls at the school and for our wider community of former pupils and staff, many whom loved their time here."
He added that the recession had also had a negative effect as well as it becoming very difficult to bring new girls into the school.
Any students that had got places to start in the autumn term will have to find new schools along with about 270 pupils that already attended the Battenhall Avenue independent school.
RGS Worcester, which found places for the students at the former Alice Ottley School in 2007, will be offering places across its other schools in the area, including The Grange and Springfield, to displaced students but will not be able to offer the all girls environment the Catholic school has been providing.
The nearest all girls independent school is Dodderhill School in Droitwich, but it only takes girls up to the age of 16 and not 18 like St Mary's, which offered education from nursery right through to the end of sixth form.
It was also announced that there would be redundancies for both teaching and non-teaching staff.
Governors said they would help find new positions for the staff elsewhere, however, finding places for pupils would be more difficult because of the nature of the other independent schools nearby.
In its last inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in September 2013, St Mary's ranked 'good' for it's pupils achievement and development.
Also in the report it was stated that the school did not meet all requirements of the Independent School Standards Regulations 2010, and was required to put in to place all appropriate safeguarding arrangements and to make sure the arrangements had due regard to the guidance issued by the secretary of state.
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