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St Mary's: Action group frustrated
AN ACTION group which is trying to save St Mary’s school from closure says it is being hampered by a lack of information.
Parents and staff at the independent Battenhall school are trying to get hold of details which may help them save the school from closing, but they say the trustees have so far not responded to their requests.
The Parent Action Group (PAG) held a meeting at the school on Monday to brainstorm ideas and start putting together a business plan to either clear the school’s debt by the end of August or to put a plan in place to reduce it so the school could remain open.
But group spokesman Steve Borwell-Fox said none of the trustees had spoken to the group, including chairman Andrew Cleary, who made the school closure announcement, nor any of the nuns from the order which owns the site.
He said: “The parents are extremely grateful for the historic support that the trustees had provided for the school but were taken aback by the speed of developments and the time limit given to parents to look at further options.
“(We are) seeking a dialogue with the trustees to propose a number of ways in which they believed the income deficit could be overcome.”
He added that the group had access to the published accounts, which were accessible publicly and showed the net worth of the school halving from 2010 to 2012, but the trustees have not given the group access to current profit and loss statements, balance sheets or the full list of remedial work and buildings and grounds work that needs planning and budgeting for.
“We have repeatedly asked for the above, as well as creditor, debtors, top suppliers reports, etc, but still have not received these some nine days after the initial announcement,” added Mr Borwell-Fox.
“Every day that goes by, the staff, teachers and pupil numbers dwindle.
“It is tragic, and many people are asking questions and speculating.”
Neither headteacher Catherine Jawaheer nor Mr Cleary were available to comment to your Worcester News yesterday. The group has vowed to do all it can to work with the trustees to save the school.
Next Monday evening (July 7) a follow-up meeting is being held to allow the action group to present a draft business plan to the parents, prospective parents, teachers, staff and trustees and still anticipate this leading to the school remaining open.