St Mary's trustees reveal reasons for rejecting parent group's business proposal (From Worcester News)
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St Mary's trustees reveal reasons for rejecting parent group's business proposal
3:46pm Wednesday 9th July 2014 in News
TRUSTEES of St Mary's has revealed the reasons why they rejected a business plan put forward by parents battling to keep the independent school open.
A statement from the Catholic school's trustees said the proposals put forward by Parent Action Group (PAG) did not deal sufficiently with the structural financial issues of the trust.
It said there was no provision for the financial 'shock' as the school faced high maintenance costs and falling numbers forcing the "heartrending" decision to close the school.
Despite PAG already managing to raise over £100,000 in a week, the trustees said it could not be considered a viable option so they were obliged to refuse to support the plan.
According to the statement, the trustees had spent the last year "exhaustively exploring every possible avenue" to save the city's only all-girls' school.
"Chairman Andrew Cleary, working tirelessly alongside other governors, has attempted to prevent its closure, exploring options including further funding from the Catholic Order, finance from UK and overseas charitable trusts along with partnerships with other schools.
"However the school has been steadily losing money as a result of the combined effect of falling pupil numbers with high maintenance costs on the buildings and no further support was forthcoming.
"The trustees, many of whom are closely involved with the school, was finally forced make the heartrending decision to close the school in late June with the wellbeing of the girls, and most importantly, the stability of their educational futures, consistently at the forefront of the decision-making process.
"PAG was provided with the information memorandum from Grant Thornton and so were given exactly the same detailed figures necessary to put together such a plan as all the other trusts that had been approached over the last few months.
"However PAG, did not deal sufficiently with the structural financial issues of the trust and had no provision for financial ‘shock’ and with just £100,000 in pledges, including advanced fee payments, sadly could not be considered as a viable option, so the trustees’ were obliged to refuse to support the plan."
The statement added that the trustees offered to step down with immediate effect to be replaced by members of the PAG on the condition that the Order and their Advisers give the new plan their backing.
However, they also rejected the proposals.
St Mary's is due to close its doors on Friday with the school's nursery The Stables set to close in August.