PARENTS have hit back at the trustees of St Mary’s School after they announced The Stables nursery would close with the school – via text message.
When it was first revealed that the independent all-girls’ school would close at the end of the school term, it was promised The Stables, which takes babies and children up to the age they would start school all-year round, would stay open until the end of August.
But now, parents are having to take emergency days off because they had no time to find new childcare.
Kerry Ward has two boys who had been going to the nursery for four-and-a-half years.
She said: “This is completely dreadful behaviour, and by sending the statement after the nursery had closed on a Friday parents had no time to arrange anything else. Anybody with any decency would at least allow us to make arrangements. These are kids we are talking about and it is disgusting.”
Mrs Ward has had to find emergency childcare but said she had had trouble because one of her sons was too young to go to any summer schools.
“There’s people having problems having to take emergency day’s holiday because of this,” she said.
“I think the whole thing has been very poorly handled and the school could have been saved if they had told us earlier and the trustees are completely to blame for the state the school has ended up in.”
Parent Mark Harris said he was having to have alternative days off work with his wife because they had not yet been able to find alternative childcare.
Shortly before parents of pupils of the nursery received the text messages on Friday evening, they and parents of children who had just left St Mary’s on Friday, July 11, received an email informing them that the Battenhall school had gone into administration.
It said Andy McGill and Greg Palfrey of Smith and Williamson, the accountancy and investment management group, had been appointed as administrators of the 80-year-old school and had to close the nursery with the school because they had a legal responsibility not the make the financial position worse for creditors.
The trustees said: “When we realised that administration was inevitable, this meant we could not spend money other than to improve the position of the creditors as a whole. On taking advice we realised that anything we could say in any consultations could be changed by administrators and what they intended to achieve. We became focused on keeping the school open until the end of term.
“We all feel very sad that it has ended this way and are sorry that the last few weeks have been so difficult.”
Mr McGill said before it was decided that the school would have to enter administration, the Order had been providing financial support which it could no longer maintain and a search for a buyer for St Mary’s or along-term rescue plan had been fruitless.
“Unfortunately, given the significant level of funding required together with uncertainty regarding future pupil numbers no viable solution could be found. The trustees have had no alternative but to appoint administrators and regrettably we have had to close the school and nursery with immediate effect,” he said.
Notice periods and redundancies for staff will be handled by the administrators who will also provide exam results and certificates to pupils.