Independent schools close due to coronavirus economic pressures

News Article

A number of independent schools have been forced to permanently close their doors after financial pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, crippled their finances.

Moreton Hall Preparatory School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, announced that it will close in the summer. During the lockdown, the school offered to teach “remotely or in person” but has admitted the coronavirus was the final straw after struggling for some time to balance its books.

It is believed that at least 40 staff will be made redundant.  In a statement, the school explained the reasons for the closure, saying: “Many parents now find themselves in difficult financial straits; overseas boarding will not become feasible again until at least 2021 to 2022; and we cannot draw on the usual annual income from summer camps. It is a perfect storm.”

Meanwhile, a Northamptonshire independent school has announced that it will close for good later this year.

St Peter’s Independent School in Blackthorn will not reopen at the start of the 2020/2021 school year, after trustees took the difficult decision to close.

The non-selective independent school, which caters for boys and girls aged three to sixteen, had celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019, but blamed the current pandemic for its financial troubles.

Palmers’ Luke Morgan said: “Sadly all schools – both state and independently run – have struggled with the financial impact of Covid-19.

“However, for private schools, the pressures can often threaten their very existence. It is therefore critical to seek advice and practical support from specialist advisors who can provide guidance on a range of measures that will help the organisation not only survive but also thrive in the long-term.”

At Palmers, our experts are able to assist with:

  • Advice relating to staff and employment law including redundancies
  • Negotiating with creditors
  • Advice on amalgamations and closures
  • Charitable and trust requirements
  • Merger and acquisition opportunities
  • Due diligence for schools considering a M&A
  • Securing equity funding

For help with all aspects of debt advice and legal support, please contact us.


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