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Private schools warn they ‘could close permanently’ amid pandemic

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Many more private schools could be forced to “close permanently” due to the coronavirus pandemic, as fee paying schools have been struggling.

Christopher King, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (Iaps), said fee-paying schools who have already been struggling may be “tipped over the financial edge.”

The Prime Minister’s former school, Ashdown House in East Sussex are set to close due to financial problems caused by the pandemic.

The chief executive of laps who have over 600 members across the UK has warned private schools could close for good, if they fail to recruit more pupils in the autumn.

King told the PA news agency, “I don’t think that there will be necessarily many closures of schools between now and September, but there could be more announced during the next academic year.”

He said, “The concerns will arise because of the fundamental affordability of private education.

“Committing to pay school fees over a long term is a decision that people don’t take lightly.

“Once they enter into it they by and large want to commit over a long period of time and they will only do that if they feel pretty secure and secure in employment.”

Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, said the sector may not know the true impact of the Covid-19 crisis for many months – and it may depend on how the next school year starts.

She told PA news agency, “If we can get back into school soon it becomes a temporary blip. The longer it goes on the more of a concern it is.”

She added, “We know schools are considering their financial situation. Of course, they’re watching this really carefully and they’re having to plan for several different possible scenarios going into the next academic year.

“It’s a time of anxiety for the parents and for the school.”




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