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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Chetwynde School in Barrow to close

CHETWYNDE School is to close in July.

DISAPPOINTED: Chetwynde School headmaster Russell Collier

The independent day school’s board of governors made the announcement to staff yesterday (28/3) at a meeting at the school in Rating Lane, Barrow. Letters have also been sent to all parents.

The closure will affect 287 pupils and 78 full and part-time members of staff.

Governors said a steady decline in pupil numbers since 2004, coupled with the current economic climate, meant the school will not be financially viable after the summer term.

Chetwynde was founded in 1938 and teaches pupils aged three to 18. The school celebrated a record-breaking year in 2011, topping Cumbria’s school and college league table with 100 per cent of its previous Year 11 group achieving at least five A* to C GCSEs or equivalent, including English and maths, and an overall 100 per cent pass rate at A-Level, with its average point score per exam entry being the highest in the county.

Chairman of the governing body, Dr Gerry Murray, said: “The governing body is very sad to announce that the school will close at the end of this academic year. The present financial climate has led to a reduction in numbers, and the school is no longer financially viable.

“Chetwynde has provided an excellent academic education for a huge number of young people in the area since 1938. The governors are acutely aware of the impact that the closure will have upon present staff, pupils and parents. However, this most difficult decision has been forced upon us.

“The loss of such a fine school will of course have far reaching effects in this area, and it is with heavy hearts that the governors have reached this very difficult decision.”

Headmaster Russell Collier, who joined the school in 2010, said in a statement issued today: “It fills me with immense sadness that Chetwynde will close and I am desperately disappointed that such a successful school, that has achieved so much, is no longer financially viable.

“Whether people agree or not with private education in principle is not the issue. What concerns me is that this area of Cumbria deserves and needs a school like Chetwynde, and its closure will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the community and the local economy.

“My focus is firmly on the staff, pupils and parents, to ensure that we can make their transition away from the school as smooth and painless as possible.

“It will be difficult, but we have a duty to the pupils in our care to ensure that we continue to educate them whilst they remain at Chetwynde.”

A meeting between governors and parents is scheduled to be held at the school on April 18.

Have your say

I went to chetwynde many years ago - my parents struggled to afford the fees- however my education there has Contributed to my success in life and I thank my parents for the sacrifices we made as a family to better my education

Posted by Tracie on 1 May 2012 at 16:33

at the end of the day my kids don't go to private school but we did pay and save more for a house in Barrow in a good school catchment area, is this not a similar thing????

Posted by kev on 16 April 2012 at 20:32

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