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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Governing body formed at Chetwynde

IT is the start of a new dawn for a Furness private school saved from closure.

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BOARD MEMBERS: (l-r) Chetwynde School has now formed its new governing body. The team includes from left: Robert Swan, Dr Simon Mardel and David Featherston with headmaster, Russell Collier HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50034629B000

Chetwynde School has now formed its new governing body.

The governors, who are all parents of children at the three to 18 years school, are leading figures in local business and industry, bringing together a range of skills.

The board members are: chairman Dr Simon Mardel OBE, a hospital consultant, vice chairman David Featherston, a director with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), secretary John Keen, a chartered accountant, Steve Slater, a programme leader with Sellafield programme, Robert Swan, a director with GSK, and Brad Stoker, a director with Furness Park Motors.

The board aims to recruit further members in the near future.

A mystery benefactor, backed by local business owners, secured Chetwynde’s future by agreeing to buy the school and its building for educational use.

Back in March the former governing board had announced that Cumbria’s best performing school would close in July because of the falling pupil numbers.

Parents fought to save the school and Chetwynde Support Group was created, driving the campaign and creating a sustainable business plan.

The group raised £490,000, but a 225-pupil number goal for September fell short and the benefactor then stepped in.

The governors have described this period as “a new beginning” for Chetwynde.

Dr Mardel, said: “It’s a great school and it was worth saving.

“Because we have worked so well as a team, and we’ve worked so hard, I feel very comfortable with everyone and we know each other’s strengths.”

Mr Featherston, said: “It’s a very important responsibility, the education of our children is so important, it’s something we felt was imperative that we assisted with.”

Mr Swan, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be part of the governing body for a school like this.

“This is without doubt a tremendous school.”

Chetwynde has an open day on June 16 from 10am-1pm.

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