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Penzance School 'To Close' By July

Cornwall News

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 9:25am 5th December 2014

Parents at one of Cornwall's oldest independent schools are told it could close in July.

Bosses at GEMS Bolitho in Penzance say classes are too small and it will affect pupils' learning.

They are holding meetings with mums and dads to discuss what happens now.

A consultation ha also started and investors are being invited to come forward.

Martin Clark, Regional Director of Schools, GEMS UK and Europe, said: "Our first priority remains the education, well-being and welfare of all our pupils and staff.

"We are committed to supporting pupils, their families and staff at this difficult time. Our focus will be on managing the transition of pupils' education to a new school, giving those children who will shortly be sitting exams support, and, wherever possible, minimising redundancies.

"We understand this decision will be upsetting for parents, pupils and staff, particularly at this time of year.  However, we wanted to let parents, pupils and staff know as soon as possible, so they have the maximum time to plan for the future.

"This decision has been taken only after a robust and comprehensive assessment of the available options and has been arrived at with much regret."

GEMS Education took over the school in January 2010 when it was in receivership, at a time when pupil numbers were already in decline. Since taking over the school, GEMS Education has paid off the school’s debts and built facilities such as a brand new prep school building and sixth form centre.

But pupil numbers have declined from 300 pupils in January 2006 to 178 this October.

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