Challenging Times: More Prep School Closures

Two more UK prep schools have announced that they are closing due to a decline in student numbers and financial challenges.
Challenging Times: More Prep School Closures
By Carli Allan
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Two more UK prep schools are forced to close at the end of this academic year due to dwindling student numbers and financial pressures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Loreto Prep School in Altrincham has announced this week that it will close in July due to “unprecedented financial challenges”. The all-girls Catholic school enrols 120 students aged three to 11 years.

In a statement, the school said they were “extremely saddened and upset” at having to take the decision.

“The school is facing unprecedented financial challenges which is due in part to the impact of the pandemic and the current economic climate, and following external advice, we have determined that the school is no longer viable, based on the decline in student numbers.

“Our priority now is to support our pupils, their families and our colleagues over the next few weeks and months, to make sure that they are looked after as best we can during this unsettling period.”

Also this week, the co-ed London prep Redcliffe Gardens School told parents that the school will close in July due to a shortage of students. The co-ed school for Reception through to Year 6 has annual fees of £20,670 and is part of the Godolphin and Latymer School Foundation.

These closures highlight the challenging times for some UK prep schools, which offer a primary education to students aged five to 11-13 years. The average term fees for an independent prep school in 2022 was £4,827 for day students and £8,951 for boarders, according to the Independent Schools Council’s annual census. 

Ashbrooke House School in Weston-super-Mare closed in July 2022, blaming “the pandemic, the increasing high cost of living and other financial burdens” for a substantial decline in its student numbers. Other prep schools to close in the past 18 months have included The Bruton School for Girls and Deepdene School in West Sussex, both blaming a decline in student numbers.

Abberley Hall School in Worcestershire faces closure by the end of this academic year if it does not find additional funding.

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