Plans to bridge funding gap could save White House SchoolBy Laura Herbert
March 21, 2012
Plans are being drawn up by parents, staff and governors in a bid to save a Wokingham school from the threat of closure.
White House School announced earlier this month it is under threat of closing as the economic downturn has led to falling pupils numbers.
But the independent preparatory school’s community has pledged to work together to find a way of securing its future.
Following a meeting last Thursday plans are now being put together looking at a short-term fix to bridge a funding gap and a long-term plan to ensure the school in Finchampstead Road remains open.
A statement from the school said: “Initial proposals to safeguard the future of White House Preparatory School have been positively received by parents, staff and governors at a meeting held at the school on Thursday, March 15.
“The parents’ working group, which was set up last week, has explored a number of options that would allow the school to remain open.
“These were presented as both a preliminary plan to meet a short-term funding gap, and a business plan that would ensure the long-term continuity of education at White House School.
“The meeting also clearly demonstrated the commitment and passion of governors, staff and parents to work in partnership and to use the undeniable success of the school, quality of its education and distinctive nurturing and caring environment as the solid foundations from which to move forward.”
It added: “The strategy is being finalised over the next few days and the proposals will be put to parents and governors soon after.”
An option of becoming a free school has been considered, but governors found the funding available would not be sufficient to safeguard the school’s future.
Last year the independent school was awarded an outstanding rating by the Independent Schools Inspectorate and was ranked as the top preparatory school in Wokingham by The Sunday Times.
But now a campaign has been launched to fight for its future as some parents are struggling to pay for the school fees of around £9,000 a year.
Pupil numbers have also fallen to 80 this year, even though the capacity is for 120 children.