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Worcestershire independent school enters administration 15 July 2014

A Worcester-based independent Catholic girls’ school in Worcester has entered administration at the end of the summer term.

St Mary’s, formerly ranked as the top small school outside London in 2012, encountered financial difficulties due to reducing pupil numbers and increasing costs.

Funding for the school was previously provided by the Order of the Sisters of St Marie Madeline which established St Mary’s in 1934.

The school had a teaching and administration staff of 65, many of whom have been made redundant, as well as 190 pupils, ranging in ages from four to 18. Its nursery, The Stables, also catered for 70 children.

Andy McGill and Greg Palfrey of Smith & Williamson have been appointed as joint administrators to the school.

McGill, partner at Smith & Williamson, said: “It is always difficult when a school has to close and it has been an extremely difficult period for the trustees, staff, parents and pupils.

“During the last year a great deal of work has been undertaken by the trustees to try to find a buyer for St Mary’s or formulate a long-term rescue plan.

“Unfortunately, given the significant level of funding required together with uncertainty regarding future pupil numbers no viable solution could be found. The trustees have had no alternative but to appoint administrators and regrettably we have had to close the school and nursery with immediate effect.

“We will be making the necessary arrangements for those pupils who have sat external examinations this summer to receive their results in August and for coursework to be returned to pupils or forwarded to new schools as appropriate.

“Very sadly, the fact that the school can no longer continue will mean that the majority of staff will be made redundant. A skeleton staff will remain to provide support in the short term.”

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