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Sadness as closure of St Margaret's School in Exeter is announced

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

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More than 200 pupils of one of Devon’s top independent schools have been left with an uncertain future after their headmaster announced its closure.

St Margaret’s School in Exeter will close at the end of August, following a decision last year to close the sixth form.

Senior management at the 110-year-old school on Magdalen Road confirmed the decision had been made because the school was no longer “financially viable”.

Headmaster Lee Bergin said the decision to close had been taken with a “heavy heart” and added that he was “very sorry” about it.

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He informed teachers of the closure at a meeting on Friday, and has since notified parents and the 290 pupils.

William Long, chairman of governors, said: “A three-year plan was put in place with a view to steering the school to profitability, but after the entrance examination, it became clear that this was not achievable, so the difficult decision was taken to close the school at the end of the 2013 summer term.”

He added: “Our pupils remain our utmost concern during this difficult time. Everything possible will be done to minimise disruption and ensure they continue to receive the same high standards of education and emotional support that St Margaret’s has always provided for the remainder of the academic year.”

The school achieved a 90% pass rate for students gaining five A* to C-grades at GCSE and the A-level in 2012, making it the fifth-best school in Devon according to this year’s league tables.

A Facebook group, Save St Margaret’s School, set up by concerned parents in April 2012, has gathered 355 “likes”.

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  • LouiseFearn  |  January 29 2013, 11:35AM

    Hi Anya I am an ex pupil of the school and although i am very sad to have heard the news i have it from a reliable source that Woodard have been wishing to sell the land/buildings for over 10 yrs as the hard cash is more valuable to them than any profit the school might make. I understand that they have been angling for a closure for many years now. Shame on you Woodard! Anya - my thoughts go to the current students such as yourself and i hope you and all the other girls will find support in the Exeter community especially those in the most vital exam years. I'm sure that this next term will be a sad and difficult one for all involved but my advice to all students and teachers alike is to not to let this embitter you. Life is full of surprises and dealing with them in a positive way, embracing the next step, the next part of the adventure has always been the St Margaret's way. The St Margaret's spirit will be scattered all over Exeter and beyond in the next academic year, but it will touch a wider community who in turn will benefit from it. In that way and in our hearts it will remain a source of strength.

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