Economic Downturn Or Pocketing Property Values?

Parents of pupils at Putney Park question the real reason for schools closure


Economic Downturn Threatens Local School

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Parents of pupils at Putney Park are angry and question the real reason behind the threatened closure of the school.

Parents have been told of the schools possible closure by owner Brian Tweedie-Smith, the nephew of the founder Jean Tweedie-Smith, in an email citing the economic downturn resulting in falling pupil numbers as the reason for closure. However, parents have discovered that the reports held at Companies House show the bank accounts are in credit with over £3millions pounds. The value of the four properties is they believe the real reason Mr Tweedie Smith is closing the school.

One parent told this morning:
"The latest accounts at Companies House show he has cash in the bank of £3,102,732 and the newt worth of the houses where the school is £6,222,606. It goes to show that he is only interested in getting as much as he can when he is letting down groups of young children who are half-way through their education when the schools closes on the 4th July 2013."

In a press release the directors stated that it was:
".. as a result of the continued economic downturn and despite providing an excellent education promoted by the school’s best marketing efforts, pupil numbers have declined dramatically over the past few years from a peak of more than 350 to just over 50 in the Lower School and 70 in the Upper School today. Over the past few months, the Directors have been urgently and carefully investigating many serious options and educational models to secure the school’s future. These have included operating the school from fewer buildings, running only the Lower or the Upper schools or selling Putney Park as a going concern. However, none of these options have proved feasible within time and financial constraints.

Mr Tweedie-Smith Managing Director of Putney Park School said: “The Directors are extremely disappointed that the school is likely to close, however, we are grateful for the support from parents, staff and local schools. The highly dedicated staff will maintain the excellent educational standards and support right up to the last day of the summer term. We will also ensure the smoothest possible transition for the pupils to their next stage of education from September 2013.”

“We are all very proud of what our pupils have achieved, and we believe that their time at Putney Park will serve them in good stead wherever they go next,” concluded Mr Tweedie-Smith.

Pupils have been unsettled & upset, showing their support for their teachers & the school with poems "Save Our School", posters and a 2metre banner.

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March 1, 2013