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The Perthshire-based boarding school, established in 1930, will cease operations at the end of the current school term.
A statement on their website advises: “Kilgraston School can confirm, with regret, that it will permanently close on June 24th.
The Perthshire-based boarding school, established in 1930, will cease operations at the end of the current school term.”
Thomas Steuart Fothringham, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said: “This has been an extremely challenging and heart-breaking decision. However, having considered and pursued all other alternatives we are, for reasons of financial viability, left with no alternative.
“The loss of income resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns; the effect of lengthy travel restrictions on the international boarding market; the resultant erosion of our cash reserves; and, finally, a number of pupil departures during the course of this year mean that we can no longer continue to trade responsibly beyond the end of this term.
“At this point, we have three priorities: the welfare of staff, the welfare of pupils; and assistance for parents in finding places for their children at other schools. We will do all we can to help ensure a smooth transition for all affected.
“We are very sorry not to be able to continue operating a school that is close to all our hearts.”
A staff member told Perth Gazette that all staff were informed this evening via email of the devastating news.
The private boarding school hired a new Head Teacher in January, we can also reveal a new teacher had only just started their post yesterday.
The school currently has 116 staff and has 217 registered pupils. Staff are expected to meet with bosses tomorrow at 8am on Friday June 2nd.
Perth Triathlon Club also hosted swimming training two nights a week at the school pool.
What’s being said about the announcement?
Cllr for Strathearn on Perth and Kinross Council, Noah Khogali said: “This is really terrible news for all the staff, parents, and students present and past. It’s a massive loss to Perthshire as a whole.”
Marie Donnachie said: “We are parents with two children at the school – we cannot express how devastated and heartbroken we are at this news.
We especially feel it for the children who have made wonderful friends and the lovely teachers who have now all lost their jobs.”
Scottish Conservative Councillor David Illingworth, who represents the Almond and Earn ward, said: “It is of course desperately sad news that this fine school is to close. Kilgraston is absolutely right to focus on the welfare of pupils and staff at this very difficult time for the whole school community.
“The school will be greatly missed by the wider Bridge of Earn community. The impact of losing 100 jobs will be significant and benefits to local businesses such as taxi firms and local shops were greatly appreciated.
“Kilgraston’s sporting facilities were also made available with hockey clubs using the pitches, swimming lessons being offered and basketball camps and the like being run during the school holidays.
“The closure is indeed very sad news for the Kilgraston School community and for the wider Bridge of Earn community as well.”
A spokesperson from Strathallan School said: “The entire Strathallan community is deeply saddened to hear about the imminent closure of Kilgraston School. As our nearest neighbours, we have a long history of friendship with the school. Their closure will leave a gap in the hearts of our whole community and Perthshire.
We would like to send our thoughts to all families and staff affected by this sudden and sad news. In order to provide some help to families through this uncertain time, our doors are open and the Headmaster is available tomorrow to meet those who may need help.”
The school website crashed as the news got around, as upset staff, parents and students rush to see the announcement.