A long-established private school in Bridge of Allan is likely to close after a proposed merger was revised, with more than 170 pupils now facing the prospect of finding alternative arrangements before the summer holidays end.
Beaconhurst, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016, announced last week it planned to keep its existing junior and nursery schools open following a merger with Morrison’s Academy in Crieff.
Senior pupils had already been invited to move from the Bridge of Allan campus to the school 20 miles away in Perthshire.
But pupils and parents were left stunned yesterday when it was revealed the plan to retain Beaconhurst’s junior schools was now deemed “no longer viable”.
The future of the campus at Bridge of Allan, which has been home to a school since 1919, is now unclear.
In a statement, the Crieff school said: “Morrison’s opened detailed talks with the board of Beaconhurst on the financial and operational realities of assuming ownership of the nursery and junior school.
“That review led Morrison’s to conclude that the original plan was no longer viable. One of the main concerns relates to the viability of the school, given the number of parents now considering alternative schools either to ensure siblings are in the same school.
“Morrison’s was also concerned about the funding required to sustain the school and the lack of clarity around the scope for future investment, given housing developments around the current site.
“Having exhausted alternative funding options, it is now highly likely that the Beaconhurst nursery and junior school will close alongside its senior school.”
Tom Preston, chairman of the board of governors at Beaconhurst, said: “We had hoped that the proposal announced last week regarding the nursery and junior school would be viable. It has however become clear to the Beaconhurst and Morrison’s boards that a number of parents are seeking alternative schools.
“This will draw to a close a near century of happy memories and wonderful experiences for thousands of children, teachers and support staff in Bridge of Allan.
“The time will come to remember the legacy of Beaconhurst, but our priority now is to protect the interests of Beaconhurst pupils, staff and parents.”