Scores of Abbots Bromley parents have been given the devastating news that their children’s school is set to close.
In a move by governors an email was sent to alert parents of the closure at 5:30pm and children based within boarding advised only 30 minutes afterwards.
Abbots Bromley School bosses have announced they will be shutting the private school at the end of the summer term.
It comes after pupil number forecasts for the next academic year showed the High Street school would “no longer (be) financially viable”, they have said.
Teachers will stay on until August to “ensure that high educational standards are maintained” and “safeguard the wellbeing of pupils during this difficult time”.
But the closure will leave 87 staff facing uncertain futures and 271 children needing to find new school places.
Chairman of governors Pauline Norvall said: “A three-year plan was put in place with a view to steering the school to profitability, but after the latest figures, it became clear that this was not achievable.
“The difficult decision has been taken to close the school at the end of the 2019 summer term.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the headmaster and all of our teaching and support staff.
“This decision is in no way a reflection of the calibre of teachers we have here at Abbots Bromley.
“Our pupils and the Abbots Bromley School community are our main 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 pastoral support that Abbots Bromley School has always provided, for the remainder of the academic year.”
The boarding school, which teaches children aged eight to 18, has a 50-acre campus and a strong Christian ethos, with regular services held at its on-site chapel.
Traditionally a girls-only school, it has in recent years opened up the books to boys as well and excelled in its last monitoring inspection in 2016.
It is part of the Woodard group of private schools, which also includes Denstone College and Denstone College Preparatory School, formerly known as Smallwood Manor, just outside Uttoxeter.