With all the negative briefings from Woodard in recent days, the morale at the school is lower than ever and as parents we feel the same emotions and same sadness, on speech day many of the parent panel spoke amongst ourselves about how special the school is and how heartbreaking it was and the performances of those children that day only added to our fierce determination to resolve the issues faced by Abbots Bromley School.
Some of the negative media attention has been put out there by Liquid PR the company paid very large sums of money to defend the actions of Woodard.
The pain and anguish of losing something so dear to all of us is unbearable.
As a parent group, we started life as Plan B but was told to stand down whilst Plan A got the deal over the line even parents were saying “Don’t rock the boat, Don’t risk the deal”
As time progressed Plan A went into exclusivity periods with the past investors and when that happened we could not legally market the school or seek an alternative deal.
Since the collapse of that deal we as a parents group have undertaken so much work and as many of us are self employed made the tough decision to step back from our own businesses and focus solely on getting a deal in place.
We were immediately on a back foot with time to catch up very limited but the time ticking brings sharp focus to the mind.
Many people are concerned it’s too late and that we cannot get a deal done, allow me to be very honest it’s a very tough task but we are 100% focussed and if we did not believe we could do this, we wouldn’t do it.
We are genuinely optimistic that we can get a deal over the line and protect the school from closure.
I referenced the work the parent group have been putting in and I wanted to recap the information as it stands and so far things are looking very positive.
Our entire approach is to get numerous options on the table and keep knocking them down until we get the right deal for the school.
The biggest failure to date is only exploring one deal and not having a back up plan, hence we decided it was very important we explored all options and these are detailed below:
As things stand
- We are working with an established Hong Kong company who have formulated a business plan to take over the running of the school and also hand control of some of those shares to a parent group to reinvest the profits back into the school, this means a parents panel would have a say in what happens at the school and not be shut away and closed off, this is a significant idea and one we are very keen to put into operation, this offer is now being passed to Woodard and meets all the financial requests of Woodard. We shall keep you updated as this one develops.
- Another Hong Kong Investor has viewed the school and has placed an offer with Savills to be reviewed by Woodard.
- A Chinese consortium has also been in discussions with Woodard directly to discuss the sale of the school, we do not have details on this at this stage but are pursuing this to seek additional information on its progress.
- We have also signed a deal with one of the worlds leading school marketing companies who have an established portfolio of investors and they also handled the sale of many other schools including Chase Grammar and Abbotsholme, this agency is the best in what they do and will be working proactively to secure a buyer for the school, They are also aware of the time frames and also remain highly optimistic about securing a buyer as they recognised the unique identity of Abbots Bromley School.
- There are other numerous enquiries which have been made directly to the parent group which are all being actively explored but are currently in the development stage, unlike the above offers which are more developed and active.
As you can see we have multiple opportunities in place and rather than put all our eggs in one basket are focusing on getting the right buyer with the right ethos and the right plan for Abbots Bromley School.
The Parent group are working on this all day everyday including many late night meetings and working in the middle of the night on many things to ensure a smooth transition of the school into new ownership.
Some have raised concern about the school DFE licence and the time frame this can take, rest assured we have an agreed plan in place with Woodard that means this is not an issue for the investors.
Things may seem bad right now but for the first time since the closure announcement I feel positive that we can get this school over the line, many will doubt the parents group ability to get a deal done but knowing the work that’s gone into this and continues to go into this I’m sure we can get these deals over the line.
The parents group is made up of leaders in business who are very used to deadlines and challenges and each have fierce determination to ensure this works and the deal is done.
Once we have confirmation from Woodard that the bids have been accepted we will provide an additional update but also keep you up to date with any developments along the way.
You may have been shut out before when the original deal was going through but rest assured the parent’s group are determined to make you all a part of this journey to shape the future of Abbots Bromley School.