Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Parents make bid to save St Margaret's private school

St Margaret's school
Image caption St Margaret's school has gone into administration

Parents of pupils at a private school in Edinburgh which went bust last week have come up with a business plan in a bid to save it.

A group of families with children at St Margaret's School have come up with a proposal of "very radical surgery", which they believe could keep it open.

The group of banking, property and marketing professionals are to meet receivers KPMG.

It was announced last week that the school would close on 29 June.

The school called in KPMG after running into financial difficulties and teaching staff were informed on Thursday afternoon, with an e-mail sent to all parents that evening.

Pete Cochrane, an economist with the Royal Bank of Scotland who has two children at the school, told the BBC Scotland news website he believed it could be saved.

Mr Cochrane, who lives in Dalkeith, said: "I was at the school on Friday morning when the children were told their school was to close, some were in quiet misery and others crying hysterically, which made it the worst day of my life.

"We have come up with a business plan, which I believe can work by cutting costs at the school savagely and raising the fees.

"There are also a number of things we can do such as have a whip round of the parents, raise new financial backers, approach generous benefactors and sell the nursery, as well as cut staff. It would involve very radical surgery.

"It would be much easier just to move the children to other schools but I don't believe there is the same sort of provision in Edinburgh. Loretto is the closest but it is about £6,000 a term.

The school, including the nursery has 397 pupils and 143 staff - 69 teaching and 74 non-teaching.

Senior pupils pay £2,456 per term and boarders £2,628 per term.

A KPMG spokesman said: "The provisional liquidator is very happy to meet with the consortium to listen to its proposals."

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