Eastbourne school announces closure: ‘This is an incredibly sad day’

An Eastbourne school is closing.

Moira House School in Upper Carlisle Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Moira House School in Upper Carlisle Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Roedean Moira House will close its doors at the end of the summer term in 2020, it has been announced.

In a letter sent out to parents and guardians, the private girls’ school in Upper Carlisle Road said it was with ‘great sadness’ the school would have to close, due to its poor financial situation.

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The letter, from the school’s chair of governor’s Andrew Pianca, draws attention to the school’s precarious financial position before the merger with the Roedean group, which saved Moira House back in 2017.

It says, “It is with great sadness I have to write to inform you that Roedean Moira House (RMH) will be closing at the end of the summer term 2020.

“Without the support of Roedean School, Oliver Blond and the Roedean Senior Leadership Team, the financial position at Moira House two and half years ago would have resulted in its closure over the summer of 2017.”

The letter says the school’s leadership team have been ‘passionately determined to restore the school’s longstanding reputation for academic excellence, breadth of opportunity and pastoral care’.

Despite ‘significant investment’ seeing improvements in retention and admissions, it says, ‘financially we were still losing money’.

The letter says, “In January our bank reduced the school’s loan facilities, highlighting the precariousness of the school’s financial position.

“Despite this, we have had a strong level of interest from potential investors. Funding was requested from the Roedean Council in order to have more time to explore these options.

“Sadly, RMH was only able to secure funding to run until the end of the summer term.

“It is, therefore, with great sadness and regret, that we have taken the difficult decision to accept this offer from Roedean Council; our legal advisors tell us a proposed closure is the only route that Governors at RMH can take.”

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The letter says, “I appreciate that this will be an unsettling time for you as a family, and wish to reassure you that the future academic success and education of your daughter will remain our priority for the rest of the year.

“We will do our very best to care for pupils, staff and parents of our community in the coming days and weeks.

“The headmaster and his team of senior staff will be available to meet with you individually to discuss how to ensure your daughter makes the best possible transition to the right future school.

“This is an incredibly sad day for the school and I know that you will have many questions, now and as the days go by.”

The letter says meetings will be taking place to answer people’s questions today (March 5).

It has not been confirmed at this time what will happen to staff at the school, which has been a part of Eastbourne since 1888.

Roedean Moira House has been contacted for comment.