Newlands School: timeline of events

Newlands school, Seaford. Possible closure SUS-140424-085638001
Newlands school, Seaford. Possible closure SUS-140424-085638001

A school in Seaford has gone into liquidation after it failed to find a buyer since its sudden closure last month.

Newlands School shut its doors in July after its proprietors, Beaconhouse Educational Services, withdrew financial support at the end of the 2013/14 academic year.

Pupils at the school in Eastbourne Road had their last day on Wednesday, July 9 but at that stage, it remained unclear what would be done with the landmark Edwardian building, which has 17 acres of land.

Parents from the Newlands School Development Group (NSDG) had been campaigning to see the site remain as a school but after efforts to find a buyer failed, the school officially went into liquidation this week.

In a statement from the liquidators Harris Lipman, the firm said the situation was ‘unfortunate and regrettable’ but they were hopeful jobs could be found for all the staff.

Martin Atkins said, “Substantial efforts were made in the six months leading up to the closure to find a buyer but a suitable purchaser could not be found, which is indicative of the private sector market in that area of the country. However, we remain hopeful that a third party will step forward and secure the jobs of the school’s staff.”

Harris Lipman had been working with the school since February to ensure that as far as possible, there was a smooth transition for existing pupils and that the school leavers’ exams were not affected.

As a result of the decision, the NSDG has announced with sadness that it is to disband the group. In a statement on the group’s website, they said, “As a group, we would like to say we feel that none of the time invested in the NSDG efforts has been wasted. In closing, we were all resolute in our willingness to throw all we had at doing our best to protect and aid such a great school, such inspiring staff and the finest group of pupils that any child could wish to have as peers.”

Seaford MP Norman Baker added, “The announcement of the closure of Newlands School is extremely regrettable and a sad day for Seaford.

“It is unfortunate for the community which will lose a good school, for the staff who now find themselves out of work, but most especially for the children, who will have their education uprooted.

“I have had ongoing contact with staff, parents and supporters and real efforts have been made to try and save the school and identify investors, and their efforts should be applauded.”