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Parents fail in bid to save Stoke Brunswick School

By This is Sussex  |  Posted: May 07, 2009

Stoke Brunswick School

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SCORES of parents are in search of a new school for their children after admitting defeat in their battle to keep a historic village school running.

Stoke Brunswick School has confirmed it will close this summer because the forecasted pupil intake for September was "not adequate".

Despite their best efforts to secure the school's future, including a six figure financial pledge, the parents fell just short of numbers for it to continue.

Around 100 adults committed themselves to Stoke Brunswick, in Ashurst Wood, in a last ditch attempt to keep it open, but a further 20 were required to make it viable, according to one parent.

Marc Donfrancesco told the Courier and Observer: "If the numbers were that little bit closer, we could have given it a final push, but I think it was just one bridge too far.

"To get over 100 parents to commit was no mean feat, but I just feel for everyone who worked towards this. "They have got to find a home where they think their kids are going to do well."

Roger Hynes, who was heavily involved in the rescue plan, said the parents are now looking elsewhere, for a new school for their children.

"I think what we are going to do as a group of parents is go to another school," he said. "We need to talk to people and talk to the headmaster and governors directly and it's very important we do it quickly.

"We're tired from the original battle, but we are still on it and we are looking at the next step now."

A letter was sent out to parents and staff last Thursday (April 30) to confirm the school will close at the end of the current term.

Bursar Richard Sawyer said: "The tide of support and goodwill that has swept these efforts (fundraising and commitment) forward in the last 10 days has been quite phenomenal and a tremendous tribute to the development team and all the staff.

"Many parents have come forward with generous pledges, not only financial but also in offers of time and expertise to support the development plan.

"This gave real hope to the enterprise and we are deeply grateful to them all."


STOKE Brunswick, in Ashurst Wood, currently has around 130 pupils, who are taught in its Grade II listed building.

In April we reported how the school feared it would have to close, because it could no longer afford upkeep of the building.

Last week, we reported how pupils had written letters to the Courier and Observer, pleading for help to keep their school open.

A number of parents attempted to put together a rescue package, to safeguard the school's future, but it now appears their efforts have been in vain.

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    Tom, Australia  |  January 30 2010, 11:59AM

    Very sad to hear it has closed - I worked here as a Gap Student in 1991 and have some wonderful memories from this time. Full of wonderful people - staff and students.

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    Ella ?????, Stoke Brunswick school  |  December 22 2009, 11:47AM

    hey, I miss stoke sooo much it was such a shame I LOVE STOKE xxxx

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    ?????????????, stoke brunswick school  |  September 14 2009, 1:25PM

    hey lucy, i totally agree with you and i know that Stoke was almost like a second home to you and I ! I miss it so much but am enjoying my new school!!!! I love stoke xxx :)

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    Lucy Knott, england  |  September 11 2009, 4:03PM

    i think that the headmaster and the governors are the peopkle to blame!!! I hate the fact that we did not have enough people to fill the school!! I love stoke xxxxx

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    Juan Olano, Madrid  |  July 10 2009, 3:29PM

    What a pity. How are you doing Anil?

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    Anil Scott, Singapore  |  June 25 2009, 10:09AM

    Very very sad to hear this as an old boy of the school. I have fond memories of the school and grounds where I spent five formative years as a boarder in the early eighties, and first developed a love of team sports and learning which has lasted to this day. A great shame.