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Moreton Hall Prep School, in Bury St Edmunds, is to close at the end of the summer term

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A Bury St Edmunds school has confirmed it is to close for good at the end of the summer term.

Moreton Hall Preparatory School, in Mount Road, said today the school had become 'unsustainable'.

In a statement, the school said coronavirus had unravelled its plans for future growth.

Moreton Hall Prep School - School Sign..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (33826282)
Moreton Hall Prep School - School Sign..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (33826282)

Its strategies to increase numbers – including attracting overseas pupils; retaining current pupils and working on a marketing campaign – had shown promise.

Other initiatives, including school partnerships, mergers, real estate development and outside investment had also been explored.

"But many parents now find themselves in difficult financial straits; overseas boarding will not become feasible again until at least 2021/22 and we cannot draw on the usual annual income from summer camps. It is a perfect storm," said the school's statement.

"The governors have therefore had to make the very difficult – but in the end, unavoidable – decision that the school must close."

Pupils will continue to receive their education throughout the summer term, either remotely or in person as regulations allow, and school will finish on June 30.

Lorna Wakerell, headteacher, said: "Moreton Hall Prep School has been a fairytale education for many families. Unfortunately this beautiful school now comes to an end.

"One thing we can be certain is pupils from Moreton Hall are fully prepared to take on life in all its highs and lows.

"It is a special place here and I could not be prouder of our incredible children at Moreton Hall. I wish every one of our families joy with their onward school journeys."

The school said the decision to close had been made with the 'greatest regret' and only after all options had been exhausted.

The statement added: "The governors and senior management team will seek to do everything they can to support their entire community throughout this difficult period.

"Prep schools are important to keep: Small class sizes, child centred approach, more freedom, slower pace where children can enjoy their precious childhood."

Moreton Hall is a Grade II-listed building and has been a school since 1948. It became Moreton Hall Prep School in 1961, founded by Lt Cdr Peregrine and his wife Lady Miriam Hubbard.

The school's closure does not affect Moreton Hall Prepcare nursery.