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Discussion in 'Independent' started by welshchocoholic1, Nov 22, 2015.
What, if any, are the signs that a school may be closing down? Thanks.
Above all, rapid fall in pupil numbers.
I visited a 3 - 18 school which had about 5-7 pupils per year group and were advertising 3 different posts at the same time, to start after half term.
Was clearly not a tenable state and I didn't apply.
I visited a different one ( a 4 - 11) a year or so ago, with similar pupil numbers, but had just been bought out by a parent co-op and could say for sure they were secure for the next three years, but unsure after that. However, the pay was very, very low so not sure who they appointed in the end, but I withdrew.
The majority of independent schools are registered charities and so their accounts are readily accessible on the website of the Charities Commission. You don't need to understand balance sheets to read the runes ... compare the following:
Well-run prep day school (2014 accounts)
Long-term invesments: £140,000
Well-known boys' senior boarding school (2014 accounts)
Long-term invesments: £305,160,000
West-country day and boarding school that closed in July this year
(2010 accounts - no annual accounts submitted after 2010)
Long-term invesments: £0
Thanks all. Had a look on charity commissions website. Not looking great
If you actually read the Reports, rather than just look at the headline figures, you sometimes see worrying things hidden. For example, that increases in pupil numbers have been achieved at the expense of giving discounts, for example to quote one such report by the Trustees: The balance of deals offered, on reflection, were not economical, but a strategic decision to grow market share and "take back", on a short term basis, some of our pupil losses.
Delving into the accounts, this school seems to have given in the year ending 2014 approx 31% in bursaries and discounts. 31%! This is an enormous amount for a struggling school! 31% overall! Which since presumably some pupils paid full fees, means that some paid a great deal less. In fact, the amount given in bursaries and discounts is only slightly less than the total amount paid in teaching salaries.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Bursaries and discounts = £1.67M. Teaching salaries = £1.88M.
No wonder they say that, on reflection, the deals were not economical.
Reading the Charity Commission documents can be very interesting. You can see roughly what the Head gets paid. Not very much in this case I'm glad to say!
Ooh, very interesting. You can see roughly how much more they pay the new Head than the last one as well (£20,000ish!)
In your school do you mean @jarndyce ?
A randomly-selected example.
Before you all fall off your chairs in astonishment, the salaries of the top earners are sometimes quoted including the contribution to Teachers Pensions, so it can look as though their Base salary is more than if actually is.
Just check same accounting procedures used for the two people in your random example @jarndyce . It probably is, but you never know.