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'We're absolutely devastated' - Readers react to sudden closure of school

PUBLISHED: 13:10 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:55 15 August 2019

Hethersett Old Hall School will not be reopening in September. Picture: Dave Guttridge

Hethersett Old Hall School will not be reopening in September. Picture: Dave Guttridge

Archant

People have reacted to the sudden closure of Hethersett Old Hall School less than a month before the start of the new school year.

This newspaper reported how the school cited financial struggles and declining pupil numbers as driving reasons for the closure, adding that they were "exceedingly sorry" to have broken the news at such short notice.

The independent school had an intake of students between three and 18 years old and charged up to £9,760 a term for boarders.

Our readers reacted to the news of its closure with a mixture of sympathy and frustration on social media, with many praising the school's legacy.

Glenda Bacon said: "Very sad news, feel for the staff and pupils going through this and hope all gets sorted.

"Such a lovely caring school who genuinely knew their pupils."

Kaz Parry said: "Both my daughters went here and I felt it was the best, most rounded of all the Norwich independents in their day.
"Their success in life was due to wonderful, dedicated staff and I'm sure they will always carry very happy memories with them."

Fiona Jolliffe added: "Sad to hear this about my old school.

"Lots of happy memories."

And Sally Blundell commented: "What a shock, I certainly didn't expect to read that today or any other day.

"Thank you for the wonderful memories and the friendships made."

While a number of readers spoke of their fond memories of the school, those who were directly affected by the closure expressed their "devastation".

Rachel Canham said: "We're absolutely devastated.

"My daughter was meant to be returning to Hethersett to start sixth form in September, but now she's currently sat at home being physically sick with stress and worry of where she's going to end up, and all I can do is desperately call around trying to find her a place somewhere."

Gillian Shipley echoed the sentiment saying: "How are parents supposed to find another school and sort it out before the start of term in September, what a flaming headache for all involved and why only tell parents now?"

Katy Colly added: "Appalling for the families involved.

"I hope you all have success with getting school placements."

One woman even claimed that the first she had heard of losing her job at the school was from the news article.

She said: "Don't you just love it when you find out you've lost your job through this article instead of being told by the actual school.

"Now I've got to look for a job last minute."

A closed Facebook group called "Hethersett Old Hall Old Girls & Staff" has been set up for former staff and pupils of the school.

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