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Parents’ anger at merger of Langley Preparatory School and Taverham Hall Preparatory School

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:09 12 May 2016

Taverham Hall School

Taverham Hall School

Archant

Parents have voiced anger at the “bombshell” news two preparatory schools will merge.

Monday’s announcement that Langley Preparatory School will combine with Taverham Hall Preparatory School at the latter’s 100 acre grounds in Taverham from September 2016 caught parents and staff by surprise.

The schools held separate meetings for parents on Tuesday evening, which several people described as “angry”.

However, Langley Schools defended the proposal, and said a minority of angry voices disguised the “vast majority of parents who are supportive and excited by the prospect”.

Chloe Cairns, who has a child at Langley Prep, described the news as “a total bombshell to everybody”, and raised concerns about the lack of consultation, and the short timescale which will see the school vacate its Yarmouth Road home in July.

She said she valued the school’s small size and its location, and is planning to remove her child.

A Taverham Hall parent said similar concerns were expressed at its meeting, including losing its name, small size and ethos. She said: “We are opposed because we think that everything Taverham Hall has worked for will be lost or diluted.”

Mike Randall, commercial director at Langley Schools, said a developer made a generous offer to buy Langley Prep’s site, and the school sought the merger to ensure the prep school continued.

He said there was no consultation because the resulting uncertainty would have put the school’s future at risk in the short term, and there would be subsidised transport for Langley Prep families, and fees would be frozen for at least year.

Mr Randall added there had been no immediate financial threat to either school, but the merger secured their futures in the longer term.

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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