Bristol

Parents bid to rescue debt-ridden Bristol school

  • 6 August 2010
  • From the section Bristol
St Ursula's School
Image caption The nuns who run the school will only support a deal if it remains Catholic

Parents of pupils at a debt-ridden private Catholic school in Bristol are to mount a rescue campaign.

St Ursula's, in Westbury-on-Trym, went into administration after a bid by a Christian organisation to turn it into an academy was refused.

About 160 pupils must find new schools and 40 staff have lost their jobs.

Shelley Hill, whose daughter attended the school, said parents might launch a fund-raising campaign to try to pay off the debts.

The school, which is run by Catholic nuns, the Sisters of Mercy, has struggled to remain financially viable because of falling pupil numbers.

Trustees called in administrators after the nuns rejected a rescue deal from Oasis Community Learning.

'Backing of administrators'

Meetings between the school, the administrators Grant Thornton, Oasis Community Learning, which had offered the school support in becoming an academy, and the Sisters of Mercy were held earlier.

The meetings are expected to continue next week.

The school, which charges up to £2,900 a term, was started by the Catholic order of nuns in 1896.

The sisters have said they could only support a deal which would see the school remain Catholic.

Staff and parents gathered at the school on Thursday night, at a meeting organised by Grant Thornton, to discuss a way forward.

Mrs Hill said: "We've set up a parents campaign group to see if there's anything we can do in a positive manner.

"We've got the backing of the administrators to do this and we will be keeping parents informed of updates as soon as we get them."

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