Closure-threatened private school parents in 'SOS' bid

Image caption,
St Margaret's school has gone into administration

Parents trying to save a private school in Edinburgh from closure after it went into administration have said they only have 72 hours to raise £2.5m.

They have now formed a consortium to save St Margaret's School and have launched an urgent "SOS appeal" for donations.

An earlier plan to make parents shareholders in the 110-year-old school for a fee has been scrapped.

Parents said lawyers to implement an equity scheme would cost about £1m.

The consortium also said it would take too long (six weeks) to legally organise mounting a takeover of the school.

Val Devlin, St Margaret's Parent and Friends Association spokeswoman, said they had approached everyone on the UK Rich List for donations but they were yet to hear back.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "We have had £170,000 in pledges from interested investors but we will now have to give that back as we can't offer them an equity stake in the school due to time and cost restraints.

"We have £5,000 in donations and a further £24,000 in pledged donations but we need about £2.5m by early next week.

"Time is not on our side and we are making an SOS appeal for donations."

She added that they were also looking at saving the junior school if they were unable to obtain the money to save the senior school.

It was announced last week that the school would close at the end of term on 29 June after running into financial difficulty.

The school, including the nursery, has 397 pupils and 143 staff - 69 teaching and 74 non-teaching.

Senior pupils pay £2,456 per term and boarders £2,628 per term.

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