Tom Beardmore-Gray, Chief Executive of the school’s trust, said: “It is with an incredibly heavy heart that the Trustees have come to the decision that closing the school is the only remaining option.”
The £28,500-a-year Ashdown House prep school blamed financial problems caused by the outbreak of Covid-19, including a sharp drop in the number of international students.
Ashdown House prep school in East Sussex announced it would close at the end of this academic year after 177 years, blaming financial difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 crisis
Nus Ghani, Conservative MP for the seat of Wealden, which the school is in, said: “It is always sad to see a good local school close, especially one with such a long and rich local history.
Boris Johnson ‘s former primary school is closing permanently due to coronavirus, the school is announced.
The school in Forest Row, East Sussex has been teaching wealthy pupils aged seven to 13 for 177 years, but thanks to Covid-19, less than a third of its usual intake were due to begin in September.
Other high-profile former pupils include Golden Globe-winning actor Damien Lewis and V&A museum chairman Nicholas Coleridge.
Prime Minister Johnson attended the £9,500-a-term boarding school along with his sibling Rachel and Jo.
“The challenges of managing Covid-19 has put a strain on a number of businesses including the private school sector and the closure of Ashdown House Preparatory School will have an added impact on uncertainty for local parents.”
Pupils’ parents have been told about the closure of the school.
Other schools which have announced they are closing include Minster School in York, which provides choir singers for York Minster.
Christopher King, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools said many independent schools may close in the next year if they can’t recruit enough pupils for the autumn.
It comes days after experts said many more private schools are likely to shut for good thanks to coronavirus.
“I don’t think that there will be necessarily many closures of schools between now and September, but there could be more announced during the next academic year,” King said.
“Committing to pay school fees over the long term is a decision that people don’t take lightly.
“Once they enter into it they by and large want to commit over a long period of time and they will only do that if they feel pretty secure and secure in employment.”
“The concerns will arise because of the fundamental affordability of private education.