A preparatory school founded more than 100 years ago is closing for good at the end of the summer term.
Abbey Gate Prep School, for ages three to 11, in Clare Avenue, Hoole, informed parents in a letter sent on Monday (Monday, April 30).
The school blames falling numbers on increased competition from other private schools and state-funded Free Schools like St Martin’s Academy in Hoole Road, Hoole.
Headteacher Sally Ann Rhodes-Leader told parents: “I am writing today with some difficult news. With regret, the governors at Abbey Gate Prep School have decided to close the school at the end of this term. As all of you know, Abbey Gate Prep is home to some of the most dedicated teachers and lovely children in the Chester area.
“However, the increasing number of Independent and Free Schools in the area and our small class sizes means that the school is no longer viable. We are making this difficult decision now so that families have as much time as possible to make other plans for next school year. We will of course provide assistance to families seeking other schools.“
Mrs Rhodes-Leader continued: “I want to assure parents and children that our school will continue to operate throughout the remainder of this current school year. Education will take place, scheduled school trips, sports day and activities will occur, current after school clubs will be maintained and Presentation Day will be on our last day.
“Finally, as hard and as sad it is for me to inform you that our school will close on the 13th July this year, I believe that we can be proud of the history and accomplishments of Abbey Gate Prep School.
"I am sure you realise that this has been an extremely difficult decision for the governors. On their behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given both to your child and to our school.”
Mrs Rhodes-Leader confirmed the closure in response to an enquiry from The Chronicle.
She added: “The school was founded in 1910 and we would like to invite any ex pupils, staff or friends of the school to attend our last Presentation Day at 2pm on Friday 13th July. If would be lovely if they would contact the school to confirm their attendance.”
Originally called Abbey Gate School, it was previously based in Walpole Street and later Victoria Road, Chester , before moving to the former All Saint’s Infant School in Clare Avenue, Hoole, in September 2006.