Private school could be closed

Darryl Wideman new head teacher at Silcoates School.
Darryl Wideman new head teacher at Silcoates School.

A PRIVATE school could be closed due to falling pupil numbers.

The board of governors of Silcoates School Foundation wants to close St Hilda’s in Horbury. The school, on Dovecote Lane, caters for children aged between 18 months and seven years old, could shut in the summer if the proposal is approved.

If the closure goes ahead, children who are at the school would be offered a place at other schools in the Silcoates School Foundation .

Darryl Wideman, headteacher of Silcoates School, said:“If the proposal is implemented, current pupils will have the opportunity to continue their education at either Sunny Hill School or Silcoates Junior School.

“While pupil numbers remain very strong on both the Wrenthorpe sites, numbers at the Horbury site have fallen consistently in recent years, calling into question the sustainability ofSt Hilda’s for the long-term.

“The proposal is subject to the outcome of consultation with the staff at St Hilda’s.”

“The governors will be working with parents and pupils to establish available options and minimise any disruption to education.”

The building currently used by the school, which is leased by the Silcoates School Foundation, was once home to hundreds of nuns.

The House of Mercy was established in 1863 and 1949 the community of Anglican nuns set up a school.

The running of the school was taken over by Silcoates in 1990 and two years later they moved into what is now St Hilda’s School.

Mr Wideman said he did not know what would happen to the building if the school closed.