Scotland's last Catholic boarding school saved from closure by families

Pupils and staff were set to say goodbye to Kilgraston School on June 24.

Kilgraston School: Last Catholic boarding school in Scotland due to close saved by families Google Maps

A Perthshire boarding school, which was set for closure, has announced it can now remain open.

Pupils and staff were set to say goodbye to Kilgraston School, Scotland’s only Catholic boarding school, on June 24.

The school, located near Perth, previously cited reasons including the loss of income due to Covid lockdowns and the effect of travel restrictions on the international boarding market as reasons for the decision.

A fundraiser was launched to help plug a £2m gap and, within 48 hours, more than £1.2m had been donated.

And on Monday, it was revealed that advanced talks with education provider Achieve Education are under way, which bosses say will provide it with “financial strength and stability”.

Head of Kilgraston, Mrs Tanya Davie, said: “We thank all those parents and guardians who have placed their trust in the school.

“Your support and commitment together with that received from our staff, pupils and alumnae has been overwhelming.”

The Achieve Group is said to have been inspired by the parents’ call for “a £2m rescue plan” after an emergency meeting last Friday.

Mrs Davie added: “We are confident that we can now all enjoy sharing this positive message, a message that is good for the school, good for parents and, most importantly, good for our children.”

Damian Hind, the leader of the Parent Action Group formed less than a week ago is “delighted” by the news.

He said: “Last Friday, the news could not have been bleaker. The school was set to close and that was devastating for all involved.

“The extraordinary call to action garnered by those parents who believe in Kilgraston’s future sparked support at home and abroad – and that has helped to bring us to today. We’d like to thank everyone who placed their trust in Kilgraston and in the Achieve Group.”

While the Perthshire school was established in 1930, early records of the building show it was in existence as far back as the 13th century.

Kilgraston was purchased by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Catholic institute.

The school has won a series of awards and accolades. In 2015, it was named the Sunday Times top independent school for Highers and Advanced Highers.

Notable alumni include Mairi Gougeon, a Scottish Government minister and the SNP MSP for Angus North and Mearns.

Louise Baxter, a professional field hockey player, previously taught PE at the school.

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