A boarding school has made the “heartbreaking” decision to close its doors for the last time at the end of term for reasons of financial viability.
Pupils and staff will say goodbye to Kilgraston School, Scotland’s only Catholic boarding school, on June 24 as the summer holiday begins.
The school, located near Perth, 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.
Pupils and staff have been informed and discussions surrounding alternative schools for pupils are under way.
Thomas Steuart Fothringham, chairman of the Kilgraston School board of trustees, said: “This has been an extremely challenging and heartbreaking decision.
“However, having considered and pursued all other alternatives, we are, for reasons of financial viability, left with no alternative.
“The loss of income resulting from Covid-19 lockdowns; the effect of lengthy travel restrictions on the international boarding market; the resultant erosion of our cash reserves; and, finally, a number of pupil departures during the course of this year mean that we can no longer continue to trade responsibly beyond the end of this term.
“At this point, we have three priorities: the welfare of staff, the welfare of pupils, and assistance for parents in finding places for their children at other schools.
“We will do all we can to help ensure a smooth transition for all affected.
“We are very sorry not to be able to continue operating a school that is close to all our hearts.”
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.