THE ADMINISTRATORS of the independent Buckholme Towers School have explained why – despite strong plans for a rescue bid – they took the decision to close the independent Poole primary.

Joint administrator Mike Fortune said one of the reasons the closure was made was because of fears that parents would have abandoned the school after learning it was in difficulties.

"Overall, it is a very unfortunate situation," he said.

"Buckholme Towers has been the heart of the community for a number of years, and was considered a second family by parents and pupils and has a very good reputation locally and with parents.

"One of the problems is that with an already low pupil count, as soon as there is a chance that the school will close, parents will naturally seek to make alternative arrangements and that exacerbates the problem for any future operator, with no guarantee pupils would have returned to the school following half term.

“Although a number of parents pledged continuing support if the school could be kept open, our timetable was partly driven by the fact that parents would need to make other arrangements, prior to half term, just in case the school was unable to reopen after the break.

"This gave us a very short period to try to find an operator that had the resources to take over within a few days."

He said administrators were "very concerned" that parents had little notice of the closure.

"We had to make a final decision prior to half term. Once it was known that the school was definitely closing, a number of other local schools got in touch to help facilitate a smooth transition of pupils," he said.

He acknowledged the "valiant efforts" of parents, teachers and other interested parties, but said: "In the end there was no choice but to permanently close the school."

Portland did allow a Valentine's disco to take place on the Friday before half term, which parents, pupils and staff turned into a farewell part as they prepared to go their separate ways.

The administrators said that the property occupied by the school is held within a trust and is designated to be used for educational purposes and they will be liaising with the trustees over the future use of the building.