A POOLE independent school which closed suddenly in February is to be occupied by another education provider, administrators have announced.

Portland Administrators said that the premises originally run by Buckholme Towers, an independent prep school that offered private schooling, would re-open to serve 'children from the local community and surrounding areas'.

Parents at Buckholme were given just days notice of the school's fall into administration in February this year and launched a desperate crowd-funding effort to save it.

Staff and parents hoped to run the school as a non-profit. Head of Teaching and Learning at Buckholme Dominik Kaczmarek, said at the time: “We wish to continue Buckholme’s story by running as a charity; a co-operative between teachers and parents."

However, despite being 'overwhelmed with support' the rescue bid failed and the school was forced to close within a week. Fifteen staff members lost their jobs and the 60 pupils had to find new schools.

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.

"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."

Following the closure, rumours circulated that the site could be redeveloped for housing but Portland stressed said that the property occupied by the school is held within a trust and is designated to be used for educational purposes only.

Mr Fortune said: "The closure of the school left pupils, parents and the local community in state of shock. We have to remember that this institution has been in existence since 1939 and, for some, became a community and social hub.

"We worked closely with all parties linked to the business including the Trust and are pleased that not only will the building be put to good use but another education provider has been secured which will ensure it serves children from the local community and surrounding areas.

"We will now do our best to work with the trustees to ensure the transition for this new education provider goes smoothly so it can get off to the best start.”