No hope of saving Sunderland High School, campaigners admit

Sunderland High School is to close at the end of the current academic year.
Sunderland High School is to close at the end of the current academic year.
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Campaigners hoping to save Sunderland High School have admitted defeat.

Parents, students and staff were left stunned in January following the shock announcement the school was going to close after more than 130 years in the city.

A hardy group of volunteers united in a bid to take over the running of the school – but despite overwhelming support, they did not have time to secure its future.

Dawn Pringle, who launched the bid to save Sunderland High School, said there were a lot of tears at the end of the Easter term when a large number of the children left to take up their places at other various schools.

Others will stay on until the end of the academic year when the school will close for good.

She said: “It is heartbreaking. The children and the staff are just devastated by it.

“If we had been given prior warning last year what was planned, I’m sure we would have been able to save it.

“It is very sad for the children and staff at the school, but also very sad for the city.”

United Church Schools Trust, which owns Sunderland High School, where the fees range from £2,300 to £3,200 a term, blamed the decision to close on falling pupil numbers, from 580 to less than 290 in 10 years.

Ms Pringle said a lot of the GCSE and A-level children will be transferring to Dame Allan’s school in Newcastle, which has agreed to carry on with the exam boards they have already started, and the younger children will be heading to a variety of schools in the region.