Sunderland High School: Former rival 'inundated' with interest after closure bombshell

Durham School.
Durham School.
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A top independent school says it has seen floods of enquiries from parents after a Wearside school announced it was close to its doors.

Children, staff, former pupils and supporters were left dismayed last week when Sunderland High School dropped the bombshell that it would close amid mounting difficulties.

Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin

Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin

A campaign group has formed in a bid to save the institution.

Read more: Hundreds attend meeting about saving historic Sunderland school
But former rival Durham School is holding an open day after claiming an influx of interest following the closure announcement.

A statement from the institution reads: "Since the announcement of the closure of Sunderland High School, Durham School has reported that it has been inundated with enquiries from parents looking for school places for their children.

"In response to this Durham School, one of the North East’s oldest and most prestigious schools, is opening its doors for a special open morning for potential parents and pupils on Saturday 30 January at 9.30am"

Durham School Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin said the establishment, in Quarryheads Lane, Durham, will be showcasing the facilities it offers to pupils from nursery to sixth form.

“Because we are a relatively small school, we can give each and every pupil the chance to shine – be it on the playing field, in our superb music and drama productions or in whichever activity they choose.

“We spend time with each child, understand their individual characters and gently encourage them to try new activities and take part in new ventures – and that’s when they flourish and their confidence grows.

“We want our pupils to meet the rigorous academic requirements they will need to attend the best universities,” said Mr McLaughlin, who read Physics at Cambridge, “but we also want them to be interesting and interested – and that’s why we give them as many opportunities as possible.”

The co-educational school boasts it has been at the forefront of education in the North East for 600 years, and this summer celebrated record exam success.

The school takes pupils from 3-18 and has a mixture of day and weekly pupils and flexible and full time boarding pupils

Of its A-level students last year, three achieved Oxbridge places, 63.1 per cent achieved A*-B grades and 29 have gone on to study at Russell Group universities – results which put it among an elite band of North East schools.

The Open Day will take place at 10am and places can be reserved by calling 0191 386 4783, emailing or visiting