Princess Helena College (PHC), a co-educational independent day and boarding school for students aged 11 to 18 in Preston near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, is closing at the end of the academic year.
The school was founded in 1820 for daughters of officers who had served in the Napoleonic Wars and those of the Anglican clergy, and was housed in sites in London before moving to its present location in 1935.
Staff, students and parents were informed of the decision in a letter from PHC head Sarah Davis, who said the final decision to close the school was taken during the half-term holiday, adding that a number of options for the school were considered to secure its financial future but, last week, the last of these fell through.
The head said the financial impact of Covid-19, both domestically and in the collapse of the lucrative international boarding market, made the future of the school untenable on top of several years of financial losses. The trustees therefore decided to close the school.
Davis wrote: “As someone who has had close ties with the school, I know that you will share our sadness at this decision. However, we do believe that this is ultimately the right thing to do as there is no feasible means of the school returning to a break-even position in the foreseeable future.”
Date published: 23 February 2021