Private schools ‘will suffer’ in recession

Private schools providing may have to close or merge due to the recession, educators were warned today.

Attendees of the Wellington-Marlborough preparatory heads conference were warned by Haysmacintyre partner Noble Hanlon.

“If it gets very serious, [prep schools] will have to close, or merge,” Mr Halon said.

“Prep schools don’t have big resources; they tend to be much smaller than secondaries.”

In the UK there are over 1,000 private prep schools for five to 13-year-olds.

Hanlon cautioned private prep schools to look seriously at their budgets, hold off from capital projects, and consider merging.

However, Dr Anthony Seldon, headaster at Wellington College, believes that many parents will fight to keep their children in these schools.

“[Parents] will remortgage their houses, they will go to their own parents for financial support, they will forego holidays, they will sell assets, they will even downsize houses,” Mr Seldon said.

“They will do anything they can to keep children at these schools.”