THE SISTERS of La Retraite have decided to close down their Independent School for girls at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset. The school will be phased out over the next 18 months and closed in July 1984.
In 1979 the Somerset Education Committee decided to end a scheme which had provided some Catholic pupils with fees assistance. This decision has been one of the causes of a gradual decline in the number of pupils at the school over the last three years. Increasing costs and these falling rolls now make the school financially unviable.
Roman Catholic parents in the area will, however, have the chance of a denominational education for their children at the voluntary aided AnglicanRoman Catholic Secondary School of St Augustine's, Taunton. The school, founded in 1889, was part of a building programme by the sisters of La Retraite that also provided a Church and another school, St Joseph's Primary School, which continues to flourish.
The sisters will continue to work in St Joseph's and the Parish of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, while looking for a new use for the school buildings that will continue to serve the people of Somerset.