PARENTS of pupils at St Anne's Convent School in Ealing have, in their own words, "grasped defeat from the jaws of victory" as half their number have pulled out of negotiations to purchase the school from the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide for £2.5 million because the venture would mean the raising of fees from £550 to £770 a term, a leap which parents saw as unacceptable."
Heather Robinson, organising the campaign to save the school, spoke of the catastrophe for teachers and pupils who now has to find new posts and new places of education before July when the school closes.
"Had the trustees postponed the closure for just one year we would have been home and dry," she said. "There would then have been enough time to arrange bursaries for parents who cannot afford the new fees and our support during negotiations would have remained intact."
She recognised, however that parents saw their first duty as towards their children, and the need to provide a secure education for them outweighed the necessity of continuing protracted negotations.
Mrs Robinson mourned the fact that whereas children nearing the end of their time at St Anne's would be able to complete their exams before the projected closure, those in the Fourth year and the Lower Sixth would probably have to repeat the year when they are absorbed by neighbouring schools.