A school in Dubai looks set to close despite parents pledging to pay fee increases of 20 per cent to keep it open.
Stunned mums and dads received a letter on Tuesday from The English College Primary School head teacher William Johnston stating that the school is to shut at the end of June.
In the letter, the head said that the reasons given for the Jumeirah 3 school closure are “purely business”.
Johnston wrote: “The Primary phase of The English College has been making a loss, which cannot be sustained. The KHDA who controls fees in all private schools has refused permission to raise our fees and therefore the board has come to the decision to close.” Fees at the school - about Dhs9,000 per term - are considered cheaper than equivalent English curriculum schools in Dubai.
Worried mums and dads rallied round following news of the closure, signing petitions agreeing to pay fee increases of 20 per cent to keep the primary open.
Dad-of-two Dragan Dolovac said: “I’d pay 30 to 35 per cent.”
Asked why the KHDA would allow a school to close when parents were willing to pay higher fees, Johnston said: “I wish I could answer that. I don’t know.
“They need to stick with their fee structure would be their answer.”
Some parents said they suspected there might be other reasons for the school closure as well. “Is it about the money or is it about the land the school is on?” asked mum Gayle Greenwood. Many also expressed fears that The English College Secondary School “could be next” - though Johnston insisted that school was “safe”.
The KHDA declined to comment on Tuesday, saying a statement would be released Wednesday.