Merger secures village prep school’s future

Malsis School
Malsis School
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A MERGER has helped to secure the future of an independent prep school in a West Yorkshire village.

The governors of Malsis Prep school, near Crosshills, in West Yorkshire, and Giggleswick School, near Settle, have announced their intention to merge.

Malsis currently offers a school with boarding facilities for three to 13-year-olds. The plan is to move to a day school at the site for children up to the age of 11.

The head of Giggleswick Junior School Mark Brotherton, is being seconded to Malsis as interim head responsible for leading the transformation of the school. He led a similar restructure at Giggleswick Juniors when it moved from a school up to the age of 13 to one teaching children up to the age of 11.

Planned residential development on the Malsis site will still be going ahead.

The chairman of Malsis School’s finance committee Robert Austin said: “The decline in pupil numbers in recent years has put at risk the financial sustainability of Malsis School. The proposed merger with Giggleswick is the best option to secure education on the Malsis site, the name, jobs and services provided to the local community. The new school year will start, as planned, on September 3.”

Giggleswick’s chairman of governors, Heather Hancock, said “We are confident that this is the right direction for Malsis School. It offers the best chance of a settled and sustainable future, and it allows Giggleswick School to extend our 500-year track record of delivering an excellent and broad education to young people. Giggleswick and Malsis have a shared heritage reaching back almost a century. We look forward to welcoming the pupils, parents and staff of Malsis to the Giggleswick family, working with them to ensure a flourishing and successful school for the future.”

Giggleswick headmaster Mark Turnbull added: “Over the next few weeks, our priority is to give all the Malsis pupils a strong start to the new academic year...We want to ensure a smooth transition to this new structure. The school needs significant investment: capital receipts from the planned residential developments at Malsis are absolutely essential to meet the school’s debts and to repair the fabric of the building, setting Malsis on the path to growth.”