Pupils’ father steps in to rescue Brewood's St Dominic's school
An independent school is relaunching as a grammar school after the father of two of its pupils stepped in to provide financial backing.
The charity which had run St Dominic’s in Brewood ceased trading earlier this year.
From the start of the new term it will become St Dominic’s Grammar School and will introduce the 11-plus exam for its preparatory pupils.
Wednesfield-based St Philip’s Care group will now run St Dominic's as a not-for-profit organisation.
The firm is co-owned by Gary Hartland whose daughters Harriet, aged 13, and Lucy, nine, are pupils at the school.
Its buildings are already owned by the group, which stepped in two years ago and has already funded refurbishment of the school’s tennis courts and dining hall, two brand new ICT suites with wi-fi throughout the buildings.
Mr Hartland, said: “I am delighted that my company is now able to help by providing a sound financial platform for the head teacher and his staff to further develop their work in turning out well-rounded children, with good manners, who are supported to seek out their best talents and develop them.
“Now the school has registered with the Department for Education for ‘grammar’ status, it is moving to a level offered by only a few private schools.
"This provides scope for us to offer an even greater service to the community, parents and children.
“We believe this will take St Dominic’s – and most importantly its pupils – from strength to strength, giving more options for families who may be able to afford fees at junior level but might struggle to continue to pay through senior school.
“Basically, we will provide children, by the age of 11, with a benchmark – the 11-plus ticket to grammar school education, with us or elsewhere.”
The school takes boys and girls up to the age of 11 and girls only through to sixth form.
The transfer to St Philip’s Care followed the voluntary liquidation of the charitable St Dominic’s Brewood Trust, which ceased to exist from June 30 because of historic debt.
Head of school, Peter McNabb, said: “Becoming a grammar school will raise the profile of St Dominic’s, building upon our excellent reputation – our performance over the years proves that we are worthy of the title.
“It shows that we can steer pupils through to success in the 11-plus exam, whether they wish to move on to our girls only secondary school or any child aiming to gain places at free selective or other independent schools."
After the St Dominic’s Brewood Trust ceased trading, the school’s 29 permanent teaching staff agreed to work without pay for the final two weeks before the summer holiday.