Closure date announced for 120-year-old Ilford school

Parents are angry about news that Cranbrook School is to close

Parents are angry about news that Cranbrook School is to close - Credit: Archant

A school that has existed in the borough for 120 years has announced that it will finally close at noon on Wednesday, July 20.

Cranbrook School in Mansfield Road, Ilford, which began as a boys school founded in 1896, will hold a number of events to say “farewell” to pupils and parents.

School spokeswoman Rena Morzaria, called the closure of the school “very sad”.

She said: “We will be holding an event on July 20, for old boys and teachers between 6pm and 10pm.”

A picnic in Valentines Park, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, and a garden party will be held on Friday, July 15, for pupils and parents of this academic year.

Pupils can also expect a day of fun when they travel to Southend’s Adventure Island on Monday, July 18.

Commenting on the school’s website, headteacher David Morrison, said the school was “deeply saddened” to have reached this point.

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Margaret Kubicek, a spokeswoman for Cognita which runs the independent school, said pupil numbers had dropped by 40 per cent since 2011.

She said: “The school had 285 pupils in 2011 and just 155 today.”

Ms Kubicek added that expanding state school provision had made a “significant impact” at Cranbook.

“This reduced demand for places and is also affecting other independent schools many of whom have surplus places,” she said.

Speaking in March, mum Sheila Habib criticised Cognita for not looking at every alternative to closure but thanked staff calling them “fantastic”.

The school would like people, over the age of 18, who used to attend or work at the school to get in touch on with their details for event on July 20.