EGM will be held on Wednesday 13th March at 7.00pm
I announced at the Whole School Meeting on Wednesday night that the trustees had resolved we should go into Administration. This was based on the fact that we need cash immediately in order to pay creditors and in particular the staff salaries on the 20th of this month. It is not legal to accept services from suppliers knowing that we cannot pay them, so dealing with suppliers has currently ground to a halt. We felt the only option is to go into Administration which would give us the best chance of being able to stay open until the end of the year. This is because they would work closely with Triodos, our mortgage provider, to lend enough money quickly to take us to the end of the year and ensure staff get paid. The downside is that doing this is likely to cost the charity a lot of money.
The alternative is to close immediately which would preserve the assets as they are now. The thought of closing immediately is horrifying to contemplate with all the disruption it would cause for families and staff which was why we felt that Administration was the only course of action.
However, after Wednesday night, and before the documents had been signed to formally enter administration, we have been approached with the possibility of financial assistance to see us through to the end of the year. This is very tentative at present but worth pursuing. After talking with the administrators and explaining the situation, they feel that we can postpone appointing them until later next week. Even with this delay of a few days, there would still be time for them to secure the additional funding to ensure we can continue trading and pay staff salaries on time. We have also consulted with other professional advisers and we feel a delay in appointing the administrators is now the right thing to do.
So, we have a short opportunity to follow up the lead we have and to make a call for any others to come forwards who think they may be able to help.
Ideally, we need to borrow up to £150,000 in order to guarantee the orderly closure of the school at the end of this academic year. We need about half of that immediately to carry on trading just for this month. This amount should be enough to take into account a drop of income over the period. During the remainder of this year we would need to settle on a definite plan on what to do with the land and pay for services associated with realising its value. Any assistance in this would also be greatly appreciated.
Going into administration is a last resort. It is much more preferable to try and keep the school running for the rest of this year without such recourse by finding money elsewhere. However, it is there as a back stop should we need it.
If we do not come up with an alternative plan, we need to choose between going into Administration or closing immediately and as stated, our intent is for Administration. In order to keep you updated on potential news and further decisions coming up next week, we are calling an EGM for Wednesday, 13th March at 7pm in the School Hall.
We are very grateful to all staff, families and friends of Michael House School who have shown their support in this very difficult time our school is going through. We will continue to work hard to deliver the best possible outcome to our community under the current circumstances.
Chair of Trustees