Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle for School Is Launched on Web; Facebook Joins Opposition to Closure

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle for School Is Launched on Web; Facebook Joins Opposition to Closure

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Guy

MORE than 400 people have signed an online group that opposes the closure of a top North East private school.

The group has been set up on the Facebook website after The Journal revealed that La Sagesse school in Jesmond, Newcastle, will close in the summer after the group of nuns who founded it tripled the rent.

Entitled "Save La Sagesse", the group consists mainly of former and current pupils, many of who have posted messages of sadness that the school is to close.

The group was set up by former pupil Rebecca Sibbald, who said she was "praying for a miracle" that the school would not be closed.

She said: "We just need to show the staff and pupils how much we support them. The school has done so much for everyone, and I know I too would not be the person I am today without the belief the school had in me.

"If we can't save it we can sure as damn send it off in the style it deserves."

Holding a reunion and farewell event at the school is a possibility suggested by many of the people on the site.

Nicola Hurst, 29, a pupil at the school between 1989 and 1996, posted a message on the site saying: "I loved it there and my best friends I have today are the friends I made at school.

"I can't believe it has come to this. My mum rang me when she heard and I don't mind admitting I welled up. It is such a shame and I really do hope there is some sort of event so that we can all say goodbye and thank you to the school and the staff."

The decision to shut the pounds 3,000-a-term school will leave 200 pupils looking for new schools and 54 members of staff out of work.

Kathleen McCourt, chair of governors at the school said: "We've all been very touched by the level of support which the school has received from current and former pupils and their energy and determination to want to keep the school open. …

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