Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is to close its junior school following an internal review, as it responds to the impact of the pandemic on its operations.
The drama school said coronavirus had demanded a “top to bottom review of our operations as we try and navigate our way through this extremely difficult time”, which had resulted in the decision to close the junior school next year. It pointed to an “intolerable strain on its finances”. The junior school has been operating for more than 100 years and serves children aged 10 to 16. It currently has 95 pupils and six academic teachers.
“Following an extensive and thorough internal review, it is with regret that we have had to take the heart-breaking decision to close the junior school at the Italia Conti Academy at the end of July 2021,” its principal, Sam Newton, said.
Newton added: “As I am sure you can appreciate, this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make and one we have considered long and hard. However, as the school is heavily reliant on the timely receipt of privately funded tuition fees, our limited capacity to function in the conventional way has placed an intolerable strain on our finances.”
She said the extended lockdown period had “further rendered our current position untenable”.
“Please be assured that we have explored all options to avoid this outcome with great urgency, but as a not for profit organisation that is entirely reliant upon fee-paying students, we were sadly left with no realistic alternative,” she added.
By giving a year’s notice, she said she hoped students and parents would have time to make alternative arrangements.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to arrive at and one that we have considered long and hard. The junior school at Italia Conti was founded in 1911 and over the last 109 years has successfully educated thousands of children and created countless unforgettable moments for students, staff and parents,” she said.
Italia Conti will continue to offer its diploma and degree programmes.