WILTSHIRE Council is in "exploratory conversations" with a school in Tidworth following its announcement that its boarding house is closing down.

As previously reported, The Wellington Academy has announced that it has decided to close its boarding house because it was 'no longer financially viable'. 

The school and the house are run by Ascend Learning Trust - who previously refused to comment when contacted by the Advertiser

Matt Price, director of boarding, has confirmed in an email sent to parents and staff, that the boarding house would no longer be used from Easter 2025.

READ MORE: Academy to close its boarding house due to low occupancy rates, according to head

Wiltshire Council has now said a proposed alternative educational use is being explored for the residential block.

Cllr Laura Mayes, cabinet member for education and skills for Wiltshire Council, said: “We have entered into exploratory conversations with Wellington Academy/Ascend Trust around a proposed alternative educational use for the residential block. Discussions over potential future use are at any early stage and are subject to technical and financial feasibility consideration.”

The boarding house, with a capacity of 100 students, has been experiencing low occupancy rates for several years and currently houses fewer than 40 students, according to headteacher Rob Wood.

The Advertiser has seen a memo sent by Mr Wood and the email sent by Mr Price to parents and staff.

Mr Wood said the closure was not a reflection on the quality of the boarding provision, which has consistently received positive Ofsted ratings.

He said: "The house is the victim of global, national, and local events, i.e. the Covid pandemic, Brexit and locally a different model of working by the British military leading to fewer military families needing the accommodation for their children to ensure continuity of learning."

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He assured current boarders that they would be able to complete the academic year at the boarding house and the academy has pledged support for students seeking alternative boarding arrangements or transitioning to day schooling.

Mr Wood added: "Can I please reiterate once again how saddened I am by the need to make this decision and apologise for the inevitable upset, stress, and anxiety it will cause."

Wellington Academy chose not to comment again.