Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw gives views on St Margaret's as opportunities for rescue are discussed
Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has given his views on the announcement that St Margaret's school is to close in August.
Governors and school owner the Woodard Group have said the decision has been made because it is no longer "financially viable".
The Exeter school, which is currently ranked fourth in the GCSE result league tables in Devon, has blamed low forecasts for new pupils. Parents, as well as former and current pupils, have expressed concerns about the move, which came after the launch of a three-year recovery plan.
Mr Bradshaw said: "My heart goes out to the girls, their families and staff at this sad and uncertain time. The governors clearly faced a very difficult decision, given the school's drastically reduced numbers.
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"The current dire economic climate, Exeter School taking girls and the big improvement in Exeter's state high schools have made it difficult for St Margaret's.
"The former Labour schools minister Andrew Adonis wanted St Margaret's to transfer into the state sector several years ago, but that opportunity was not taken up. Any new attempt to do that or set up a free school would be a matter for the school and parents.
"Devon Education Authority have assured me that there are enough places in Exeter's state high schools for any St Margaret's pupil wishing to transfer and that they will work closely with the schools and families concerned to ensure transfers are as smooth and easy as possible."
Meanwhile, Woodard has pledged to set up a meeting with parents, pupils and former pupils who are trying to find a way to keep the school open. And it has also emerged that "other educational organisations" may be willing to step in to run it.
A spokesman for Woodard said: "A parent group has been formed with the express intention of seeing the school's continued running. Woodard is in dialogue and hopes to set up an exploratory meeting this week.
"The corporation is also examining approaches made by other educational organisations. In the course of this process Woodard will commission a valuation of St Margaret's assets in order to determine the proper value if ownership is transferred. In the meantime consultations with staff over redundancy will continue."
"The committee is greatly encouraged by the prompt and positive response from the Woodard Corporation in relation to our on-going negotiations.
John Fowler, representing the campaign group, said: "We urge Woodard to positively consider any approaches from other educational organisations which would enable the long term survival of St Margaret's. We have no further comment ahead of our anticipated meeting with their representatives later this week."