LONDON, ENGLAND, July 18, 2018 (hansard.parliament.uk): HPI Note: On July 18, Virendram Sharma, MP for Ealing and Southall, raised the issue of the impending closure of the Swaminarayan School attached to the BAPS Neasden Temple in London. The complete transcript is at “source” above and covers the situation in some detail.
A key issue in the discussion was whether the government could offer help to keep the school open, to which the the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, stated, “Every year, a number of independent schools close–usually about 70 or 80. Other schools open their doors in broadly the same numbers, but the profile of the sector tends to change over time in response to a number of factors, including market pressures. We should not forget that independent schools, whether run by charities or as businesses, operate in the marketplace. The decision to close an independent school is a matter for the owner or proprietor alone…. There is nothing the Government can do to stop the closure now that the trustees have taken the decision. We do not fund independent schools, and nor do we come to arrangements that are designed to help them overcome financial difficulties. That is what being independent is about; it is not just about giving schools greater freedom to operate in the way they want.”