Published: 12:31, 28 July 2020
| Updated: 14:24, 28 July 2020
Plans to move boarding school students into Gogglebox stars Steph and Dom's multi-million pound B&B have fallen through after a final decision by governors to shut the department.
A consultation over the future of the boarding section at Sir Roger Manwoods in Sandwich has concluded that the two homes will close on the grounds they are financially unviable.
An alternative plan had been put forward by alumni group Friends of SRMS Boarding to move the children into the nearby Salutation hotel, run by the Parkers, while extra funding was sourced.
But this has been scrapped after only seven parents expressed genuine interest in the idea.
Instead, governors and head teacher Lee Hunter say they are open to discussions to explore a proposal to have a charitable company running the facility in the future and have invited the group to a meeting in September.
The concluding statement from the governors states that there were 39 individuals responses to the consultation in addition to a petition to retain the facility with more than 1,300 sigantures.
It reads: "It is with regret and great sadness that the Governing Body concluded that they must still apply to the Regional Schools Commissioner for permission to close the boarding operation.
"However, they are very interested in the proposal put forward by the group of alumni concerning a charitable company being set up to run boarding and will be actively exploring that option with this group going forwards so that boarding could be re-introduced at a future date - which the Regional Schools Commissioner has confirmed the School is able to apply to do.
"Governors would like to thank all of those who responded to the consultation, and although applying to close boarding is excited by the prospect of working with alumni on a plan to reopen it in the future."
The closure impacts 22 girls and 13 boys. Those studying towards their GCSEs and A-Levels have been offered accommodation at Dover's Duke of Yorks School.
It continues: "Governors appreciate that this has not been an easy time for boarders, parents of boarders or boarding staff and regret having had to put all of them through this process.
"As the Governing Body has said all along, it does not want to shut boarding but would not be doing their duty as governors if the whole school were to go into serious financial debt due to losses in the boarding operation."
More by this authorEleanor Perkins
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