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Downham Market Preparatory School to close on July 11





A school is set to close “with great sadness” this summer after four decades in town.

Downham Preparatory School, which caters for children aged up to 13, will shut its doors for good on July 11, it has been confirmed.

The school was judged to be ‘Good’ in all areas by Ofsted, the education watchdog, in a report published just two months ago.

Downham Preparatory School will close on July 11
Downham Preparatory School will close on July 11

Downham Prep is adjoined to the Montessori Nursery, which will remain open.

Both are run by Elizabeth Laffeaty-Sharpe, who the Lynn News contacted for comment last week.

However, she nor the school have yet to respond, meaning the exact reasons for the closure remain unclear.

The school has been running in Downham for 40 years
The school has been running in Downham for 40 years

A statement said: “It is with great sadness that we announce Downham Preparatory School will be closing on July 11 after 40 incredible years.

“We will be holding a celebration and welcoming past pupils back for this at the end of term… more details to be announced.”

Some replies to the social media post said the closure will be a “such a loss for the area”, while others described it as “very sad news”.

This is not the first loss of childcare services in Downham this year.

Principal Elizabeth Laffeaty-Sharpe at the school in previous years
Principal Elizabeth Laffeaty-Sharpe at the school in previous years

The town has already been rocked this year after Alpha Nurseries, which operated The Willows Day Nursery on Sovereign Way, told parents it had gone into liquidation, leading to its sudden closure.

Ms Laffeaty-Sharpe told the Lynn News in February that she was experiencing funding issues at the Montessori Nursery, but it will remain open.

High school places are also a problem in the town.

In January we reported that, with 300 families looking to secure a spot at the Downham Academy for next year, at least 30 children looked set to miss out on their first choice.

A £400,000 grant from Norfolk County Council is set to allow the school to put additional classrooms in place.



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