Trevor and Michèle Pipe have sold the company and site as they plan to retire
The company behind Hawley Place School has been sold after 22 years.
The Blackwater private school’s principals Trevor and Michèle Pipe plan to retire at the end of this new academic year, after more than two decades at the helm.
They have sold the school company – Hawley Place School Limited – and the freehold site to Minerva Education, a company that owns schools in London and across the south-east of England.
And the couple said the site would remain as a school.
Mr and Mrs Pipe acquired the freehold of the school buildings and estate from the Ministry of Defence to secure the long-term future and stability of Hawley Place and to provide a platform for Minerva to invest in the education provision in the future.
Parents of pupils were sent letters to inform them of the sale of the school.
In addition, the new directors held information evenings in recent weeks. In the letter to parents Mr and Mrs Pipe said: “Minerva Education has no intention of changing the current family ethos and character of Hawley Place School.
“Indeed, what attracted Minerva to Hawley Place School was the quality of rounded education provided within and beyond the classroom.
“What attracted us to Minerva was its sense of shared vision for the school’s future development. Minerva aims to continue to invest in the development of the school, thus enabling it to grow further, as the centre of excellence it has become both academically and in the field of sport.
“Rest assured that, together with Minerva during this period of transition, we are keen to work with you in partnership, as a new ‘team Hawley’ and that our door remains open.”
Over the next 12 months, there will be a transition to the new owners and Mr and Ms Pipe will continue in their roles until next July. They are currently looking for a new principal to replace them.
Mr and Mrs Pipe added in the letter to parents that they were “especially grateful” for the support, encouragement and loyalty during this time in charge, adding: “Naturally this will be an emotional time for us. Uppermost in our minds, is the desire to maintain the high quality of education for all the children already placed in our care, or due to join us in 2014.”
Janet Atkinson, school development manager at Hawley Place, added: “Obviously both staff and parents are saddened by the forthcoming departure of Mr and Mrs Pipe, but we all know how incredibly hard they work and feel they deserve their retirement.
“The plans for the continued development of the school are exciting.”