Quantuma appointed administrator for Manor House School

04 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

A £10,000 per year Manor House School in Ashby has appointed administrators just a month after a pay dispute led to a mass walkout of its teachers. Restructuring experts from Quantuma will now look to maximise the recovery for creditors.

Manor House School is a privately run school in Ashby, Leicester. The school site was originally established in the early 20th century, with the latest company incorporated in February 2014. The school is currently closed due to a mass walkout of teachers during the second week of November, which led to an immediate closure without notice to parents of the students, or the owners of the school. 

The school charged EU-based students a starting fee of £7,200 per annum at reception, with that rising to £10,140 per annum for pupils in years 7 to 11. Despite such lucrative fees, however, it is understood that the actions of the teachers were forced by unworkable pay conditions.

Quantuma appointed administrator for Manor House School

According to local news site Leicestershire Live, staff had been paid late on numerous occasions in the year before the closure. One former staff member alleged that staff were owed up to two months wages, having not being paid in the run-up to the school’s closure, and they had only continued to work at the school ‘out of good will and for the sake of the pupils’.

In December, a month after the closing of the school’s doors, holding company Rivico Properties has appointed administrators for the winding up of both the school and Rivico itself. Paul Zalkin and Nick Simmonds of business advisory consultancy Quantuma have been appointed as joint administrators.

Their first task is the investigation of the circumstances which preceded the closure, focussing attention on evidence of computer equipment being removed and an attempt to take control of the main school building before the landlord re-entered the premises. The police, the local authority and The Information Commissioner's Office have all been notified. 

Commenting on the state of play, Zalkin said, “For a school to close overnight is unheard of, so this is certainly one of the more unusual cases we have come across. We are currently unable to comment on specific aspects of the administration due to on-going investigations. Like many smaller private schools, the school was facing significant challenges, however this does not explain why events unfolded as they did.”

The Quantuma professionals will now work closely with key stakeholders to conduct a full review into the circumstances. The end goal of the investigation is that the administration process will be able to maximise the recovery for creditors.

Quantuma saw a busy 2018, as a number of previously up-and-coming UK businesses have floundered amid difficult trading conditions. Having been tapped to oversee the turnaround of BCF Plumbing, and the sale of Chelsea Apps Factory, Quantuma has been working to expand its headcount and bolster its capacity to meet the expanding expectations of its clients.

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