Stroud Town Council concerned by Rose's Special School's financial worries in Gloucestershire.
A DROP in the number of pupils is threatening the future of an 'outstanding' special school.
Concerned councillors fear for the financial viability of much-loved St Rose's Special School as the number of pupils has halved in the past few years.
Stroud Town Council decided on Monday evening to write to the school to seek further information on its possible future losses, and to offer its support.
St Rose's was founded by Roman Catholic Dominican nuns 101 years ago.
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It caters for children and young people with severe physical difficulties and complex needs.
The community's fund raising support has also been immense over the years.
In only June 2011 a £1.4m hydrotherapy pool for the pupils was officially opened after a three year Smile fund raising campaign.
But now there are only 35 pupils at St Rose's, compared to almost double that a couple of years ago.
"Either through demographic trends or because of changes in the funding for education of children with special needs, numbers of pupils have declined substantially in recent years," trustees' spokesman Jim McDonnell said.
"The Dominican Sisters Congregation who own the school now have to face the fact that they cannot subsidise the future losses which are forecast," he said.
"Unless urgent action was taken St Rose's School could no longer be financially viable," said Mr McDonnell.
Discussions have begun with the trustees, governors and the 99 staff.
Trustees had asked the governors to propose a recovery plan to ensure a long term and sustainable provision for the future.
"The main point at this stage is that the trustees and governors are doing everything they can to come up with a robust business plan as quickly as possible," Mr McDonnell said.
"Obviously everyone wants to see the high quality of care for the children maintained."
Mayor of Stroud Council Amanda Moriarty said Gloucestershire County Council education authority, which was understood to fund placements at St Rose's would also be contacted.
Sister Pauline Burling, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters, said: "We will do our best to safeguard the future education of the children and young people in our care. The results of these discussions will be made known as soon as possible."
Only 18 months ago Ofsted marked St Rose's outstanding in every single way – it even left a rare blank page beneath the question of what the school might do to improve further.