ONE of Huddersfield's longest established independent schools is to close its doors this summer.
A dramatic fall in pupil numbers is being blamed for the closure of Mountjoy House Preparatory School on New North Road
Its 28 pupils will walk into the building for the last time on Friday, July 20.
It will be sad day for head teacher and co-owner Julie Sharples, a former pupil of the school.
Her father, Arthur Marson - the other co-owner - and late mother Audrey opened the school in a former mill owner's house in 1960.
"Our numbers have fallen dramatically over several years and it is simply not viable to carry on," said Mrs Sharples, who has been head for three years.
"There are just not sufficient pupils for all the independent schools in the area. All the grammar schools have preparatory schools and parents are now wanting to send their children to establishments which take children from three right through to 16 or even 18 years.
"Over the years we have been extremely proud of our pupils, who have gained excellent exam results and have gone on to attain high qualifications in numerous chosen careers.
"We are most grateful to all the parents, past and present, who have shown support and commitment to the school."
The school caters for children aged three to 11. They are taught in small classes by a team of three full-time and six part-time staff.
The school has always said that it concentrates on traditional values and not just the 3Rs but the six Rs, including Right, Wrong and Responsibility.
Mrs Sharples said the family had no plans to sell the building at this stage.
* Rosemeade School in Almondbury shut last summer after over 80 years.