INDEPENDENT Newlands School in Seaford closed on July 9.

A spokeswoman said that Beaconhouse Educational Services, proprietors since 2009, would withdraw financial support at the end of the academic year and were unable to satisfactorily transfer the lease. She said staff and parents supported the school to the end of term for the pupils’ welfare and made concerted efforts to seek new investment.

Tula Dyer, head of the school, said: “This is a tragedy for the pupils and parents as well as the local community who hire facilities. We are devastated that this unique school will not be able to continue.”

Seaford Gymnastics Academy operated at the school.

Lorraine McKenzie, head coach, said: “There had been rumblings for a while but it was only in the last two weeks that we’ve known for certain that the school was going to close. It’s a great shame.”

Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, called for community involvement in any decision about the future of the site.