THE future of one of the west's major private schools hangs in the balance following months of uncertainty.
Anxious students of independent P-12 school Mowbray College arrived on Friday morning as rumours swirled that the school could close at the end of this semester.
As reported by the Weekly last month, the future of the school's Patterson campus at Melton has been under review. But ongoing financial problems have led to reports that National Australia Bank has become involved in talks about the future of the entire college.
Mowbray has about 1000 students across three campuses in Melton and Caroline Springs.
Principal Tony Keirsten-Wakefield, who was appointed in March, resigned last week and was unavailable for comment.
In a statement, the school said his deputy, David Robertson, would take on the role.
Board chairwoman Tracey MacKenzie said the board was aiming to have a resolution in coming days. She said it was focusing on achieving the best outcome for students.
She acknowledged closure was among the possibilities.
"To achieve viability in 2013, the college requires financial assistance during 2012 beyond its current credit limits," she said.
"The school is also evaluating the possibility of consolidating the college at its Caroline Springs town centre and Brookside campuses."
An NAB spokesman said the bank "continues to work closely with the board of Mowbray College who are liaising with the state government to find a resolution to keep the school open".
On Friday morning, a spokesman for Sunbury's Salesian College confirmed it had received enrolment inquiries from parents of Mowbray students.
A Melton resident and father of an ex-Mowbray College student said the decision to remove his child from the school was due to what he considered a lack of communication.
"We were alarmed by the rumours that were circulating and that there didn't seem to be any obvious action being taken to deal with the rumours," he said.
"Senior management appeared to be unstable and it was having an affect on the morale of not only sutdents but staff as well. We couldn't sit and wait, we needed to do something in my child's best interest."
Mr Keirsten-Wakefield last month told the Weekly that Mowbray was in financial difficulty, but he remained positive about the future of the school.
"I want as many parents and students committed to staying at Mowbray and getting what I believe is a great education here. That's what I see; that's the vision I have," he said.
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