Dismay as another school goes bust

Parents have spoken of their frustration at the closure of a Coptic Christian school in Melbourne's outer south-east.

Parents were notified last night that St Anthony's Coptic Orthodox College in Frankston North was being closed amid a financial crisis, leaving more than 200 students in the lurch.

It has become the third independent school in Victoria to go bust this year.

Hawaida Issa said she would need to find another school for her son, who was about to finish prep.

"I like the idea of a prep to Year 12 school. It's a small school, it's like a family," she said.

Ms Issa said she had looked at other independent schools in which to enrol her son last year but they had been about twice the cost of St Anthony's.

She said her son was doing well at the school and she was concerned about making the move into Grade 1 at another school.

"He was very comfortable and happy."

Another parent, James Kuok, said he was very concerned about the closure and where his six children would continue their education.

One student said that the school director, Father Athanasius Attia told the school community of the college's debt problem at a speech night last week.

"Father Athanasius reached out and asked all parents to make any donations and [for] unpaid fees to be paid," the student said.

"He also mentioned that he tried to get in contact with the government to push a school budget forward about a week so that the debts could be paid before they fell due. Students have been in speculation about the school closing down for two years now and we pretty much knew it was close to an end."

Most of the students who attended St Anthony's Coptic Orthodox College came from Middle Eastern and African Coptic Christian communities and some were refugees.

The story Dismay as another school goes bust first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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