A PRIVATE school that has been at the heart of life in Windsor for 70 years has gone into liquidation.

A statement released today by Ruyan Donovan, the marketing manager at Queensmead School (formerly the Brigidine) in Kings Road, said: "It is with great regret and sadness that due to economic reasons we have to announce today that Queensmead School (Windsor) Limited has taken steps to be placed into administration/liquidation.

"The management team will be working with our parents and students over the coming week to help find the most appropriate local schools to move to."

Queensmead will close this Thursday.

The school is better known as Brigidine - the change of name only happening last year when it seemed to announce a new chapter in the school's history.

Pupil numbers have shrunk over the years but the school was recently granted permission to take boarders. It provides education for pupils aged between two and 19.

An inspection by Ofsted last year criticised some aspects of the school, inspectors finding that it did not meet the standards required of an independent school when it came to providing appropriate support for pupils with special educational needs or providing independent careers advice - although there was praise as well for the literary and mathematical skills of sixth form students and for the atmosphere at the school.

Brigidine has had a troubled history in the last decade or so.

It was established as a convent school in 1948, although later became a lay school with a Catholic ethos.

During the early 2000s it faced serious financial difficulties as pupils and staff members declined and was threatened with closure.

In 2011 parents and governors discussed the possibility of it joining the state sector but an agreement could not be reached.

In 2012 independent funding was received which enabled it to stay open.

Dawn Fleming is the school's head of business affairs and Simon Larter its head of education.