ANGER smoulders over the announced closure of Bentham Grammar School, despite news that a junior school is to rise from its ashes.

Parents whose children currently attend the North Craven school are angered and bewildered by the takeover by Sedbergh Public School.

They were issued with a letter from Bentham School on March 4 advising them of the closure.

Now many are concerned that Sedbergh, former school of ex-England rugby captain Will Carling, is being insensitive to senior pupils at Bentham.

They will have to apply and be interviewed for places while the juniors will remain at the site in the new Sedbergh Junior School.

Parents Peter and Louise Armer, contacted the Herald saying the senior pupils were being subjected to a vetting system with no regard being made to those in the middle of GCSEs or A-levels.

A meeting called by worried parents on Wednesday evening raised a number of issues.

The points discussed included Bentham School's financial accounts which people say appear to be sound, a lack of proactive marketing of the school, and no consultation with parents.

"Parents are naturally very distressed and are frantically looking around for an alternative school for their children," said Mrs Armer.

She added that Sedbergh had said it would keep the fees at the same level as Bentham for the first year, but there are rumours that they could double after that.

Currently the fees at Bentham Grammar School are £2,200 per term for day pupils.

Sedbergh's marketing director Paul Wallace-Woodroffe said that although Sedbergh School understood the angst of parents, it was after all Bentham School which had approached them.

Mr Wallace-Woodroffe confirmed that Sedbergh was looking to expand and was in a position to take over Bentham's debt.

"If we could not have come to this arrangement Bentham School would have had to close."

He also said the selection system was fair in that Sedbergh was using the same entrance criteria it used for all its prospective students.