“That certainly got their attention. “Madge thought as the staff gasped or looked shocked at her rather blunt announcement. “Yes, it will close here but the plan is to enlarge Glendower House, providing the response from the parents is enough. That being the case I hope many of our current pupils and many or most or all of you will move with me.” She paused “I know this is a shock but the cost of living here in Switzerland has made the continued economical running of the school impossible. The staff from Millies, I know that you were always aware that the branch was closing this year, but since I hope to expand Glendower House this also affects you, hopefully in a positive way. I am going to tell you the background and the why’s and wherefores of my decision now, after that and a short break for coffee I will try to answer any queries you may have.” After the break she faced them again “I must ask you all not to talk to anyone outside of the school about this for now. Everything is still in the early stages and nothing is settled. By anyone I must include friends and relatives, but you are of course free to discuss it amongst yourselves, with me, or anyone else who is in this room right now. And now, I imagine you have all sorts of questions, may I have the first one?”
Rosalind stood up “I imagine that the question we are all wondering is about our jobs, how will these be affected?”
Madge nodded “That’s the question I expected. Obviously, this year nothing will change for either branches, the changes in buildings etc will be in Wales. Staffing, well I intend to keep on all of you that want to stay on initially, exactly how is to be worked out. I do however want all our girls here who are sitting exams next year to have the same teacher and the same curriculum. How I am going to do that is not as yet decided but it will happen. There will also be, hopefully, an increase in pupils therefore needing more teachers. I am guaranteeing you all a job until the end of the next school year, not this one we are just starting but the one after that. Then I re-evaluate, perhaps some will have moved on, or retired, but you will have a full two years in which to decide, as will I. Dolly Edwards is retiring, Nancy and Kathie will be joint heads, Ros will remain senior mistress working alongside Nell Randolph who is currently senior mistress there.”
“Is Wales aware of the changes?”Ros asked.
“Yes, I have already discussed this with them, like you they are currently sworn to secrecy. Naturally they are as anxious as I am sure you all feel about the future but I, and my team, will be working together and with you all to try and make things as easy and straightforward as possible. I will be having private talks with everyone during the early part of this term. There will be issues, it would be silly to say there won’t be, two schools coming together will not be a cake walk even if they are branches of the same school. I intend taking you all over there in groups at some point as a getting to know you exercise. I hope and believe that good will come from both sides in the future of the Chalet School. There will be a future, I am determined of that.”