COLUMN: Kind donors improve students’ prospects

A production of Grease at Lady Manners School, Bakewell.
A production of Grease at Lady Manners School, Bakewell.
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Schools are working hard to provide the best education, and experience, for their students. This is increasingly challenging in light of shrinking budgets.

Government funding for schools has decreased in real terms year on year. Due to the current unequal distribution of funding, schools in the East Midlands have the second lowest average spend per student of all the regions in the UK. The result is that our local schools have been hit harder than most during the current economic downturn.

Head teacher of Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Duncan Meikle.

Head teacher of Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Duncan Meikle.

The Government has said it will review how it distributes its funding to schools to address the current inequality. However, plans for this have recently been postponed, so we don’t know how quickly our children will receive a fairer deal. In the meantime local schools are applying for grants, seeking funding from private or charitable sources, and are more grateful than ever for individual donations, which can be made in a myriad of ways.

At Lady Manners School, the funding we have received from kindly donors, including our tremendously supportive Parents’ Association, has recently enabled us to convert an old gym to provide a multipurpose space that benefits a large number of our students. Donations have also enabled us to provide e-readers to help students with visual impairments or dyslexia, purchase a 3D printer to enable our design and technology students to experience this emerging technology and improve our stage lighting, without which our recent performances of ‘Grease’ would not have been such a triumph!

We are currently fundraising to improve our sports facilities – and those available in the community - by providing a flood-lit, all weather pitch.

Supporting your local school doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. Companies can even offset the value of a gift made to a school against the company’s highest rate of corporation tax. Check your school’s website, or contact them directly to find out how you can donate. However you choose to support a school, it all helps and will be gratefully received.