Headteacher ‘overwhelmed’ with fundraising support
A group of parents have rallied together to raise money for a Biddulph school after it was issued with “a notice of concern”.
Squirrel Hayes First School, on Springfield Road, was given the notice at a meeting of the School’s Forum in January after it failed to comply with its licensed deficit agreement.
The level of debt is unknown.
The agreement is between the school and the authority in which the school specifies the actions it proposes to take to return its budget to balance.
The county council has emphasised that it is working with the school to manage the issue and that the notices are “purely procedural”.
Janine Taplin, (32), who has two children in years one and three at the school, set up the fundraiser. She said: “Pretty much all of the parents at the school have been talking about doing something, there has been a lot of support from everyone.
“It’s a great school and we want to help it in any way we can. I haven’t got any concerns with how my children get educated, it was parents evening last night and my kids have come out with amazing reports — they have really flourished.
“It’s very hard for the school because they have a government grant every year but because it’s only a small school, there are roughly 100 pupils, it’s not very much. The head is hoping that the Government might consider giving them a higher grant.”
Mrs Taplin, who also works on the school site as a nursery practitioner for a private provider, added: “The headteacher has already said that she is overwhelmed with support. The school does an ‘achievement assembly’ every Thursday followed by a health and wellbeing meeting for parents.
“This week, a few of the parents discussed offering help wherever they could, even with things like reading and sitting in on classes.
“As far as I am aware, the school has already decided the money we have raised will go towards ‘Inspire Maths’, which is a way of teaching mathematics from Singapore. Squirrel Hayes is the only school in the area that uses it and from what my son has showed me, it makes it easier.”
County Coun Philip White, Cabinet member for learning and employability, said: “Notices of concern are purely procedural, and are issued to schools who go into or beyond their licensed deficit. We are continuing to work with the school to manage this issue.”
Mrs Taplin’s fundraiser has so far collected more than £400, despite its target being set at £250. To donate, search for Just Giving Squirrel Hayes.
The school was asked to comment, but had not responded by deadline yesterday (Wednesday).