Friday, 23 April 2021

Parents give £35,000

PARENTS raised more than £35,000 for Gillotts School in Henley this year by making regular donations.

The school in Gillotts Lane has been at the centre of a debate about funding after headteacher Catharine Darnton revealed she was spending money intended for pupils’ education on building maintenance.

Parents and town councillors have organised a march through the town to call on the Government to increase funding for schools.

This will take place on Saturday, September 7 from 10am, starting and finishing at the town hall and going along Bell Street, New Street, through the graveyard of St Mary’s Church and along Hart Street. The organisers are led by town councillor Michelle Thomas.

She says that when Gillotts became an academy in 2012, the per pupil funding was £4,700 and since then has risen by only £100.

This means the school is short by £650 per pupil — a total of £500,000 — and a 13.5 per cent increase is needed to get back to the spending power of 2012.

A petition with more than 900 signatures calling for fairer funding for schools was presented to Parliament by Henley MP John Howell in May.

Meanwhile, Gillotts raised more than £1,000 with a summer barbecue party at the end of last term which was attended by almost 250 people.

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