When COVID-19 hit, the school demonstrated its strength, resilience and ability to innovate, finding new ways to ensure we provided a good education to every student. We offered remote learning to all pupils and supplied Chrome Book PCs to pupils in need of them. We remained open throughout the outbreak, even during the Easter Holiday and Summer half term. A full programme of education and co-curricular activities was offered to the children of key workers and those from vulnerable families. Teachers also took the time to provide well-being calls to every child.
Our School has a reputation for its caring, supportive community where pupils flourish. With that in mind we provided boarding places to children of parents who had been caring for others throughout the outbreak and those from vulnerable families.
We also recognised the financial difficulties the pandemic caused which led to us to reduce our fees by 50% in order to eliminate some financial strain on families.
COVID-19 has had serious financial repercussions for a number of our parents who are now facing difficulties in paying the school fees. Parents who are self-employed or own a business have been particularly hit hard, with some not entitled to any government funding. Others are facing a reduction in income due to their jobs being furloughed or being made redundant, which is particularly significant for our single parents. Some parents previously relied on their extended family to help but now this is not an option.
Financial worries have a negative impact on the well being of the whole family and we would like to alleviate the stress of school fees during this time of hardship and ensure these students see out their education in the same settings. These students are thriving and have made a huge contribution to the school. To date we are looking at providing £26,000 of support to these families but with the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19 we are expecting further families to be impacted, and more support required.
We would normally seek funding from our Foundation but due to the loss of income from lettings and various events being cancelled it too is under financial strain. In any event the unique circumstances that have created the financial hardship for these families, do not meet our bursary criteria, as laid out in our charitable objectives. Therefore, to support these families we are launching ‘The Hardship Fund’ to help provided fee support to those who are experiencing financial problems as a result of the pandemic. Any contributions will make a huge difference to affected families in these extraordinary times. Your help will ensure that we do not lose a single pupil during the next academic year.