Classroom bid at St Mary and St John’s Primary School gets £25k boost

From left, Eliza Cohen-Gregory, eight, Erin Harknett, nine, Maya Cohen-Gregory, six, and Emily Barrett, five, with some goodies at the cream tea event at St Mary and St John Primary School to raise money for new classroom

From left, Eliza Cohen-Gregory, eight, Erin Harknett, nine, Maya Cohen-Gregory, six, and Emily Barrett, five, with some goodies at the cream tea event at St Mary and St John Primary School to raise money for new classroom

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A CASH boost from Rutland County Council has left a school just £22,000 short of its fundraising target to build a new classroom.

The council has agreed to pay £25,000 towards the cost of the new building at St Mary and St John’s Primary School in North Luffenham.

The school started its own campaign in November after realising there were no grants available to fully fund the £134,000 project.

Since then the staff, parents, governors and pupils have raised £87,000 for the new classroom through a range of sponsored events and a grant from the Diocese of Peterborough.

But time is running out for the supporters who need to secure the full amount by June in order to retain the money from the diocese.

Headteacher Sam Morton and fundraising co-ordinator Diana MacDuff say the council cash has offered the security they need to reach the target.

Mr Morton said: “As a school we are really pleased with the allocation of £25,000 from Rutland County Council towards this project.

“We have still got a bit further to go but we are continuing to raise money ourselves and the success of our events shows the commitment of our staff, parents, governors and pupils towards this project.”

Mrs MacDuff, whose two children attend the school and North Luffenham Pre-school, added: “I am confident we can raise the rest of the money from the remaining events we have got planned.”

At the weekend the school hosted a spring ball and a cream teas and craft fair event in a marquee.

Mrs MacDuff said: “Given the weather we thought the attendance over the weekend was fantastic and it is reassuring to see the level of support we continue to have.”

The next fundraiser will be a sponsored bike ride. Several parents will cycle from Burnham Deepdale in Norfolk to Rutland on Sunday while some of the school pupils will cycle around Rutland Water.

Other events planned include a community concert, an open gardens event and the school’s summer fete.

Staff hope the building work will start in June so the new classroom is ready for September, meaning the children will no longer need to be taught in mixed-age classes.