School launches £3,500 appeal to stay open

A Wetherby school headteacher has sent out an urgent letter to parents asking for help to fund Covid protection measures to keep the school open when children return in September.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:09 pm
Deighton Gates Primary school, Wetherby.

Deighton Gates Primary headteacher Claire Harrison said that the school has launched a £3,500 Gofundme appeal towards the cost of ventilation equipment.

“We are trying to raise money towards the cost of air filters, monitors and fans so that we can be safe in school,” said Mrs Harrison.

“We know that fresh air is the best way to protect us from spreading germs and the virus because all the scientists are telling us that.

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“We have really missed mixing with our friends and staff over the last 18 months and while we are looking forward to spending more time with friends in other classes, we know that we still have to keep safe.

“Last winter we had to work in our coats to keep fresh air in our classrooms as the windows and doors were open and we couldn’t get together at all.

“This year we would like to be warm and safe.

“We don’t want to have to do Christmas on Teams again this year or wear our coats when we are learning in the classroom.”

Mrs Harrison added that staff have been busy cleaning the school and trying to adhere to changing government guidelines in preparation to the return to the classroom on September 7, and Reception on September 8.

“The latest guidance (updated on August 17) has raised the profile of the importance of well-ventilated spaces and lays out specific instruction for if there is an outbreak of cases in schools,” added Mrs Harrison.

“Early in the pandemic, I continually referred to our ventilation measures, keeping windows and doors open even through the coldest days.

“It served us well and it is good to see that good ventilation is now being recognised as a key player in reducing COVID transmission.

“Despite many other countries providing C02 monitors and hepa filters to schools to enable air to be circulated in the absence of air conditioning, we find ourselves as a school once again having to source our own support.

“In order to maximise our chances of keeping school open, we want to do everything we can to provide each classroom with clean, monitored air without children and staff having to freeze in the winter.

“We have already purchased industrial fans for each classroom to help the air circulate and these proved invaluable during the summer term when the

classrooms (and pupils) were very hot and the air was still.

“We would like to buy two more for the halls so that we can start to have small assemblies with some semblance of normality.

“In addition we would like each classroom to have a C02 monitor and an air purifier. All this comes at a cost, obviously.

“To fully equip each classroom will be over £3500 which is money that we just don’t have, especially given our limited fundraising opportunities last year.

“We are hoping to raise some funds from families, friends, and maybe even employers who don’t want parents to have to support children during a school closure.”

The Gofundme bid has already raised £300 and is available at: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/deighton-gates-primary-school-classrooms