Victory! Parent-led campaign secures funds for Shoreham school

Headteacher Lawrence Caughlin with pupils at Swiss Gardens Primary School
Headteacher Lawrence Caughlin with pupils at Swiss Gardens Primary School

A parent-led campaign to ringfence almost £250,000 of funding for a Shoreham school has proved successful.

Adur District Council has confirmed that the quarter of a million pound education contribution, set aside by the Ropetackle North developers, will go to Swiss Gardens Primary School.

We see this process as being a brilliant example of how – when parents, the school, private developers and the council work together – great things can be achieved

Alastair Reid, parent campaigner

It will be the nearest school to the new 120-home development by Hyde Housing.

Headteacher Lawrence Caughlin said: “We will be very pleased if the funding does indeed come to us.

“It will be used to enhance our outside facilities.

“We have very limited outside space so to be able to enhance it will be really beneficial.

“We are extremely grateful to the parents who worked so hard to secure the funding.”

Alastair Reid, a member of Future Adur Schools Team which came up with the funding idea, said the group was ‘delighted’ at the news.

“The school is very keen to enhance the communal play space and develop environmental areas, to help it maintain the nurturing, creative learning environment it is known for,” said the father, who has two children at the school.

“With this money, we hope that it can go some way in achieving that.”

The school, which was designed to hold three year groups with 30 pupils each, now has seven year groups with 60 pupils each and a reception which has three form groups.

Mr Reid said this ‘recent unplanned bulge year’ has put additional pressure on the children’s play area.

Future Adur Schools Team is campaigning for the appropriate long-term planning of school place provision in Adur, to ensure that schools are operating at a ‘safe and good level of capacity.’

“We see this process as being a brilliant example of how when parents, the school, private developers and the council work together, great things can be achieved,” he said.

“We hope this is a model that can be applied elsewhere to help offset the impact of a rising school population in this area.”

Hyde Housing has set aside £247,960 to go towards education in the community as part of a section 106 legal agreement, which Adur District Council said is anticipated to be signed and completed very shortly.

Councillor Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said: “I am delighted that the county council has listened to the headteacher and parents at Swiss Gardens School and agreed to ringfence funds towards improvements to the school.

“I’m also pleased that thanks to Adur District Council’s intervention, the funding can now benefit both the school and Ropetackle North development for years to come.

“This will deliver the positive ambitions of the developer and local community.”

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