It has crossed my mind this week how polarised the level of support and wealth is between Jude’s school and most other state schools in the area. I imagine, but obviously can’t certify, that the problem is similar with other special needs schools around the country. Today, along with many other state schools in the area, Jude’s school had their summer fete (and my daughter’s school did too!) and as I wasn’t able to attend for the first time since he started there, I went in yesterday to help sort all the donations for the stalls and to get things ready for this mornings set up. I was chatting to another mother who was also there helping and after what she told me, I realised how little voluntary help they get. I imagine it doesn’t help that many of the parents have disabilities themselves and because it is a special needs school a large amount are literally living on the bread line – statistically four in ten disabled children live in poverty
I suddenly felt really really bad that I haven’t done everything I can to help this wonderful school that has given Jude so much joy and happiness over the years. The staff work so so hard, treating each child as an individual and caring so much about every part of their personal development and well being. I was a governor for a while for the school a few years ago but since then, I have realised that actually I’ve not done a huge amount to support them.
The PTA has few people helping and I could easily assist them by contacting local businesses for sponsorship during the various annual events as well as organisations that donate money to local settings, educational establishments, etc. There are lots of community pots of money that schools can apply for, for example I saw one today where you can apply for a new school minibus just by filling in a small information form…you might not get it but at least there’s a chance. I could spend a bit of time contacting places like this, trying to find additional funds for the school which is certainly, very much needed. But this is the problem…how many parents at his school are like me with enough time on their hands and the ability to do this sort of voluntary work? Probably nothing of the sort that mainstream state schools have. This isn’t just because of the parents ability, it’s also because of the numbers; Jude’s school is very small so chances are, less parents are able to help. So I have promised myself today to do a bit more for his school…will let you know what I do first!
This is Jude’s school.
It was build about 5 years ago just for them, it’s beautiful and has a lovely playground/field out the back. I want to start doing fundraising events to help build up their bank account because if you think about it, they need money more than other state schools. They need to budget for specialist equipment such as wheelchairs, specialised seats, writing equipment, PE materials, etc. and then there’s the even more specialist things like additional training that is relevant only to teaching disabled children and sensory rooms. How cool is this one, by the way?! I still want to turn Jude’s bedroom into a sensory room.
Why do not more local companies help them? The children there are all so amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever left that place without a smile on my face so I want to do what I can.
If you have any fabulous ideas of how I can raise funds/support Jude’s school then please message me, I’d really appreciate it. I may even contact Elsa’s school and see if they’ll consider fundraising in some way.