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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Saved Barrow school makes fees easier to afford

THE new leaders of a saved school say accessibility and affordability is the key to its future.

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HOORAY: Chetwynde has won its fight to stay open, and now is building on it with a plan for the future

Generous donations to Chetwynde School’s bursary fund are giving more children the chance to attend Cumbria’s league table-topping school.

Additional pledges of around £150,000 have resulted in Chetwynde being able to offer up to 50 additional means-tested bursaries.

Families can get up to a maximum of a 50 per cent discount on fees, and the school is receiving inquires from the community about this route.

Headmaster Russell Collier, said: “For most people the major hurdle in sending their child to this school is the financial hurdle, therefore the focus is on making it an affordable option for more people.

“With the new bursary scheme Chetwynde can be a viable option for more people than it has been in the past. Up to 50 more bursaries could now be offered, it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to access the Chetwynde education experience.”

The head said bursaries are a long-term commitment and available across the age groups. Bursaries are a confidential agreement between the parents, Mr Collier and the bursar.

Bursary donations were given by parents, ex-pupils, the community, and people also grouped together, including some teachers.

The Governors’ Awards Scheme can offer higher discounts based on rewarding talents in areas such as sports, drama, music and science.

Scholarships are offered for entrance to Year Seven and Sixth Form for academic talent, with up to a maximum of 30 per cent discounts.

A parent campaign was launched in March to save Chetwynde after the former governing board announced the school needed to close in July because of the falling pupil numbers.

The Chetwynde Support Group established the rescue bid and created a sustainable business plan. The group raised £490,000, but a 225-pupil number goal for September fell short. An anonymous benefactor, backed by local business owners, then stepped in and secured Chetwynde’s future by agreeing to buy the school and its building for educational use.

The independent three to 18 years Barrow school is now extending its transport service from September. It becomes wider reaching by covering new areas of Kendal and Witherslack, Windermere and Bowness and into Millom.

Chetwynde will also introduce a train collection point at Dalton station for the train services from Lancaster, also taking in Carnforth, Arnside, Kentsbank, and Cartmel.

Mr Collier said: “It’s a very personalised service.

“It’s using the school’s reputation and making people aware we are an option.”

Chetwynde’s fees remain the same for the next three years.

Chetwynde’s open day is on June 16 from 10am to 1pm. There are tours at 10am and 11.30am.

Potential new parents will receive three vouchers worth £200 each towards items such as uniform and transport.

Have your say

That's a lot of travelling being proposed, sounds like the school should have gone down the boarding school route.

Posted by bystander on 11 June 2012 at 22:29

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