School’s plea to help raise £1.6m

BIG PLANS ... headteacher Hilary Harrison at the launch of the Big 'B' appeal for expansion at Epinay School.
BIG PLANS ... headteacher Hilary Harrison at the launch of the Big 'B' appeal for expansion at Epinay School.

A SOUTH Tyneside school has revealed its £1.6m vision of the future – and it needs your help to achieve it.

Epinay Business and Enterprise School in Clervaux Terrace, Jarrow, has launched its BIG ‘B’ project, which aims to raise money to fund expansion to meet the school’s growing needs.

The school, which caters for children aged five to 16 with special educational needs, revealed its plans to build a better future for existing and new pupils at a special launch event yesterday.

Ambitious plans have incorporated four phases and work is set to commence once funding for each phase is secured.

The school will see the refurbishment of the main block, which will transform the reception area and hall and create family rooms offering much-needed space for parents, carers and support teams.

A second floor extension will be built onto the existing café area, creating additional classrooms, and the final phase will see a large extension that will provide new premises dedicated for secondary school provision.

Pupils created a logo for the project, a honey bee, which they felt represented them.

Headteacher Hilary Harrison, said: “We are buzzing with excitement and I am so proud of how our pupils have grasped this task with enthusiasm, using our business and enterprise ethos to come up with a creative campaign.”

The school has also been seeking support from local businesses.

MITIE Facilities Management, which supports the school through maintaining the outdoor classroom and wildlife areas, has already pledged its bacing to the campaign.

Dianne Mountain, business development manager at the school, said: “There’s a lack of capital money for schools ever since Building Schools for the Future ended.

“We weren’t part of that scheme, although we would have liked to be, but rather than doing nothing, we decided to try to raise the money ourselves.

“The first phase will cost £120,000, and as soon as we’ve got that we’ll make a start on it, and the phase after that will cost £180,000.

“We want the work to be ongoing so that the pupils and the people who help us to raise money can see what all their hard work is for.

“£1.6m is a bold target in the current climate, but I know the school has a lot of supporters, and with their commitment we can help build a better future.”

Jarrow Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Josef Craig has already pledged to help.

The school has already raised £2,000. Anyone who would like to make a donation, or raise funds on behalf of the school, should call 489 8949. A running fundraising total is available on the school’s website, People can also visit the website to make a donation.

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