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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
School asks parents for 10 a month
Parents are urged to give 10 a month
A comprehensive school has asked parents to commit to a 10 monthly donation, as it seeks to make up a budget deficit of 60,000.

The Bramhall High School in Stockport, Greater Manchester sent direct debit forms to pupils' homes, saying the shortfall could mean teachers being lost and larger class sizes as a result.

It sticks in the throat... because I agree 100% that state education should be free

John Peckham, head teacher
"In many ways it is a last resort," said head teacher John Peckham.

"It sticks in the throat, having to ask for the money, especially because I agree 100% that state education should be free."

So far 97 parents had responded, raising 13,500 and some pupils had also been raising money, Mr Peckam said.

"I have been very touched by the response," he said.

The move comes a week after Avondale Park Primary - a schools which serves a council estate in the exclusive Notting Hill area of London - appealed to local homeowners for funds, rather than parents.

'Flawed funding'

Mr Peckham said the system of funding for local schools was flawed.

He said Bramhall was one of the lowest funded schools in one of the lowest funded borough's in the country.

"The formula which allocates funding is flawed.

"I would like to focus on the job in hand - to provide the best for our children.

"But finding the money to get the teachers and put them in the classes is a distraction," said Mr Peckham.

A spokeswoman for Stockport Council said: "We will be lobbying the Department of Education to make sure Stockport gets a better deal next year."

See also:

19 Apr 02 | Education
School asks for cash from rich
12 May 00 | Education
Schools' rich-poor divide
12 May 00 | Education
Schools' struggle to raise money
15 May 01 | Education
'Parent power' in school funding
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