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Last Updated: Friday, 9 May, 2003, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
School campaign goes to festival
Glastonbury Festival
Parents will serve food at the Glastonbury Festival

Parents at a Pembrokeshire school which promotes an alternative kind of education are trying to save their kindergarten by selling vegetarian food at a top music festival.

They have to come up with 40,000 to avoid selling the kindergarten and playgroup building of Nant-y-Cwm School near Clunderwen in Pembrokeshire.

Nant-y-Cwm is a Steiner School where children between three and 14 are taught in an artistic way and there are no exams.

As part of their fundraising efforts parents from will serve up veggie burgers, carrot cake and organic tea at the Glastonbury Festival in the west of England.

Certainly it has really brought the parents together to use their energy and skills
Fundraising co-ordinator Oshi Owen

The school was founded by a group of parents who bought, renovated and extended a derelict village school.

When it opened in 1979 it was Wales' first Steiner school.

As a charity it receives no state funding and is kept going by contributions from the parents of the 60 pupils.

Catering group

Fees are set on ability to pay so no pupil is excluded for financial reasons.

But a drop in numbers and an outstanding loan has left the school in difficulties.

Unless the school council is able to come up with 40,000 then the kindergarten building, built in 1983 across the road from the main premises, will have to be sold.

One source of income has been the Nutter's Cafe, a whole food and organic catering group, founded and run by parents.

Nant-y-Cwm School
Nant-y-Cwm was Wales' first Steiner school

Every year they set up shop at the Glastonbury Festival , which attracts hundreds of thousands of music lovers, to sell their goods but given the money worries they are hoping for a bumper weekend at next month's event.

A summer fare is also in the pipeline as are plans to release a CD of performances by children and their families.

Fundraising co-ordinator Oshi Owen said no stone was being left unturned.

"We have been contacting people with past associations with the school and writing letters," she said.

"We are also looking to try and increase the numbers of pupils and are holding an open evening and going out on a road show.

"We have had one substantial donation and have a couple more potential ones."


But not all is doom and gloom according to Ms Owen, and the financial problems do have a silver lining.

"Certainly it has really brought the parents together to use their energy and skills," she added.

"The parents have woken up and realised the school won't run itself and everyone is getting involved.

"The parents won't accept that kindergarten building has to be sold and say they have got to do something because we don't want to let this building go.

"It is so unique and so beautiful and for many people it is the embodiment of the difference in the education."

The charity schools are founded on the ideas and philosophy of the Austrian-born scientist Rudolph Steiner.

This curriculum emphasises the whole development of the child, including spiritual, physical and moral well-being as well as academic progress.

Glastonbury tickets 'sell out'
01 Apr 03  |  England
Glastonbury Festival gets go-ahead
18 Feb 03  |  Entertainment

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