One inquiry leads to funding for 27 schools

Year 8 pupils Zavier Robb and Ellie King (both 12), along with Clyde Primary School principal...
Year 8 pupils Zavier Robb and Ellie King (both 12), along with Clyde Primary School principal Doug White, have received a welcome boost in funding before the school’s annual ski camp. PHOTO: JARED MORGAN
Twenty-seven schools in the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts have been granted a share of $235,000 to plug gaps in funding due to Covid-19.

The funding comes courtesy of the Central Lakes Trust "Covid-19 Resilience in Schools" programme launched in response to a request from Clyde Primary School principal Doug White.

"One inquiry from a very small school" had led to funding being rolled out to every school in the trust’s coverage area, he said yesterday.

Schools often relied on gaming machine or other community funding for extracurricular activities but that funding stream to schools had dried up due to lockdown.

In the absence of this source of funding the trust initiative was created — grants from $2000 to $20,000 have been made on the basis of school roll.

Mr White said he made the call as a result of being "creative" during early lockdown and the trust came back to him towards the end of the lockdown period. His school’s share amounted to $5000 based on a roll of 156.

The funding was "very timely" and, although it did not fit with the way the trust normally handed out grants, trust grants manager Mat Beggwas receptive, he said.

"For Clyde Primary School, this funding gives our students some sense that the world is returning to normal.

"In terms of student wellbeing this funding will support our winter sports programme."

That included a three-night ski camp to Coronet Peak for senior pupils, part of the school’s winter programme for 15 years, he said.

"For our junior school it will mean a mixture of ice-skating and curling in Alexandra, or a day trip to the Snow Farm."

Trust chief executive Susan Finlay said building the resilience of schools had a positive impact on families.

Mr Begg said the trust had positive feedback and some schools had already earmarked where funds would go.

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