Channing School in Highgate needs to find £75,000 for ambitious building project by Christmas

An all-girls school is calling on the community to help it raise £75,000 for new facilities by Christmas.

Channing School, in The Bank, Highgate, has already raised £425,000 for a sports hall, sixth-form centre and performing arts venue, but needs to find a total of £3million to complete the ambitious project by 2017.

The independent junior and senior school has set itself a target of hitting £500,000 before the school closes for the festive break on December 18 and it is asking parents and residents to donate to the cause.

Director of development, Helen Tranter, who is leading the school’s fundraising drive, said: “We can’t complete the project without having to raise money.”

The Hampstead Garden Suburb resident added: “We borrowed a huge sum – £10million – for the first time in the school’s life, but the shortfall is £3million so we have got to fundraise to find that.”

Musician and model Myleene Klass launched the fundraising efforts with Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell in April.

The first phase of building works began in July, with the sports hall and sixth-form centre due to open in September 2014.

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The school, which charges up to £5,085 per term, will be asking supporters to donate generously at its school production of Canterbury Tales at Jacksons Lane arts centre, Archway Road, Highgate, next Wednesday and Thursday and at its black-tie fundraiser on Thursday, December 7, at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, South Grove, Highgate.

Headteacher Barbara Elliott said: “The performing arts centre is on the right path, but unless we secure the funding, there will be a delay. We are confident enough to believe that we will do it.”

Pupils are staying at the existing school site while the construction works take place but mother-of-four Mrs Elliot, of Highgate High Street, Highgate, said there has been no disruption. She added that the pupils have had a big part to play in the development process.

“The girls have been heavily involved in the design of the project and how they want it to be built,” she said. “It all comes from the girls.

“When we built the old sixth-form centre, they wanted bean bags, but now they want IT facilities where they can plug in their iPads and their computers. I wanted to provide the best possible education for our pupils and any head worth their salt wants to improve on what they are doing already.”