Covid-19 leaves Hampstead Garden Suburb school £47k in the red as primary pupils fundraise by selling their artwork

Brookland Junior School has lost £33,200 in income and faced further costs of £15,400 during the pandemic. Picture...

Brookland Junior School has lost £33,200 in income and faced further costs of £15,400 during the pandemic. Picture: Brookland Junior School - Credit: Archant

The financial toll of Covid-19 has forced a school in Hampstead Garden Suburb to ask parents for emergency support as it looks to plug a £47,000 shortfall.

Headteacher Jenny Aylen said all of the school's contracts have been "negotiated to the tightest margin". Picture...

Headteacher Jenny Aylen said all of the school's contracts have been "negotiated to the tightest margin". Picture: Brookland Junior School - Credit: Archant

Brookland School, in Hill Top, has lost £33,200 in income since the first national lockdown in March, and it has faced further costs of £15,400 to source PPE and install Covid safety measures such as screens and outdoor sinks.

The school, which opened in 1953, warned it was unable to make any further cuts as, for the first time in its history, it asked parents and the local community for help.

Pupils have chipped in to the school’s public fundraiser by selling their artwork.

Brookland headteacher Jenny Aylen told the Ham&High: “We have reached the limit of any further areas of expenditure which can be cut and have negotiated all school contracts to the tightest margin.


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“There are no more savings we can make and therefore I am asking our parents and community to help your school.”

Miss Aylen said she “owed” it to her pupils and their future to give them the “very best possible education”.

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However her main obstacle, she said, was “insufficient funding” from the government to cover the costs of Covid “at a time when school budgets were already extremely tight”.

The head continued: “I do not see any easing of this position, in fact costs to cover absent staff due to Covid are increasing as cases rise in Barnet.

“We have already had to cover for 85 days of staff absence related to Covid since September and this is highly likely to continue increasing.”

Miss Aylen thanked the generosity of parents and the local community as she pleaded for further donations to keep classes running.

Jonny Gordon, who has a son in Year 4 and two daughters, both 11 who were also Brookland pupils, said he was “heartbroken” by the school’s monetary woes.

He said he was concerned for the impact of cuts on his children’s and other pupils’ education, adding: “It’s a really rare, special school because it’s just so nurturing, so warm and so lovely.

“This is simply a function of the school not having the money to deal with their costs at the moment.

“Cuts [to education budgets] have been increasing over the years, so now they’ve got Covid to deal with as well, it’s a double whammy.”

Brookland Junior School, which also has an infant and nursery school, has around 350 pupils aged seven to 11 and it is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

To donate to its fundraiser click here.

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.

READ MORE: Brookland Infants and Nursery School: Fair ‘needs to make up for funding shortfalls’

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