Group running Reading Half Marathon to raise school funds after Government cuts

Threatened by Government cuts, a band of parents, teachers, governors from Farnham Common Infant and Junior Schools hope to raise at least £10,000 by running the Reading Half Marathon in March.

The group of over 30 decided to take action following a meeting for the two schools, which are part of the Farnham Common Village Schools federation, in September.

Parents were presented a bleak outlook of how austerity is hitting their schools.

The budget for the two schools in the coming academic year will be £2m, leaving an £80,000 spending gap —  equivalent to two teachers’ salaries.

Governor Andrew Davies, who has three children in both schools, says that the schools are losing about £10,000 in funding every year.

The #fcvsrunforkids campaign aims to help plug the funding gap, which will see the group of runners taking on the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday, March 18.

Group training sessions have been held in the nearby Burnham Beeches.

Mr Davies says the campaign has received a great deal of support from local businesses who are keen to sponsor.

“It’s bringing the community together. Whether you’re an experienced runner or a first timer, it’s great to see everyone out there doing their bit. I think everyone’s really engaged with it.”

Mr Davies says that the PTA, governors and teachers often work together on fundraising events to help keep the school well equipped.

“From a parent perspective, it’s disappointing that we need to do this sort of thing in order to fund directly into the school. We would rather be funding extra equipment. There’s certainly frustration.”

Despite the less than ideal circumstances, parents have been training enthusiastically and pupils may also get to get involved with a separate sport activity, which is yet to be set.

Farnham Common Village Schools headteacher said: “We are delighted to launch our #fcvsrunforkids campaign with such a large amount of parents supporting.

“The money raised will provide new equipment and facilities for both the Infant and Junior School to benefit almost 400 children. “I’m also personally looking forward to running with the team.”

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