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Special needs school appeals for aid

PUBLISHED: 10:15 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 09:21 13 July 2010

A private, special-needs school, praised by inspectors, is appealing for help with funding a new £2.5m building to make it even better.

St Andrew's School, in East Runton, was set up in 1988 by head teacher Gillian Baker to cater for children with autism and other behavioural problems.

A private, special-needs school, praised by inspectors, is appealing for help with funding a new £2.5m building to make it even better.

St Andrew's School, in East Runton, was set up in 1988 by headteacher Gillian Baker to cater for children with autism and other behavioural problems.

The school has just received its latest Ofsted report - which rated all aspects of the school as "good" or "outstanding" and particularly praised its use of specialist teaching programmes.

But now the headteacher hopes plans for a new, purpose-built building will create an even better environment for the school's six pupils, three teachers and 10 support staff.

Ms Baker, who also teaches science and literacy, said: "These children deserve the very best. They deserve more than perfect. Life has dealt them a very poor hand of cards."

It is hoped a new, larger building will allow St Andrew's, which caters for children aged six to 12, to teach up to key stage three and offer nursery places, while maintaining the very small class sizes that are crucial to the pupils' development.

The new building would be environmentally friendly - helping to cut down the high running costs of the old building - and a wildlife area, large play space and garden for pupils to grow plants in are also on the school's wish list.

The school, which follows a Quaker ethos, has so far raised £40,000 through small fundraising events in the community - like an Indian meal in the church hall which raised £800 - but needs to find a massive £2.5m to cover the whole project.

Before it can begin phase one of the development - which will involve buying a piece of land and getting plans drawn up - they need £250,000 and are appealing for help.

As well as donations and fundraising ideas, the school would like to hear from businessmen and women willing to take on roles as trustees and offer their expert advice on the development.

To help with fundraising, or for more information about becoming a trustee, call the school on 01263 511727.


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