High Peak special school launches campaign to raise £20,000 for new minibus

A High Peak special school has launched a campaign to raise £20,000 for an additional minibus which will allow more students to go out in to the community.

By Lucy Ball
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 11:39 am

Chinley’s Peak School, which caters for children and young adults with a range of needs, has seen a 50 per cent growth in student numbers in the last five years but still only has one minibus to take pupils out on day trips.

Headteacher John McPherson said: “As our school continues to grow our single school minibus can no longer meet our needs.

“We currently pay for a 16-seat minibus. However, real term budget cuts means we have had to increase class sizes along with the staffing levels in our classes and one bus is no longer enough for our school.

Peak school headteacher John McPherson launching the new £20k minibus fund

"And sadly we can not afford to buy a second one.”

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The school is now launching a fundraising campaign to buy a second vehicle, which will increase the school’s curriculum offer by allowing more real life learning to happen using the local community.

Mr McPherson said: “We know our children won’t sit exams and some won’t get jobs but they are still part of our society and our community.

Peak school headteacher John McPherson launching the new £20k minibus fund

"Especially for the older students, we use the mini bus to go into cafes and shops and learn how to order a meal or check out a library book.

"But with only one minibus students are not able to go out all together and trips are cut short to allow other students an outing later in the day.”

Instead of always asking parents for donations the school is calling on support from the wider community and is looking for sponsorship or donations to make its minibus dream a reality.

Mr McPherson added: “We know this is a lot of money to raise so we want to do something to show our commitment to the cause which will continue to raise awareness of the campaign and keep money coming in.”

Over the course of the next school year, students and staff will be completing 20,000 miles to match the cost of a new bus.

This will be done through swimming, running or rolling and over the summer, Mr McPherson did a solo 110-mile walking trip around Scotland which added £600 to the fund.

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