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Parents and pupils have won their fight over funding cuts at Sir Roger Manwood's School, Sandwich.

By Emily Stott

Parents and pupils have won their fight over funding cuts at Sir Roger Manwood’s School.

The Mercury reported last month that pupils were left devastated when courses they had already been studying for two years were cut due to a lack of funding at the Sandwich school.

Those who had been learning Chinese and after-school IT could no longer progress these to GCSE level.

Head teacher Lee Hunter admitted in an email to parents that he knew about the cuts before, and parents believe the school should have come clean sooner.

On Friday, an announcement was made in assembly which explained that due to outside funding from a former pupil the children who have already started can now continue to learn Chinese next year.

Mr Hunter confirmed the news and said: “The school received a generous donation from an ex-student who has close ties to China which has enabled the school to run the threatened GCSE course next year.

“The school is still searching for additional funding to support the teaching of Chinese going forward, but the intention is to keep Chinese as part of the school’s curriculum.”

Parent Jeremy Bullard
Parent Jeremy Bullard

Parent Jeremy Bullard, of St George’s Road, said he was delighted that his daughter’s hard work was not for nothing, but added that the whole situation had highlighted issues within the school’s complaint procedure and the Department for Education. He added: “The Department for Education said it was up to the school, and I had to go through the school’s complaint procedure but I explained that my letter to the governors was handed over to the head who just reiterated the same thing.

“Initially, when I phoned them they said the fact that this had happened meant I could make a formal complaint, then responded with that it was a little bit of a waste of time to be honest.”

Year 9 pupil Brianna Middleton, of Churchill Avenue, Walmer, wrote a letter appealing to Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Mr Bullard added: “She wasn’t happy with the response she got, she just got an acknowledgement from someone’s office.

“I got one quick response from Laura Sandys [MP], she basically said if their funding has been cut that’s it. She didn’t take into account the fact they knew there was funding problems before and they pulled the rug from under them. We were really running out of options until this.”

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