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Twydall Primary School head criticised for Children in Need decision

A school is facing criticism from parents after deciding to split money raised on Children in Need day to fund a new minibus.

Youngsters at Twydall Primary School in Gillingham will be donning pyjamas and bringing in £1 each on Friday for the charity.

Twydall Primary School, Twydall Lane. Picture: Google
Twydall Primary School, Twydall Lane. Picture: Google

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But half the funds raised will be going towards getting the school, in Twydall Lane, a new vehicle.

Kimberly Berwick, whose 10-year-old son Dylan attends the school, said: "Normally for Children in Need, every kid goes in with a pound and it goes to them.

"In some people's opinion, they are using a children's charity to benefit themselves and a lot of people have said this is wrong."

The school has been trying to raise £7,000 towards the new bus, which will allow children who have disabilities attend school excursions, after the last bus failed its MOT.

Catherine Logan, head teacher of Twydall Primary School
Catherine Logan, head teacher of Twydall Primary School

Kimberly added: "I have a disabled child who goes to that school and he benefits but I think their fundraising should go to Children in Need."

The school's head teacher Catherine Logan said parents were told why the money would be split and therefore they were not doing anything fraudulent or misleading.

She explained £2,500 had been raised so far through their fundraising efforts, which has included a Halloween disco, colouring competitions, and doughnut sale.

They have also started a JustGiving page.

She said: "We have taken advice from the Charity Commission website.

"Part of our provision here is for disabled children and when we hire a minibus for children to go on school trips, many of the coach companies can only usually take one child in a wheelchair."

The school previously held a sponsored walk to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support where £625 went to the charity, and £200 went to the school's art room.

Mrs Logan said: "So far we have been very lucky to have received donations from Supaglazing, Kent Boiler Maintenance, Simply Education, Mexicolore Workshop, MEMS Power Generation, the local ward councillors and many of our parents and staff.

"Having a need for a minibus is one of our many needs and we do a lot for charities, but when we do things for the charities, we want the school to benefit as well.

"Our children are in need and we really need a minibus so they can go and take part in different sports and swimming."

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