We have held our Annual General Meeting for the 2014-15 year to March 31st, attended by the Trustees, Linda Shute, Head Teacher of Rowdown Primary School and Gareth Burchell, an active supporter of the Foundation.
We had to do the normal bits of compliance and administration, such as approving the annual accounts (copy available on request, please contact us here), ensuring all Trustees were willing to continue in the role (they are and we thank them all heartily) and reviewing the progress of the Foundation over the last 12-15 months. We also looked at the budget and financial forecasts for the next couple of years, discussed in detail the Tuition Programme and how we could encourage more parental involvement with their children’s education and threw around some fundraising ideas for 2017.
We are pleased to report that the Trustees unanimously agreed to continue financial support for our three individual pupils: Christopher with his piano lessons, Brooke’s gymnastics and Ciara’s Irish Dancing. We received very positive reports on all three from their respective tutors, so the decision was easy, even in Ciara’s case despite the fact that she has now left Rowdown School to attend secondary school. Brooke’s coach was so encouraging that the Trustees have agreed to make additional funding available for Brooke (pictured) to have some extra one-to-one training prior to her next big competition in November.
The Trustees were encouraged by reports from the new tutor of the Tuition Programme although they noted that in one or two cases attendance at the additional lessons had been patchy and it needs to be emphasised that homework and additional study is not optional! All those pupils currently receiving tuition were approved to continue. The Trustees noted that there had been a couple of hiccups with the original tutors but we are hopeful that the new tutor can settle in quickly.
Gary, our Chair, also reported on his recent visits to eight grammar and independent secondary schools and the prospects of those on the Tuition Programme successfully passing their entrance exams. It is going to be a real challenge but with some hard work, a following wind and a bit of luck thrown in, there is a realistic chance. The Trustees also agreed that it would be nice to be able to offer a small amount of financial support to the parents of successful pupils to ensure they – the pupils – can get the most out of the facilities at these elite schools. However, any commitment to such funding must be based on our having available funds and will be on an annual basis. It would also be expected to be on the basis of a matched contribution from parents.
This will inevitable cause some strain on our finances but we are still committed to supporting more pupils outside the Tuition Programme. We have asked the school to consider nominating some more talented pupils for non-academic support such as in art, drama, music or sport. If you are a Rowdown parent reading this and you believe your son or daughter might be a candidate, please have a word with Mrs Shute or their class teacher.
We had some interesting ideas for fundraising, including the potential of a golf day next Spring. Watch this space for more details but, as ever, if you have any interest in participating or helping to organise or, indeed, just donating to the Foundation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
And that is a short (!?!?!?) summary of a 2+ hour meeting! All positive stuff and long may it continue.