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Crawley students win fundraising award

Thomas Bennett Community College has for the fourth year running taken part in the St Catherine’s and NatWest Youth Enterprise Five O Challenge.



A team of 6 students who named themselves Thomas Bennett Cat’s Champions (TBCC) were set the task in January of using a £50 stake from NatWest to invest that money in enterprising fundraising ideas over an 11 week period to reach a target of £1,500 to be donated to the Hospice.

The students and staff at Thomas Bennett got behind the team and took part in a wide range of events from cakes sales, pancake days to very embarrassing Lip Sync Battles!  The students exceeded their target and raised an impressive £2,033. 

However raising money was not the end of the challenge they also had to prepare a presentation to deliver at the awards ceremony held at Christ’s Hospital on the 25th April in front of Hospice trustees, NatWest staff, friends and family.  The team put together a presentation that involved all of the team and displayed in pictures and video their fundraising journey. 

The judging panel on the night, on the basis of a unanimous vote, awarded the Thomas Bennett Team with the prize of the Best Presentation.

Stuart Smith Headteacher at Thomas Bennett said.

“The group of students worked incredibly hard and were totally committed to raising money for such a worthwhile charity.  The team did a fantastic job of putting together a presentation representing their fundraising journey to deliver at the ceremony.  The whole school community is incredibly proud of the students for being unanimously voted to win the Best Presentation award”.


West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent



September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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