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School staff appeal for help to keep African link
A KNUTSFORD primary school is looking for help to bridge the funding gap to ensure a valuable link up with Kenyan schools can continue.
Maurice Egerton, the 4th Baron Egerton of Tatton Park, founded both schools in the family name, starting with Egerton Primary School in Knutsford in 1893 and followed by the link school in Kenya in 1939.
But the two schools did not discover each other until 2005.
In the past five years teachers from both schools have taken part in ‘face to face’ visits in a unique partnership that has been lauded by the British Council.
Alison Hooper, headteacher at Egerton has led on this work for Cheshire East and Florence Kimani, headteacher at Egerton in Kenya, has been the lead delegate for Kenya.
There are now 33 partnerships between Cheshire East and Njoro and Nakuru Districts, involving more than 10,000 children. Staff from 10 of these partnerships visited Egerton in June as part of their programme in visiting their partner school here in Cheshire East.
The Egerton partnership has been successful in securing grants from the Department for International Development and The British Council for the past five years.
But with the partnership now well established, it is now not eligible for any more funding and it is asking for ‘partners’ to ensure the link can continue.
Contributions from partners would need to total £4,000 each year so the face to face visits could continue.
They would be encouraged to visit and support the improvement in communication between the schools as Egerton in Kenya needs electricity installing so the partnership could improve further.
Alison Hooper, headteacher at Egerton said: “We’ve had five years of funding but that has been hard, really hard.
“Each time we apply we have to present the evidence and then they only give you 80 per cent of that up front – the remainder is given on receipt of a detailed report for the year’s work.
“That comes with a big challenge and you have to make sure you get that 20 per cent. The thing that has kept our partnership going is the Egerton family legacy and we have a duty to keep it going because of that but equally because of the impact it has on our pupils.
“We have a phrase in our school that says ‘once an Egerton pupil, always an Egerton pupil.’”
To learn more call Mrs Hooper on 01625 383257.
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