Blue Coat is a Church of England Academy. As an outstanding school, we converted in 2011. Previously we were a Church of England Voluntary Aided School. The legal change in our status has enabled us to access all the revenue funding that is delegated by central government to schools. Other than that, Blue Coat remains the same.
The Governing Body has responsibility for the school estate and accommodation. In previous years we have raised funds to lever capital grants from government. We have remodelled the school hall and have created a brand new music suite and drama room in the sports hall under croft. In September 2014 we opened the new two storey Clarke Building with 14 new classrooms, offices and social space for students. This is attached to the sports hall, and has probably the most spectacular views in Oldham! More importantly, it has enabled us to completely re-suite the school and free up some of our older accommodation, which we can then refurbish and remodel as specialist areas – particularly for science, where we are two labs short of what we need.
As you can see, this is a carefully planned and phased programme which will have a huge impact on our provision for young people from September 2014 onwards – your sons and daughters will reap the benefits in full.
Funding all of this has been a challenge. As a successful, high achieving school, we were not prioritised for the Building Schools for the Future funding. We have ploughed our Academy bonus directly into improving the accommodation for students. We successfully bid for financial support from government when funds were available, and OMBC has made a substantial contribution to the new classroom block.
But we could not have achieved any of this without the continuing financial support of parents. Nothing is ever 100% funded – the school has to pay for the furniture, the IT, the equipment – everything that makes the building educationally useful. This is where our parental contributions go – and having them means that we can lever funds out of grant-awarding bodies.
We know that families are under pressure and we make a point of not running fundraising schemes where we are repeatedly coming back to you to ask for money. The fundraising that goes on in school is for charity – we expect our young people to be compassionate, responsible citizens who reach out to and help those who are less fortunate than themselves, and they always amaze us.
For the development of the school we ask parents to consider making regular donations, and gift-aiding these so that the school can claim back tax from the government. For example if you made a weekly contribution of £5.00 with gift aid the school would receive £325.00 a year. If you could give more, that would be even better – and would help transform the future of the school.
Blue Coat is now what generations of staff, parents and governors have made it. What it will be in the future, for your children, will depend on all of us sustaining that faith and commitment, and working together. I will explain more at the Intake Evening how we can do this.
To help the school financially, donations can be made by a monthly or annual Standing Order, to reduce administration costs. Please complete and return if you are able to contribute.