Purchase a promise to pay for school days out

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A Northumberland school is hammering out a solution to funding cuts which threaten to halt days out for its pupils – by staging an auction.

Netherton Northside First School came up with the idea to help support its varied programme of visits, which was commended in its most recent Ofsted inspection.

And the response has been overwhelming, says headteacher Sarah Smith, with donations from local residents, businesses and even Prime Minister David Cameron, who sent in a signed photograph.

They include local produce, meat and game, fishing and shooting days, a Landrover safari, fitness packages, meals out, golf, racing, holiday cottages, champagne, tickets to local attractions, music lessons, a book signed by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, babysitting, logs, craft items, lots of strong men and even an offer to empty your septic tank.

“The auction aims to raise funds so that we can continue to offer our students the unique and varied opportunities that they currently enjoy at Netherton Northside,” said Mrs Smith.

“Despite rising transport costs and funding cutbacks, we wish to continue to extend and enrich our students’ curriculum through frequent trips and visits – something that we were particularly commended for in our recent Ofsted report.

“We have received such support from the local community and business and want now to spread the news of the event as far as possible and encourage people to view the catalogue on the school website.

“Jim Railton has kindly offered his auctioneering services and the Star Inn, Netherton, will be providing a bar.

“It should be a fun and entertaining evening.”

The Auction of Goods and Promises takes place on October 26 at Netherton Village Hall, with doors opening at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

You can view the auction catalogue by visiting www.northumberland.schooljotter.com/netherton and anyone who wants to leave a bid but can’t make the evening should complete the absentee bidding form, which is downloadable from the website.

There is still time to donate a promise or item, which can be sent to Netherton Northside First School, Rothbury, Morpeth NE65 7HD.

Bids can also be either handed in to the school or posted to the above address.

You can also call or fax 01669 630234 or email admin@nethertonnorthside.northumberland.sch.uk