Eaton Square School in central London supports its parents with a Hardship Fund during the Coronavirus outbreak
Eaton Square School, true to its core school values has introduced a Hardship Fund for its parents to support them during the coronavirus outbreak.
Sebastian Hepher, Principal of Eaton Square School, part of the Dukes Education family of schools and Colleges, said that it is an unprecedented, uncertain and testing time for the world and nation, but also of course for the whole school community due to coronavirus (COVID-19). He shares the anxiety which many parents have about the health of loved ones and the impact of the global pandemic. He recognises the impact that times like these have on families in so many ways but also in terms of their finances, and wants to support parents with school fees as much as possible. He says, “Many businesses and jobs will be experiencing large cash flow difficulties and we want to provide the necessary support where we can.”
Mr Hepher who oversees Eaton Square School, made up of four Nurseries, a Preparatory School and a Senior School in central London, said that in a time of crisis, we all reflect and start to value the more important things in life. As an organisation, Eaton Square School must do the same. Our values will continue to provide us with guidance, direction and support.
“We have always said that Eaton Square School is a family community. Communities have a duty of care to help each other. As the government is taking steps to protect its citizens, we believe we have a duty to support our own community as much as we can.”
This is how the idea of the Hardship Fund evolved. The way it works is simple. For parents who are able and wish to pay 100% of their fees, the School deducts 25% towards the Hardship Fund to help other parents from the School. Furthermore, the School will match parents’ kind donations so that they automatically double.
The decision was also taken to provide a one-off, voluntary discount of 25% against the summer term fees, and to freeze this year’s normal fees for the next academic year 2020-21, commencing this September, in recognition of the economic impact on parents of the pandemic.
Mr Hepher’s rationale is simple “The School wants to do the right thing by as many people as possible”.
Parents at Eaton Square School have responded in kind, with one recently saying “I have paid my fees and am happy for 25% to go to the hardship fund. I paid the invoice as soon as I got it, because I knew that even though we may do the whole Summer Term from our homes, the distance learning provided by Eaton Square would still be excellent. I think you are all doing an exceptional job, and I’m very happy to see that you will be trying to support suppliers and families dramatically financially affected by coronavirus. I am proud to be part of the Eaton Square family, and fully support the school.”
Although at the start of the year no-one could have anticipated the Spring Term ending as it did, the School has risen to the challenge, with all working tirelessly with the parents to ensure their pupils continue to receive an excellent education, and of course trying its best to ensure that it can help where it can in relation to the financial burden the virus will bring.