School's crowdfunding campaign to save classics in Sheffield nears £8,000 mark

Classics students at High Storrs School
Classics students at High Storrs School
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A crowdfunding campaign to save classics at the last state school in Sheffield to teach the subject has raised nearly £8,000.

Teachers at High Storrs School in Ecclesall are trying to raise £100,000 to ensure pupils can continue to study Latin and classical civilisation there for years to come.

High Storrs School's classics and Latin teachers Gina Johnson and Georgina Gill

High Storrs School's classics and Latin teachers Gina Johnson and Georgina Gill

They are determined to prevent those subjects becoming the preserve of private schools.

Donations via a JustGiving page have passed £4,000 and other contributions, including £2,000 from a former student now living in Thailand, have taken the total to nearly double that amount.

Classics teacher Gina Johnson said she was thrilled with the response since launching the appeal at the end of September.

"It’s been an amazing month for the classics department here. Staff, pupils, parents and members of the public have all been wonderfully supportive and we're delighted with the amount raised so far," she said.

Although the school remains a long way from its £100,000 goal, which is what it says is needed to keep subsidising the subjects for the next 10 to 20 years, it claims each £5,000 or so will help enable one smaller class to run.

The money is needed, it says, due to dwindling class sizes making it expensive for the school to keep offering the subjects. Teachers claim the appetite for studying classics is still there, but changes to the national curriculum have made it a less popular choice for GCSE and A level students.

The campaign was recently backed by the author Caroline Lawrence, who has written several adventure books set in ancient Rome. She visited the school last month to talk to pupils.

Classics staff plan to hold a 'book and bake' sale to raise money for the appeal at the school's Christmas fair next month.

You can donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/save-classics.