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Dear Parents and Carers,

Like many schools in Richmond and beyond we are facing financial challenges in the year ahead. Budgets have failed to keep up with rising costs and the projected increase in demand for school places in the borough which led to our expansion in 2013 has been slow to materialise. The result is that our running costs have increased with two teachers in each year group, but our income has not matched this because schools are funded on the basis of the number of children in the school on a specific date each year. Moreover, our commitment to welcoming all children, whatever their needs, coupled with the ready availability of places in our school, means we often accept children who are new to the area for whom we receive no additional funding at the time that they enter the school.

For these reasons we have decided to cap next year’s reception to one class only. We have also put on hold our application to join Every Child Every Day Academy Trust but will continue to work with the Trust on an informal basis as we have done over the past two years.

Our Darell team is resourceful and we will always put your children’s education and happiness first. Staff, parents and governors are working together to make sure that we continue to provide the highest standards of education to your children and there are various ways in which you can help:

Please remember to pay for class trips and outings and make sure that payments for school meals are kept up to date.

Most importantly, please spread the word about the wonderful work that is being done at Darell. You are the best ambassadors for our school in the local community and can help us raise our profile so that it becomes the school of choice for new parents.

We would like to thank you all for your continued support of Darell. We were proud that Ofsted noted our good standards of teaching and learning this year. We were also proud to read your positive comments about Darell’s staff in the Parent/Carer Survey, the results of which we will soon be reporting to you.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to keep our school doing what it does best.