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‘There’s no money!’ Pupils given tough lesson for film

Youngsters plead for new equipment in tongue-in-cheek fundraiser

01 December, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

St John’s pupils struggle with ageing laptops in their film

PRIMARY school pupils pleading for new high-tech equipment are told “there’s no money” by teachers in a tongue-in-cheek film aimed at raising funds.

An online campaign at St John’s School, in Pemberton Gardens, Upper Holloway, features a mini-movie of children struggling to work on ageing laptops, with pupils complaining “it’s not loading” and “computer says ‘no’”.

The youngsters are desperate for iPod Touches and virtual reality goggles to help them learn about their favourite subjects.

“We’ve been doing a lot of great learning about the Mayans,” says one pupil. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could transport ourselves back to the Mayan times.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could travel back to the Vikings – the best period ever,” says another.

“It would be amazing if we could download all the art apps on our iPod Touches.”

Pupils asking staff at the school if there is money for new equipment

Four pupils are then shown traipsing around the school in a bid to raise the cash.

School business manager, Andrea Goldring, is shown tapping away at her calculator.

The pupils ask: “Miss Andrea, have you got any money in the school budget for some iPod Touches and virtual reality goggles?”

“No, I’m sorry, there’s no money in the budget,” she replies.

Deputy headteacher Nick Turpin tells them: “Those sound very expensive and I’ve got 10p, which isn’t enough. I know the school hasn’t got any money. What can we do?”

The pupils come up with the idea of an online fundraising campaign, which has already raised more than £2,000.

Year Two teacher Lucy Braithwaite said: “This funding will really help empower our kids and boost the computer curriculum here at St John’s. So if you can help, please donate generously.”

Deputy headteacher Nick Turpin comes up with 10p

Protests about cuts to school budgets from central government have been growing throughout the borough over the past year.

During the summer, 51 Islington headteachers condemned planned cuts to school budgets, noting “deep concerns that continued inadequate funding of schools” would threaten “high-quality provision across the borough”.

The National Audit Office estimates that, without additional funding, by 2019 Islington schools will have to make cuts totalling £15m – the equivalent of the salaries of 400 teachers – due to a range of factors, including increased pension contributions and changes to national funding allocations.

St John’s is not the only school to use creative means to highlight a lack of cash. In April this year, pupils from Yerbury Primary School, also in Upper Holloway, filmed a video changing the words to Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 pop hit Girls Just Want To Have Fun to “Schools just want to have funds”.

Donations to the fundraiser can be made until Wednesday, December 13. Visit

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