A charity is spreading some festive cheer this year after donating £5,000 to East Lancashire schools for Christmas.

This kind gesture comes as schools face a funding crisis with more than half of schools in England looking at staff redundancies due to Government underfunding and rising costs.

The Robert Windle Foundation, which is based at The Old Grammar School in Earby, has given 10 schools in Barnoldwick and Yorkshire £500 each, as an early Christmas present.

This is in addition to the £4,699 in grants the charity, which raises money for the building’s maintenance and educational grants, has given out in the last 12 months.

The 10 schools in Barnoldswick and Yorkshire which have been given the funding are:

  • Earby Springfield Primary, Barnoldswick
  • Salterforth Primary, Barnoldswick
  • Kelbrook  Primary, Barnoldswick
  • Coates lane Primary, Barnoldswick
  • St Joseph’s Primary, Barnoldswick
  • Gisburn Road Primary, Barnoldswick
  • Barnoldswick church of England Primary, Barnoldswick
  • West Craven High School in Barnoldswick
  • Thornton in Craven Primary, Thornton-In-Craven, North Yorkshire
  • Lothersdale Primary,  Keighley

Rachel Taylor, the charity’s treasurer, said: “We are so proud to announce that we have given out a total £4,699 in grants for educational support in the last 12 months.

“In addition to this we are excited to be in a position to spread some early 'Christmas Cheer' we are sending out a further £5,000 to 10 local schools that we support giving them £500 each, we hope we can make a difference to all our young people in the area.

“We all know schools are suffering with all the cuts in funding.

“Since our afternoon openings of the cafe, which opened in April, and charity shop have been going so well, we just wanted to send out some monetary help.

"It makes all our hard work seem so much more worthwhile."

Recently, the largest ever survey of school leaders has found that more than half of schools in England are looking at staff redundancies due to Government underfunding and rising costs, the headteachers’ union has warned.

In a snapshot of the survey which received responses from more than 11,000 school leaders in England, two thirds (66 per cent) of headteachers said they will have to make teaching assistants redundant or reduce their hours.

Half of respondents said they are looking at reducing the number of teachers or teaching hours.

National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Paul Whiteman said educators were being hit by a “perfect storm of costs” as school leaders battled to balance budgets amid “eye-watering energy bills”, spiralling costs and underfunding.

School can apply for a grant on the Robert Windle Foundation website: www.robertwindlefoundation.org/grants