Family Information and PTA News Friday 3rd March 2023

Welcome to Percy Hedley School's Family Liaison Blog

Welcome back to the second half of this academic year. I hope that you enjoyed half term. My thanks to those of you who have given reviews on some of the information I share in these blogs. It’s one thing researching, checking accessibility, prices etc but nothing compares to the experience of families who know what works. Please keep sharing; many hands make light work and your suggestion however small it appears may inspire others.


Events in school summary:

Friday 3rd March:

PHS celebrates World Book Day. I know this was today! At PHS we feel it works better for students to do things at the end of the week; hence we were a day later than the rest of the country. There were lots of lovely characters, from Little Red Riding Hood, Harry Potter, Where’s Wally, The Snail and the Whale and much more. John’s blog will have the photos.


Friday 17th March:

Double the fun? We have 2 things going on in school on this day.


Red Nose Day 2023:

A now annual fund-raising day in support of Comic Relief. You will have had a letter explaining that the new style red noses may not be suitable for our students, and there is a link if anyone wishes to purchase them. This year they have partnered with Amazon as the main suppliers, or you can purchase from their website. Children may choose to wear red if they wish. If you wish to donate a small amount in support of Comic Relief, we are happy to pass this on.

Mother’s Day Sale.

A letter has been sent; this is a popular event each year whereby we ask for donations of gifts suitable for students’ mothers or significant female in their lives. We cannot accept alcohol, much and all as this would be welcome as we cannot sell it to children. Students are asked to bring in £3 to purchase a gift. The Post 16 students who are going on the residential trip will be able to purchase gifts on their return to school if they wish to do so.

PTA Meeting: Thursday 16th March 9.30-11.00

Please come along if you can, in person or online. Full details are in the PTA section below.


16-19 Bursary update.

I have been looking at ways in which we can use the bursary to further support students, removing barriers to learning. If you have a child in Post 16, are from a low-income family or the household income is less than £40,000 per annum and you have not applied, please get in touch with me directly or your young person’s class team. The young person must have been 16 years old on 31 August 2022 and no older than 19 years old now.

I can provide information on how it could be used to support your young person.


Wills, Trusts, Mental Capacity.

I have had discussions with parents/carers over the last few years about preparing for the future. I am often asked about Wills and Trusts and Deputyship. A parent has alerted me to 2 online seminars being run by Mencap. There are repeats of these running over the next few months.  Details are below:


Planning for the future: online course via zoom. March 16th

“Find out more at one of our free, online Planning for The Future seminars, where we’ll explain all you need to know about this subject: why it’s so crucial and how we can help you take the right steps. Our approach is jargon-free, simple, good advice – which, sadly, can be hard to find.

At our seminars, you will have the opportunity to speak to a solicitor who specialises in this complex area of law. The Wills and Trusts team will be there on the day too, available to answer any other questions you may have.”

Links are below:

Decision Making seminar: online via zoom 23rd March

“Mencap have had the pleasure of working closely with a specialist Lawyer, Philip Warford and his fantastic team at Renaissance Legal.

Philip will talk through the key principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, who can make a Powers of Attorney and how the Court of Protection might help.”

I note that this focuses on The Mental Capacity Act and Power of Attorney. For most of our students, it would be Deputyship, rather than Power of Attorney.

In a nutshell:

Deputyship: Person (for whom application is being made) has limited or never had capacity.

Power of Attorney: Person (for whom application is being made) has lost capacity. It is possible to sign a lasting power of attorney, something some people choose before aging to enable a partner/spouse/family member to deal with finances and/or care needs on their behalf.

Mencap has some useful information on their website. Here are some links:

Northern Children of Courage Awards: Friday 12th May

 Nominations are being encouraged for the Northern Children of Courage Awards.  There are 6 categories:

  • Young carer
  • Special Recognition
  • Fundraiser
  • Bravery
  • Sporting achievement
  • Team award (this can be an adult team)

See nomination form below.  If you’d like to nominate any students, please complete the form using the link in the email below.

Newlife Foundation:

The Newlife Foundation has received an amazing £1 MILLION grant from Motability, on #InternationalWheelchairDay!

This new grant will provide hundreds of families with disabled & terminally ill children across the UK with life-changing specialist buggies and wheelchairs! Read our full announcement below:

Support Jonny Connop’s Cycling to Space Challenge

Jonny Connop is cycling 365,000ft in elevation (that’s higher than the beginning of space!) this year to raise money for the Percy Hedley Foundation.

Follow his journey and see how to donate towards this amazing challenge below:


This week has been a busy one, and I have had less time than normal to look for activity suggestions. Believe it or not the Easter holidays are just 4 weeks away! So, I promise to do some more research and if you can help please pass on your ideas.

Junior and Mini Great North Run’s

Entries are open for this year’s event. Just a word of warning, places go quickly. As a parent of a young man who attended this school, I am passionate about opportunities for our young people to be involved in events in the community and I have the best memories of supporting him to complete the Junior GNR almost 8 years ago. Your child/young person, siblings could do this and raise money for a charity. The PTA would, I am sure appreciate any support. Unlike the main event, you do not have to raise a minimum amount and in these very difficult times for some families we understand the challenges. Contact me if I can help.

The Percy Hedley Foundation have 15 spaces for the Junior GNR and 15 spaces for the Mini GNR:

This is the first time we have been offered the opportunity to take places in the race for our students and have 15 for the mini and 15 for the junior. Entry is £20 and we have set £100 as a fundraising target.

  • Mini runners (age 3 – 8) must be accompanied by an adult around the 1.2km course
  • Junior runners (age 9-16) have the option of running by themselves or with a Parent/Guardian around the 4km course
  • Accompanying adults who are running are required to wear the specific accompanying adult bib, which is attached to the child’s run number.

These spaces tend to go quickly, so if you are interested use the button below to sign up.

Tim Lamb Centre/Pathways4All

Local to school there is lots going on here. Annual Family membership is £20, with a £3 per child charge for entry. Please have a look at their website to see all they do. The outside area is wonderful, and they have a “changing place” as well as a trampoline, sensory room, gaming room and a café indoors.

Pathways 4 All offer:

A Craft Evening on Wednesday evenings at 4.30-6pm term time only at the Tim Lamb Centre in Benton. Activity included in the normal entrance price, and children must be supervised at all times.

A Weekly Coffee Morning for parents/carers of children/young people with disabilities/additional needs. This takes place at the Tim Lamb Centre in Benton Thursday’s 9.30-11.30am, term time only.


PTA News:


I thought that it might be good to let you know who is on our newly elected committee. Some trusted Officers remain with us (thank you)

Chair: Donna Jones: Parent

Vice Chair: Hannah Fuller: Teacher

Treasurer: Ros Holden: Parent

Family Liaison link: Eileen Robinson (school appointed position)

Fund-raising link: Trish Boynton. Co-opted.

The Secretary role is vacant, if any parent wishes to take this on, let me or Donna know. Tracy Smithson, Teacher and is leading on the “Leading Parent Partnership Award” attended, took minutes, and has offered to take minutes at future meeting.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday 14th March 9.30-11.00. We would love to continue the hybrid meetings, so you are welcome to come into school or join online. The link to TEAMS is below:

Reminders will be sent, and it will be on the Facebook page. It would be really helpful to know in advance who is coming into school (so that Donna bakes a big enough cake; in fact, I’ll do one too if we need more). There’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss 😊

We will be looking at plans for the year ahead, so we would love more parental input.


Facebook page:

This is a closed group for family and friends of Percy Hedley School, where you can share news and updates about school life. It is not for external professionals who may be working with families. To join, you need to answer the question stating your link with school.

Please note: this group is for sharing news and updates about school life and is not intended to discuss any issues around individual students, and as such all comments are moderated. If you have a particular issue or concern, please contact school directly on 0191 216 1811.

Browsing through information on World Book Day I found this quote. If you know, you know!

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world” – Malala Yousafzai


Contact details

Eileen Robinson: Family Liaison Officer


Telephone: 0191 2161811 ext. 3260.