A HEAD teacher has paid tribute to a parents’ group for making invaluable donations to buy equipment for a Darlington school.

The Parents’ Forum at Hummersknott Academy was established six years ago and has raised around £3,000 a year, with the money being used to enhance education at the school.

The latest fundraising initiative takes place at 6.30pm on November 15 when a Christmas Fair will be staged, selling a wide variety of crafts.

Pupils are consulted, via the School Council and college captains, about how the money should be spent.

Purchases include a piano, which is used for school productions, interactive screens around the building to relay important information to pupils, inspirational posters, and signs for the maths department. Recently, the Parents’ Forum paid for 70 “visualisers” – gadgets that project images from lessons onto interactive white boards – and there is now one in every classroom.

“The Parents’ Forum was set up to make sure parents had a voice in the school and it has become a valuable partnership for two-way communication,” said Hummersknott principal James Keating.

“The money that’s been raised is a bonus, representing invaluable support, and making a real difference to school life. I can’t thank the members enough for their efforts.”

Gill Smith, secretary of the Parents’ Forum, added: “As a parent, it is really important to know what is happening in the school and this has been a really useful connection. It’s nice to be able to raise the money and put something back into the school so it can be spent on things identified by the pupils.”

The enhancements made to the school also benefit the local community. For example, the piano bought with funds raised by the Parents’ Forum is also used for the Vocal Collective Community Choir.