The last six months have been difficult for the School and Home and for the Trustees both here and in India.
In the Spring there was a complaint about one of the Home and School Governors. This was unfounded and not upheld but caused great concern and significant disruption for the Home. Although affected the School has continued to operate uninterrupted
The whole Education system in southern India is in a state of flux at the moment. The government is keen for every village to have its own school and new much stricter regulations have been introduced for all Hostels and Homes and all are being required to reregister and be approved afresh. The Karun Home is open and new local Trustees have been recruited to promote and help manage the Home and all the regulatory requirements have been met.
Looking forward the Trustees both here and in India are optimistic about the future.
Changes have been made to accommodate all the new regulations and Leslie Stephen and his son Mark are visiting early in November to ensure these are all working smoothly.
A REVIEW OF 2018
Hard won progress in a challenging year.
Early on we suffered major structural damage during a storm. The roof to the toilet and shower block almost came off. The oldest building on the site, which housed the Warden and Deputy Warden and family, the sewing room and the flat used by visitors, was severly damaged. The roof to the girls' dormitory and the computer room suffered mild damage and minor leaks appeared.
Caroline and David Cotton visited soon afterwards. Local builders and engineers were used to assess the problems and it was quickly agreed to replace the Toilet & Shower block roof with a more permanent corrugated roof and at the same time refurbish the interior in time for the school to reopen.
The administration building is old and full repair was considered impossible. Temporary shoring of roof supports has made it possible for the warden to continue living there but the other rooms are uninhabitable.
Plans were made to move the sewing room to a small storage room and to convert the science room into accommodation for visitors. This involved adding a toilet, shower and kitchen and changing the windows and partitioning.
Costings were obtained for other repairs.
It was also possible to arrange for one of the older boys, Raghu, to be taken by a local technical college on an Electricians course. This is a major breakthrough as we have never been able to persude parents of boys before of the advantage of further training. Raghu started his course in the Autumn and is doing well. This has also provided a further opportunity in that the college have offered teaching help if we can set up a basic electrics training room.
The Toilet and Shower block roof was repaired and the refurbishment done on time and in budget.
The conversion of the visitors accommodation has been done to plan and works well.
The roof over the computer room gas been replaced with a more sturdy structure and the interior repainted.
A water purifier has been installed.
Leslie and Janet and their son Mark visited in November and supervised some of the work.
They extended the covered veranda in the Home block so that children have access to the kitchen under cover.
They also carried out a full review of all the staff and established a new and comprehensive reporting procedure to the local Trustees and to the UK.
Outline plans have been drawn for new accommodation for the Warden and to replace the wardens block with a new teaching facility.
In the meantime the School has continued to thrive. Local inspectors constantly congratulate the Head on the performance and facilities and we are often sited as a good example to other local schools.
We have a good group of supporters who give regularly to fund the day to day running costs and have again been very fortunate in the generous help given by Sonning Church. Again this year they donated all the funds from their annual Christmas Fayre.
The School has had a number of UK visitors including pupils from Waddesdon School who have also given some financial help.
The best way to summarise the school is to reproduce the short Report from the Head Mistress Immaculate mid year.
1.A.Helen Immaculate. HM
2.S.Peter Antony Raj
4.Santha Sheela (paid for by Trust)
5.Sudha (paid for by Trust)
6.Gangadevi (paid for by Trust) support for Immaculate, admin and IT
Hostel staff all Trust paid for:
Extra curricular classes staff paid for by Trust:
1.Samuel Raj Kumar (music)
2.Stella ( sewing)
3.Poorani (dance and drama)
Std. Boys. Girls. Total
1. 3. 2. 5
2. 5. 7. 12
3. 4. 5. 9
4. 7. 7. 14
5. 10. 4. 14
Total. 29. 25. 54
Boys:12,. Girls :20 Total :32