A Coventry mum is looking to give something back to her former schools as she is appointed as a full-time fundraiser to ease the financial pressures they face due to government cuts.

The Romero Catholic Academy, made up of seven primary schools and one secondary school as well as the Blue Sky Teaching Alliance, has appointed Caroline Clarke as funding co-ordinator and bid writer.

Caroline, who attended St John Fisher Catholic Primary School and Cardinal Wiseman Secondary School which are part of the academy, will apply for grants as well as co-ordinate fundraising opportunities.

The bold move to appoint a dedicated fundraiser, a responsibility typically squeezed into other roles within schools, comes as three-year projections based on declining government funding levels show that schools will face financial difficulties.

It is hoped that the new role will help generate three per cent of the Academy’s income annually after three years.

Caroline joins the Academy, which also includes Corpus Christi, Good Shepherd, Sacred Heart, St Gregory’s, St Patrick’s and Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Schools, from Lloyds Pharmacy where she spent two-and-a-half years in the bids and tenders team.

Before this she worked as a development officer for Orbit Housing Association for 12 years.

Caroline said: “I went to two academy schools and my two sons attended Ss Peter and Paul and Cardinal Wiseman, so this is an excellent opportunity for me to give something back.

“The education sector is a change of direction for me, and I will be using my expertise to help enrich the children’s lives as much as possible.

“I will be working closely with the schools across the Academy to explore the different fundraising opportunities available. This could be to help pay for anything from building projects to school books as well as give the children new experiences in areas such as the arts and sport.

“It is very positive that the Academy has had the foresight to appoint a dedicated fundraising officer to help address government funding cuts head on, and I look forward to the challenges that the role will bring.”

Patrick Taggart, Business Director at the Romero Catholic Academy, said: “It is excellent that the Board and Local Academy Committees (LAC) have taken the bold move to appoint a full-time fundraiser, and we are very pleased to welcome Caroline to the Academy.

“We are experiencing increasing financial pressures, so it is essential that we plan ahead and look at different ways of managing the financial cuts.

“We have taken a number of steps across the Academy to help deal with these, including negotiating better deals with suppliers, promoting our excellent schools to fill all places and it is hoped that the new role will help us benefit from the various funding opportunities available to schools.”


Caption: Caroline Clarke with Patrick Taggart, Business Director at the Romero Catholic Academy.