by PAT FRANKLIN -
The PTA and governors came up trumps when the budget at Calthorpe Park School in Fleet did not stretch far enough to pay for redecoration.
The school was built in the sixties on the "Schola" low cost, high maintenance system and it gets progressively tattier every year.
And although headmaster Kit Heasman gets £2.5 million every year from Hampshire County Council, most of it goes to pay the 65 teachers and about 20 other staff.
With books to buy and grounds to keep, redecoration comes some way down the list. Experienced teachers earn about £24,000, with starter teachers getting about £16,600.
Last year the government chipped in an additional £40,000, and another £70,000 this year to improve school finances, but redecorating is expensive.
Last year Mr Heasman spent £13,000 on having two of the worst corridors re-painted, but that was just a fraction of what needs doing.
And he said the fresh paintwork just made the rest of the school look even worse.
When he brought the problem to the PTA, they organised two work days to freshen up the entrance and main corridor.
Mr Heasman said some parents and governors worked mornings or afternoons and some stayed the course. One, Bob Cadec, is a professional decorator, and he took charge and organised everyone.
The result is a bright, fresh entrance, but, once again, it just makes the rest of the huge school look even worse. Kit Heasman's office has not been painted in the 13 years he has been headmaster and he says it will stay that way while the rest of the school is in such a poor decorative state.
The buildings are steel framed with soft plasterboard infill and he said that just rubbing shoulders or heavy bags along the walls left scruffy marks. The building was only supposed to last 25 year when the popular school opened in 1969. Mr Heasman rang the county on the 25th anniversary and asked jokingly what they intended to do about it. The answer was - not a lot.
The famous Calthorpe Park boot sales every first Sunday bring in about £10,000 a year and the PTA will be raising some more money at a pop concert at the school on July 20, but the battle of the budget goes on.