Confronted with funding cuts from the council, the Edinburgh Chinese School is endeavoring to survive by any means possible.
Kim Wong, the headteacher of the school, said that the council has tightened the budget on most of the mainstream schools in Edinburgh, including Drummond Community High School , where The Edinburgh Chinese School rents its classrooms every Saturday morning.
In order to cut down the extra cost (£4000), the class time was modified passively from 1p.m-3p.m to 10: 45a.m-12: 45p.m, which marked as the biggest change since the established year 1971. Parents were also forced to pay double tuition fees to make up for the additional rental. “This is harsh for some parents with low incomes. We need to consider this point as well,” said Kim Wong.
To maintain normal running order, the school adopted three main methods. First is to shrink the expense on the first-aid courses, a training program which focuses on taking care of children during their school time. Applying for grants is another feasible way. Last year the schools succeed in receiving the grants form the Scottish Community Foundation.
At present, most of the school’s money comes through its own fund raising efforts. Every Chinese New Year, the school holds a children’s talent charity show, inviting parents, local community members, restaurants and other organizations.
Although the school is tight on budget, there were not any dramatic increase in tuition fees compared with previous years. Students without exams (i.e. GCSE, AS & A Level) were required to pay £65 per year when applying for 2011-2012 school year. The price was £5 higher than that of two years ago. The tuition fee covers the cost of textbooks, teaching materials and the running of the school.
Cui Geqian, a mother of a child attending the school, appreciated the price fixing: “considering the whole year, 2-hours class every Saturday. I think it’s of great value for my child.”