The Edgware-based Beit Shvidler Primary School succeeded in an ambitious 36-hour fund matching campaign on Sunday and Monday, which saw the school raise an unprecedented £300,000 from donor-pledged funds and community contributions made during the timed online event. 


The school exceeded its initial target of £250,000, following a bonus fund-raising round, which it will use to go towards capital projects as well as meet a funding shortfall caused by the current coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at the end of the two-day initiative, Beit Shvidler Headtecher Rabbi Jonny Spector paid tribute to the “dedicated” community that had “gone above and beyond to help this much-loved small school on its way to achieving its big dreams”. “The entire senior leadership team has been so gratified, but not at all surprised to see such passion, dedication and enthusiasm for our school from both within the student and parent body and beyond in the wider community. This incredible campaign succeeded beyond our expectations and will help us to realise our vision for the school and continue to help us nurture and support the children who are the centre of all we do,” he added. “We would like to thank all of our generous donors, and in particular Mr Eugene Shvidler for his continued support and assistance throughout this campaign”. 


The campaign, Beit Shvidler’s first remote fundraisinginitiative, replaced the school’s usual fundraising activities, which couldn’t be held under the current lockdown conditions. It launched shortly after a survey of the parent body found that 94% of respondents thought the school had managed the coronavirus pandemic well. Like other schools nationwide, the school reverted to online learning at the start of the current school term. 


The survey’s findings endorsed the school’s success in helping children adjust to the loss of in-person learning and physical isolation from their peers and teachers, as well as helping the teachers to adapt their lessons and teaching to online platforms and technologies.


Beit Shvidler depends heavily on voluntary contributions being made by the parent body, which have been hit by the wider economic landscape. The school has also lost income from renting out its facilities for functions and launched the campaign in order to ensure the school’s financial sustainability and continued progress (which saw its rating upgraded to ‘Good’ by Ofsted at the last inspection).


Beit Shvidler now plans to use the money raised to for a range of capital projects, including funding the renewal of the school playground, upgrading Special Educational Needs (SEN) equipment to further support the children with a range of SEN needs for whom the school caters and climate control for the school hall, as well as to address the shortfall in funding brought about by rising costs and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.