COMMENT: Schools need to plan their finances innovatively

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Guffawing, crying or howling with laughter. There’s nothing quite like it.

Unfortunately some neighbours didn’t see the funny side when Henry Cort Community College applied for an alcohol licence for its new comedy nights.

Headteacher Claudia Cubbage came up with the idea to hold a monthly comedy club at the Fareham school while wracking her brain for money-making schemes to plug the ever-growing funding gap.

Schools across the country are struggling to get by on dwindling government grants.

And even more changes to the way schools are funded – which are due to come in later this year – could see a reduction in funds of almost £400,000 at the school.

It’s a national scandal, but instead of simply scraping by on the little the government gives them, Mrs Cubbage wants her pupils to thrive in an environment where they have the best equipment the school can possibly afford.

And, in this day and age, innovative financial planning which does not impact on pupil learning, is part and parcel of the role of the headteacher.

And it should be praised.

But it didn’t stop some residents trying to put a spanner in the works with objections to the school’s alcohol licence, with one declaring the noise levels would be ‘intolerable’.

This isn’t a case of hiring the school out for 18th or 21st birthday parties, full of tanked-up lager louts.

They would be monthly comedy nights, attended by grown-ups who want a laugh and a few drinks.

Horndean Technology College has been running successful comedy nights for years.

Thank goodness then that common sense prevailed.

And, in this bleakest of weeks, don’t we all need something to smile about?