Budding Gainsborough artists can finally take cover in class

David Allsop (left), head teacher at Queen Elizabeth's High school, with Tracey Coulson and (far right) head of art Emily Walsh with pupils in the new aprons
David Allsop (left), head teacher at Queen Elizabeth's High school, with Tracey Coulson and (far right) head of art Emily Walsh with pupils in the new aprons

The picture has suddenly become brighter for young artists at Queen Elizabeth’s High School in Gainsborough who were getting just a little too close to their work.

An absence of serviceable aprons at meant that art class pupils often risked their clothing being splattered with paint.

But the high-achieving school, which like many others has concerns about underfunding, said there was no money in the kitty to buy replacement aprons.

Now, however, the mum of one of its students has stepped forward to provide an £800.00 donation which will enable to school to fund the purchase.

Tracey Coulson, a director of The Elms retirement park in Torksey, said her family’s business was delighted to have the opportunity to help out.

Tracey’s son Freddie, 12, started last year at Queen Elizabeth’s where head teacher David Allsop is proud of its achievements, despite being among the UK’s lowest-funded schools.

Every year the school asks parents for voluntary financial contributions, and this year the school said was even struggling to cover the costs of the curriculum.

Tracey said she became upset when she found the school – rated outstanding by Ofsted – was unable even to buy sufficient text books for students.

She then learned from Freddie that pupils were being advised to bring their own aprons into art classes as the school’s old and patched-up aprons were no longer up to the job:

She said: “That’s when I decided that this is a problem we could do something about.

“I told the rest of my family who run our business about the dilemma, and they were unanimous in agreeing that we should help the school have one less headache.

“We didn’t think it’s fair that such hard-working teaching staff should have the extra worry about students damaging their clothes, which is why we decided to step in.

Now the school has taken delivery of 90 brand new aprons which will enable all art class pupils to create their masterpieces without mishaps.

Mr Allsop and Emily Walsh, head of art at Queen Elizabeth’s, both expressed the school’s gratitude to Tracey and her family for their valuable and much appreciated gesture.

Tracey said the donation was simply continuing a long history of supporting good causes which was started by her father, former farmer John Kinch, when he established The Elms 35 years ago.

Today, the business provides more than 300 park homes in its 60-acre grounds.

And both residents and the park itself are often actively involved in local fundraising projects.

Mr Kinch died last November, aged 86, and the business is today run by his children Tracey, Stuart, Ann and Johnny.

There is more information about the park on its website at www.elmsretirementpark.co.uk