Saving The Margate School

On New Years Day 2023, we received word that The Margate School was no longer financially viable. Some funding that had been promised was being withdrawn, with the knock-on effect of the bank freezing lending to the School. All postgraduate programmes were to cease immediately. Tutors were out of a job, and other paid team members would be redundant from the end of January.

This was devastating.

In a post from the just two weeks previous, I had said “I really feel like this place needs to succeed and live if there is to be any hope for a better, less market-driven model of Higher Education surviving in the UK. I have seen an alternative way of providing HE, and it must be protected at all costs – no model will ever be perfect, but the sheer existence of alternatives is needed to shape change.” Now here we were with all hope seemingly gone. I was concerned for colleagues who would be losing their income, but also for the dream of alternative ways of creating education. I was left with a sense of doom that, as I had previously suspected, alternatives will always be crushed by the systems they are attempting to defy.

However, quickly the community rallied. A crowdfunder was set up and people began to chase up whatever leads they could. TMS needed £50,000 to tide it over until the end of the academic year and this was raised through the community and by bigger donations from friends of the school. So courses are back on and tutors are re-employed.

However, the long-term survival of the school rests on the ability to purchase the building we are in – giving leverage for future grants, bids, loans, etc. So while the initial money has provided a stay of execution, the fundraising continues. My public lecture events will now be specifically aimed at contributing to this, and I’m contributing to the creative campaign materials.

Equally, one of the reasons TMS was suddenly so short on money was that promises and partnerships, where the school had contributed labour, its name and reputation in order for local authorities to access funding streams, had been reneged upon or side-lined. There is now a big push to get TMS was it is rightfully owed.

Donate to the crowdfunder to help out: SAVE THE MARGATE SCHOOL