Exciting new school fund announced
23 November, 2022

The generosity of a local family has enabled Clifton Terrace School at Atawhai to adopt an innovative financial strategy to take it into the future.

The 300-student school, founded around 160 years ago, has established an endowment fund to be managed by Top of the South Community Foundation (TotSCF).

“Clifton Terrace School (CTS) feels very lucky to set up The Clifton Terrace Fund, thanks to a generous donation by a current school family. Without their support and encouragement this would not have been possible,” says principal Rob Wemyss.

“This donation has given us the chance to think smarter, not work harder and look at a new way of securing funding for our school in perpetuity.”

The donor, whose gift sparked the idea to establish the fund, wishes to remain anonymous. "Those of us lucky enough to have benefitted financially from society, be it self-made or inherited have a responsibility to contribute back to the very society from which we have benefitted," he says.

Gavin Larsen, TotSCF Executive Officer has praised the donor, and the board and management of the school for their foresight and willingness to focus on long-term revenue sustainability.

“Using an endowment fund to help protect the school’s financial future is such an exciting initiative. We’re looking forward to working closely with CTS to help showcase and grow the new fund,” says Gavin.

Rob says the fund will make a significant difference to the school and its students now and into the future. “It has become increasingly difficult for parents and caregivers to commit time to school committees and fund-raising initiatives. This means there are fewer and fewer people taking on larger workloads.

“It’s most often our students, their parents and grandparents donating goods and funds and then purchasing those back at school fairs. With the Endowment Fund it will be easier to make a financial contribution to the school.

“It will also enable connection with past students and communities to support the school that was a big part of their early lives.

“By its very nature the endowment fund has a long-term focus with the school receiving annual benefits, however, we still envisage running smaller events to create the sense of ‘community’ that is achieved by bringing people together at the school.”

Rob says through being actively involved in understanding what the fund is about, students will help create a culture of giving and supporting the community, all of which connect back to the school’s values and vision.

 “The benefits to the children will be immense and will include goal setting, increased financial literacy, and hands-on projects leadership. They will understand the ethos of giving for the betterment of others and will assist in building an enduring and lifelong connection to their primary school.”

The endowment fund will contribute to current students through spending on equipment, maintenance, classroom supplies, curriculum extensions and school trips.

Chair of the CTS fund committee Bryce MacDonald says the educational needs of children are ever changing.  “The endowment fund will enable our school to meet those needs in the most effective way through quality resourcing.  We can be forward thinking rather than limited to present funding models that stop our kura from being able to truly expand children’s horizons.

“We chose TotSCF to manage the fund, due to its good reputation, experience, and connection with the reputable Tindall Foundation. An external partner made sense due to our school structure and lack of resources to manage it efficiently. 

“We have established an endowment committee, which will be responsible for setting strategic goals for growth, communication and include senior students, giving them the opportunity to learn financial literacy,” Bryce says.

On-going protection in the form of a Memorandum of Intent is in place to ensure the endowment fund will always benefit Clifton Terrace students. This means that a new principal or board cannot change how the CTS Fund is intended to work.

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More about Clifton Terrace School

Clifton Terrace School is a Nelson school, situated on Atawhai Drive, with some of the best school views around! It is passionately run by Principal Rob Wemyss and dedicated staff and teachers.

While not completely certain, the official opening date of Clifton Terrace School is put at 1856. In 1860 a princely sum of £5 was granted to Suburban North School Committee to rebuild the school.

Today the role sits at around 300 children and the grounds consist of a small swimming pool, several courts, fields, playground and a wonderful tree covered hillside, that along with gardens and student run vege patches encourages plenty of outdoor adventure.

Have more questions?  We welcome the opportunity to discuss donations or questions further.

Contact details

Clifton Terrace School - PH: +64 03 545 0532  EMAIL: [email protected]

Top of the South Community Foundation - PH: +64 027 856 9752 EMAIL: [email protected]

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