Headteacher takes on 15,000ft skydive to help fund school improvements

A headteacher is resorting to a fundraising skydive to help pay for improvements to her school as there is not enough cash in the budget.

Bridget Harrison, 39, said the “nerves are killing me” but extra funds would help fix problems at Rackham C of E Primary School in Witchford, Cambridgeshire, including a damaged window in the main hall.

“There’s a lot that needs doing at the school, that’s a list that would go on forever,” she said.

“The trim trail, this breaks my heart every day, the children can see it but they can’t use it because it’s unsafe as the flooring needs replacing.”

She said classrooms need decorating and unreliable screens need replacing.

“The school budget situation is dire for all schools, but Cambridgeshire local authority was actually 145th out of 151 local authorities in terms of funding,” she said.

She said she decided on something “drastic” to raise funds, and opted for a skydive – something she has never done before.

“I don’t want to promote that I’m a lazy head or anything like that, but I haven’t had the time to do any level of training for marathons or peak challenges,” she said.

“I’m not much of a keen runner either.

“At the time I did think, foolishly, that it would be quite easy in terms of ‘I’ve just got to be brave’ and there’s not that much preparation, which is true, but the nerves are killing me.”

Her 15,000ft jump, initially due to take place last year but delayed due to the pandemic, is on Saturday in Cambridgeshire.

“I’m so nervous, I really am, but I think of the children and they’re so excited,” said Ms Harrison.

“I’ve had so many cards and pictures, and they’ve been working on parachutes this week doing lots of science and maths and making their own.

“They’re all going to watch the video of it on Monday.

“I’ve promised them I’ll get a professional recording and I want them to be proud and I want them to know that if you think outside the box and you’re brave, you can achieve things.”

She set out to raise £800 and her total currently stands at more than £2,000.

“I’m over the moon, I genuinely didn’t anticipate raising that amount of money,” she said.

“Obviously it’s just going to be a portion of our list of things, we’re not going to be able to fix everything, but that’s money that we would not have had before and it’s going to make a big difference in terms of what we can do for the children.”

To donate, see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rackhamheadteacherskydive