The cost of hiring facilities at Midhurst Rother College (MRC) has plummeted in a bid to attract more people into the school.
It is all part of principal Stuart Edward’s strategy to put the school at the heart of the community and the new policies mean that the cost of hiring some rooms at MRC have fallen by more than half.
“When I arrived in the autumn of 2016 I wanted to focus on getting standards up,” said Stuart, “and that meant looking at teaching and learning and what has happened as a consequence is that standards have gone up.
“After we had settled things internally, my plan was always in my third year to start to look externally in the community and try and engage with people more.
“I want to get more people into the building. I think a school should be at the heart of the community it serves and we are no different.”
He said facilities available for hire included the theatre, dance studio, classrooms, canteen, library and the outside space in front of the school.
“The spaces are rarely used at the moment because they were expensive but we have cut the costs significantly.”
He said hire at weekends could be slightly more expensive as the school was not always open.
But the new lettings prices have cut the cost of hiring the theatre and the drama studio from £55 an hour to £25, hiring meeting rooms has gone from £20 an hour to £10.
He hopes this will encourage a wide range of community groups into the school.
“We believe our facilities are the best in Midhurst for drama, music, meeting venues, functions and performances.”
Stuart added that the school was also prepared to look at special terms for those who wanted to block book for an extended period of time and also those looking for a ‘bundle’ agreement where, for instance, the green room could be added at special cost to the booking of the theatre.
The new letting policy comes in the wake of the school’s decision to hold large events to bring in the community.
The fireworks evening held last November is to be repeated this year.
The school is now planning an open air cinema for this summer and the whole school sponsored walk will also be held again.
In addition, a new quiz night is planned, as well as the traditional community day held in April.