Emin and Gormley in school celebrity art auction

The Charter North Dulwich hopes to raise £40,000 by selling postcards by James Corden, John Cleese and Jeremy Corbyn

Caroline Henshaw

Jon Snow is among celebrities who have contributed artwork for The Charter School auction

In a step up from your average school fete tombola, one London-based secondary is raising funds by auctioning off custom-made artworks by artists such as Tracey Emin and Anthony Gormley.

The Charter School North Dulwich is hoping to raise around £40,000 from the sale of 560 postcard-sized pieces to help keep its arts and drama departments alive and plug its growing budget deficit.

Paintings by celebrities like James Corden, John Cleese and Holly Willougby, as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and journalist Jon Snow (postcard pictured above), will go on sale alongside 30 of the state school’s best artists on Monday at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

“I wanted to put my efforts into raising a serious amount of money for the school and wanted it to be a dual-purpose celebration of both our student art, local artists and world-famous names,” said parent Laura Stephens, who came up with the idea.

“We contacted actors and comedians’ agents and I think many were so sympathetic to the cause of funding cuts and its impact on the arts that they spread the word amongst friends and it just spiralled.

“It was quite amazing to find a card from Jeremy Corbyn through my letterbox.”

Despite government pledges that it is spending record amounts on schools, independent analysis has shown that per-pupil funding has slumped 8 per cent since 2010.

Arts and music have been particularly hard-hit by the cuts, and GCSE entries for arts subjects fell to their lowest level in a decade last year.

The Charter School says it is facing a projected deficit of up to half a million pounds in the next few years without more funding.

Vouchers are being sold online before the event, with the postcards then raffled off tombola style. There will also be a small silent auction of artworks of famous artists who have donated more than one piece, including Ms Emin, as well as a delicate ceramic by Edmund de Waal.

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Caroline Henshaw

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