Dear Parents/Carers  

As many of you know, last year we lost a dear and much-loved colleague, Karla Pappon, our wonderful Assistant SENCo. Karla cycled off with a team of her colleagues for a fundraising charity bike ride from London to Brighton.  Karla didn’t get to Brighton as an unexplained incident occurred where she fell from her bike and never regained consciousness. Tragically she died at the age of 56 on 4 October 2020.

The school community was understandably devastated by this loss. Karla’s work during her time at the school, especially as part of the Learning Support team, had a positive impact on so many pupils' lives - she was tireless in her support of each individual child, helping them to achieve their full potential.

We had to think of a way to pay tribute to Karla and the amazing work she did for The Charter School North Dulwich. Our proposal is to build ‘The Karla Pappon Court’, in recognition of her years of dedicated service to the school and its wider community, and of her passion for tennis – Karla ran the school tennis club for many years at neighbouring North Dulwich Tennis Club. This is an ambitious project, but it will give the school a first-class multi sports court which every child at the school will benefit from. We have exceptional PE staff, but sadly we don’t have exceptional PE facilities, and this will help to address that. It will also provide a great facility for wider community use.  

The total cost of the project will be approximately £250,000 and we have to raise the money! To kick off our fundraising we have pulled together a team of fifty of Karla’s colleagues from across The Charter Schools Educational Trust. On Saturday 25th September, one group will be cycling from London to Brighton, and a second group will be walking 10 miles, ending in Brighton. Our initial fundraising goal from this event is £30,000 but it would be amazing if we could beat that and get off to a flying start towards the total needed for the project. 

There are several ways in which you can help us:

  • To make a donation towards the Karla Pappon Court, please follow the link HERE
  • Share the link below with friends, family and colleagues, and on social media (follow the school on Twitter @TCSDulwich)

  • If you think that your company or organisation might be able to support us in our fundraising, please get in touch with Wendy Andrews .

It will mean so much to all our staff and pupils to see this project to honour Karla’s memory become a reality, and I would like to thank you all in advance for your support.

Kind Regards

Christian Hicks

Executive Headteacher


Karla suffered a serious head injury following an accident during the London to Brighton charity bike ride two weeks ago. Despite being given the most outstanding care at Saint George’s Hospital in Tooting, her injuries were too severe, and she died peacefully at 5pm on Sunday 4 October. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.

Karla was a much-loved member of staff at The Charter School North Dulwich,  where she had worked in the learning support department for the past 10 years, specialising in maths. She was also involved in many aspects of school life away from the classroom and used her boundless enthusiasm and energy to support the wider school community, including running the  school Tennis Club, supporting the Friends and volunteering on the Duke of Edinburgh programme. However, it will be her deep commitment to supporting those children with the highest needs to progress in their education that many will remember her for.

Headteacher, Christian Hicks, commented.  

“It is very hard to share this incredibly sad news about a colleague and a friend who was such an important and integral part of our school community. Those among us who knew Karla, or whose children were supported by her, will know what a wonderful, kind and caring person and great teacher she was.  Karla was so committed and dedicated to her students and was in turn much loved by those who were lucky enough to know her.  She truly embodied the very best of Charter.”  

Chair of Governors, Amanda King, also commented.

“Karla was a valued and much-loved member of the school community, who made an enormous contribution to improving the lives of our pupils. She will be much missed, and our thoughts are with Karla's family at this incredibly sad time.” 

The school is organising a book of condolence and will also be looking at ways in which we can celebrate Karla’s life and wonderful contribution to our community as a teacher and mentor, and most of all as a dear friend and colleague.

You will find the link to Karla's memory page here. This page has been built for family, friends, students and colleagues to connect online and share their personal memories and stories of Karla.

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