A Sheung Wan school that was barred from running a Primary One class has teamed up with a special needs charity in a HK$3.7 million fund-raising drive to run the class privately. San Wui Commercial Society School is facing the threat of closure within three years because it has not met the government's admission threshold for the coming academic year of 16 students in Primary One. Parents at the school, where 25 per cent of pupils have special educational needs, are demanding that the Education Bureau reverse its decision not to allow a Primary One class on the grounds that San Wui's work with special needs children is outstanding. But the school's governing board lodged an application with the bureau on Wednesday to set up a private Primary One class and has launched a campaign to raise HK$3 million for a deposit on the class and HK$700,000 for the teacher's salary. Following media coverage of the school's predicament, pledges of support totalling more than HK$1.1 million have already rolled in and special educational needs charity, the White Rose Family Foundation, has agreed to help raise funds. Under a deal struck between the school and the charity last Friday, the school is providing White Rose with an office - in a spare classroom - and use of its facilities to run after-school activities for children with special needs free of charge. White Rose co-founder Karen Cole said: 'We are determined to see that this school remains open so that it continues to serve children with special educational needs (SEN). It is too valuable an asset for the SEN community to allow it to close. 'We want to make this school a hub for the special needs community in Hong Kong by providing a whole range of after-school activities and a support network for parents and children. Sessions will be open to both Chinese and English-speaking students.' Fellow co-founder Nicola Clark said the charity would raise funds for the school as its first objective and was using its own resources to pay for the fund-raiser for 10 weeks, after which point it should become self-financing. Once the school's target has been hit, White Rose would start developing an after-school activity centre for children with special needs in the its classrooms, indoor hall and roof-top garden. Principal Lui Kam-keung said: 'This is really a win-win situation and a perfect arrangement for our school. ... it is very helpful to have a full-time fund-raiser. I have great confidence that we will be able to reach the fund-raising target and operate a private Primary One class in September. We are aiming to attract 20 pupils and we will be visiting 15 to 20 kindergartens to promote the school.' Lui said the bureau required the school to show that it had HK$3 million in the bank - the cost of running a class for six years - as a guarantee that it could ensure all the children recruited would have the chance to complete primary school. The school was also aiming to raise a further HK$700,000 to cover the salary of its native English-speaking teacher Neil Appleby after the board also agreed they wanted to retain him on a private basis. An Education Bureau spokeswoman said schools that won approval to run a private Primary One class could regain public funding for the class the following year, if they attracted enough students.