For Eskdale School principal Tristan Cheer and three other teachers, it was an appropriate day to arrive with a warm and woolly beanie hat.

It was not so much the fact that dark and damp skies and a temperature of barely 11C had descended across Hawke's Bay - it was more to do with what was on the "curriculum" for the day.

Namely, some hair-cutting activities for several electric razor-wielding youngsters.

And their subjects for the slightly unusual deviation from normal lessons?


Mr Cheer and his three colleagues - plus one Year 8 pupil, Thomas Foster.

Along with their fellow teachers and pupils, all embraced the recent inaugural Wig Wednesday national fundraiser for the Child Cancer Foundation, but they took an extra step and vowed that if certain collection totals were reached they would have their heads shaved which would help raise even a little more.

"If we raised $500 the teachers were going to get their heads shaved and if we reached $1000 I said I'd have mine done too," Mr Cheer said.

When the cash from the Wig Wednesday gold coin donations, sausage sizzles and face-painting outings was tallied up it came to $1760.

"So no doubts about it," Mr Cheer said.

The student "barber" chosen to remove his locks was 7-year-old cancer survivor Felix Davis who was delighted to hit the "on" switch of the razor to leave his headmaster hairless.

"But we all came prepared - we all brought beanies to school."

Young Thomas vowed to have his head shaved regardless.

"He really got behind this - he raised $120 on his own."

Child Cancer Foundation Hawke's Bay business development manager Vicky Rope said a full and final tally of what the 42 regional businesses and schools had raised in total was unlikely to be known for another three or four weeks as they were still being tallied up and collected.

But early indications were very good, she said.

"It is starting to come in and it's looking pretty amazing."

Ms Rope said along with Eskdale School's efforts, schools like Te Mata, with more than $1200, and Taradale Primary School with about $700 had created a solid cash collection foundation.

"It has been really great."

Mr Cheer said it was a pretty sure thing the school would get behind Wig Wednesday again next year and said while the scalp was now feeling the chill a bit, there was one bonus.

"I'll save money on a few haircuts over the next couple of months."