School Improvement Fund – Information for Parents
What is the School Improvement Fund?
The School Improvement Fund is a vital element in ensuring that the School is a safe, well-equipped and pleasant environment for the children and staff. This money is held and managed by the Governing Body and has charitable status. It is used to pay the annual subscription to the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education External Periodic Maintenance Scheme which supports the Governors in their responsibility to maintain the school building, and make up short-falls in spending on maintaining and improving the school.
It is totally independent of the PTFA funds and the School Fund – these monies are used for different purposes.
Why Nutfield Church and not other schools?
As Nutfield is a Voluntary Aided Church School, the Governing Body is responsible for the school buildings and other capital works including the playgrounds and ICT infrastructure.
The Department for Education provide a grant of 90% towards work which is the Governing Body’s liability, but we, the Governing Body, are responsible for raising the remaining 10% of the cost of any capital work. Therefore if capital works cost £10,000 the Governing Body can claim grant of £9,000 but will have to fund the remaining £1,000. We do this mainly by asking for voluntary contributions from parents/carers.
All donations are treated confidentially – only the Co-Chairs of Governors and the Fund Administrator are aware of donor details.
What is the Fund for?
Over the past few years, in addition to the annual subscription to the Diocese, the Fund has been able to help pay for:
- The school hall flooring
- New ceilings, lighting and hard floor areas in the upper school classrooms
- Playground equipment storage
- Resurfacing playgrounds
- Creating an outdoor quiet area
- ICT restructure and improvement/enhancement of Curriculum IT network
- New School Kitchen
- School Office refurbishment
What the School Improvement Fund does not pay for: Staffing and general premises costs, supplies and services, curriculum supplies and learning resources are funded by the Local Education Authority. Many extras are paid for via the PTFA fundraising.
What plans are there for the future?
- Improving outdoor teaching and learning areas as part of pupil wellbeing
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
We ask you to consider making voluntary donations and we thank those who already do contribute in this way.
How much should I give? Only what you can afford. Every £1 helps. As a guide, we suggest £4 per child per month which equates to £48 per year– that’s less than a pint of a beer a month, or a trip to the cinema! Please feel free to pay more or less than this amount; it really is up to you. Any and all contributions are very gratefully received.
What is the best way to pay? Whatever is best for you, but it would really help us to have monthly payments by Standing Order. This spreads the cost for you and enables us to know what income we can expect so we can plan ahead. It also makes Gift Aid claims easer to administer. BUT REMEMBER YOU ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF YOUR STANDING ORDERS. We just keep a copy and take them into your bank for you. We cannot amend or cancel them for you. You can amend or cancel them at any time.
Why Gift Aid? If you are a UK taxpayer you are able to increase the value of your donation by 25% by completing the Gift Aid section of the form. The Gift Aid form must be signed by the tax-paying donor.
I already contribute – why am I being asked again? We must continue to seek donations, but are only able to make a general appeal to all parents each term. For reasons of confidentiality we cannot differentiate between existing and potential donors. There is no need to reply to the current mailing unless you wish to amend your details in any way eg: if you have changed address, changed the amount or method of donation etc.
I support PTFA events and pay for school trips – why am I being asked to pay more? The Governors’ Fund is entirely independent of the PTFA whose fundraising activities also play an important part in supporting the School. The School has a separate fund to manage monies collected for specific activities; school trips and swimming lessons, for example. Each fund has a role to play in financing the work of the School.
Why so much paperwork? As a charitable trust and Gift Aid claimant we must keep full records of all donations. These records also help us to help you with any confidential queries. We have, however, condensed the forms to a single A4 sheet and hope that this is clearer for you.
I am not sure if I am contributing/if my contributions are up to date? Please contact the Governors’ Fund Administrator, Michael Hill via the school or directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael is one of our Parent Governors.
I’ve set up my own standing order on line – should I let you know? Yes please. We need to keep up-to-date records, so do return your form to the Chair of Governors, care of the school, with a note to say what you have set up., or email the Fund Administrator.
What if I have another child who has just started school? Please consider increasing your donations accordingly. We will contact you each term with our appeal so you can amend your instructions at that time. Alternatively, Standing Order forms can be obtained from the School Office or from the Fund Administrator at any time.
What if my child/one of my children has just left the school? Please cancel/adjust your standing order with your bank as appropriate. Standing order forms can be obtained from the school office or from the Fund Administrator.
Thank you for taking the time to read the above and, if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Fund Administrators, Michael Hill or Kristy Armer.
Michael Hill and Kristy Armer