School Development Fund
Also known as “The Governors’ Fund”
"I value the ongoing investment in improving learning facilities, for example the library and IT."
What is the School Development Fund?
The School Development Fund was previously known as the Governors’ Fund and 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 totally independent of the PTA/Friends funds and the School Fund – these monies are used for different purposes.
Why Our Lady of Lourdes and not other schools?
As Our Lady of Lourdes 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 an annual grant (currently around £7k) 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 a 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 Fund Administrator is aware of donor details.
What is the Fund for?
Over the past few years, the Fund has been able to help pay for:
- Roof repairs to junior block and new roof on infant block
- New infant and junior toilets
- New ceilings and lighting in the upper school
- New Windows including Yr1 & Yr2 classrooms
- Replacement of fire alarm system
- Replacement of outdated ICT hardware
- Redevelopment/increasing size of Y4, Y5 and Y6 classrooms
- Redevelopment/increasing size of Y3 classroom and library area
- Reception Classroom refurbishment
What the School Development 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. A breakdown of how these funds are spent can be found in our budget report here. Many extras are paid for via the PTA/Friends fundraising.
What plans are there for the future?
- Infant block re-flooring, re-glazing and condition update
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 £2.50 per family per month which equates to £30 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. A Standing Order form can be downloaded (see “Links” box above).
Why Gift Aid?
A Gift Aid form can be downloaded (see “Links” box above). 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 new mailings 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 PTA/Friends events and pay for school trips – why am I being asked to pay more?
The School Development Fund is entirely independent of the PTFA/Friends 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 assist 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 School Development Fund Administrator, Mel Fane, via the school or directly by email at [email protected].
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, either email or return your form to Mel Fane, care of the school, with a note to say what you have set up.
What if I have another child at the school?
Although we only ask for a family donation, please consider increasing your donations if you feel you can afford it. 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 Administrator, Mel Fane.