Bury C of E Primary is a Voluntary Aided (VA) school and as such the Governing Body is responsible for all capital works including all building costs and improvements, IT resources and infrastructure. This is managed through the School Development Fund (SDF) which is controlled by the Governors. The SDF, which was previously known as the Governors’ Fund, is a vital element in ensuring that Bury School is a safe, well-equipped and pleasant environment for the children and staff.
The funding for such work, as a Church of England school, comes from the Diocese of Chichester. They provide an annual 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 a grant of £9,000 but will have to fund the remaining £1,000.
If our 10% share cannot be raised the projects are not approved, which in turn would lead to our school falling into dis-repair.
Many years ago, the monies required to support church schools came via the parish. However, the Diocese recognised that contributions through the parishes dropped along with service attendance, so consequently they introduced a scheme to include all parents who choose to send their children to a Church of England school. Voluntary Contribution schemes operate across most VA schools in Sussex.
To support the school in fulfilling its current and future commitments, the Governors ask that every family consider making a regular contribution to the School Development Fund. The value of your contribution is for you to decide and is entirely voluntary. We know that not all families can afford to contribute but we assure you that all children are treated equally irrespective of any contributions their parents/carers have or have not made.
A gift to the school can make such a difference and if you are a UK tax payer you can donate in conjunction with the Gift Aid scheme, increasing your contributions considerably. A monthly contribution of £10 with Gift Aid means the School Fund receives £12.50 which over a year would amount to £150.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I thought State schools were paid for through our taxes. Why are we having to contribute?
The day-to-day operational running costs of voluntary aided (VA) schools, like those of other state-maintained schools, are fully paid by central government via the local authority.
However, VA Schools differ from other maintained schools in that only 90% of the capital costs are met by the Local authority and Diocese, with the school's governors contributing the remaining 10% obtained through such activities as voluntary contributions, grants and donations.
Why not charge a set fee for each child?
VA schools are not allowed to charge fees to students, although parents/carers are usually asked to pay a voluntary contribution towards the schools' maintenance funds. We rely entirely on the generosity of the school community for the majority of this 10% share.
Why do I need to complete a Gift aid form?
This is optional however, if you are a UK tax payer, any charitable organisation which you donate to can reclaim 25% from HMRC. This increases the total value of the donation at no further cost to you. For example, if you donate £10 per month the charity can claim a further £2.50. Over the course of a year this is an additional £30 just by completing the Gift Aid declaration form for UK Tax Payers.
What is the Fund for?
The current priorities for the Fund are to help pay for:
Replacement of the flat roof,
The refurbishment of the toilets,
Replacement of windows,
Re-surfacing the carpark.
What the School Development Fund does not pay for:
Operational cost such as Staffing and general premises costs, supplies and services, curriculum supplies and learning resources, subsidised school trips. These are funded by the Local Education Authority. Many extras such as music lessons, musical instruments and Beekeeping equipment are paid for via the FOBS fundraising.
I attend and donate at events arranged by FOBS. Is this the same fund?
Although Friends of Bury School (FOBS) fundraising can contribute to the SDF through occasional donations, the funds raised via the FOBS events are mainly used to support the enhancement of the Children’s educational experience. These funds have previously covered the costs of such things as music lessons and instruments, the equipment for the Bee Keeping, hosting or assisting events such as the Wassail and Love Bury.
Will my voluntary contribution be anonymous?
All contributions and donations are treated confidentially – only the Fund Administrator is aware of donor details.
How often should I contribute?
This is a voluntary scheme so this is entirely up to you and your situation. Some schools suggest 3 termly payments but if it is easier for you to pay monthly or annually it does not matter and really is down to your own personal circumstances.
How much should I contribute?
This is entirely up to you as it is a voluntary contribution. Other schools have suggested amounts such as £60 per year or £5 per month but we will be very grateful for any and all donations. We are reliant on your generosity and understand that everybody’s circumstances are different.
How do I contribute?
There are a number of ways that you can contribute to the School Development Fund;
by Standing order (account number: 01681258, sort code: 30-95-09, account name: Bury C of E (Governors) Fund),
online payment, (as above)
by cheque made payable to “Bury C of E School (Governors) Fund”