Governors Building Fund

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are writing to you to let you know of important changes that are taking place to the Junior School’s Governors’ Building Fund from the beginning of April.

As you may be aware, in September 2015 the Infant and Junior Schools’ governing bodies were reconstituted separately. This means there is now a separate governing body for each school responsible for:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

 

What is the Governors’ Building Fund?

The quality of Catholic schools has been recognised by the Government and they have granted many of them ‘voluntary aided’ status. What this means is that although the schools are in the state system, we can retain our traditions and organise the school on the basis of the teachings of the Church. But, in return, we are required by law to raise 10% of the cost of developing and maintaining the school buildings.

So, as a voluntary aided school, if we need to improve the school, undertake basic repairs or add additional facilities, we need to find 10% of the cost ourselves. There is no choice in the matter. If the money is not raised, the work cannot be undertaken. The Governors therefore have to turn to the families at the school for donations to the Governors’ Building Fund so that we can continue to provide the best possible teaching and learning environment.

Why the change to the Fund?

Historically, when the Infant and Junior schools had operated under one Governing Body there was one Governors’ Building Fund to which parents voluntarily donated to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of both schools’ buildings and grounds. These donations were split 50:50 between each school, on the basis that children would pass through both schools during their time at SS Alban and Stephen’s.  However, now that we have been required to reconstitute as two separate governing bodies, the Governors’ Building Fund will also need to be funded and operated separately.

This means that from the 6 April 2016, each school will have its own Governors’ Building Fund, with its own separate bank account and separate gift aid form.

What do I need to do?

From the 6 April, Ss Alban and Stephen Catholic Junior School will have its own separate Governors’ Building Fund. This means any voluntary contribution that you currently make, or wish to make, to the Junior School will need to be paid into a different bank account than the one currently in place.

If you have children in both schools, it is important that you consider how you would like to contribute to each school’s building fund. You may wish to split your contribution equally between the two schools or in proportion to the number of children you have in each school.

Are contributions voluntary?

Absolutely!

At SS Alban and Stephen’s Junior School we have been blessed with school facilities that have been maintained to a reasonable standard thanks to the generous donations of past and current families.

As Governors, we are committed to providing a high standard of learning environment and there is a lot that we would like to achieve. For example, we have been looking at ways to improve the physical environment of the school, but we need to find the finances to do this, as well as for other essential maintenance works.

We are dependent on the generous, voluntary contributions and continued support from the families at Ss Alban and Stephen Junior School. Without them, we cannot undertake any improvements.

As such we would be grateful if you would consider contributing to the Junior School’s Governors’ Building Fund.

We understand it is difficult sometimes to know how much to donate. As a guide, we would greatly appreciate donations of £5 per child per month (£8 per month if you have 2 or more children). You can donate by setting up a standing order monthly, quarterly or annually. Or you can also contribute via cheque if you prefer.

It is entirely up to you whether you want to donate the suggested amount, less or even better, more. Any amount will be gratefully received and put towards improving the school environment for the benefit of all the children.

Gift Aid

Most of the parents who contribute to the fund do so under the Gift Aid Scheme. Under this scheme the school can reclaim from HMRC the basic rate tax that you have already paid on your contribution. This increases the value of your contribution, at no cost to you, by 25% – for each £100 that we receive the school claims back an additional £25.  If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you can also claim relief on the difference between the basic rate and the higher rate of tax.

We are very grateful to all those who are able to gift aid their donations.  Last year we were able to claim over £2,600 of gift aid from HMRC.

The changes explained above mean that there also needs to be a different gift aid declaration form which is enclosed with this letter. Please complete and return to the school office.

The new Junior School bank account details for contributions to the Junior School’s Governors’ Fund are as follows: 

Bank name: HSBC
Account name: St Albans and St Stephens Junior School GBF
Sort code: 40- 40- 01
Account Number: 12480417

Please remember that if you do not update the bank details for your existing contributions, your generous donations will no longer reach the Junior School.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed in the past and those who have maintained their commitment to contributing to the Governors’ Building Fund. You should be proud that your kind contributions have gone a long way to help improve the learning environment of the school.

Yours faithfully

A Herron

Chair of Governors