FUNDRAISING

PARENT CARER FUND

 

Message from the Headteacher:

At Highgate Wood School we strive to deliver the best education we can for our students. However, against a national backdrop of funding cuts, it is becoming harder than ever to provide our students with the additional resources they need to enjoy the best possible learning experiences and reach their full potential.
We have now launched a fundraising scheme and are asking parents and carers to make voluntary donations to a new Parent Carer Fund (PCF). There is absolutely no obligation to contribute (we are asking that you give what you are able and willing to give and not a penny more), but every contribution (no matter how big or small) will support our students and is fully appreciated.
Amongst other things we need your donations to upgrade the computer network, improve our outside spaces and reduce our carbon footprint.
As we are asking that anything you contribute to the school comes via the Highgate Wood Parent/Staff Association (PSA), a registered charity, your donations are eligible for Gift Aid. This means that for every £20 donated to the PCF, the school will actually receive £25. For every £100 donated, the school receives £125.
I am extremely proud of our school, the great achievements of our students, the incredible commitment of our staff and governors, and the wonderful and enthusiastic support the PSA and all our families play in making that possible.
I am very confident that this extra funding will make a real difference to the fabric of our school, and I thank you for your continued support for Highgate Wood School

To set up your regular contributions please click on the image above or on this link.

There is no recommended amount for donations. They are entirely voluntary. We ask that parents and carers give what they are able and willing to give and not a penny more, but every contribution (no matter how big or small) will support our students and is much appreciated.

Click here to download the letter distributed on 20th June 2019 launching the PCF scheme

Click here for a pdf version of the Q&As below

Click here to see the agreement between the PSA, HWS and HWS Governors for the running of the PCF.


Frequently Asked Questions to Mr Cozier

Q: Why is the school launching this new fundraising scheme?
Q: So why now exactly? Are the school’s finances really so dire?
Q: Is there a budget shortfall for the next few years?
Q: School should be free - how can you justify asking for money?
Q: Why are you making people feel guilty?
Q: How much are you hoping this will raise?
Q: Why Virgin Money Giving?

Q: Are all donations confidential?

Q: Why have you set the donation amounts to £15, £30, £50 and £100?

Q: Can I claim tax-relief?

Q: Does the PCF scheme allow Payroll Giving?
Q: If I make a contribution to the school via the PSA who decides what that money is spent on? The PSA or the school?
Q: How long will the school be making this request for parental contributions?

Q: Does this change the PSA's regular fundraising and support for school events?

Q: I already donate money to the school through the PSA Lottery. Will that change?


Q: Why is the school launching this new fundraising scheme?
A: The Governing Body, the PSA and I are all too aware of the projects we’d like to deliver, but no matter how creative and strategic our financial planning is, the bottom line is that we currently can’t get anywhere near the end of our ‘to do’ list.
And that ‘to do’ list isn’t just ‘nice to haves’.
We know we need to install additional students’ toilets (with support from the Local Authority), improve our sports facilities and changing rooms, upgrade and enhance the school’s computer network, build a rain and sun shade outside and maintain our drive for sustainability. We are also considering improving our internal communications capability by installing a Tannoy public address system that would significantly enhance our site security and responses to any emergency situation. However, at the moment, we simply don’t have the budget to do so.
Other schools in Haringey and across the country already ask parents and carers to contribute. We’re not leading the way here, but we feel that now is the right time to ask our parents and carers to contribute..

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Q: So why now exactly? Are the school’s finances really so dire?
A: Our school’s finances are stable with a balanced budget, which we feel is a real success in the current financial climate where almost a third of maintained schools have a budget deficit (according to the Education Policy Unit, January 2019 – http://bit.ly/hws2019).
We have achieved this in partnership with our Governing Body’s Finance Committee by being financially prudent and cutting costs sensibly where we can. However, the situation moving forward is predicted to be increasingly challenging for schools. As you probably are aware, funding for schools in London is continuing to drop in real terms - so moving forward we are now faced with a horrible dilemma. Either give up on our ‘to do’ list, make more significant cuts or generate extra income.
The Governors, School and PSA have been discussing both how and when to launch the PCF for some time. When looking in particular at the capital investment we know we need, we think that the time is right to ask parents and carers to contribute to the PCF - particularly because we will benefit from Gift Aid.
Every donation will support our students.

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Q: Is there a budget shortfall for the next few years?
A: Increasing costs and reductions in school income, set against the significant economies that we have put in place, make this a difficult figure to calculate – particularly with the uncertainty surrounding future funding from the Government. However, according to the School Cuts website, Highgate Wood School has experienced a loss of £362 per pupil per year, equivalent to over £500,000 per annum (http://bit.ly/fundinghws) and we can be certain that our future funding will not cover the upgrades and improvements that we want to make.

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Q: School should be free - how can you justify asking for money?
A: We’re all passionate believers in the benefits of a comprehensive education. When I came into the teaching profession I never believed I’d have to write to parents asking them to donate to their own school. It is something that we are now doing with some reluctance.
I know that there is no way that anyone else is going to pay for the improvements we need to make, and I also know that the only option available to me is to ask those parents and carers who want to contribute, and who can afford to contribute, to do so.

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Q: Why are you making people feel guilty?
A: We have no intention of making anyone feel guilty. We recognise that some parents and carers are able to contribute, and some are not. Our message is “give what you can and what you are willing to give”. We don’t want anyone to contribute more than they can afford. There is no obligation to contribute, and all donations are voluntary.

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Q: How much are you hoping this will raise?
A: This is new to us and so we have no pre-set notion as to how much parents will donate. Our view is that anything extra will be helpful and greatly appreciated. We can calculate that if half of all our families contributed £20 a month then the scheme would generate well over £100,000 per year. If 30% of families donated £15 it would generate more than £50,000. But the honest answer is we don’t know.
What we do know is that we will report to parents twice a year, to give everyone a full account of what money has been raised, and the projects identified to receive funds. We will be totally transparent about every aspect of the PCF.

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Q: Why Virgin Money Giving?
A: We looked at a number of options based on cost to use, experience of the providers and the ease of use of the platform. We also wanted to guarantee there was absolute confidentiality and that the privacy of donors was ensured. This was provided by Virgin Money Giving, which is already used by 14,000 UK charities. We are very confident that Virgin Money Giving is the right partner for us.

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Q: Are all donations confidential?
A:Virgin Money Giving are required to collect and store the details provided by donors but in doing so must adhere to strict GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) guidelines. Personal data from Virgin Money Giving will never be shared with the school or its governing body..

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Q: Why have you set the donation amounts to £15, £30, £50 and £100?
A: We have not set these amounts. Virgin Giving has these amounts built into their system as they believe that these are the amounts most charities would ask for. But individuals can set the system up for any monthly or one-off amount they wish to donate. Any amount that families are willing and able to contribute will be hugely appreciated.

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Q: Can I claim tax-relief?
A: The donation will automatically attract gift-aid, but If you are a higher-rate (40%) tax payer, you can receive a partial tax-rebate on your contribution. If you donate £200 per annum, the PCF will receive £250 and you can re-claim an additional £50 on your tax return.

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.Q: Does the PCF scheme allow Payroll Giving?
A: Payroll Giving allows those whose employer supports the system to make regular tax efficient donations to charity (see www.gov.uk/payroll-giving for more details). We are in the process of registering to receive funds via Payroll Giving and will be able to make use of this once registration is complete. Should you wish to donate in this manner please contact us (pcf@hws.haringey.sch.uk) and we shall provide you with the relevant details.

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Q: If I make a contribution to the school via the PSA who decides what that money is spent on? The PSA or the school?
A: Ultimately, it’s the decision of the School and the Governing Body, in line with our development objectives, to decide on the priorities for school spend. However, due to legislation about managing finances of this nature, the PSA will have to be accountable for what happens to monies that are donated through them. This means that there is a rigorous accountability structure in place that involves representation from the School’s Leadership, The PSA and the Governing Body Finance Committee to ratify the school’s chosen priorities.

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Q: How long will the school be making this request for parental contributions?
A: The school’s leadership and the Governing Body will be reviewing our finances and our priorities for spend on an annual basis. This process of review will include a decision as to whether it remains appropriate and necessary to continue to seek parental contributions. Parents and carers may, of course, begin contributing to the scheme or stop their contributions at any time they wish..

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Q: Does this change the PSA's regular fundraising and support for school events?
A: The PSA shall continue to run all their usual school events and event led fundraising activities. These funds raised shall be kept in a separate pot from the PCF, and will support incoming bids from the teachers at school, as they do currently. The PSA will continue to vote on how these funds are to be spent as laid out in their constitution.
The PSA will continue to focus their spending in the following areas:

  • Student enrichment – additional learning support, be it from workshops, school trips, external speakers etc.

  • School equipment – for various subjects; sports, music, science, art, photography etc.

  • Pupil Premium/Hardship Fund – regular termly funding of the Hardship Fund, with additional support as identified by teachers for students on Pupil Premium or suffering hardship.

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Q: I already donate money to the school through the PSA Lottery. Will that change?
A: The PSA Lottery will continue to be managed by the PSA as it is now, with the PSA allocating the funds raised by it at PSA executive committee meetings. As the PSA Lottery has prizes, the PSA is unable to claim gift-aid on donations so those who currently donate to this lottery will be given the option of switching to the new PCF scheme (and in doing so increase their contribution to the school by 25%). The value of retaining the PSA lottery itself will be reviewed 3 months after the PCF’s launch

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