I am writing to you make our annual request for contributions toward the Governor’s fund and take this opportunity to explain why the Governors Fund is a essential contributor to the school’s finances.
Christ Church is a Voluntary Aided School, which sets us apart from other community schools in the local area. This status allows the school to be independent in areas such as admissions, employment and policy making but one of the consequences of this independence is that, for capital works we are not fully funded by Central Government or the Local Authority.
Our school’s major source of funding comes from the Government administered through the Local Authority. Kingston Council allocates budgets to the Borough’s schools on a pupil per capita basis after applying various criteria and needs formulas to the Central Grant.
You will have read Miss Coton’s recent letters regarding the National School Funding Campaign supported by Kingston Heads, Governors and Parents and will be aware of the Governments misleading statements regarding school funding levels. The plain truth is that the school’s budget allocation fails to meet the school’s needs if we are to maintain current levels of staffing and premises management. In recent years we have had to take difficult steps to ensure our budget balances and meets Financial Regulations. This has put us in a more stable position compared with other schools in Kingston but without a Government change of policy and an increase in funding the future picture for all community schools looks bleak. The difference between funding and budget needs can only be sustained by voluntary support and innovative action such as letting the school premises and seeking grants and sponsorship. The PSA are major fund raisers and Governors are overwhelmed by their ongoing enthusiasm and support for our school.
Responsibility for funding capital works at the school is shared between the Governing Body, the Government and the Local Authority. The current arrangement is that the Governing Body is responsible for paying 10% of the cost of any capital project that needs to be undertaken at the school. Capital projects include the enlargement and refurbishment of parts of the school buildings as well as IT expansion and upgrading existing facilities. In addition to this 10% liability, approximately £15,000 of recurrent annual costs are payable to the Southward Dioceses Board of Education (SDBE) for ongoing maintenance support for contract consultancy, tendering and capital funding processes. .
You will appreciate that due to the mixed age of our school buildings they require regular examination and upgrade to ensure the learning environment for our children is light, bright and stimulating. Increasingly we are finding a gap between maintenance needs and budgetary provision which is filled when funds are available. The Governor’s fund also supports expenditure towards publishing the school brochure, website costs and makes contributions towards the Y6 leaver’s party, school council, special projects and supports cases of hardship in relation to our vulnerable pupils.
Whilst having the financial responsibilities as set out above The Governing Body has no source of income other than voluntary donations from the parents/carers of our children and our Parish Churches. The fund is separate from the Parent Staff Association (PSA) and any monies raised by them are used for projects that they choose to support in consultation with the Senior Leadership team. PSA financial support to school does not subsidise the cost of meeting the Governors 10% liability.
The ongoing upkeep of the facilities at the school is dependent upon a proportional annual budget allocation and the monies available to the Governors to meet their statutory liabilities. This is why voluntary contributions to the fund are essential for upgrading the fabric and learning environment in the school.
Major works were carried out over the summer to double the schools power supply and refurbish our kitchens. A new school IT server was also installed. These upgrades should result in improved schools meals delivery and IT connection around the school premises. Ongoing school decoration is needed and the annual tree review by specialists will highlight where tree surgery work is required to ensure the play areas are safe. Play equipment and site security checks will also need to be undertaken and the schools Cleaning Contract will be retendered this year. Each year Miss Coton and the Governors try and prioritise a list of projects that she believes would enhance the children’s education and their enjoyment of the school facilities against the funding available. To afford projects like these we need help from all our parents. We are very grateful to the parents who already contribute by Standing Order. If you would like to support our school, contributions can be made in a number of different ways and attached is a form setting out how this can be done. Please can you consider supporting the school by making a minimum contribution of £120 per family per year. Please remember that everything that is raised by the Governors is used directly for the benefit of the children at Christ Church CofE Primary School.
Chris NewportChair of Governors