Does Edgbarrow receive the same funding as other schools?
Funding is calculated based on the number and profile of students. Last year we received over £1000 per pupil less than the national average and over £500 per pupil less than the Bracknell average. Full details of our comparative spend can be found here: DfE performance tables
Why are you asking for funds now rather than September?
Whilst the academic year runs from September, the majority of our funding runs from April and we need the support now.
Will Year 6 parents be included?
Yes. We will write to them during the induction process.
Will this be an annual event?
Yes. We hope that those on direct debit will continue to donate but we intend to write every January for the foreseeable future. We are aware that the education budget will be under pressure right through to 2018.
What will you do with the money?
The first £10,000 will ensure that cuts to subject area budgets will be limited to 10% (far lower than would otherwise be required). Anything above £10,000 will be put into a curriculum development fund that will allow subjects to bid in to fund specific curriculum changes.
Are there any match funding schemes?
Lots of companies match the charitable donations of their employees. As the PTA is a registered charity we would be delighted to receive any match funding. We are aware that this is an option for Microsoft, BP and Wellington College but there will be lots more. Should you hear of any other companies we would be grateful to hear from you.
Should families with Sixth Formers contribute?
We are grateful for any contributions and would love for students past and present to help support us. Sixth form funding is the area that faces the biggest squeeze, losing 25% of funding over the past 4 years (it is not included in DFE statements about ‘protection’). It is likely that, in addition to asking for donations, sixth formers will be encouraged to purchase personal copies of textbooks.
The national press is reporting that funding for education is protected, so why has Edgbarrow been negatively affected?
Funding at a national level is protected for school spending (excluding post 16). Edgbarrow loses out as a result of how funding is distributed – money is diverted from the national budget to support specific areas such as pupil premium, deprivation and special needs. As a school, we have a comparatively low ‘need’ in these areas and consequently, the formula does not protect individual schools.
How has the school found itself in this situation?
The school is financially well managed. For a number of years growth in numbers has helped to limit the impact but we currently have no room to accommodate more students. This financial year our funding per pupil was cash flat in the main school and falling in the Sixth Form (on a per pupil basis). All rising costs have to be funded through savings. Costs include new curriculum in all year groups, national agreements on pay for teaching and support staff and the associated increases in employer contributions, and inflationary costs. Without a prudent carry forward our net position would have been over £500,000 worse off. We are also aware that many other local schools are in a very difficult position.
Has the school made representations about the level of funding?
Yes! Senior staff and Governors have made the local authority aware of our concerns and we have also raised them at the Schools Forum (the local body that allocates funding); we are however advised that this is not just a local issue.
Does JustGiving charge a fee?
Yes. We feel that the fee charged by JustGiving is reasonable for the service offered; in addition, the ease of use, range of payment methods and efficient administration of Gift Aid makes it the most effective method.
Do we have to give £60?
The payment is a voluntary donation there is absolutely no compulsion. We consulted on how much to ask for and £5 per month seemed to be the consensus opinion. Parents can, of course, choose to donate any amount. We are grateful for whatever we receive.
How much does the school actually need?
In our plans, we are aiming for £10,000 but hope that this may be exceeded.
I’m unable to give £60 is there any other way we can help?
Yes! The school holds regular painting, decorating and gardening days – these save us a huge amount of money. We are also very grateful to parents responding promptly to requests for information, this can save us time, money and postage.
Is there anything else we can do to support the school?
We are open to any ideas! In particular, if your company has access to community grants we would love to know. We would also be grateful for support for the PTA events and fundraising through events such as the sponsored walk.
Should you have any queries or comments regarding the School Fund please send them to [email protected]