Voluntary Contributions 2020 -21
As has become customary, we are writing to you with an update of the school’s financial position, and to ask you to consider donating a regular sum to the school via ParentMail (if you don’t already). This is to help the school fully provide for the excellent teaching and learning that we aspire to deliver to all our students.
We’re pleased to tell you that up to the start of the pandemic, the school’s financial position had stabilised, with the worst of staff restructures, class size increases and major cost reductions behind us. As of last spring, we were cautiously looking forward to building on a more secure financial base, a position we hadn’t been in for a number of years.
Unfortunately, Covid has changed matters for the worse. We were already stretched, but we now have to cope with vastly reduced income from school lettings, and extra costs associated with keeping our school safe and open for learning. We’ll cope; there is some extra government funding available notably for catch-up tuition, but some of our plans for non-staff spending will inevitably be at risk again.
Please then consider giving to the school. Contributions from fund-raising events, and from you directly via voluntary contributions, allow us to maintain spend on teaching resources at levels we would not otherwise be able to do. Last year, parents and carers donated £30,427 through this voluntary contribution scheme. Thank you.
Governors, school leaders and staff are determined that the impact of uncertain funding will make no difference to the outstanding quality of education your children receive at Fortismere, or to the care of our students. We hope you feel that we’re maintaining that commitment in your experience of the school. Budgets remain acutely stretched however. Any contribution that you can make will be added to our teaching resources budget, which pays for non-staff departmental items like books, software and content licensing, printing and copying, trips and external speakers and educators. Last year, for instance, the Philosophy department was able to purchase revision booklets for every A level student; Library organised visits from our Patron of Reading which enthused students about books and reading, enabling discussions about film making, science and environmental problems with our media students, scientists and geographers and PE department supported our table tennis team with travel expenses to attend the regional and national finals.
We are keen to stress that contributions are not obligatory. Students’ experiences at Fortismere (for example, ability to participate in workshops, trips etc) will be in no way influenced by whether a voluntary contribution has been made by parents/carers.
You’ll find detailed instructions attached as to how you can contribute via ParentMail (PMX). You can increase or decrease the sum as you wish. Because the school is a charity, your payments are now also eligible for Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer. Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the school can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.
Please consider contributing if you can. We suggest a termly donation of £50 per family, per term but any contribution you feel you can make will be greatly appreciated. As always, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share your views on this or any other aspect of school life.
Thank you for your continuing support.
Zoe Judge and Jo Davey Mark Chapman
Co-Headteachers Chair of Governors
PS If you would be interested in making a larger donation or have any useful contacts with businesses or funding organisations who might be interested in helping the school directly, please get in touch with Maria Demetriou, our Head of Communications, Fundraising and Development at email@example.com or call her on 0208 365 4402.
Instructions for making donations via ParentMail can be found here.