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Voluntary Contributions

October 2018

Dear Parent/Carer

Voluntary Contributions 2018 -19

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.

The school receives funds from the state every year, in total around £10 million. You may know, however, that recently school income have not fully taken account of increased costs, mostly in respect of increased staff pension and national insurance obligations, which together with salaries represent the great majority of our total spend. 

To give you an idea of the shortfall, we estimate That our multiple years our income has failed to kep pace with expenditure to the extent that without savings, the gap would now be around £6000,000-£800,000 per year. 

We have of course tried to manage this shortfall prudently. With the support of our staff and the Local Authority, we have reduced our yearly costs by staff restructure and an increase in some class sizes, allowing us to reduce manpower. This is without having to revert to staff redundancies, which so many schools have had to consider. Cost savings elsewhere, and increases in the number of pupils at the school have further helped us to balance the books.  Sustained contributions from the FSA, and from you directly via voluntary contributions, have allowed us to maintain spend on teaching resources at levels we would not otherwise be able to do. Last year, parents and carers donated £43,309 through this voluntary contribution scheme. Thank you

Governors, school leaders and staff are determined that the impact of less funding will make no difference to the outstanding quality of education your child(ren) receives 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. Any contribution that you can make will be added to out teaching resources budget, which pays for non-staff department 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 enough textbooks to ensure that every student had access to one, PE offered karate and under the BookBuzz scheme, the Library was able to give a free book to every ne Year 7 student and, in addition to our Patron of Reading, invited 10+ authors into school.

We are keen to stress that such 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 ParentPay (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 governors@fortismere.org.uk if you’d like to share your views on this or any other aspect of school life. 

Thank you for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

Mark Chapman
Chair of Governors

Jo Davey &  Zoe Judge
Co-Headteachers

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:  mdemetriou@fortismere.org.uk or call her on 0208 365 4402.

 

Instructions for making donations via ParentMail can be found here.