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AIBU to be angry that school expects parents to raise £60k?

(75 Posts)

Our voluntary aided C of England school had built two new classrooms to replace old leaky Portacabins. Important and necessary building work, granted, and we were all pleased that it went ahead. But now, after the fact, we're being told that there's £60k still outstanding and we the parents are expected to raise it.

So AIBU to think this is a bit much to ask? Suggestions are being made that we should ask family and friends to sponsor us for marathons etc. But in this economic climate, I wouldn't fee comfortable asking people to part with money for something as trivial as a school building projects.

WhereMyMilk Sat 23-Mar-13 15:26:29

I don't think it should be down to parents to raise money for capital spends, like in this case-especially after the fact without consultation. PTA's and such like raise money to enhance school experience, not for building!

EggsitPursuedByAChocolateBunny Sat 23-Mar-13 15:28:01

Cheeky feckers!

parakeet Sat 23-Mar-13 15:30:10

YANBU. It is basic financial sense that you do not buy something unless you can afford it. Unless you know where the money is coming from to pay for it. Not to buy it and then ask someone else to help you out afterwards.

Whoever is in charge of finances should be sacked.

stormforce10 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:31:17

I don't think YABU. They should have let parents know BEFORE the event that there was a shortfall. Its not an insubstansial one they can put down to a minor accounting error or being slightly underquoted for the work. Either they've made a major error in which case they should hold their hands up and be looking to every possible avenue for help - businesses,local authority and parents or they knew in advance in which case this is serious mismanagement of funds.

stormforce10 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:32:37

Actuallly either is serious mismanagement but a human error is more forgivable than a cover up

They say the Diocese offered the bulk of the money and they decided to jump on it while they could and, it appears to me, hope for the best for the rest. The PTA are doing a lot of hand-wringing and "but we were only thinking of the children".

LeeCoakley Sat 23-Mar-13 15:34:34

Not sure I agree with the word 'trivial' to describe the replacement classrooms!

The governors are to blame especially the vicar (if he is chair). They shouldn't go ahead without securing funding. Unless they did and either the LEA or the CofE are bickering over their share.

stormforce10 Sat 23-Mar-13 15:38:33

They knew then? IMHO that's verging on criminal fraud. How do they plan to pay the builders? Did they tell them up front - oh by the way there's a £60k shortfall but we'll pay you if and when we can. Or have they diverted the money out of school funds hoping that parents will replace it?

Perhaps they were thinking - ah well 120 children in the school no doubt each parent will fork out £500 and we're sorted hmm

The fundraising committee have actually kept very quiet about it, and just hoping to get there with cake sales etc. But a friend of mine has found out what is really owed, put it on the local mums' FB page and made the very valid point that they have got to think bigger. So she suggested the sponsorship ideas, and everyone is jumping on it. I seem to be the only one questioning how we got to this position in the first place and they're making out I'm just being a mardy cow.

PurpleStorm Sat 23-Mar-13 15:45:01

YANBU.

£60k is one hell of a shortfall. If they didn't have enough money, they should have been working on fundraising before starting the building work.

It's daft to expect parents to magic it up.

I'm glad Mumsnet seems to agree with me. The other mums were making me feel very mean!

grovel Sat 23-Mar-13 15:48:57

How many kids at the school?

hopefloats Sat 23-Mar-13 15:52:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Um, 1x R, 3x ks1,6x ks2,so around 300.

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 15:53:49

Wowsers! that is a lot of cash shock. Our huge three form entry primary school is considered to have a very successful pta but we only manage to make about £25,000 pa.

Yes, hopefloats, I made it all up. hmm.

I don't know any of the details about how the funding was wrangled, beyond that the fundraising committee need to find £60k.

LittleBairn Sat 23-Mar-13 15:56:42

I would be cross that the undertook the work then basically billed the parents. They should have called a meeting before being honest about the financial situation then discussing how to raise the money.
It makes it sound like the school is badly managed.

complexnumber Sat 23-Mar-13 16:10:09

Personally I find hopefloats account of what actually happened far more plausible.

greenfolder Sat 23-Mar-13 16:13:25

well, it really isnt down to the parents to raise it is it? Has anybody actually asked you to do this from the school? even if i were on the pta and asked to do something towards capital costs, i would refuse. that is what i pay tax for and, in a religious school, what people donate money to the church for.

you dont have to, and if i were you i wouldnt.

IloveJudgeJudy Sat 23-Mar-13 16:40:54

But you know that faith schools have to raise 10% of the costs every year, anyway, don't you? I think hopefloats has it right, too.

Our DC go to a faith school and that's part of the deal, that the government don't fund everything and we have to fund some.

Smartiepants79 Sat 23-Mar-13 16:56:44

Something vaguely similar happened when my school had an extension built. We ended up owing the diocese a lot of money that we hadn't expected to. It was their fault really as they made promises they couldn't keep and changed their mind about how the project would be funded.
We didn't ask parents for it tho'!
I think we are possibly still paying it off.
hope is correct in that there are lots of procedures to go thru before something like this goes ahead. It IS unlikely that they started this project knowing that there was such a huge funding shortfall.
Sounds like maybe it has gone over budget or maybe money that was promised has not materialised.
Money for capital building projects is not really the PTA area.

webwiz Sat 23-Mar-13 17:01:55

But this always happens with voluntary aided schools - only 90% of capital spending will be funded and the shortfall will have to be made up by the school itself. Normally there will be a loan from the diocese to cover the gap and the school will have to repay that.

Yes, I do realise we need to raise a certain amount of money each year as a VA school. This is on top of that.

And I made it quite plain that I know nothing other than snippets on the FB group page as to how this actually happened.

Startail Sat 23-Mar-13 17:09:55

I think the DDs school was still paying for an extension built before DD1 started nursery, so at lest 16years, by the time DD2 left.

But they never asked the PTA.

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