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School fund compulsory... Cheeky???

(90 Posts)
justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 12:31:45

Hi
My hubby went to the new parents meeting at the school my son attends and my twin girls will be attending from September, and suddenly instead of paying £15 per family for school fund they are now stating its compulsory and £15 per child. It may not seem a lot however with school dinners snack funds (which are £7 a week... Sky high) school trips,fundraising for this and that every other week, non uniform days which we have to pay for etc etc I think it's cheeky to suddenly demand this money and then also say if you can't pay you need to explain why! Why should I? Am I being unreasonable? Any thoughts...

Pico2 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:33:48

I think that might be illegal.

FlopIsMyParentingGuru Tue 14-Jul-15 12:34:16

I've never heard of a school fund before. Is this a state school?
We've paid for school trips before, of course.
I doubt it is actually compulsory if state school, after all they can't exclude on that basis surely and aren't going to take you to court as there's no basis to claim - you haven't signed a contract agreeing to it?

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:34:52

No way is it compulsory

CommanderShepard Tue 14-Jul-15 12:35:19

Pretty sure that contravenes the Education Act.

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:35:42

"if you can't pay you need to explain why" - Why? because I'm not going to pay, that's why!

They can't exactly force you to pay... how could they?

Pootles2010 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:36:02

I think we pay about £5 a term, so not massively unreasonable. Its to cover arts & crafts, baking etc.

Heels99 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:36:38

£15 per child per school year is nothing. But yes they shouldn't force you to pay. If you can't afford it speak to the school.
Private school fees are £2-5k per term, think of the money you are saving through free education.

overthemill Tue 14-Jul-15 12:41:16

Cannot be compulsory- always voluntary. 2014 guidance States

When making requests for voluntary contributions, parents must not be made to feel pressurised into paying as it is voluntary and not compulsory. Schools should avoid sending colour coded letters to parents as a reminder to make payments and direct debit or standing order mandates should not be sent to parents when requesting contributions.

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 12:42:28

It's s catholic school. It's for repairs to the building they said and if you don't pay it would have to come out of their budget and therefore now compulsory. I just think it's cheeky. As with most schools every week I'm giving money for things which I feel obliged to. It's not even a case of the cost really this time it's more because they have deemed it compulsory and needing reasons why you won't pay.

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 12:43:27

Overthemill where did you get that from? That explains perfectly smile

overthemill Tue 14-Jul-15 12:44:12

Heels they are not 'saving money through free education'! If you choose to pay for an education outside of the state funded system that's one thing but state education is merely free at the point of service. We all contribute a huge amount through taxes including VAT on goods so even people who don't pay income tax pay for Education. I can't understand why people would pay for something twice! But you should never feel forced into paying a voluntary contribution t school funds - if you can afford it great, otherwise school should make sure you don't feel hassled or grudging

overthemill Tue 14-Jul-15 12:45:18

guidance here

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 12:52:36

Thank you this is on top of school fund too which is £50 a year or was I just think it's a step too far especially being told compulsory. There is no such thing as a free education. Yes we are more fortunate than other countries but that's what I pay taxes for.

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 12:57:40

Just read the guidance and for example I pay presently £7 a week for snacks for my girls (£3.50 each a week) usually for a cheap yoghurt and they get milk and fruit each day which I'm told is free. So how does the bargain yogurt cost .70p each a pot each day. Most of my other mum friends at other schools pay £1 a week. It's just greedy yet it states on the guidance they shouldn't overcharge so I wonder how they get around it???

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:57:54

Compulsory?

HOW?

How can they possibly force you to pay?

Are they going to take you to court? confused

00100001 Tue 14-Jul-15 12:59:27

heels "Private school fees are £2-5k per term, think of the money you are saving through free education."

Err, you're not saving £2-5k a term, you're just not spending £2-5k a term. That's like saying "Oh, this coat was £80, but I got it for £60 in the sale, I saved £20!" no, you spent £60...

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 13:02:44

We do not have a snack fund.

Fruit was provided in infants and we send in fruit for juniors. Can you send in snack instead? That's ridiculous.

overthemill Tue 14-Jul-15 13:04:42

Justdeserves they aren't allowed to make a profit. So can't charge more than it costs to buy PLUS staff costs of providing it eg dinner ladies dishing it up . I think 70p is a lot ( and my school in deprived area charged 35p) though. At my school we would just say ' oh you've already ready paid haven't you?' To the kids we knew were very low income - but then we bought them shoes and uniform too... But we felt food and clothing were an integral part of providing them with an effective education. Trips were provided to all kids even those who couldn't pay. We fundraised like crazy. We had hardly anyone trying it on. A tiny church school but multicultural and not in a big city.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 14-Jul-15 13:12:16

No, it can't be compulsory. That doesn't stop lots of schools behaving as if it is, but it isn't.

DS's school asks for the contribution to sent in an envelope with their name on, so that they can keep track of who has paid. I used to put in an envelope just marked "School Fund" to be a bit contrary, because I objected to the principle of them keeping a list of who has and hasn't paid

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 13:13:15

No not allowed to send in own snack etc it's always been high I wasn't even aware it was only voluntary until a few weeks ago but they send text reminders if you haven't paid on the Monday on Tuesday lol! It's not even about the money I just wonder why they feel they can state it's compulsory and almost beg for money weekly. Although we aren't poor we certainly aren't rich and I just feel a line is being crossed that's all x

thunderbird69 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:13:17

I don't have any children at primary school any more, but never paid anything to a school fund when I did have.

If I was contributing to a fund I would expect to see some evidence of how it is being spent. If I didn't agree with how they were using the funds then I wouldn't pay.

Heels99 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:13:32

001 no that example isn't right! Read it back to yourself!
It would be that you were provided with a free coat but we're asked to make a small donation towards it. Thus saving you the full cost of buying a coat. You may or may not have contributed to a tax fund that pays for all the free coats.

NOT you bought a coat for 60 , the OP is not buying anything. She is using a free service to which she has been asked to make a tiny donation in comparison to the market value of the provision.

justdeserves Tue 14-Jul-15 13:15:24

Overthemill that's lovely what the school did funding shoes etc I think my main question is what the heck do they do with the monies as we are never told although the headmistress is driving a nice new 4x4 ������

thunderbird69 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:16:21

Cheap yogurts don't sound at all healthy (high levels of sugar or sweetners) - don't schools have healthy eating standards to meet?

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