The Friends of St Margaret's Charity
The Friends of St.Margaret's Charity:
The Friends of St.Margaret's is a charity established and run by the Governing Board of St.Margaret's. It was created to collect funds to pay for substantial projects at St.Margaret's school. For example, 3 years ago a new fire alarm system was installed throughout the school and nursery buildings. The cost to the school for this project was £16,500, funds collected by The Friends Charity are being used to pay this bill.
Being a registered charity Friends is entitled to claim gift aid from the Government (via HMRC) for all donations made by UK taxpayers. The Governing Board asks all families with children at St.Margaret's to contribute annually to The Friends Charity.
Why do we need The Friends Charity?
St.Margaret's is a voluntary-aided (VA) school, maintained by money funded by the Diocese of Chichester. The Diocese sources funds for projects via the Government's School Condition Allocation (SCA). More details on Government school funding is given below.
VA schools which are designated as having a religious character, as is St.Margaret's, are granted certain privileges and freedoms. In return for these privileges and freedoms they are obliged, legally, to contribute towards capital (SCA) expenditure projects. The contribution the school has to provide is 10% of the final cost of the project. The remaining 90% is provided by the Diocese.
The burden for paying the school's 10% contribution lies with the Governing Board of the school.
How will money given to The Friends Charity be used in future?
In 2022-2023 the school urgently needs to start a new project to repair the school's roof, initial estimates indicate that the total cost of this project will exceed £200,000. The school Governors, via The Friends Charity will need to find another £20,000+ as their 10% contribution to the cost of this project.
Background to the Government's school funding:
Every year the Department of Education allocates funding to help maintain and improve the condition of school buildings and grounds. This funding is available to local authorities and local authority maintained schools, local voluntary-aided bodies and voluntary-aided schools amongst several other types of educational institution. Capital works that VA schools are obliged to contribute towards include buildings (internal and external), perimeter fences and walls, playgrounds amongst other things. Typically if any expenditure or project cost under normal accounting rules would be capitalised then it is considered as a capital project where the VA school is liable for 10% of the cost.
Eligible schools can access this funding through either:
School Condition Allocation (SCA) or
Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)
This project funding is in addition to capital allocated to individual schools (DFC = Devolved Formula Capital) to support their annual requirements.
source: School Capital Funding. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-capital-funding.