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What is the Maintenance Fund?
St Bartholomew’s Schools is a voluntary-aided Church of England school, which means first and foremost that your children benefit from an education with a Christian ethos. It also means that the Diocese of Southwark takes responsibility for major or essential works to the buildings and grounds of all church schools within the Diocese, ranging from new fencing to roof repairs. All of these are funded by contributions to the Maintenance Fund.
Where Diocesan funds allow, the Diocese will also fund projects requested by the school where the school, for which the school pays a 10% contribution to the costs; for example, internal alterations to create a new learning space from part of a classroom. In order to qualify for that funding, we have to pay into the Diocesan Maintenance Fund pot every year.
Why is any additional funding needed?
You may think the school looks fine and doesn’t need any additional funding. Indeed, the school is looking good because we have benefited from Maintenance Fund support in replacing our fire alarm system; renewing the exterior fencing; replacing the external cladding panels and so on. Currently, the Diocese is supporting a significant heating project including new radiators and boilers.
Without your support we would not be able to maintain and develop the school to the level we currently enjoy. If we were unable to make Maintenance Fund contributions these essential works would not happen and the school would quickly fall into disrepair.
Why are parents asked to contribute?
The school does not have any “spare” funds from which to make the annual Maintenance Fund Contribution, so parents are asked to make voluntary donations. The Diocese calculates how much we need to pay, based on the number of pupils we have and the number of those pupils eligible for Pupil Premium. In turn, the school asks parents to contribute to the Maintenance Fund by paying an amount recommended by the Diocese. Currently, the recommended minimum donation is £30 per pupil, per school year.
What happens if the Maintenance Fund is not paid to the Diocese?
The school MUST contribute the required amount to the Diocese each year in order to qualify for maintenance funding. In addition, depending on the work being done, the school will be asked to pay a contribution amounting to 10% of the total cost. This contribution is also drawn from the voluntary payments from parents, built up over time.
I donate to the Friends of St Bart’s (school PTA) – isn’t that enough?
Maintenance Fund payments are accounted for separately from fundraising. If, in any year, Maintenance Fund payments from parents do not reach the amount requested by the Diocese because not all parents have paid their contribution, the Friends of St Bart’s are asked to provide a top-up amount from their fundraising.
This has an effect on the things that the Friends of St Bart’s can do with the funds they raise and means that the Friends have less money to provide enhanced experiences and equipment that make a real difference to our children’s enjoyment of school and the range of opportunities to which they are exposed. These include the Christmas in-school pantomime; the non-fiction library; table-tennis equipment; the trim-trail and the Twigloo in our Forest School – all the things that are not funded by the government or the Diocese and which make the school extra-special.
How do I pay my Maintenance Fund contribution?
Use ParentPay. You can follow this link to access the relevant page directly. This will also give you the opportunity to make a Gift Aid contribution.
If you would like to donate more than the recommended amount, you are very welcome to do so.
If you have any problems using ParentPay, please see the relevant page on our website.