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Yerbury’s Fundraising and How You Can Help

To Donate please follow this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/Yerbury

Yerbury School strives to always deliver an excellent education for all its children. We continue to foster the long term development and personal achievements of every child.  As with every school in the country, we are facing reductions in the real term money we receive from government. We want to take action in advance to ensure that we are continuing to improve the experience of our children.

The YPTA has therefore set up the Yerbury Foundation which will allow parents, carers and friends, should they wish to, to make a contribution to Yerbury via one off and/or regular payments.  The Yerbury Foundation is a sub-committee of the Yerbury PTA which is a registered charity. Any money donated to the Yerbury Foundation will be spent by the school according to need, which will vary year on year, and an annual summary will be provided outlining how the amount raised has been spent.

If you wish to make such a donation, please follow the link above.

School meals in Islington are free. In the absence of this cost, if the parents of just one quarter of Yerbury children made a regular contribution equivalent to the cost of a daily school meal (£2.77), the school would receive over £60,000 a year.

Please be assured that this request is absolutely voluntary and confidential.  The money raised will always be put towards ensuring that Yerbury children continue to receive an excellent education.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yerbury’s financial position?

Yerbury has an annual budget of just over £2 million, 85% of which is spent on salaries (in line with all public sector primary schools where the salary spend is 80-90%).

Each year, the government delegates funds to schools. For 2018/19, these funds will rise by only 0.5% which is significantly below the cost of inflation (currently at 3%).

Is it right that parents are subsidising schools?

In the ideal world, schools would not ask parents for any donations as state funding would be plentiful, and any initiatives that create better learning environments for our children would be encouraged and funded. However, in the current climate, we have to be realistic. In real terms, school funding (along with funding in most other public sectors), has been steadily declining in recent years with no sign of any significant increase. Yerbury and its Governing Body work hard to manage increasingly tight budgets with careful accounting, reducing costs that least impact on pupils, and seeking additional revenue streams and financial efficiencies. However, there is only so much cutting that can be done before our children’s school experience will be affected.

A creative, inspirational, inclusive and enjoyable school experience for all is fundamental to our values – and we want to preserve this.

Where did the idea for a Foundation come from?

Several parents first suggested the idea of a Foundation as a simple way to make regular financial contributions to the school. With all Islington schools currently benefitting from free school dinners, it was suggested that those who would ordinarily pay for these, might want to consider donating the equivalent money directly to the school. That cost being £2.77 per day or £13.85 per week for 39 weeks of the year which is equivalent to 12 monthly payments of £45.

This simple idea was developed and researched in the context of what other schools are doing. It was recognised that we could also try to seek to apply for more grant funding and that there are potential opportunities for partnerships with local businesses that we could explore. These threads came together to form the rationale for setting up the Foundation.

Is this large-scale fundraising new for Yerbury?

While the Foundation is new to Yerbury, fundraising for large-scale improvement projects is not new to our school. Examples of past generosity and incredible fundraising efforts of parents and the local community include the Q-Room and the playground.

If we subsidise the school, doesn’t this give the government the green light to cut our funding?

Yerbury has been proactively fighting the proposed funding cuts, and will continue to do so. Our school staff, parents and governors have campaigned in the local press, joined the Fair Funding for All Schools campaign, attended demonstrations and lobbied politicians. We are also very clear about how Foundation funds will be used. Funds will NOT be used to top-up the state budget for items such as core staffing costs and essential school materials. Instead, it will provide the ‘extras’ that enrich our children’s experience and make a more enjoyable and inclusive school environment.

Cassie Moss is leading a project with other Islington Headteachers to collate information about all additional fundraising that schools are being forced to do to cover the shortfall in government funding.

Are any other schools doing this?

Many primary and secondary schools across the country have established a Foundation or a donation mechanism to increase fund raising. Local schools such as Thornhill Primary School, Canonbury Primary School and William Tyndale have done this for many years, allowing them to cover various activities including: developing special art, music and IT provisions, making significant playground improvements, and supporting an inclusive annual residential farm trip for all year five pupils.

Who decides which projects and initiatives the Foundation will focus on?

The strategic spending priorities for the Foundation are identified by the Governing Body and Headteacher and then discussed with the Foundation team members.

What is the difference between the Foundation and the YPTA?

The Yerbury PTA (the registered charity) now has two sub committees – the Foundation and the YPTA Events Committee. The focus for the YPTA Events Committee is to deliver informal, inclusive events and initiatives that bring our local school community together in a fun, informal way, and often, in doing so, raise valuable school funds. The Foundation’s focus is primarily financial, looking to raise larger amounts of money through grants, partnerships with local businesses and direct financial donations from those in a position to give.

I’m not able to make a financial contribution; will my child get less favourable treatment at school?

Absolutely not. There is no expectation for anyone to donate. All donations are entirely voluntary and confidential, and information on donations and donors will not be shared.

I don’t wish to make a donation but would like to support the Foundation; what can I do?

There are many ways that you can help, particularly by spreading the word about the Foundation and its activities.

For example:

  • Ask at your workplace if they run any Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or community initiatives, and find out whether they might want to consider supporting our projects.
  • Let people in the local community and social networks – friends, family, neighbours, grandparents, school alumni, etc. – know about the Foundation in case they wish to help with our fundraising.
  • If you know anyone who is planning a personal challenge – be it a marathon, an organised race, a triathlon, a trek – and is looking for a charity to support, then they can raise money for the Foundation very easily, by creating a fundraising page directly from our Virgin Giving webpage. All money they raise will go straight to our school’s Foundation.
  • If you own or know any local businesses that might be interested in sponsorship or marketing opportunities with our school community, please let us know.
  • If you have skills or experience in the areas of fundraising, grant applications, sponsorships, or charity administration, and can spare time to support our work, please speak to Lorraine, Cassie or any member of the Foundation committee about helping our team!

How much money is the Foundation looking to raise?

The Foundation would like to raise £100,000 per year to support extra curricular activities at the school.  This money could come from grants, corporate donations or individuals.  In the first instance this will cover the cost of the specialist music and dance teachers.  In future, this could cover additional enrichment activities as well as projects such as upgrading the school’s IT hardware and school facilities.

How can I be sure that any money that I donate is put to good use?

An annual summary of expenditure will be published as well as regular updates about all Yerbury’s fundraising efforts – grant applications, income generation and PTA fundraising – and how these efforts are helping the children at Yerbury.

What is gift aid?

Gift Aid is an income tax relief designed to benefit charities. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your donations by 25% because the Foundation can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift at no extra cost to you. If you are planning to make a donation on our donation site, please make sure you tick the Gift Aid box to make your donation go even further.

By making a regular donation, can I choose exactly where my money will go?

Generally, it is not practical to choose specifically which project your money will fund. Some projects may be easier to get grant funding or sponsorship for, so will rely less on parent donations. Others will be harder to get grant funding or sponsorship and may need to be funded completely by direct donations. Your donations to the Foundation account will be directed to areas where they are most needed.

Why did you choose Virgin Giving Money as the donation site?

Virgin Giving charges 2% commission which is lower than some of its competitors (eg Just Giving at 5%)

How were the parents on the Foundation committee selected?

In September 2017, the school Governing Body Finance Committee appointed two parent governors, Rosemary Marsh and Jessica Heine, and the Head Teacher to set up a Working Group to look into fundraising strategies for the school in concert with the YPTA. The two co-chairs of the YPTA, Mark Benson and Laura Heath, were invited to join this committee, as was the school-YPTA teacher lead, Liam Frost and the school fundraising officer, Lorraine O’Keefe.

This Fundraising Working Group has worked closely with the Governing Body, Senior Leadership Team and the YPTA to scope out the remit, priorities and operational matters to develop the concept and make it happen. This Working Group will form the initial Yerbury Foundation Committee to allow continuity of their work on fundraising. Going forward, the parent members of the committee will be selected according to the Foundation’s terms of reference.

If you would like to get involved, please contact YerburyFoundation@yerbury.org.uk