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School Voluntary Contributions

in N. Ireland
21 replies 3.8K views
School Voluntary Contributions

Heard a bit on the Radio this morning on this. Seems to be raising it's ugly head again no doubt because of Budget Cuts...

Just wondering where everyone stands on this?
It's bad enough getting sodding sponsor sheets home every month for this and that never mind a direct letter asking for money

Fortunately I've never personally experience a voluntary request for money to help the school our kids go to. They are however good at doing little fund raising events like Quizzes, Concerts, BBQ's, Fun Days, Table Sales etc. etc. etc. which I don't mind as at least it can be a bit of fun and entertainment so you feel you're getting something for the ticket price...

Personally I don't think I would pay if requested.... That's why I pay my Taxes.... If they need more money Raise Taxes or make efficiencies so Everyone pays..
Don't get me wrong though, if they are doing extra curricular activities I do not mind paying as required for those....
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Replies

  • RikMRikM Forumite
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    I think every school my son has gone to asked for contributions. The Grammar has the highest suggested amount, though it's still not huge.

    But it is voluntary, they can ask (repeatedly) but they can't compel.
  • TickedTicked Forumite
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    I was always undecided about this 'voluntary' charge. On one hand, education is paid for through tax. On the other hand, the charge paid for extras, gave the kids more than the state would have. So, being undecided, I paid half the requested amount.....
  • Ticked wrote: »
    I was always undecided about this 'voluntary' charge. On one hand, education is paid for through tax. On the other hand, the charge paid for extras, gave the kids more than the state would have. So, being undecided, I paid half the requested amount.....

    You see that's just it. If they were open and transparent about what the school spend the money on and what Extras they'd like to do/provide with said contributions then, I in theory, wouldn't have a problem paying it if asked and given the information. From many examples I've heard though, it is just a case of someone getting a letter asking for money...
    Now If they said they wanted to provide additional this or that or the other and I believed it would benefit my child then not a problem I'd be happy to contribute.... on the other hand if they were just using it to somehow subsidise teachers pay or maintain buildings then NO.. that's the responsibility of the powers that be !!
  • steveympsteveymp Forumite
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    Oldest son's school has had a "Contribution" request sent out to all parents every term, it is not called a "Contribution" but instead labelled a fee. The thing that irks me is some pay it and some don't, those that don't seem to be the ones that can afford to:(

    They are very upfront however with what it is spent on, ie Teachers wages :eek: they make that very clear every term letter.

    As someone who works full time and part time and pays tax and NI twice, it really annoys me having to pay it, if you miss a term payment they send reminders.
    I am trying, honest;) very trying according to my dear OH:rotfl:
  • steveymp wrote: »
    Oldest son's school has had a "Contribution" request sent out to all parents every term, it is not called a "Contribution" but instead labelled a fee. The thing that irks me is some pay it and some don't, those that don't seem to be the ones that can afford to:(

    They are very upfront however with what it is spent on, ie Teachers wages :eek: they make that very clear every term letter.

    As someone who works full time and part time and pays tax and NI twice, it really annoys me having to pay it, if you miss a term payment they send reminders.

    This is exactly the type of behaviour that the radio program was saying was Unacceptable as it is not a Fee, it is Voluntary so should be stated as such..... Personally I think you should not pay it and if it were me I'd be having SERIOUS words with the head and making my views very clear to him/her !!
  • tommietommie Forumite
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    Well if it were me i`d just forward it on to the Finance Dept. up at Stormont, they`re not particular who they hand money out to.
    Or maybe try that MSI crew who seem a dab hand at `processing` expenses?
  • MilkoMilko Forumite
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    Get asked every year & refuse to pay it on a number of reasons


    1. We simply shouldn't have to pay it
    2. When we found out that none of the board of directors or school committee members (who have kids at the school) don't even pay it ... well then
    3. The school set up an sms system for notifying parents of upcoming events / alerts etc... This costs £5/yr subscription but they'll only accept 1 number of contact not both parents. Approx 280 children @ £5/yr = £1400 or £116/month. My Vodafone RED tariff with new iphone is £48/month ... guess how we got our texts ... from the head masters new iphone
  • kyralkyral Forumite
    167 Posts
    I paid it for my daughters first 2 years at grammar school until I overheard parents who didn't pay it. Being as both of those people are employed in extremely well paid jobs, earning four times as much as me, I then stopped.

    I have two children at the school now and the 'voluntary' fee has risen. I still don't pay it as nobody in the school can tell me how it is spent.

    I have told both my children if they are questioned by teachers to tell them to contact me. Thankfully we haven't had to go down that road.

    I also was told last month of a primary school in a very affluent area who are now requesting voluntary fees. You have to wonder where it will all end!!
  • MilkoMilko Forumite
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    My post above relates to a primary school :(
  • TickedTicked Forumite
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    Milko wrote: »
    My post above relates to a primary school :(

    We were never asked by a primary school, only the grammar. The rot is spreading!
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