How is St Saviour’s Church of England Primary School, Herne Hill run and funded?
This document has been prepared so that parents can understand how St Saviour’s is run and funded.
It is a detailed guide to the School finances and the frequently asked question 'Why do parents have to contribute 10% of the costs for building, maintenance and development?'.
The Education Act of 1944 brought church schools like St. Saviour’s into the state sector, providing funding if they followed government regulations. These “voluntary aided schools” are run by Governing Bodies which employ staff and manage the school under the professional leadership of a head teacher. The Church of England appoints a majority of the governors at St Saviour’s. The government requires that its funding for buildings and maintenance is matched by a 10% contribution from the governors. This 10% is raised by voluntary contribution from parents which is paid into the Premises and Facilities Improvement (PFI) Fund. There are no sources of finance other than the PFI Fund and the school’s ability to undertake building and maintenance work is dependent on voluntary parental contributions to this fund.
- St Saviour’s was established in 1867 as a church school
- Following the Education Act 1944, St Saviour’s became (and remains) a “voluntary aided school”.
- A “voluntary aided school” is one that was not established by local government and which remained outside local government control after the 1944 Act.
- St Saviour’s status as a “voluntary aided school” has two consequences that are still felt today:
- A majority of the school’s governors are “foundation governors” who are responsible for preserving and developing the character of the school as a church school; and
- The Governing Body is responsible for the school buildings but is only allocated 90% of the funds required for its capital expenditure from government funds.
How is the school funded?
- St Saviour’s is a “maintained” school. This means that it is maintained by state funds. As a maintained school St Saviour’s is subject to the OFSTED inspection framework.
- Most of the funding for St Saviour’s comes from central government by way of a grant paid to the local authority known as the Dedicated Schools Grant.
- The Dedicated Schools Grant does not cover capital expenditure. “Capital expenditure” is not limited to expenditure on buildings but includes expenditure on items such as playground installations and computers. Expenditure of less than £2,000 is not treated as being “capital”.
- The streams of state funding for capital expenditure are:
- Devolved Formula Capital. The amount of Devolved Formula Capital for St Saviour’s for 2015/16 is £6,762; and
- The Locally Co-ordinated Voluntary Aided Programme (LCVAP). Voluntary aided schools’ capital programs are funded through the LCVAP, which is administered by the Education Funding Agency and co-ordinated by the local authority in consultation with its local partners (e.g. the dioceses and schools not associated with a diocese).
- Only 90% of the funds required for capital expenditure for voluntary aided schools’ are provided by Devolved Formula Capital and/or the LCVAP. The remaining 10% must be found by the Governing Body from elsewhere. The school is audited to check that it has raised this 10% before it can spend the 90% provided by central government.
- Like most other voluntary aided schools the governors at St Saviour’s raise the balancing 10% from voluntary parental donations. The fund for this is now called the Premises, Facilities and Improvement Fund (PFI). Parents are currently (2019/20) asked to make voluntary contributions of £50 per child/year to the PFI fund.
- The school does not have reserves at present and so its ability to undertake building and maintenance work is dependent on parental contributions to the PFI fund
How is the school Run?
- Lambeth LBC is responsible for the Scheme by which the Dedicated Schools Grant is divided between the maintained schools in its area. The share paid to St Saviour’s is its delegated school budget. Lambeth is also responsible for the LCVAP.
- Lambeth is responsible for appointing 1 member of the Governing Body. The local authority governor is appointed from a panel of local people who have put themselves forward for consideration to be a governor. The local authority governor does not act in any way for the local authority.
The Governing Body
- The governors are responsible for the conduct of the school. The Governing Body of a maintained school has three core strategic functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance and management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
- If the Governors fail in any of these duties then they can be held liable as a corporate body, and under certain circumstances can be removed by the local authority and/or the Secretary of State.
- As St Saviour’s is a voluntary aided school its Governing Body has additional functions in relation to admissions, the employment of staff and the school’s buildings.
- The composition of the Governing Body of St Saviour’s is determined by School’s Instrument of Government which is available on the school’s website. The Governing Body has 16 members:
- 9 foundation governors consisting of:
- The parish incumbent (i.e. the vicar);
- Two Governors appointed by the Diocese;
- Six Governors appointed by the Parochial Church Council of Herne Hill Parish;
- 3 parent governors;
- 1 staff governor;
- 1 governor appointed by Lambeth.
- 1 co opted governor
- 1 Head teacher
- The foundation governors’ majority of two must be maintained so long as the school remains a voluntary aided school. Governors serve a term of four years on the Governing Body when appointed.
The head teacher
- The head teacher is appointed by and is accountable to the Governing Body.
- The head teacher is a member of the Governing Body.
- The Governing Body of St Saviour’s has formally delegated to the head teacher decisions about staffing and how the school budget is spent. The Governing Body monitors these delegations through its sub-committees.
- The head teacher's other responsibilities include:
- the internal organisation, management and control of the school; and
- the educational performance of the school.
The Church of England
Southwark Diocesan Board of Education
- The educational role of the Diocese of Southwark is carried out by its Diocesan Board of Education (“the Board”).
- The functions of the Board include:
- promoting and assisting education consistent with the faith and practise of the Church of England; and
- advising the governors of church schools on any matter affecting church schools in the diocese.
- The Board is responsible for appointing 2 of the 9 foundation governors to the Governing Body.
- The Board has important functions in relation to the school’s buildings:
- It administers applications to the LCVAP for the school in consultation with Lambeth;
- It receives and administers Devolved Formulae Capital on behalf of church schools within the diocese;
- It administers a maintenance scheme to pay the 10% governor contribution for school maintenance projects. The Governing Body makes a fixed annual contribution to this scheme from the PFI Fund. The school’s current contribution to the Scheme is just over £3,000; and
- It provides advice and guidance to the schools in relation to the design, specification and contract administration of building projects.
- The Board also holds on statutory trust certain funds (arising from disposals of redundant assets of church schools) which can be used to improve voluntary aided schools.
The Parish of Herne Hill
- The land on which the school is built is registered in the name of “the incumbent and church wardens of the Parish of Herne Hill”.
- The Parish of Herne Hill provides 7 foundation governors to the Governing Body:
- The principal officiating minster is a member of the Governing Body;
- 6 other foundation governors are appointed by the Parochial Church Council. Three of these governors must be parents of pupils registered at the school.
- The Parish has raised funds for the school in the past. For example, the Governing Body’s 10% contribution toward the costs of the present school hall was paid for with funds raised from a sponsored bicycle ride organised by members of the Parish.
- The parents elect 3 parent governors to the Governing Body.
- The parents also support the school by making voluntary contributions to the PFI Fund. Parents are currently asked to make a voluntary contribution of £50 per child/year to the PFI fund. The PFI fund is used by the Governing Body to provide the 10% contribution for the school’s capital expenditure that does not come from Devolved Formulae Capital or the LCVAP. In particular, the PFI fund is used to pay the Governing Body’s contribution to the Board’s maintenance scheme.
- The Governing Body is required to have regard to guidance given by the Secretary of State about consultation with pupils in connection with the taking of decisions that affect them.
- The current guidance strongly encourages schools to pay due regard to the general principles of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child which include that a child capable of forming his or her own views should be able to express those views freely in all matters affecting the them and that those views should be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- The School Council is the body by which consultation with pupils is conducted.
The Parents Staff and Friend Association
- The PSFA is a registered charity. The aim of the PSFA is to advance the education of pupils in the school.
- The PSFA plays an important role fundraising for the school. Financial donations made by the PSFA have enabled the school to purchase equipment for the classroom and fund school trips helping to enhance the children’s educational experience.
- All equipment or other items paid for by the PSFA are purchased directly by the school itself for fair procurement, health and safety, safeguarding and insurance reasons. The PSFA can only carry out works or install equipment at the school with the permission of the Governing Body and/or head teacher as they hold all liabilities for legal compliance and are responsible for relations with neighbours and staff.
- Any decisions about PSFA donations for the school are made in consultation with the head teacher and/or the governors. With appropriate notice the PSFA can use the school’s premises for fundraising events or meetings
Sara Bredemear, Chair, Governing Body of St Saviour’s Church of England Primary School
Claire Lundie, Chair, Parent, Staff and Friends Association, St Saviour’s Church of England Primary School