Swimming Pool – Annual Voluntary Contribution
For a school of our size to still have a swimming pool is quite remarkable. We still have our own pool because you, our parent body, donate money and fundraise through the PTFA every year to keep it open.
Background to the request for a voluntary contribution
In 2012 we held a parent consultation regarding how we work together to keep the pool open. 61% of the parent body responded and many useful suggestions were made. The main outcomes were:
- Should the PTFA stop funding the pool? No – 100%
- Should the pool be opened to other local schools? No – 86%
- Should all parents be asked for annual voluntary contribution? Yes – 94%
- (the amount varied though: 36% £20 per child, 39% £30 per child, 19% a different amount).
- Should the PTA make a new pool liner the main fundraiser for 12/13? Yes – 94%
As a result of this consultation, the governors and PTFA agreed that we will not hire the pool out during the school day to other schools, but will seek a voluntary contribution for each pupil of £20. If all current families contributed £20 per pupil, we would raise over £1700 (which will go a significant way towards meeting the entire costs of running the pool for a May – October season, which is about £2500). £20 per child per season seems like a lot of money – and it is! However, please remember that your child will then have the chance to swim every day during school hours (depending on the rest of the curriculum, but we tend to get the children in the water several times a week). In addition they will be able to swim after school too (if you are able to stay on with them and chat to other parents in the sunshine!)
Furthermore, as a PTFA member you may also use the pool at weekends and in the holidays for free (provided that the correct safety procedures are followed). At Riverside Leisure Centre in Exeter, it costs £3.75 per adult and £2.75 per child per session. When put into context, I hope you will agree that £20 per child for an entire season is not an unreasonable amount to ask for.
Parents should only fill this out if they pay tax on their income, otherwise they will owe the tax reclaimed on this form back to the taxman. If one parent is a higher rate tax payer, the higher rate tax payer should fill in the form with their name, as the grossed up gift aid can be used to increase their basic rate band and they will therefore pay less tax.