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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 am 
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Does anyone know whether you have to pay for the sports clubs (football, hockey etc) at JHGS please?

And just out of interest, how common is it for schools to ask for monthly voluntary contributions? I found it a little odd that such a request was sent in my first ever communication from the school!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Completely normal for schools to ask for voluntary contributions - all ours locally do - unfortunately budgets have been cut so drastically, just to tread water they have to. Parents fight hard to get their children into GS....often spending a fortune, to avoid (in many cases) paying private school fees and then balk at contributing relative pennies! The voluntary contributions are usually the money that pays for the extras on top that make a good school fantastic, and why they want their child there in the first place.

They are voluntary however. You aren’t forced to pay it, or have your card marked if you don’t. Often it is a suggested amount - you can pay more or less. Our school has a £1 a day scheme. £30 a month by direct debit - less than many people spend on a Costa Coffee but makes the world of difference to the school/kids. Experience tells schools that if parents don’t sign up in the first few weeks, they probably won’t, hence they ask early on - budgets are that tight. If you can, do.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Hi BlueBerry :)

My DS doesn't do the clubs but from what I can tell (from a quick glance) if he wanted to do judo club, tennis club, spinning club, or table tennis training he would have to pay for them per term. In year 8 and 9 (hopefully after that too!) they can have swimming lessons/sessions at the sports centre instead of doing Games and that is also chargeable.

Re the donations, I thought it was fairly standard practice. JHGS doesn't put any pressure on you to pay but it is always there on parentpay just as a reminder! You enter the amount you want as a one off payment in the same way you might top up the lunch money.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
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Thanks for your replies. I have already sent my forms in with my direct debit form filled in. I just wanted to have the warm fuzzy feeling of a new school... instead they asked for donations and gift aid :lol: I certainly think that £30 per month is a good amount that most parents will be happy to pay. I have no qualms in paying that, but would have been nice if they delayed this request, until say the parent induction evening in June....

Thanks BucksBornNBred, that's really useful to know.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Back in my day at AGS, we had a "School Needs Fund". Every term, parents were written to asking for a donation and highlighting the average donation from the previous term. I have a good memory for useless detail like this and back in the 1980s when I started the average termly donation was £5.50. Any parent that donated more than the new average amount (about £7 that term) was sent a lovely letter thanking them for their donation and listing some of things the fund would be spent on. Anyone donating less than the new average got a letter saying "Thank you for your donation of £5. We'd like to point out that the average donation this term was £7."

I don't look back on my old school fondly...I thought it was a pretentious Eton-wannabe with its cricket pavilion, "vestibule" and "headmaster's quad". Oh yes, mustn't forget the rifle range and observatory.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:29 pm 
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anotherdad wrote:
I don't look back on my old school fondly...I thought it was a pretentious Eton-wannabe with its cricket pavilion, "vestibule" and "headmaster's quad". Oh yes, mustn't forget the rifle range and observatory.

:lol:

Now that I think of it, I pay a termly contribution to DS's school. But it's not much, it's less than £10 per term. But we still have to buy tissues for the class as well as pens etc on top of the termly contribution.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Clubs should be free unless they are run by outside agencies.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
BlueBerry wrote:
Now that I think of it, I pay a termly contribution to DS's school. But it's not much, it's less than £10 per term. But we still have to buy tissues for the class as well as pens etc on top of the termly contribution.

:? Is it a particularly upsetting school?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:05 pm
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anotherdad wrote:
BlueBerry wrote:
Now that I think of it, I pay a termly contribution to DS's school. But it's not much, it's less than £10 per term. But we still have to buy tissues for the class as well as pens etc on top of the termly contribution.

:? Is it a particularly upsetting school?

Oh you never cease to amuse me :lol:

We are quite posh you know, we use tissues instead of sleeves at school :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:25 pm
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We were sent a direct debit form for £50 per month contribution with the first communication after accepting our son's GS offer last month. It seemed a bit steep on the face of it, but when the letter also pointed out that schools get 25% less funding per child from the government compared to a decade ago, our attitude softened a bit. If you add inflation and increased costs over the 10 years to that, in real terms the cuts are far deeper.

The contributions generate £250k per year for the school (which still doesn't wipe out their yearly deficit), and it means they can run clubs and continue the small A-Level classes for arts, which are less popular than sciences at this school. The schools really shouldn't be put a position where they have to go cap-in-hand to parents, but we were happy to sign up to it knowing that we are really fortunate he got a place there.


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