The voluntary donation is voluntary. We know that not all families can afford to pay the amount requested in full. All children are treated equally irrespective of whether or how much their parents contribute.
To find out more about the real difference which the voluntary donations make, please see below.
Thank you for your continued generosity.
Akiva is a unique school. To provide additional budget for the school, we request that parents make a voluntary donation to support our inclusive Jewish ethos and to create the best possible learning environment for our children.
The Akiva School Foundation is a registered charity, number 1118164.
VOLUNTARY DONATIONS – HOW THEY ARE SPENT
Parental voluntary donations are used to fund education and learning opportunities which could not be afforded based on the money we receive from the Government alone.
We are sometimes asked "what is the voluntary donation spent on". Unfortunately we cannot answer this with a direct analysis because that is not the way the system works. What we do is prepare a budget for each year to meet all of the schools requirements and compare this to the amount of money that we will receive as a grant from Barnet. The balance divided by the anticipated number of donors gives us a number for the suggested voluntary donationi.
As an example in 2011/12, parental voluntary donations funded £461K on top of £1387K received from Barnet. This means that 25% of all our spending was funded through voluntary donations.
The largest part of any school budget is spent on staff. Support from voluntary donations means that Akiva enjoys generous staffing levels – with the equivalent of one teaching assistant for every class in the school, and specialist staff to support the music, ICT and PE curriculum. This is far in excess of what is provided at most primary schools;
OUR UNIQUE PROGRESSIVE JEWISH ETHOS
Government funding is not designed to cover our Jewish studies or Hebrew programme. Hebrew is taught as a modern foreign language, with four lessons a week, taught in classes which cater for different background levels of Hebrew. Our provision has been described as outstanding by OFSTED.
Jewish studies is taught as both a separate subject and interwoven throughout the curriculum – Jewish holidays are celebrated in style. We also actively promote and participate in interfaith activities.
The money provided by voluntary donations also supports the provision of many added extras which collectively could not be afforded if we relied on Government funding alone. Examples of this type include:-
Coaching and kit for school netball and football teams – activities previously paid for by parents, now provided free;
Specialist teaching and extension activities for gifted and talented children;
Additional one to one support for children with special needs, provided before additional funding is received from the government; and
Generous levels of training and professional development for staff to ensure that the quality of teaching remains outstanding.
Economic realities mean that we expect government funding for schools to remain under pressure. For further information on how to make your voluntary donation, please contact the School Business Manager. Thank you for your continued support.