Voluntary Fund Policy

Meadow High School
Voluntary Fund Policy

 

Rationale

 

The objective of the voluntary fund is to enable Meadow High School to control funds not allocated by the LA.

 

         1.       Purposes         

1.1     To safeguard the donations made by parents, friends and voluntary bodies to the School.

1.2     To ensure that when funds are provided they are used to the benefit of the pupils of Meadow High School.


2.       General Policy

2.1     The Governing Body to approve the operation of the Fund, which will be administered in accordance with the recommendations in the Guidelines for Voluntary Funds issued by the LA.

2.2     The Headteacher to ensure that voluntary funds are accounted for separately from the school’s delegated budget and are held in a separate bank account.

2.3     The Governing Body is to ensure that the fund is registered with the Charities Commission if required.  (The annual income level above currently stands at £100.000).

2.4     The Governing Body to nominate a responsible officer to administer each fund.

2.5     Any surplus funds to be invested for maximum benefit to the school, but allowing for access to funds when required.

2.6     The Governing Body to satisfy themselves that the fund is adequately insured to cover all risks associated with the operation of the unofficial fund.  (Fidelity Guarantee).

2.7     The accounts are to be maintained within the constraints of the Guidance for Voluntary Funds issued by the LA.

2.8     The Fund’s Auditors/examiners will be appointed annually by the Governing Body and it will be their responsibility to conduct the annual audit.  The timescale for the preparation and delivery of the audited report to the Governing Body will be within three months of the Fund year end.  The auditor/examiner should not be a member of the Governing Body.

2.9     No staff wages or salaries, expenses, honoraria or loans are to be met from the School’s Voluntary Funds.

 

3.       Conclusions

The use of these funds is to benefit the entire student body.  Contributions are raised through donations to the school and other fund raising activities and thus the benefit derived from this money must reach as many students as possible.

 

4.       Duties and Responsibilities of the Governing Body

            1,     General oversight of Voluntary Fund arrangements.

             2.     Introduce a policy which ensures that the purpose for which the fund is set up is clearly 
                      defined, agreed and minuted.   

  • To ensure that they are made fully aware of ALL unofficial funds and that the Headteacher notifies any proposed major changes in fund arrangements, e.g.
  • Introduction of new funds;
  • Changes  to Bank accounts including opening any new account, closure transfer and disposal of balances from existing accounts, signing authorities;
  • Major fund raising projects;
  • Variation from fund objectives for any reason whatsoever.

 

          3.     To ensure that the fund is administered in accordance with the purpose and objectives of
                   the fund.

           4.     To be responsible for the appointment/re-appointment of suitable auditors.

5.      To ensure that the audited annual statements in an appropriate form for each fund are
         received within three months of the end of the fund’s financial year.

            6.      To receive the auditors report on the accounts and take appropriate action thereon.

             7.     To seek such explanations as they see fit on the administration and conduct of the
                     account.

             8.    To be considered on major purchases over an agreed limit (£5000).

             9.    To receive and consider regular monitoring reports.

 

5.       Duties and Responsibilities of Headteachers

 

Headteachers are responsible for the organisation and control of ALL unofficial funds with the establishment but may where appropriate delegate the operation of the Fund(s) and record keeping but must;

 

          1.     Ensure records are maintained on an ongoing basis;

 

           2.    Ensure that the relevant financial statements are prepared;

 

           3.     Ensure that all the members of staff involved are fully aware of and apply correct
                   procedures;

            4.    Carry out periodic checks such as confirmation of the quarterly reconciliation to ensure
                    that the accounts are satisfactorily operated;

             5.    Maintain a register of ALL unofficial funds showing changes as and when they occur;

             6.     Ensure that ALL records are retained in accordance with the recommendations of the
                     Director of Finance;

              7.    Responsible for the preparation and presentation of regular monitoring reports to the
                     Governing Body;

               8.    Ensure an adequate accountancy structure is adopted allowing effective review of
                       activities;

               9.    Provide such explanations as may be required to the fund auditors;

 

6.       Duties and Responsibilities of Fund Administrators

           1.     To operate the Voluntary fund to the standard expected when accounting for public
                    money.

            2.    Maintain appropriate accounting records (whether manual or computerised).

            3.    Monitor advice from Hillingdon Council and implement any necessary changes or refer to
                    Governing Body.

            4.     Retain the necessary accounting records.

            5.     Ensure that moneys received are promptly banked intact

            6.     Provide such explanations as may be required to the fund auditors.


Appendix A

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:         A member of staff is leaving and the school wishes to buy them a present can this be paid for from the voluntary fund?

 

A:         No.  This type of expenditure does not fulfil the criteria of the charities aims of advancing education.

 

Q:         The school wishes to buy a bunch of flowers for a member of staff who has suffered bereavement or is in hospital can this be paid for from the voluntary fund?

 

A:         No.  Staff should not be beneficiaries of the fund and this type of expenditure does not fulfil the criteria of the charities aims of advancing education.

 

Q:         The school wishes to buy a token gift as a thank you to a parent who came in to give an informative talk to the pupils?

 

A:         Yes this is allowable as long as the talk can be seen as a benefit to the children.

 

Q:         A volunteer comes in to deliver training to the staff on a subject which will be used to educate the children later.  Can we buy a gift from the private fund?

 

A:         Yes as long as the talk can be justified as being of educational benefit to the children in the future.

 

Q:         The staff are arranging a fund to collect for their Christmas meal, leaving presents etc.  Only income collected from the staff will be used to fund the meal/presents.  Can this be paid into the fund and paid out later?

 

A:         No.  The Governors must ensure there is integrity in the accounting for these funds.  This fund should not be used as a holding account but only genuine collection of funds for the benefits of the pupils.