Voluntary Financial Contributions

Version Number

2.1

Implementation Date

10/06/2015

Scope

All state schools

Purpose

​This procedure will assist users in managing voluntary contribution schemes in Queensland State Schools.

Overview

​This procedure is published to assist users in managing voluntary contribution schemes in Queensland State Schools.
 
The cost of providing instruction, administration and facilities for the education of students at a State school is met by the State for students enrolled at the school who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, or the children of Australian citizens or permanent residents.

The school is resourced by the State Government through appropriation funding to provide a core educational service.
 
The principal may request the parent of a student of the school to make a voluntary financial contribution to supplement government funding for instruction, administration and facilities for the education of the student at the school. If the student is an adult, the principal may ask the student to make a voluntary financial contribution.

Voluntary financial contributions are used by the school to provide an enhanced educational service and to enhance resources available for student learning, recreation and comfort.

The request by the principal should indicate how the voluntary contribution funds will be used by the school.

Responsibilities

​A voluntary financial contribution is not a fee and cannot be presented as such to parents. Debt recovery action cannot be undertaken by the school for non-payment of all or part of a request for a voluntary financial contribution, regardless of any commitment given by a parent to make a contribution or any part payment made.

A voluntary financial contribution request should be clearly separate from any school fees and charges.

A voluntary financial contribution is not part of a student resource scheme that might operate in the school, and is not included within the charging framework of a student resource scheme.

While the request to parents may indicate a nominated amount of contribution, the financial contribution is voluntary and no obligation is placed on a parent to make all or part or more of the contribution.

The school and the parents share decision-making and responsibility for the operation of the voluntary financial contribution funds. The amount of the requested contribution and the operation of the voluntary contributions are supported by the Parents and Citizens' Association annually.

To ensure consistency within legislative and departmental requirements, a standard Voluntary Financial Contribution Information Sheet is prescribed for use by schools in requesting a voluntary financial contribution from parents.

A voluntary financial contribution is not to be a deterrent for a student enrolling at the school. Where a parent decides not to make a voluntary financial contribution, instruction, administration and facilities for the education of the student at the school will continue to be provided by the school, and the student will not suffer educational detriment by way of school action as a result of the decision.

A request to parents for a voluntary financial contribution may also include in-kind contributions, for example:

  • ream of photocopy paper
  • box of tissues for student classroom use

Voluntary financial contribution funds may be managed by the school or the P&C, but not by a third party.

Principals:

  • determine, in conjunction with school staff and the P&C, if a voluntary financial contribution is to be requested from parents
  • ensure that operational and administrative requirements for the scheme are in accordance with departmental requirements
  • ensure that a student is provided with instruction, administration and facilities for the education of the student at the school, and does not suffer educational detriment by way of school action, as a result of a parent's decision not to make a voluntary contribution
  • ensure that the privacy of parents who have not made a voluntary contribution is preserved (records of parents who have not paid should not be kept)

Parents and Citizens' Association:

  • support, in conjunction with the principal, the operation of the voluntary contributions annually.

Process

Implementing a Voluntary Financial Contribution

  1. The principal consults with staff and the P&C Association about implementing a voluntary financial contribution, how the proceeds are to be spent and the amount of the contribution request.
  2. The school provides a copy of the Information Sheet to parents with the request for contribution, including information on how the funds will be used.
  3. The principal reports annually to the school community on the use of voluntary financial contributions.
  4. The P&C discusses the proposed request for contributions at a meeting prior to the beginning of the next school year, where financial contributions are included on the agenda.  Ensure all parents are notified at least one meeting in advance and invited to attend and provided with an opportunity to present their views on the scheme.
  5. The P&C determines, in conjunction with the principal, the nominated amount of the voluntary contribution request, if any.
  6. The decision to support the operation of voluntary financial contributions, including the nominated amount requested and how the funds will be used, is to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Online Resources

Review Date

1/07/2016
Attribution CC BY
Adult
A person who is 18 years of age or more.

Appropriation funding
The funding paid to schools by the Department of Education and Training for their operational and capital works needs.

Fee
A user charge, other than a fine, levy or tax, for goods or services provided by the school. See also State Education Fees.

Parent
In terms of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006, the parent, parents, or a person who exercises parental responsibility for the student.  However, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child.  A parent of an Aboriginal child includes a person who, under Aboriginal tradition, is regarded as a parent of the child.  A parent of a Torres Strait Islander child includes a person who, under Island custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.  A person granted guardianship of a child under the Child Protection Act 1999 or a person who exercises parental responsibility for a child under a decision or order of a federal court or a court of a State is regarded as a parent of a child.
In terms of this policy, “parent” also means carer, guardian and adult student.

Permanent resident
A person who holds a current visa which allows them to live in Australia indefinitely.