Raising funds – state-integrated schools
Roles and responsibilities, good practice, and legislation guidance for boards and proprietors of state-integrated schools.
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You are not required to raise funds for your school, however if you choose to undertake fundraising activities you must adhere to the regulations stated within this guidance. Boards and proprietors of state-integrated schools must raise and record funds appropriately, and according to law stated in the Education and Training Act 2020 and the Crown Entities Act 2004. These funds must be used for purposes that match the roles and responsibilities of each party, as detailed below.
Because fundraising in integrated schools can involve both proprietors and the board, and therefore 2 different beneficiaries, the party that's responsible for the fundraising must ensure that the purpose and intended beneficiary of the fundraising are clearly identified and communicated to parents and the wider school community.
This means parents and other members of the school community should be given full information about the intended purpose and beneficiary of any fundraising to which they're invited to contribute from the outset.
Proprietors may raise funds for purposes related directly to their responsibilities under the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act) (for example, property and special character), and for any other purpose as long as it's consistent with the legal status of the proprietor.
Schedule 6, clause 34(external link), of the Act affirms that, in addition to raising funds by collecting compulsory attendance dues which may be charged under Schedule 6, clause 30(external link), a proprietor may:
- conduct fundraising activities within the school
- inform parents of the proprietor’s financial obligations through school publications, such as the prospectus
- request that parents make regular voluntary financial contributions to service debt repayments in relation to school land and/or buildings or other buildings associated with the school.
The Act confirms that boards of integrated schools are able to raise funds in the same ways and for the same purposes as the boards of state schools. These funds are Crown funds and shouldn't be confused with funds owned by the proprietor.
There are different accounting requirements for locally raised funds or voluntary contributions, depending on whether the fundraising has been carried out by the proprietor or the board.
Schedule 6, clause 35(external link) of the Act states that the board, staff or students of an integrated school can't take part in any fundraising to contribute to the proprietor’s property-related costs during normal school hours (when the school is open for teaching).
The board, staff or students of integrated schools may volunteer to participate in fundraising carried out for that purpose outside of school hours.
We recommend that funds raised by proprietors be deposited directly into the proprietor's bank account.
If the school does hold funds for the proprietor, those funds should be recorded separately from income and transferred out as soon as possible. Schools need to keep full documentation about any funds held on trust. This will help to prevent the blending of proprietor and board funds and the associated risk of the board assuming the functions of the proprietor in respect of the funds it holds on trust.
Schedule 6, clause 36(external link) of the Act states that when proprietors carry out any fundraising or receive any voluntary contributions, it 's the proprietor's responsibility to keep accounts of this money. This requirement also applies to any funds raised when board members, staff or students of integrated schools take part in fundraising for the proprietor outside of normal school hours. In each of these scenarios, the funds raised are private and belong to the proprietor.
All proprietors’ accounts of fundraising and voluntary contributions must be audited by a chartered accountant at least once every 12 months. Proprietors must ensure that these accounts (and the auditor's report on them) are made available to any parents or other contributors who request to see them.
Any funds collected through fundraising undertaken by and for the board are considered Crown funds and are treated in the same way as funds provided directly by the Ministry
Boards are subject to separate accountability and governance requirements from proprietors. As Crown entities, boards are accountable to the Crown, including following a rules-based financial framework that specifies how their funds must be held and maintained.
Under section 158 of the Crown Entities Act 2004, any funds from a board fundraising activity must be deposited as soon as possible into an account in the name of the school, which can be opened and used only by the board. School boards can bank only with an approved institution.
Boards have no authority to operate accounts in the name of third parties, such as proprietors, or to manage any funds raised by (or on behalf of) proprietors, as these funds are privately owned by the proprietors.
Section 161(3) of the Crown Entities Act allows a board to hold money on trust for any purpose or for another person, which means that funds raised or voluntary contributions received for a proprietor may be held temporarily in the school's bank account.
Donors may be eligible to receive tax credits for voluntary contributions/donations if the recipient (board or proprietor) is an approved donee organisation.
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