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Requests for voluntary financial contributions procedure

Version number 4.0 | Version effective 11 July 2022
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Requests for voluntary financial contributions procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes for state school principals requesting parents to make a Voluntary Financial Contribution (VFC) under Section 56 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (EGPA).

Overview

For students enrolled at a state school who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, or the children of Australian citizens or permanent residents, the costs of providing instruction, administration and facilities are met by the State Government. To supplement government funding and enhance educational services, Section 56 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (EGPA) permits a state school’s principal to ask the parents of a student of the school to provide a VFC towards the cost of providing 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. A VFC must only be managed by the school principal.

Requests for VFCs may be in the form of cash payment or an 'in-kind' contribution such as photocopying paper or tissues. Funds raised are designed to supplement resources available for student learning, recreation and comfort, and may be used towards such things as (but not limited to) providing teaching resources, sporting equipment, and the construction or refurbishment of school facilities. VFCs are not fees and are separate to user charging programs which operate in a school. VFCs cannot be invoiced, and debt recovery action will not be undertaken by the school for non-payment of all or part of a VFC. Where a parent decides not to make a VFC, the school will continue to provide the core educational services to the student. Students will not be prevented from receiving an educational service or participating in extra-curricular activities (e.g. attending camp, graduation, formal).

There is no tax deduction to the donor for VFCs. The only tax deduction is for donations into a registered Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) fund (i.e. school building fund). Refer to the Donations and bequests procedure.

This procedure does not cover requests by Parents and Citizens' Associations (P&C) for donations, financial contributions or other fundraising. Such requests are covered by the Fundraising procedure.

Responsibilities

Principal

  • Initiate and manage all VFCs for the school.
  • Consult with the P&C on proposed requests for VFCs.
  • Indicate in the request for a VFC the purpose of the request and how the funds will be used.
  • Ensure that funds raised are used for the purpose for which they were communicated to parents and the P&C.
  • Report to the P&C on the status of VFCs and their usage.
  • Ensure that information relating to which parents have provided a VFC is kept confidential.

School administration

  • Assist the principal with administration of VFCs.
  • Ensure that information relating to which parents have provided a VFC is kept confidential.
  • Provide a receipt to parents for all contributions.

Parents and Citizens' Association (P&C), or parent representatives

  • Ensure that parents are made aware of when VFCs are on the agenda to be discussed at P&C meetings.
  • Facilitate and participate in the discussion when consulting on VFCs proposed by the principal.

Parents

  • Share their views at the P&C meeting when the VFC request is on the agenda.
  • Choose whether or not to make a voluntary financial contribution when requested by the principal.

Process

Initiate request for a VFC

  1. Principal identifies the need to request a VFC from parents to fund or subsidise projects, activities or educational resources which are ordinarily considered as instruction, administration or facilities under the EGPA. The request may include, but is not limited to:
  • school resources e.g. sports, music, cooking and manual arts equipment
  • refurbishment of school facilities e.g. tuckshop fit out
  • new facilities e.g. playground or shade sails
  • the school’s IT resources e.g. internet upgrade
  • the cost of purchasing a bus e.g. for life skills activities in a Special School
  • classroom supplies, such as art and craft supplies, cooking materials, tissues and photocopy paper.
  1. Principal advises the school's P&C of their proposal to request a VFC, where possible before the beginning of each new school year.
  2. P&C notifies parents, where possible at least one meeting in advance, of the details of the meeting at which the proposed VFC request is to be discussed, to provide them with the opportunity to participate.
  3. Principal provides details at P&C meeting of the proposed VFC request, including:
  • how contributions will be used
  • the amount of the VFC request, if a set amount is proposed
  • advice on relevant in-kind contributions.
  1. P&C discusses proposed VFC request with principal, representing parent views on the appropriateness of the request and the ability of parents in the school community to make a financial contribution.
  2. Principal considers advice from the P&C and decides whether and how to proceed with the request for a VFC.
  3. Principal, assisted by the school administration as required, prepares and distributes written request for the VFC to parents. The request:
  • must explain how the funds contributed will be used
  • may include a suggested amount
  • must include the department’s standard Voluntary Financial Contribution information sheet (unaltered and in full)
  • must make it clear that parents are under no obligation to pay all or part of the suggested amount
  • may include details of how to pay.
  1. Principal ensures that the request for the VFC clearly states that it is separate to any fees and charges in the school. 

Administer the VFC

  1. School administration provides a receipt to parents who make a voluntary financial contribution, following the department's receipting (DoE employees only) processes for any contributions received as payments. Receipts for the purpose of acknowledgment may also be issued for in-kind contribution with no dollar or market value included. 
  2. The Principal and school administration ensure that information relating to which parents have provided a VFC is kept confidential.
  3. Principal ensures funds are used for the purpose they were requested.
  4. Principal reports to the P&C on the use of the VFC funds received, including consulting on how any excess funds will be used.

Definitions

Term

Definition

In-kind contribution

A contribution made in goods or services rather than money.

Parent

Under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (EGPA), s.10 parent is defined as -

  • the child's mother
  • the child's father
  • a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child.

For the purposes of this procedure a parent also means carer, guardian and independent student.

Section 10 of the EGPA provides further information regarding the definition of a parent.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

3.0 Voluntary financial contributions

Review date

11 July 2025
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

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