We know that sometimes it can be confusing to know exactly who to talk to about what so we thought it would be useful to put together a quick reference for you to help clarify things.
We have prepared a simple explanatory sheet that you can download as a reference.
What does the school do?
The school will decide on the best equipment for their programme, which pupils or year groups will be involved, and how long the programme will run for. They will also suggest how much parents need to contribute so that the school can afford to run the programme. We will be working with them every step of the way but it is crucial that this is a school initiative that they are completely committed to and your help and support is vital to that too.
As well as being responsible for how the equipment is used in your children’s education, the school will also provide you with a contact to help with things like technical support and insurance claims. In order to be sure that everyone understands the rules and responsibilities of being involved in the programme the school will ask parents and the pupils to sign a ‘Home School Agreement’ that sets out everything you need to know about care and support of the device.
Why is the Learning Foundation involved with my child’s school?
As well as working as a national body we also work directly with many schools and support them in developing effective learning involving technology. One aspect of our work, where we get involved with parents like you, is that we work with schools to collect your donations. This helps relieve the schools of the administrative burden and, as a registered UK Charity we are able to collect Gift Aid from the Government for every tax-paying donor and that can add an extra 25% to the school’s programme and make your donation go even further.
We will have been working and advising the school, sometimes for many months before this point and it is important to point out that we have no involvement with things like the choice or purchase method of any of the equipment that is chosen. We also have no involvement with the service and maintenance of the equipment, or any insurance claims that may need to be made.
Why should I contribute?
Put simply - your donation to the programme is vital to its success. Unless the majority of parents contribute, the school will not be able to run the scheme and everyone will miss out. It is therefore very important that you do what you can to make and maintain the donation level that you agreed. However we and your school understand that financial circumstances can change very quickly and make it hard to continue to contribute some, or all, of the suggested donation. If this happens it is best, initially, to talk to the school who will look at what might be possible. What we can say is that one reason that we are working with your school is that we and they are committed to the principle that no child will be excluded because of their family’s financial circumstances and your school will do everything they can to help.
It is important that you realise you are not buying or leasing the equipment. You are making a charitable donation to the Learning Foundation to fund the school’s programme. This almost always includes the cost of the device, a protective case, maintenance, insurance and sometimes some software as well.
At the end of the programme (usually after 2 or 3 years) the school will decide whether to make the devices available to the parents and families to keep. If they do then a small charge may be required to comply with the Gift Aid rules.
Because your donation is voluntary, the school is accountable to you to deliver on the programme and on their promises and, if they don’t, as a parent and a donor you have your say too and can challenge the school as well as having the ultimate power to withdraw your donation although this should only be a very last step.
Are there any other benefits for me as a parent?
Of course the greatest benefit to you will be to see your child and the impact and their change in attitude and invigorated interest in school work, but there are many other advantages for you as a parent and the two key ones are:
Improved communication with the school
- You can see how well your child is doing at home, and provide help when and where it’s needed.
- You can see the way that they are learning as well as what they learn and this can help you to see how best you can support them.
You can see how your child is doing
Have they completed their homework and are they are falling behind?
- The technology can allow you to communicate directly with your child’s teacher, when you need to and without having to go to the school
- You become an even bigger stakeholder in the school through the programme and this will go a long way to help form your perception of the school and of education more broadly.
Questions and amendments to your donation
If you are donating by cash to the school then please talk to the school office directly and they’ll be able to help.
Most parents will be donating either by Direct Debit or Credit Card. Both of these transactions will go through us and so, if you need to change your bank account details, would like to know how much you have contributed or would like to cancel your donation you can call us on 01344 636413 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to let us know as soon as possible if you need to make any change to your donation, or if you cease to be a taxpayer, to avoid any problems.
Problems with the equipment?
The Learning Foundation is not involved with the equipment or the software. If you have any questions or problems with your equipment then you need to contact the school and they will have given you a contact point which you can find on the school’s website or in the other information you were given when the scheme started.
The Learning Foundation is not involved with the insurance for the device. It is best to talk directly to the school or they may refer you to the organisation which is overseeing insurance for the device and the programme.