Your contribution matters because schools rarely have the funding to provide every pupil with their own computer for use at home as well as in school, and they are under no compulsion to do so. However, some schools believe strongly that their pupils should have 1:1 access, knowing what a difference good access to ICT can have on their education results. So most schools need their parents to help contribute towards the cost, either by buying a computer their child can take to school or contributing to a school programme.
Why your contribution matters
We strongly encourage schools to run what we call an 'Equity programme'. This is where every child, no matter what their circumstances are, has the same opportunity to have a device that they can use in school and at home.
When the school adopts the type of programme parental contributions can be treated as charitable donations to the programme. This is because there is no direct link between the donation and special access rights to school ICT resources i.e. children of non-donating parents have exactly the same levels of access as those of donating parents, unless of course a parent has chosen to opt out of the programme for personal reasons.
Many schools encourage the most convenient way to manage contributions, that is to pay by Direct Debit. Donating by Direct Debit means that once you have signed up to your school’s programme you don’t have to remember to organise payments every month or quarter. It’s easy and convenient both for you as a donor and for the school. All you have to do is provide a few basic details on the Donation Form provided by your school:
- How much you want to donate (your school will recommend a suitable amount)
- How often (monthly, quarterly, etc)
- How many payments in total you want to make (so for example, a three year programme would be 36 monthly or 12 quarterly payments)
By donating by Direct Debit you keep the costs of managing the programme down and it makes it easier to collect Gift Aid (see below). As a result the school's recommended donation will often be lower than it would otherwise be.
Make your donation go further!
Gift Aid is a contribution made by the Government back into the programme. The way it works straight forward, any money you donate to a registered charity is not subject to income tax. If you are employed and paying income tax the government will allow that tax to be given back to the charity that you have made a donation to.
By signing a Gift Aid declaration (as long as you are a UK tax payer) we will be able to add 25% onto the value of your contribution. This helps the school with the administration cost of the programme and ensures that every penny you donate goes towards the children’s e-learning programme rather than also paying for overheads.
If you are able to, reducing the frequency of donations you make reduces administration charges for the school. If you can pay quarterly, or annually, then more of the Gift Aid can go to your school's programme.
Benefits of paying by Direct Debit
If an error is made by the Learning Foundation, or your Bank or Building Society, then you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount made. You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to your Bank or Building Society.
If you have not spotted an error until some weeks after it was made it is possible that the correction will have to be made by the school as they will have already received the donations into their account.