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Do you agree to this 'voluntary contribution' the schools ask for?

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭ harr


    I don’t like paying it but I do..my kids are in different schools and it’s €150 each so an extra €300 I don’t really have.
    Speaking to a teacher last year and she mentioned only about half parents pay it and it’s surprising who refused to pay it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Snugglebunnies


    harr wrote: »
    I don’t like paying it but I do..my kids are in different schools and it’s €150 each so an extra €300 I don’t really have.
    Speaking to a teacher last year and she mentioned only about half parents pay it and it’s surprising who refused to pay it.

    Do all the teaching staff generally know who pays and who doesn't? I thought it might only be the principal and the admin staff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,789 ✭✭✭ Sunny Disposition


    No one should ever be criticized for not paying it, teachers coming out with things like ‘you’d be surprised who doesn’t pay it’ is totally reprehensible. Totally reasonable that a country that pays its employees so generously can fund its schools through its taxes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    17-pdr wrote: »
    And that's the reason one shouldn't be making 'voluntary' contributions in the first place. It lets the government off the hook of providing adequate central funding for schools. Similar with gullible parents 'fundraising' for their local national school outside Tesco, Dunnes etc.

    I think the same as above very strongly, and yet I pay the voluntary contributions. I feel like I don't really have a choice tbh. I want my kids educated, and I'd like them to do so in comfort ie heating, water, electricity... in their primary school, the old aluminium windows had to be changed for pvc, the roof done, etc...

    It's ridiculous though, that parents should be funding this, and should there be a concerted action, I would be the first to withdraw funds, withholding funds in isolation would be simply to effect my children and their friends negatively with no positive outcome.

    Back in France there would be an absolute uproar if parents were asked for this kind of money.


    I voiced these issues at a parents' committee meeting once, when they were proposing setting up a parents association to raise even more funds. "The more we fund, the less they'll get".
    There was no response to that other than "but we want them to do swimming/gardening/to have resources for dyslexia..."


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,185 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    They are also available on request to any parent who looks for them.

    A parent shouldn't have to ask. Rightly or wrongly, many parents can still be a bit intimated when dealing with school staff. Parents may be concerned that their child will suffer if the parent is seen as a trouble maker. At a minimum, ALL parents should be informed that they are available on request.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Err. they are , in most cases, it's just that people aren't bothered turning up to the PTA meeting.
    ...

    so what your saying is that if people arent bothered or simply cannot make the PTA meeting for one reason or another they cannot find out where all the money is accounted for? - no central and transparent database displayed on the internet (that freedom of data act or whatever is called?) or on the schools domain page if they have one on the internet or request a letter from the school secretary asking where every last penny (cent) from the contribution is accounted for - so, no turn up at the PTA then your out of luck?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,730 ✭✭✭ irishproduce


    lmimmfn wrote: »
    Should at least have the possibility of claiming back the tax on it as is possible with charity donations. Kinda pointless earning 200 euro, paying 100euro tax on that then giving the remaining 100 to a school when you're funding what the government should be finding in the first place.
    I've no problem paying the school, just have a problem that I paid tax on that too.

    But where will the money for Margaret Cash come from then?

    The principal and others' wages are probably a bit too high and so there isn't enough money to go around to fund stuff for education.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    Jaysus with some of the responses here people would reckon us teachers are personally swilling champagne and dining on caviar on the back of the voluntary comtribution. The reality is schools, in particular primary are constantly borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Schools get a set amount called a capitation grant which varies based on the school's enrollment. For some schools they can manage but the vast majority can't. Take last years budget spending for example, the winter was long and drawn out meaning oil tanks had to be filled twice just to keep the kids warm. This had to be done on a budget that didn't change and was never near enough to begin with but the bills still had to be paid. Schools can't even reclaim the VAT BTW.

    My school asked for a token amount of voluntary contribution, book rental and finally insurance which is actually invaluable. The total for a family with 2 kids in the school came to the price of a meal for two and a bottle of wine in a mid range restaurant, hardly outrageous. I don't agree with the VC but if schools didn't request it they would run out of money by Christmas with just basic running costs.

    Many teachers do buy things for their classrooms out of their own pockets to benefit their teaching which helps children's learning, I know I reguraly do so less of the sniping please. Nurses don't buy syringes, Gardai dont put diesel in the patrol cars etc so why is it OK for teachers to buy resources? It's not but many teachers have a sense of care and duty to deliver lessons above and beyond for the benefit of their pupils.

    Swimming lessons are on the primary curriculum (Aquatics), teachers can't teach kids to swim in puddles in the yard so additional money is needed to facilitate that. A familarization of facts was needed here I feel.

    There is an election on the not too distant horizon, TDs will be looking for votes and canvassing, if you have paid a VC you feel is unfair, badger them with it on the doorsteps.

    Yes I think that's what's needed really.
    I teach too, and not only do I pay to help people raise their kids with my taxes like any other tax payer, I also buy dozens of folders, pollypockets, copies, pens, markers, poster supplies, and even exam papers out of my own pocket.

    You want to spot the teachers, spending their own money to educate your children ? Just go to Mr Price and hang around the stationary section for a bit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    School accounts are presented at our PTA agms, it's the same in most schools I know.They are also available on request to any parent who looks for them.

    How are they available - even if I havent got a child going to school can i still request at a particular school where their income and outgoing and VC are going to and accounted for, for that particular school (or schools) - can I look up the details on the Internet? - is it displayed openly and transparently somewhere on the internet? - if there is nothing to hide and all the contributions that have been received for the year have been accounted for and will be accounted for then there will be no problems putting it out there to the public domain.

    people then can make their own mind up then if these contributions are being put to good and efficient use and challenge anything they find a bit fishy


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭ tabby aspreme


    Not much use when you don't have a functioning broadband system and have to pay a private company to get even a basic level of service.
    €330 is less than €2 a day for light, heat, water, phone etc. When we finally got our new school after spending nearly 30 years in pre-fabs, our insurance absolutely rocketed as the building was worth so much more. The grants didn't.


    I really don't understand why people who complain don't go to meetings and see what happens with the money the school receives.
    The school here spends about €60 / child on heat and light, it's only open for 6 hours a day.
    I'm sure the extra cost of insurance was offset by the savings on heating the new building.
    I think the timing of the department payments to schools should be brought forward, as not receiving any money until December puts a lot of schools under a pressure .


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    It was far from voluntrary. I had to pay it when enrolling my son.

    did they call it a voluntary contribution? - if they did .. then its just that .

    here is the terminology you can show them if they got snotty because you would not pay :


    voluntary
    ˈvɒlənt(ə)ri/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    done, given, or acting of one's own free will.
    "we are funded by voluntary contributions"
    synonyms: optional, discretionary, at one's discretion, elective, non-compulsory, non-mandatory, not required, open, open to choice, volitional, up to the individual; More
    2.
    working, done, or maintained without payment.
    "a voluntary helper"
    synonyms: unpaid, unsalaried, without pay, without payment, free of charge, without charge, for nothing, for free; More


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Do all the teaching staff generally know who pays and who doesn't? I thought it might only be the principal and the admin staff.

    it might be better if the information was kept to the bare minimum who knows and doesnt know this information of who pays and who doesn't - not saying class teachers might have a prejudice against pupils who's parents haven paid and used this against the particular pupils ... but you never know


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Yes I think that's what's needed really.
    I teach too, and not only do I pay to help people raise their kids with my taxes like any other tax payer, I also buy dozens of folders, pollypockets, copies, pens, markers, poster supplies, and even exam papers out of my own pocket.

    You want to spot the teachers, spending their own money to educate your children ? Just go to Mr Price and hang around the stationary section for a bit.

    are we living in a first world progressive modern country here or some third word one - why are you buying these requirements out of your own pocket? - something is broke with finances somewhere and it needs fixing, not saying I dont comment you and others that are digging into your own pockets and buying extra stuff to do your days work but its still wrong at the end of the day and you shouldnt have to ... but then again I am not saying it should be fixed with 'voluntary' contributions or raising the voluntary contributions either - there has to be other more suitable ways by making the money supplied by the government stretch more, or get increased money from the government


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    are we living in a first world progressive modern country here or some third word one - why are you buying these requirements out of your own pocket? - something is broke with finances somewhere and it needs fixing, not saying I dont comment you and others that are digging into your own pockets and buying extra stuff to do your days work but its still wrong at the end of the day and you shouldnt have to ... but then again I am not saying it should be fixed with 'voluntary' contributions or raising the voluntary contributions either - there has to be other more suitable ways by making the money supplied by the government stretch more, or get increased money from the government

    I agree.
    I don't think you can make the money stretch more tbh, in our school suppliers are screened and nominated/tendered by the employer ; as a result prices paid are inflated. Do you know what I actually did in the past, peed off at getting substandard equipment that cost the school an arm and a leg, and was never replaced when it went wonky ? I went off and got my own (cd/tape player as it happens) for a reasonable price, stuck my own name on it and used that.
    Otherwise you are left with equipment that you can't rely on, and that will not be replaced on time.
    I have my own stash of "stuff" now, and at least it's mine, and only gets used by myself, so I know it works and I can choose the exact model I need.

    It's really a case of getting the DES to fork out more, end of story.
    But unless and until there is serious motivation on all sides (parents and schools) to put pressure on the DES to just... pay for this supposedly "free" education, then I see no positive outcome of with-holding payment.
    Other countries pay teachers' wages too, and manage to provide genuine free ed. It's a question of priorities.

    edit : "why are you buying these requirements out of your own pocket?"
    That's easy, I want the kids to do well. Some parents won't or can't get the stuff, and there is no budget for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,716 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    well as long as these people are paying these contributions and teachers are buying supplies out of their own finances there is being no pressure put on the DES - and as long as they are not getting pressure put onto them to change things they will just be happy to carry on and let it happen .

    we the general public can raise it with the politicians when they come looking for their votes next and teachers and teachers unions can push the DES for change too - its the only way things might change


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ Calhoun


    No I don't agree with it and let's face it the way in which some schools go about it amounts to pressuring the kids which is not on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,030 ✭✭✭ Minderbinder


    Usually when a school is asking for a contribution the smartest thing you can do is give a reasonable amount. If you think those who didn’t donate won’t be known to all faculty or your kids school life won’t be affected then I think you’d be mistaken.

    Contribute well in the first year at a new school and your kid can go into a good class with the best teachers.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,552 ✭✭✭ bigpink


    I’d say a lot of it goes missing


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,033 ✭✭✭✭ freshpopcorn


    bigpink wrote: »
    I’d say a lot of it goes missing

    Something has to supply the staff room with Cocaine and Champagne!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,661 ✭✭✭✭ OldMrBrennan83


    Out of principle I wouldn't pay it while they insist on calling it voluntary when it isn't. Call it what it is.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,552 ✭✭✭ bigpink


    Don’t doubt schools need money but I’d say a lot goes missing there is no accountability of cash being given to a school
    Hopefully online payments stop this


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,436 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious


    bigpink wrote:
    I’d say a lot of it goes missing


    Of course.Nothing like a wild unfounded allegation against teachers. Go ahead, I'm sure you have more.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,033 ✭✭✭✭ freshpopcorn


    bigpink wrote: »
    Don’t doubt schools need money but I’d say a lot goes missing there is no accountability of cash being given to a school
    Hopefully online payments stop this

    When I went to school a lot paid by cheque. School nearly wanted it that way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,030 ✭✭✭ Minderbinder


    spurious wrote: »
    bigpink wrote:
    I’d say a lot of it goes missing


    Of course.Nothing like a wild unfounded allegation against teachers. Go ahead, I'm sure you have more.

    Why is it an allegation against teachers?

    I would have thought this kind of donation goes from parents to school administrators. It’s hardly going directly into the hands of teachers is it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,033 ✭✭✭✭ freshpopcorn


    .

    Contribute well in the first year at a new school and your kid can go into a good class with the best teachers.

    I know locally you bring in your contribution on the first few days of school. So, you'd be given your classes/teachers before they'd know who paid/didn't pay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,194 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    austerity rocks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,030 ✭✭✭ Minderbinder


    .

    Contribute well in the first year at a new school and your kid can go into a good class with the best teachers.

    I know locally you bring in your contribution on the first few days of school. So, you'd be given your classes/teachers before they'd know who paid/didn't pay.

    Well then you’re too late aren’t you :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,737 ✭✭✭✭ Graces7


    Excuse the expression but all this is an education to me. I was in Mr Price this last week and many kids with parents feverishly working through a long list of stationery requirements.

    I have no idea if this still applies, but in the UK we got all our books and stationery provided free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    Something has to supply the staff room with Cocaine and Champagne!

    and hookers or ... male escorts !

    Christmas do strippers too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,194 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    Graces7 wrote:
    I have no idea if this still applies, but in the UK we got all our books and stationery provided free.


    I'd have to disagree, these items were not provided for free, you paid for them via taxation, but these were heavily subsidised, but apparently the approach we have now is better for us


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