Why does St Aidan's need your financial support?
answering common funding myths
Q. Shouldn't the tuition fees we pay go towards funding new facilities?
A. St Aidan's, like all premier private schools, commits a great bulk of the tuition fees received each year to cover day-to-day running costs such as teaching and staff salaries, and maintaining and operating the extensive array of facilities available to students. Any small surplus left over can in no way meet the past or future capital works needs of the School.
Q. St Aidan's receives government funding; surely this contributes to the School's building program?
A. Yes, St Aidan's does receive some funds from the Federal and State Governments which is used to top up the financing of the building projects. However, as a result of the Federal Government's Socio Economic scoring process, St Aidan's is the least government funded private girls' school in Queensland. Again, the money received is simply not enough to complete even a portion of the capital improvements needed to ensure the School remains one of the State's premier girls' schools.
Q. Is government funding for St Aidan's fixed?
A. No, the amount we'll receive will change dramatically over the next four years, but not for the better. Reduced funding for St Aidan's from all government sources is forecast to be $340,000 p.a. less than what we received from 2009-12 (i.e. $1.384 million).
Q. Doesn't St Aidan's understand that some parents just can't financially afford to donate money to the School?
A. The School fully appreciates that some families financially sacrifice just to enrol their daughters at St Aidan's, and that it is physically impossible for them to contribute funds to the School's building program. It is for this very reason that the School Council in 2008 elected to maintain St Aidan's Building Fund donation policy on a non-compulsory basis.
Q. Isn't this Building Fund policy the same as the ones operated by most other private schools in Brisbane?
A. Definitely not! St Aidan's remains one of the very few remaining independent schools (boys, girls and co-educational) to not compulsorily require parents to donate to the School's Building Fund. The fact is that if your daughters were to attend a vast majority of other independent schools in Brisbane, you would have to donate to that particular school's building fund, irrespective of whether you wanted to or not.
Q. Wouldn't it be better for the School's future to make Building Fund donations compulsory?
A. No it wouldn't, for two very important reasons. Firstly, and as outlined above, some families just could not afford to donate on top of paying their enrolment fees. Secondly, maintenance of Building Fund donations on a voluntary basis means that all such donations are fully tax deductible, unlike compulsory schemes. In other words, for most families at the School, a donation of $1000 represents in all likelihood, a final cash commitment of only $500. At virtually all other schools you'd be forced to pay the $1000 and wouldn't receive any tax deduction at all.
Q. We can't afford to donate very much, so if we don't it won't really make a difference to the School's current and future building programs?
A. St Aidan's has over the years only had very few major donors. The vast bulk of the money raised by the Foundation has come via relatively modest donations from current and past parents, and other friends of the School. For instance, if each family currently at St Aidan's all donated only $700 once in 2013, the Foundation's entire year's fundraising goal for the year would be immediately met. Over recent years, the Foundation's ability to continue funding new capital works programs for the School have been largely driven by the increasing numbers of parents contributing to the Voluntary Building Fund, rather than small numbers of large donations. Supporting this is the fact that before 1997, only 20% of parents contributed to the Fund, whereas in 2010 almost half of all families donated.