Thank you to those of you who recently responded to the GSPA survey. We had a good response rate to our first ever survey, having received 124 responses. Your feedback has given us an invaluable insight to the awareness of the GSPA, the work that we do and the events that we support and how any funds raised are used.
The key findings of the survey were:
The majority of respondents were aware of the GSPA and many were aware of a number of, if not all, the events we support.
The majority of respondents were supportive and complimentary of the work of the GSPA.
Many of the respondents were not aware of how any funds raised are invested and were therefore not aware of how our children are directly benefitting from the work of the GSPA. We intend to address this by providing more information about the funds we raise and how they are spent. Going forward we plan to provide an update following each main event and will post a copy of our financial statement on the GSPA web page. However it would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to provide you additional information regarding what the money raised was used for in the last school year.
For the school year ending 31 August 2015 the GSPA raised £21,049. Of this £12,434 was donated by the GSPA to the school and was used to fund the following:
· Workshop for the children £500
· Upper 6th leavers photographs £279
· ‘Feelings’ Booklet Year 7 £300
· Music Department Timpani Drums £1,560
· Lego Education ‘we do’ package £2,880
· ‘Elmer and Friends’ stackable cushions £492
· Drama Department furniture £273
· Year 4 ‘relationships’ workshop £1,000
· Prep 3-6 party £300
· Prize Giving GSPA prizes £220
· Pavilion gym equipment £4,087
· ‘Muddy Faces’ outdoor equipment £480
· ‘Mini Flints’ outdoor equipment £63
We still have lots of funds in the bank, approximately £50,000. We don’t ordinarily hold onto the funding but a sizeable amount has been earmarked to pay for the new climbing wall which is going into the new sports hall at the Senior School and we have earmarked some of the remaining funds for other items of equipment that the Junior School is planning to buy. Other than what has already committed we keep as working capital so that we can pay deposits on venues etc for future events.
Those of you who were aware that the GSPA invests the funds it raises in equipment and events for the children did acknowledge the benefits of these. However many of you may not be aware that it is often the children themselves who put forward suggestions as to how the funds raised should be spent. Whilst the school is a fee paying school, the funds the GSPA raises are used to buy the added extras that make school an even better experience for our children and help foster a community amongst parents and staff through the many events we hold. Any funds we do raise are a bonus but this is not our primary focus. The real added value is the enjoyment and experience the children get out of the equipment we purchase and the activities we support.
The majority of respondents indicated that they were unable to assist the GSPA with the planning of events or by becoming a member of the Committee but many of you expressed a willingness to show your support for the GSPA by offering to help out on the day or by attending the events. We are grateful for any and all the help and support we receive and you are supporting us just by attending our events or making donations for example raffle prizes or selection boxes.
A number of respondents expressed concerns that the Committee was a ‘closed shop’ and asked for a regular refresh of Committee members to guard against this. I am probably one of the very few long serving members of the Committee now given that there has been a considerable turnover of Committee members in recent years. I have only opted to stay on another year to ensure there is a good handover to the new Committee members. A number of new Officers were appointed and Committee members joined the Committee at our recent Annual General Meeting held in January 2016. We work hard to make prospective and new Committee members welcome. We want to secure the future of the GSPA and to continue to enrich the school community. Any funds that we do raise are reinvested in the school for the benefit of the children, parents and staff.
A number of you left your contact details with offers of assistance and an expression of interest to become a member of the GSPA Committee and we will be getting in touch with you shortly to follow this up. We will also be acting on your suggestions for new events, some of which sound quite intriguing! We will shortly be publishing our timetable of events for the year ahead which includes a number of new events this year which I hope you can join us at.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for taking the time to respond to our survey and for supporting the work of the GSPA.