Bishop Gilpin receives its funding for day-to-day expenses, such as staff salaries, heating, buildings maintenance, curriculum resources, office equipment, etc, from the local authority – Merton Council.
We work closely with our governors to make sure the budget balances, but this is a very challenging job as funding for schools gets tighter each year. About 80% of our school's income goes towards staff salaries, so there is only a small amount of money available to pay for everything else. Like other schools in Merton, we have a particularly tight budget because our income is based on an outer London band but our staff salaries are calculated on an inner London band. That means our salary bill represents a bigger slice of our overall income than for almost all other London boroughs.
The Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) helps us to maintain, manage and improve our school buildings. Their Finance and Development team administers the payments and applications for funding for all building projects and they also administer one of our revenue streams used for buildings and maintenance projects – the Devolved Formulae Capital (DFC) – on behalf of our school governors. As Bishop Gilpin is a voluntary-aided (church) school, we have to contribute 10% towards any capital expenditure, such as building work. This 10% comes via the BG School Fund, which relies solely on parental donations.
In general, the funding available to schools for building improvements is being squeezed and spread increasingly thinly. In the future we are likely to have to fund building projects – and other school development projects – directly ourselves, which makes parental contributions to the BG School Fund even more important.