Friends of KGPS Mission Statement and Structure

Mission Statement

Current Friend’s Handbook

The mission of the Friends is to:

  • support and enhance the social fabric of the school for children, parents, and teachers, by helping to provide a stimulating and enjoyable learning environment for the children and to support their social well-being; and
  • support an external local charity - as KGPS is a well-funded and equipped private school and therefore, every two years, we nominate (and the whole school is invited to vote for) a charity to which we donate 50% of all our annual income.

To achieve these objectives, the Friends:

  • encourage parental involvement in the school generally and provide a forum for parents to discuss school-related matters;
  • organise social occasions for children and parents;
  • support activities for the children in addition to those the school offers; and
  • carry out fundraising ventures to help our nominated charity.

The following guidelines are designed to support these objectives:

  • The Friends will only fund/support school projects that are over and above the normal school routine. No funding is to be provided for day-to-day activities or basic school equipment or infrastructure.
  • A preference is given to school projects and activities which:
  • bring together parents, staff and children; and
  • (over time) benefit all children in the school (i.e. funding should not be consistently focused on a particular age group or interest area).

Structure

Previously known as the Kew Green Parent Teacher Association, we changed our name to the Friends of Kew Green Preparatory School in May 2011 to reflect our membership of parents, teachers, staff, and anyone interested in supporting our school, particularly alumni. The Friends of KGPS is a member of the National Conference of Parent Teacher Associations.

All parents of KGPS pupils are automatically members of the Friends and are invited to participate in Friends activities during their children’s time at the school. This can include serving on the Executive Committee or as a Class Rep, or helping at (or just attending) events.

Currently the Friends of KGPS Executive Committee is comprised of four officers, each serving on the Executive for one or two years. If there is more than one volunteer for any position, election is conducted by secret ballot at Friends AGM. All parents are welcome to volunteer for a role on the Executive Committee. 

Class Representatives are the key link between individual classes and the Friends. Each class has two (or, if wanted, three) Class Reps, who hold the post for one academic year. 

The Teacher Representative, a member of the Senior Management team, brings the staff’s perspective to the Friends’ efforts.

Other roles include:

Summer Swing Coordinator
Quiz Night Coordinator
Harvest Festival Coordinator
Summer Fair Coordinator
Charity Coordinator
Christmas Treat Coordinator
 


Meetings

The Friends meet regularly and at least once a term: this year all our meetings will be at 9.00 a.m. on Friday mornings at one of the pubs on the Green. While all parents are welcome to attend, the Executive Committee and at least one Class Rep from each class are expected to do so.


Communication

The Executive Committee posts announcements, meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes in the Friends section of the KGPS website.

While the Class Reps are parents’ first point of contact for the Friends, parents are invited to contact the Executive Committee members directly with questions or suggestions.

The general email address for the Executive Committee is [email protected]. Messages sent to this account are received by the Secretary and forwarded to the appropriate person, though all Executive Committee members can also be emailed directly — see the Friends Contact List for details.


Charitable Status

The Friends of Kew Green Preparatory School is a Registered Charity no. 1141929.

Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £5,000 to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity, we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution. Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as an association and how we conduct ourselves. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please contact one of the Executive Committee members.

Being a registered charity enables the Friends of KGPS to:

  • receive charitable donations from local and national companies;
  • apply to grant-making charitable trusts - most charitable trusts will give grants only to groups formally recognised as charities;
  • receive donations made through payroll giving and company matched giving schemes.

The Role of the Executive Committee

The Chair

The Chair's term begins at the first meeting in September.

The Chair works closely with the Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary to ensure that the Friends are run effectively. The Chair is a signatory for the Friends’ bank account, along with the Vice Chair and Treasurer.

Key responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership and ensure the Executive Committee fulfils its role in respect of governance of the association;
  • Welcome and involve new members;
  • Set the agenda for meetings, liaising with the Secretary; 
  • Chair meetings, ensuring the agenda is followed and that all business is covered; 
  • Approve meeting minutes;
  • Write the annual report, with the Secretary;
  • Introduce the Friends at the Reception induction morning;
  • Regularly liaise with the Headteacher, Deputy Head, and Parent Governor.

The Vice Chair

The Vice Chair term begins at the first meeting in September. The Vice Chair’s primary role is to support the Chair and is a signatory for the Friends’ bank account.

Key responsibilities:

  • Support event coordinators and ad hoc sub-committees;
  • Support the Chair in his/her responsibilities above.

The Secretary

The Secretary term begins at the first meeting in September.

The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that there is effective communication between committee members and between the Friends and the school. The Secretary deals with correspondence that the Friends receive and helps the Chair ensure that committee meetings run smoothly. As well as dealing with correspondence, the Secretary makes bookings and other arrangements for events.

Key responsibilities:

  • Send, answer, and report on correspondence as requested by the Executive Committee;
  • Maintain the Friends Handbook;
  • Maintain calendar of Friends events;
  • Make meeting arrangements;
  • Send out calls to meetings, giving plenty of notice;
  • Prepare agendas;
  • Write up the minutes of meetings, distribute them to all Executive Committee members and Class Reps, and post them on the Friends website;
  • Keep a record of attendance at meetings;
  • Write the annual report with the Chair.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer term begins at the first meeting in September.

The Treasurer reports on the Friends’ current financial position at each meeting and this should be recorded in the minutes. The report includes an update on any income and expenditure since the last meeting and the current balance. If the Treasurer is unable to attend a committee meeting, a written report should be sent to the Chair in advance of the meeting. All financial decisions taken are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

The Treasurer operates the bank account, reconciles the bank statements, liaises with the bank regarding changes to the bank mandate and list of authorised signatories and also is primary liaison with the Charities Commission. The Treasurer retains the chequebook and arranges for payments to be authorised by a second signatory if necessary, ensuring any regular payments are made on time to guarantee benefits and take advantage of any discounts. Once processed, the original invoices are kept by the Treasurer. The Treasurer consults with the bank or building society regarding the availability of higher-rate interest accounts.

Key responsibilities:

  • Maintain accurate and detailed records of income and expenditures;
  • Prepare and co-sign cheques as required;
  • Present a financial report at each meeting;
  • Count and bank monies; 
  • Provide and account for cash floats at events;
  • Liaise with the bank;
  • Make approved payments and pay agreed expenses;
  • Prepare annual accounts and liaise with the independent examiner of accounts;
  • File and manage Charities Commission reports;
  • Ensure the committee has agreed appropriate procedures for the handling of financial matters.

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