The ethos of the school is one where the whole community becomes involved in sustaining and maintaining it as a beautiful educational experience for our children. The school relies on parents providing some time to assist in the running of the school. Parents are encouraged to become involved in the various administrative groups, such as public relations, maintenance and gardening, to name a few. Of course parents with appropriate professional or trade skills are particularly easy to accommodate, but we can find a role for all willing volunteers! There are also many events and activities during the year where parents can contribute socially and culturally as well as materially to the community, either through personal initiative or as part of a group.
Voluntary Financial Contributions
The school strongly encourages parents to make additional financial contributions to the prescribed ‘fees’ towards the provision of educational resources and bursaries wherever possible. These are best made as ‘gift aid’ donations.
We hope all parents will consider:
- Gift aiding sibling discounts back to the school
- Gift aiding a contribution towards an established bursary fund. This may be for a specific amount, or for example, ¼ or more of the fees for a place in the school
- Gift aiding contributions for specific purposes, such as specialist subject provision, equipment, etc.
Gifts of this nature, both small and large, are invaluable to us as they enable us to provide a better teaching and learning environment for our children, as well as allowing us to maintain a bursary system. Our ability to keep our fees low and access to Steiner education as broad as possible relies to a large extent on the generosity of those parents who are able to make donations of this kind.
Raise money while you shop
The school is registered with the Easy Fundraising Website. This provides a wonderfully easy way to raise money for our school while you shop on-line. It's very simple - once you've registered, just make our school your chosen cause and then every time you shop with one of the specified retailers, the system makes a note of your purchase, collects the donation from the retailer and then passes it to us!
Retailers include John Lewis, Amazon and many, many more, some giving up to 15% of purchases, so please do sign up and give it a go! Full details can be found on their website www.easyfundraising.org.uk
Financial support and financial subsidies
Our ideal is that any child can have access to Steiner education irrespective of the financial resources of their family. As well as being committed to bursaries, we have looked into a number of sources of subsidy and financial support that may also be available.
Government subsidies and support
There are several ways you may be able to access external funding to cover your childcare costs. These include:
Early Years Funding (EYF)
The school qualifies for EYF and your pre-school child should be automatically entitled to this.
Child tax credit (and related credits)
This pays up to 80% of childcare costs for working families. It is a means-tested award, and the actual amount depends on the family situation. More information.
Salary sacrifice and childcare vouchers
This allows employers to contribute to early years and after-school childcare costs of employees. Typically the employee asks for a salary reduction equal to childcare costs, and the employer then covers these costs directly. The advantage is that costs are paid by the employer ‘pre-tax’ so the employee receives an effective discount on childcare costs equal to highest tax rate paid. (Note: The employer also saves, as it doesn’t have to pay NI on this component.) More information.
Support from the school
Sibling discounts are available, with a 20% discount for a second and any subsequent children. Parents will be invited to ‘gift aid’ this discount to the school where possible.
Community bursary fund
The Cambridge Steiner School is an independent body and charity that raises income through fees and donations in order to provide the best education possible while remaining financially viable. However the school believes that Steiner/Waldorf education should be accessible to as many children and their families as possible. Therefore families who find themselves unable to meet the required school fees for the year can apply to the Community Bursary Fund for financial assistance. If you wish to apply for a bursary, please read our Bursary Policy and then complete the application form (download links below).
Award of a bursary is only made following an evidence-based means test which assesses your income, housing costs and assets. Note that the school has a limited budget for fee assistance. This means that we cannot guarantee awarding a bursary to any particular family even if they meet our eligibility and financial criteria.
Please note: A bursary application must be made for each school year. Existing bursary recipients must reapply for the next academic year (previously agreed bursaries are not rolled over into the coming year ).