July 2012 Volume 9

Chairman's Message

Stephen Vasciannie
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Allocation of Funds for School Activities

At the May meeting of the Kingston College Board of Management, the members of the Board undertook a detailed review of the income and expenditure of Kingston College for the current Academic Year, with a view to formulating plans in respect of the coming year.  This message to Kingston College stakeholders sets out the situation concerning the proposed allocation of funds by the Board.  It is intended to promote transparency, and to explain funding issues as viewed at the Board level.

Income

On the income side, in approximate figures, the following were noted as the main items:

Funds allocated from the Ministry of Education

          $18 million

Student Contributions (Grades 7 to 11)

                   $8.6 million

Student Contributions (Grades 12 and 13)

          $5.5 million

Proceeds from the Tastee Contract

                   $8.5 million

Total (Income)

                   $40.6 million

Expenditure

On the expenditure side, in approximate figures, the following were noted as the main items:

Utilities (electricity, water etc.)

                                           $15 million

Examination Administration

                                         $0.5 million

Technical/Vocational Costs

                                         $0.3 million

Computer Supplies

                                          $3   million

Additional Grade 12 and 13 Teachers

                   $1.2 million

Security

                                                                      $2  million

Cleaning

                                                                   $1.5 million

Medical Costs

                                                          $0.9 million

Insurance

                                                                    $0.9 million

Maintenance

                                                          $9.5 million

Staff Development

                                      $0.6 million

Advertisements

                                       $0.1 million

Ceremonies & Hospitality

                                      $0.1 million

Travel and transportation

                                      $0.7 million

 

 

Total (Expenditure)

                                      $36.3 million

Comment

In approximate terms, therefore, Kingston College last year spent $4.3 million ($40.6 million less $36.3 million) as discretionary funds.  This expenditure was not, however, undertaken pursuant to a plan for the allocation of funds prepared by the Board.  Rather, the expenditure seems to have been undertaken essentially as requests arose, and on the basis of day-to-day decisions at the management level.

Allocation for Next Year

At the May meeting, the Board decided to allocate funds for certain established school activities, rather than on the day-to-day approach.  The broad allocation decided upon by the Board for next year's expenditure is as set out below.  The expenditure in the current year for the listed activities is also set out.

                                                          2012/2013                    2011/2012

Basketball                                           $ 162,500                      $ 162,500

Cadet                                                   $  50,000                      $    7,000

Choir                                                   $ 250,000                      $ 500,000

Chess                                                  $   25,000                      $     5,000

Cricket                                                $ 250,000                      $ 241,000

Drama                                                 $   25,000                      $     3,000

Football                                               $ 500,000                      $ 587,000

Hockey                                                $ 150,000                      $ 239,000

Key Club                                             $   10,000                      $        760

Lawn Tennis                                       $   25,000                    $             0

Library                                                $1,000,000                  $             0

Rugby                                                 $   32,000                    $    32,000

Swimming                                           $   73,000                    $    73,000

Schools' Challenge Quiz                      $   50,000                    $    16,000

Table Tennis                                        $ 150,000                    $   254,000

Track and Field                                   $1,900,000                  $2,900,000         

Assessment

The Board has sought to allocate the available funds with a view to achieving an equitable balance among the different school activities, having regard to certain considerations.  The considerations include, but are not limited to:

  1. The Board's assessment of the significance of each activity to Kingston College as an academic institution which strives to be the best school in the country;
  2. The impact of the activity on the lives of students at the School;
  3. The value of each activity to the enhancement of the good name and status of Kingston College in the wider society;
  4. The number of students likely to participate in the activity;
  5. The costs of gear and equipment associated with the activity;
  6. The sum expended on the activity in the previous year; and
  7.  The importance of having a variety of activities to suit the different needs and desires of students.

In some instances, the figure allocated for the coming year is the same, or similar to, the sum expended this year: this is true for basketball, cricket, rugby and swimming.  In some instances, the sum has been increased: hence, for cadet activities, chess, drama, the Key Club, Lawn Tennis, and the Schools' Challenge Quiz, there has been greater acknowledgement of the role of these activities at Kingston College.  Most of these increases, however, are relatively small, and may be primarily of symbolic importance.

Library Allocation

In one instance, though, there is a significant increase that merits further comment.  In the current year, no funds were allocated to either of the two Libraries at Kingston College.  This is unjustifiable, bearing in mind the central role that a library must play in enhance intellectual development at high school.  Accordingly, the Board wishes to allocate $ 1million for the purchase of library books and other material for the use by students.  The Board intends to have relevant subject teachers select a suitable range of books and other items that will start the process of bringing the Libraries of Kingston College up to date, particularly in relation to books that sharpen student preparation for examinations at all levels. 

The Choir

In some instances, there have been noteworthy reductions in the allocation of resources, namely, for the Choir, Football, Hockey, Table Tennis and Track and Field.  In the case of the Choir, Kingston College continues to benefit considerably from – and indeed to bask in the glory of – the international standing and quality of our representatives.   In the current year, the sum of $500,000 was expressly voted on by the Board in order to support the Choir in its major trip to Washington D.C. to represent Jamaica as part of the country's 50th anniversary celebrations.  The reduction to $250,000 for the coming year reflects in part, therefore, the view that an undertaking on the scale of this year's Washington trip may not be repeated next year.  At the same time, however, the Board wishes to offer strong support for the Choir, and hopes that this is reflected in the sum allocated.

Track and Field, Football, Hockey and Table Tennis

The reduction in the sum available for Football, Hockey, Table Tennis and Track and Field is prompted, in each case, by the desire to make increased sums available for other activities, such as the Library, Cadet activities, Chess, the Schools' Challenge Quiz and Lawn Tennis.  The reduction, therefore, is not meant as a statement to the effect that Football, Hockey, Table Tennis and Track and Field are of less importance to the school than before; but, in the attempt to achieve balance, some sacrifices have to be made.  And, to be more specific, it is difficult to argue that an arrangement which saw $2.9 million going to Track and Field and $0 to the Library represents balance in a modern secondary school that aims for high intellectual standing.

Old Boys and Other Vital Sources of Funding

Perhaps it goes without saying that the activities listed above will not be fully funded by the sums to be allocated to them by the School.  Estimates suggest, for example, that more than $ 8 million is needed properly to fund a competitive team for the Boys' Championship – the jewel in the Crown of secondary school supremacy.  And, similarly, the costs of maintaining the Choir, or the Schools' Challenge team, or any other activity far exceed the sums recommended.  The truth is that the co-curricular activities on which Kingston College's strong reputation stands are largely funded by the Kingston College Old Boys Associations (here and abroad), individual old boys and groups of old boys acting in concert on particular projects, the Parent-Teachers' Association, staff members, and other stakeholders.  The Board remains grateful to all those who try continuously to ensure that activities at the School are properly funded.

Stephen Vasciannie
Chairman    

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