PARENTS FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
Way back in the mid 1980s, a group of parents got together to share views on a common educational situation: they were concerned about the educational future of their young children because private schooling at the time did not offer enough choice to parents. The solution they arrived at was to set up an independent private school financed by the collective effort of the parents.
The idea soon gathered momentum among parents and the response was overwhelming.
Parents found the moral strength needed to realize an idea which at the time was only a desire to do something for the educational development of their children.
The notarial public deed that gave birth to the Foundation was published on the 2nd July, 1988.
Objectives of the Foundation
The main objectives of the Foundation are, inter alia, to raise funds in order to establish private schools for the purpose of:
- Providing a broad based multilingual education, in a personalized manner aiming at the development of the full person,
- Offering high academic standards in line with national curricula,
- Having a Catholic environment,
- In a physical environment conducive to the above to children of all ages in such number as may be determined.
Rules of the Foundation
Aaprt from the constitutive notarial deed establishing the Foundation, rules are made to ensure consistent application of procedures and to implement policies. Rules are reviewed and updated as necessary. The Foundation carries out its functions by means of resolutions of the Board of Trustees after consultation with the two schools established by the Foundation.
The Board of Trustees enjoys the power to make, amend and interpret the rules of the Foundation. The current Trustees are Professor Josef Lauri B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Open), Mr. James Bonello and Dr. Joseph A. Schembri LL.D.
On the 14th of July 1988, the first rules and regulations were formulated supported by general meetings of parents:
- The Contribution Rules 1988, and
- The Admission Rules 1988.
At the time of writing (2008), the rules which, concurrently with previous ones, apply, are:
- The Contribution Rules 1993
- The Admission Rules 1993
- The Delegation of Functions Rules 1998
- Resolution on refund of contributions (San Anton School) 2003
- The Contribution Amendment Rules 2007
While all efforts are made to avoid errors, only the official texts of the Rules, which are deposited with the Foundation, are binding and, if there is any discrepancy between any printed copies and the official texts, the official texts prevail.
All Contributors are expected to read the rules and all other available material on the Schools and to familiarize themselves with the aims and systems of the Schools.
Contributors are bound to observe at all times the rules of the Foundation and of its Schools. The Foundation has the right to refuse, suspend or reduce any refund to any contributors who fail to fulfil their obligations under any applicable rules – Rule 18(d) of the Delegation of Functions Rules 1998.
Aims and Ideals
These are the sub-headings of the leaflet: Aims and Ideals:
- Parental choice,
- Parents must choose and not be chosen,
- The Foundation must not be exclusive,
- It is a voluntary organization,
- The Parents Foundation is autonomous,
- The Parents Foundation for Education and its Schools are to be non-profit making,
- Capital and current income,
- Educational aims,
- The Foundation has a democratic culture,
- A catalyst for change,
- The Foundation is outward looking,
A copy of this leaflet can be obtained from the Schools of the Foundation. The contents of this leaflet have largely remained unchanged since the start of the Foundation, with the only exception being made to include in it the reference to San Andrea School when this School was opened.
The current position
The year 2008 marks the 20th anniversary since the setting up of the Foundation. Two schools, both at l-Imselliet, are fully operational: San Anton School and San Andrea School. Both offer education from a very early age right up to the teenage years (ages 15/16).
The factors (shortage of choice in private schooling) which had contributed to the setting up of the Foundation 20 years ago are no longer present today. The vision and principles are, however, as strong today as they were in the early days. It is proper, here, to reproduce a definition of what the Foundation stands for. It is reproduced from a write up found on the website of San Andrea School:
“The PFE is owned by present contributors and it is an institutional mechanism through which the two schools are able to receive funds in order to carry out the necessary capital expenditure, the operational expenditure being covered by the fees that the schools charge. It is a voluntary and totally autonomous organization and is a public institution open to all on an equal opportunity basis. The PFE is not owned by any one or more persons nor controlled by any interests. It is managed by a Board of Trustees. The Schools are separate bodies and are managed each by a School Board. The PFE and its schools are non-profit making organizations, all their income is invested directly in the fulfillment of the PFE’s aims. Any excess of income over expenditure does not accrue to anyone but is directly re-invested”.
“The PFE’s schools are committed to the kind of parental involvement that puts into practice the principle that education must be a partnership between home and school, for the ultimate benefit of the children.”
The basic principle of “a partnership between home and school for the benefit of the children” represents the structure that supports the Foundation as a non-profit making voluntary organization.
The contribution is money paid by parents into the system for the purpose of financing the capital projects of the Schools. It was the way followed by the Foundation to help the Schools raise money for their respective building projects. Both Schools were able to support the initial outlay by means of a system of bank loans. The Foundation’s Contribution Rules specify that contributors are to keep their money in the system until loans for the building of the schools are fully repaid and a programme of refunding contributions is established.
What had been set in motion two decades ago needs to be sustained by current and future parents. In this way, it would be possible for earlier parents to receive back the refund of their contribution and the Schools continue to progress with time.
For this reason, the Foundation exercises the right to determine itself when refunds of contributions are made and the method of such refunds. For the same reason, contributions do not bear any interest in favour of the contributor – Article seven of the Contribution Rules 1988.
The payment of a contribution does not imply any guarantees on the part of the Foundation or any School to provide educational facilities for the children registered or any specified type or level of educational facility. However, the Foundation, through the contributors who are parents of children wishing to attend the schools, endeavours to establish and provide such facilities to highest standards possible – Rule 13 of the Contribution Rules 1993.
Contributors share in the moral and ethical obligation to act positively as a Contributor participating in the establishment and operation of schools for their respective children in line with the aims and principles of the Foundation.
The Foundation is synonymous with parent contributors and acts only through them. It is not a distinct functional unit, although it has very specific duties. The Foundation and the Trustees are not obliged to provide any services or assistance unless there are parents willing to take on the respective responsibilities and only through such parents. Each and every contributor shares in the responsibility and undertakes to participate when making a contribution - Rule 14 of the Contribution Rules 1993.
Liability of Foundation
The Foundation as a distinct legal person from each of the schools it establishes and it shall not be liable for the obligations incurred by each school in the fulfillment of each School’s project or otherwise.
Parents seeking to obtain more information on the Foundation and its Schools may do so through the administrations of the relative schools. When any out of the ordinary queries are raised, these are referred to the Registrar of the Foundation for more detailed treatment and, if necessary, for reference to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.
Over the past years, the functions and duties of the Registrar of the Foundation have become mainly administrative, co-ordinative and regulatory. For this reason, the School where parents register their children remains the direct channel of contact between Contributors and the Schools/Foundation.
Registrar, Parents Foundation for Education