When it comes to charity fundraising and schoolchildren, there are some delicate rules to be observed. The Institute of Fundraising has guidelines in its code of practice Fundraising in Schools to help charities organise schools' sponsored events without any problems.
• A representative of the charity should talk through what is involved with staff, children and parents. Any presentations given by the charity should be educational and non-political, and any contact with children should be made only with the head teacher's permission.
• You can offer token gifts as prizes to encourage the children, but these must be made available to all of them rather than to individuals as rewards for effort. Be especially careful if offering badges to the under-sevens, because there's a strong chance they will view them as incentives.
• Collecting sponsorship money from children can be tricky. Charities should never harass children for the money, but should leave them to decide for themselves about making payments. A time limit should be fixed, after which someone from the charity should collect funds on an agreed day.
Children should be reminded not to ask strangers for sponsorship, but to seek donations from family and friends instead.
• Any person or organisation, including schools, needs a licence when planning street or door-to-door collections. Licences are issued by district councils outside London, by the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police in Greater London and by the Court of Common Council in the City of London.
• Don't forget to thank all of the staff, children and parents involved, and respond to any criticisms as soon as possible.