Charging and Remissions Policy

Next Review date: October 2016

Guidance

No charges can be made unless the governing body of the school or local authority has drawn up a charging policy giving details of the optional extras or board and lodging that they intend to charge for, and also include the policy for remissions. The governing body are responsible to ensure that the charging and remissions policy is published.

A policy statement should take account of each type of activity that can be charged for and explain when charges will be made.

School governing bodies and local authorities cannot charge for:

  • an admission application to any maintained school;
  • education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment);
  • education provided outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum *, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of religious education;
  • tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments if the tuition is required as part of the National Curriculum, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of religious education;
  • entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school; and examination re-sit(s) if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school

If the school wishes to run an activity during the school day for which it would need contributions from parents or others, it can invite voluntary contributions. However, no child should be excluded from such activity because his or her parents cannot or will not contribute. Moreover, when made, charges per pupil cannot exceed the actual costs incurred, which mean that pupils who can pay should not be charged extra to cover the costs of those who cannot afford to. This may mean that some activities will need to be cancelled if the school budget cannot cover the costs.

If a charge is to be made for a particular type of activity, for example optional extras, parents need to know how the charge will be worked out and who might qualify for help with the cost (or even get it free). This information should be made available to parents.

Activities which are an essential part of the syllabus for an approved examination must be provided free.

The remissions policy must set out any circumstances in which the school or local authority propose to remit (wholly or partly) any charge which would otherwise be payable to them in accordance with their charging policy. For example, a school may decide to provide an Italian language evening class as an optional extra. The governing body may decide to reduce the cost for those children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits.

Chapter 23 of A Guide to the Law for School Governors provides further, detailed guidance on residential activities, use of mini-buses, public examinations and activities provided during school hours by external bodies.

* It should be noted that ‘part of the National Curriculum’ is not restricted to learning outside the classroom experiences that are specifically subject based (e.g. geography or science fieldwork) and include, for example, activities designed to fulfil requirements under the National Curriculum ‘inclusion statement’ (e.g. developing teamwork skills).

Status

Statutory

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that, during the school day, all children have full and free access to a broad and balanced curriculum and sets out the charges and remissions for activities.

The school day is defined as:

Morning Session – 8:55am – 12md

Afternoon sessions – 1:00pm – 3:15pm

What was consulted?

The policy has been informed by sections 449-462 of The Education Act 1996 which sets out the law on charging for school activities in schools maintained by the LA and the guidance document regarding music tuition charges. (The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007), which compliments the information given in chapter 23 of ‘A Guide to the Law for School Governors’

.

Relationship to other school policies

The policy complements the school’s equal opportunities policy, curriculum policy, educational visits policy and the teaching and learning policy.

Roles and responsibilities of headteacher, other staff, governors

The headteacher will ensure that the following applies:

No charges will be made for

  • Education that is a necessary part of the National Curriculum. This includes any materials, equipment and transport to take pupils between the school and the activity.
  • Education provided outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education. This includes any materials, equipment and transport to take pupils between the school and the activity
  • Tuition for pupils learning to play a musical instrument or singing if the tuition is part of the National Curriculum, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupils is being prepared for at the school

Activities for which charges will be made

  • Any materials, books, instruments, or equipment, where the child’s parent wishes them to own them
  • Optional Extras (see below)
  • Music and singing tuition, in limited circumstances (see below)

Optional Extras

  • Education provided outside of the school day that is not part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for or part of religious education.
  • Books, materials, instruments or equipment provided in connection with an optional extra. For example materials used at Art or Cookery Club.
  • Non-teaching staff in relation to the costs of providing an optional extra.
  • Teaching staff engaged under a contract for services purely to provide the optional extra
  • The cost/proportion of costs for teaching staff employed to provide music tuition where the tuition is an optional extra
  • Board and lodgings for pupils on a residential visit (see below)

Charges for optional extras

Optional activities outside of the school day

We will charge for optional, extra activities provided outside of the school day, for example for example Art and Cookery clubs where materials are consumed. In addition any extended school club run by outside providers

Participation on any optional extra will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement will therefore be a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra.

Activities partly during school hours

Where an activity takes place partly during and partly outside of school hours, there is a basis for determining whether it is deemed to take place either outside or inside school hours. If 50% or more of the activity including travel time falls during school hours it will be deemed to take place during school hours and no charge will be made. However, if 50% or more of the activity including travel time falls outside of school hours it will be deemed to take place outside of school hours and a charge can be made under optional extras.

Music Tuition

Charges will be made for when an individual or group is taught to play a musical instrument either during or outside of school hours by an outside provider.

Residential visits

Residential visits deemed to take place during school hours

Charges will be made on residential visits which are part of the national curriculum for board and lodging costs only. Pupils whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits (see remissions on page 4) may not be charged for board and lodgings costs.

Residential visits deemed to take place outside school hours

Charges for board and lodging will be made. If the residential visit is deemed to take place outside school hours (i.e. 50% of the number of school sessions is equal to or greater than the number of half days spent on the visit) and is not an essential part of the national curriculum or public examination syllabus other charges will be made to cover costs.

Voluntary Contributions

The staff and governors recognise the importance of activities, that while may not be an essential part of the curriculum, add value and enjoyment to the experiences of the children. However it may be necessary for Voluntary contributions to be sought for such activities during the school day which entail additional costs, for example any outside visit or visiting theatre group.

In these circumstances no pupil will be prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution. Children of parents who do not make a contribution will not be treated any differently. If a particular activity cannot take place without some help from parents, this will be explained at the planning stage. An activity may be cancelled if not enough voluntary contributions are collected.

Calculating charges

Where charges are made for any activity, whether during or outside of the school day, they will be based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the total number of pupils participating. There will be no element of subsidy to support the costs for any pupils who are unable or unwilling to pay. Support for cases of hardship will come through voluntary contributions and fundraising.

The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and/or charges to parents.

Remissions

Pupils, whose parents are in receipt of the support payments will in addition to having a free lunch entitlement, be entitled to a partial remission for any charges made by the school.

Support Benefits

  • Remissions will be made as above for pupils whose parents are in receipt of the following benefits
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed [the sum given in the Inland Revenue and Customs rules]
  • guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
income related employment and support allowance (that was introduced on 27 October 2008.

Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation

The Governors Curriculum and Inclusion Sub-Committee will monitor the impact of this policy on a yearly basis to evaluate the impact.

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