Charging and Remissions Policy
Reviewed and ratified by the Finance, Personnel, Premises and Health and Safety Committee: 4
Under the provisions of the 1988 Education Act the Governors are required to state their policy. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that, during the school day, all children have full and free access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum plus religious education with the exception of individual or group music tuition.
This policy has been informed by Charging for School Activities, DfE, October 2014
- To ensure that all families are aware of the legal requirements when being asked for financial contributions for events
- To ensure that no child forfeits enrichment activities because of an inability to pay.
- To clarify which activities can be charged for.
- To provide as wide a spectrum of activities for the pupils in and outside the school as possible within the constraints of time and financial outlay.
There will not be a charge for any application to our school as it is a school maintained by the local authority. There will be no cost to parents for any materials, books, etc., used during school hours as part of the National Curriculum nor for any education provided outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum, or part of the agreed RE syllabus. Charges will not be made for any examination the children are required to take by directive from the government. There will be no charge for instrumental or vocal tuition unless at the request of the pupil’s parent.
Some activities are regarded as optional extras if they are regarded as education provided outside of school time:
- If they are not part of the National Curriculum,
- If they are not part of a required examination
- If they are not part of the RE syllabus
- Transport (other than what is necessary to take a pupil to and from school or to other premises in order to be provided with education)
- Board and lodging on a residential trip
Note: in calculating the cost of optional extras the school may charge for materials, books, instruments and other equipment relating to the extra service, transport, non-teaching staff,teachers engaged under contracts purely to provide an optional extra, and/or the cost of teaching staff employed to provide tuition, where tuition is an optional extra.
Any charge in respect of individual pupils will not exceed the actual cost to the school.
When organising school trips or visits that enrich the curriculum and educational experience of the children, the school invites parents to contribute to the cost of the trip or visit (if costs are incurred).
These charges will be based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the number of pupils participating. There will be no levy on those who can pay to support those who can’t.
All contributions are voluntary as parents are not obliged to pay for an educational visit. However, if we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may have to cancel a trip or visit. (A statement summarising this wil appear on all letters to parents regarding a trip which relates to an educational activity. If a trip goes ahead, it may include children whose parents have not paid any contribution. We do not treat these children differently from any others.
Parents are exempt from payment if they qualify for any benefits from the following list:
- Universal Credit in prescribed circumstances;
- Income Support;
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA);
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- Child Tax Credit, provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the family’s income (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) does not exceed £16,190 (Financial Year 2013/14, or as amended in subsequent years);
- The guarantee element of State Pension Credit; and
- An income related employment and support allowance that was introduced on 27 October 2008.
Parents in this position should see the Headteacher in confidence or write to inform the Headteacher.
If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, we do allow the child to participate fully in the trip or activity. Support for cases of hardship will come through additional voluntary contributions and fundraising. Parents have a right to know how each trip is funded. The school provides this information on request.
Sometimes the school pays all or part of the costs in order to support the visit. The Pensford School Association may decide to contribute towards the cost of a particular visit, particularly where all or most of the children are involved. The following is a list of additional activities organized by the school, which may require voluntary contributions from parents. This list is not exhaustive:
- visits to museums;
- sporting activities which incur transport expenses;
- outdoor adventure activities;
- visits to the theatre;
- travel to school trips for geography, science or environmental education;
- musical events:
- travel to and entry for swimming lessons.
The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and/or charges to parents.
There is no charge for children who are entitled to free school meals or infant free school meals. Pupils who are not entitled to free school meals will be charged a set amount per meal, per day as decided by the Local Authority.
There is no charge for transporting pupils to an from the school where the Local Authority has a statutory obligation to provide transport, nor when transporting pupils to other premises where the governing body or Local Authority has arranged for them to be educated. The school cannot expect parents to contribute towards the cost of transport in connection with an educational visit. However, voluntary contributions can be requested.
When the school organises a residential visit in school time or mainly school time, which is to provide education directly related to the National Curriculum, we do not make any charge for the education. However, we do make a charge to cover the costs of board and lodging and travel expenses. Parents who receive state benefits are exempt from payment.
In cases where the majority of a non-residential activity takes place outside of school hours a charge will not be made for the cost of alternative provision for those pupils who do not wish to participate.
All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum. We do not charge for this. There is a charge for individual or group music tuition if this is not part of the National Curriculum and a parent requests it. Where a peripatetic music teacher teaches an individual or small group, we make a charge for these lessons. Parents in receipt of state benefits (see Voluntary Contributions)) are exempt from payment. We provide parents with information about additional music tuition at the start of each academic year, and at intervals throughout the year.
The school organises swimming lessons for children to ensure we meet the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. These take place in school time and are part of the National Curriculum. We make no charge for the tuition, nor for the transport as it is currently being covered by DfE funding. However, this may change once funding is exhausted and we may ask for voluntary contributions (advance warning will be given.)
Breakfast club, after-school club, holiday and INSET day clubs are services provided by the school. Fees are charged for these services. If a family qualifies for any of the benefits stated above a reduction in cost may be available to them. This will need to be put in writing to the Headteacher for consideration.
The school may offer additional activities after school time, run and organised by approved providers. There may be a charge for these sessions.
Freedom of Information Act
Where a request is made for information held by the school under the Freedom of Information Act, the school will charge an hourly rate that reflects the actual cost of compiling the information and photocopying costs. The school will inform the person requesting the information what the likely cost will be before preparing the information.