Charges, Voluntary Contributions & Remissions
School Business Manager
We are aware that under the Education Reform Act 1988 that no charge can be made for education in school hours and that every child has the right to receive free school education. Also, we believe this policy complies with the Education Act 20002.
We recognise that all activities offered during normal teaching time must be made available to all children regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to help meet the cost.
We recognise the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs, educational visits and residential experiences, can make towards pupils personal and social education.
It is our intention to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and as additional activities.
Therefore, any activity which takes place mainly during school hours or is an essential part of the curriculum will be provided free of charge.
We are aware that we are able to ask for voluntary contributions from parents when organising educational visits which will enrich the curriculum and the educational experiences of children.
We as a school community have a commitment to promote equality.
· To outline what the school can and cannot charge for.
· To outline the school policy for voluntary contributions and remissions.
· To work with other schools in order to share good practice in order to improve this policy.
Responsibility for the Policy and Procedure
Role of the Headteacher
The Headteacher will:
§ensure all school personnel, pupils and parents are aware of and comply with this policy;
§work closely with the SBM;
§monitor the effectiveness of this policy;
§annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy
Conditions when charges cannot be made
With the exception of some individual or small-group music tuition, charges cannot be made for any books, materials, equipment or transport for use in connection with education if the education is:
§ within school hours;
§ for the National Curriculum programme out-of-school hours;
§ part of a syllabus for an agreed examination for a pupil;
§ for statutory religious education;
§ for the cost of supply teachers substituting for absent teachers on residential visits with pupils;
§ for the entry to public examination which is on the prescribed list;
§ examination re-sits
Conditions when charges can be made
Charges can be made when:
§ a parent/carer wishes their child to own any specific materials, books, instruments or equipment;
§ a pupil fails to meet any examination requirement of a syllabus;
§ the school has not prepared a pupil for an examination;
§ property or equipment has been damaged as a result of a pupil’s behaviour
Charging for Optional Extras
Charges may be levied for:
§ optional extra activities if parents are willing to accept a charge for the costs such as (this list is not exhaustive);
o visits to museums or places of interest
o sporting activities which require transport expenses
o outdoor adventure activities
o visits to or by a theatre company
o school trips abroad
o musical events
§ an activity that takes place outside school hours;
§ any activity provided they do not exceed the actual cost of the activity;
§ any materials, books, instruments, equipment or tuition fees for providing education that is not part of the National Curriculum or of a syllabus of a prescribed examination or part of religious education;
§ the cost of board and lodging on a residential visit;
§ transport provided for any activity;
§ musical tuition that is not part of the National Curriculum
The school organises swimming lessons for all children in years 2, 3 and 4. These take place in school time and are part of the National Curriculum. We therefore make no charge for this activity. We inform parents when these lessons are to take place, and we ask parents for their written consent for their child to take part.
Support for Parents/Carers
The Governing Body will:
§ support any parent/carer in paying for any activity for an individual pupil if they are experiencing financial difficulties;
§ inform parents/carers that if they can prove they are on state benefits (Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Family Credit, Disability Working Allowance) then their charge for board and lodging fees for any residential visit will be subsidised;
We are aware that we can ask for voluntary contributions from parents/carers that will benefit the school or any school activity.
We will inform parent/carers:
§ if planned activities depend on voluntary contributions for part or all of the cost;
§ that there is no obligation on them to make voluntary contributions;
§ that an educational visit or activity will be cancelled if sufficient costs are not raised via voluntary contributions;
§ that no pupil will be excluded from an educational visit or activity if a parent/carer is unwilling or unable to pay;
We will remit any charge wholly or partly if any activity takes place:
§ mostly within school hours or;
§ partly within and partly outside school hours
Raising Awareness of this Policy
We will raise awareness of this policy via:
§ the school website
§ the Staff Handbook
§ meetings with parents
§ school events
§ meetings with staff
§ communications with home such as newsletters
§ information displays around school
Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a duty not to discriminate against people on the basis of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Monitoring the Effectiveness of the Policy
The practical application of this policy will be reviewed annually or when the need arises by the SBM and the Headteacher.
A statement of the policy's effectiveness and the necessary recommendations for improvement will be presented to the Governing Body for further discussion and endorsement.