This policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1996. Where ‘parent’ is referred to this will include adults with responsibility for the pupil.
We believe that all our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school
activities and visits (curricular and extra curricular) independent of their parents’ financial means. This charging and remissions policy describes how we will do our best to ensure a good range of visits and activities is offered at the same time, try to minimise the financial barriers which may prevent some pupils taking full advantage of the opportunities. However some activities have an associated cost and cannot be provided unless voluntary contributions are received or parents are charged for the cost.
Roles and responsibilities of headteacher, other staff and governors
The DfE in its guidance to School Governors states that the education provided during school hours must be free. The definition of ‘education’ includes materials, equipment and transport provided in schools hours by school to carry pupils between the school and an activity. It goes on to advise that “although schools cannot charge for school time activities, they can still invite parents to make voluntary contributions
in cash or in kind.
The headteacher, staff and governors will ensure that the following applies:
1. No charges will be made for
- 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 the school’s basic curriculum for religious education.
- Tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments (or singing) if the tuition is required as part of the National Curriculum.
- Education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours. However, Governors have agreed that Voluntary Contributions may be requested.
- Education provided on any trip that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum or part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education.
- Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential trip.
- Transport provided in connection with an educational trip. However, Governors have agreed that Voluntary Contributions may be requested.
2. Activities for which charges may be made
- Activities outside school hours Non-residential activities (other than those listed in 1 above), which take place outside school hours, but only if the majority of the time spent on that activity takes place outside school hours (time spent on travel counts in this calculation if the travel itself occurs during school hours).
- Residential activities Travel, board and lodging costs (but only those costs) of residential trips deemed to take place during school time. However, pupils whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits (see point 3 below) may not be charged for travel, board and lodging costs. Residential trips deemed to take place outside school time (other than for those activities listed in 1 above). When any trip is arranged parents will be notified of the policy for allocating places.
- Music tuition – for individuals or groups of any appropriate size.
- Certain early years provision and wrap around care.
3. Families qualifying for remission or help with charges
In order to remove financial barriers from disadvantaged pupils, the governing body has agreed that some activities and visits where charges can legally be made will be offered at no charge or a reduced charge to parents in particular circumstances. This remissions policy sets out the circumstances in which charges will be waived. Criteria for qualification for remission are given below:
Parents in receipt of –
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided that they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and they have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
- Working Tax Credit run on – paid for four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit – if they apply on or after 1 April 2018, their household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits they receive)
4. Additional considerations
The governing body recognises its responsibility to ensure that the offer of activities and educational visits does not place an unnecessary burden on family finances. To this end we will try to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Where possible we shall publish a list of visits (and their approximate cost) at the beginning of the school year so that parents can plan ahead
- We have established a system for parents to pay in instalments
- When an opportunity for a trip arises at short notice it will be possible to arrange to pay by instalments beyond the date of the trip
- We acknowledge that offering opportunities on a “first pay, first served” basis discriminates against pupils from families on lower incomes and we will avoid that method of selection.
5. Lost School Equipment, Books etc.
- Parents will be expected to pay for the replacement cost of lost items of school property.
6. Breakages and Damages to School Buildings, Furnishings or Property
- Parents will be charged for damage caused as a result of a pupil’s behaviour.