Charging and remissions policy

Introduction

This policy informs staff and parents/carers about charging for school activities. It conforms to current legislation.

The Governors, in consultation with the Headteacher, are responsible for the implementation of the charging policy. The day to day operation of the policy is delegated to the Headteacher.

Education during school hours

  • The school day is defined as 8.50am to 3.15pm
  • All activities that are a necessary part of the curriculum cannot be charged for, except for the board and lodging element of residential trips
  • Parents/carers cannot be required to supply any books or materials for use in school hours, but will be asked to assist with the provision of school uniform and suitable clothing and footwear for activities including for example PE, swimming, gardening and horse riding.
  • On a voluntary basis, parents/carers may be asked to contribute towards the cost of ingredients/materials for use in Food Technology, Art and Design Technology. Finished products may be taken home at the end of the session.
  • On a voluntary basis, parents/carers may be asked to contribute towards the cost of providing a healthy daily snack for their child
  • No charges will be made for entering or preparing students for public/approved examinations
  • Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 new regulations came into force in September 2007 which allows schools to charge for Musical Instrument Tuition. The school may charge either for individuals or groups of up to four students.
  • Music Therapy is purchased by the school from Cambridgeshire Music. The school currently does not charge for music therapy but may request a voluntary contribution either from individual parent/carers or groups of parents/carers.
  • When voluntary contributions are sought for activities during the school day which entail additional costs, no student will be prevented from participating because a voluntary contribution has not been received. No student will be left out of an activity because his/her parents/carers cannot, or will not, make a contribution of any kind. However the school reserves the right to cancel the activity if insufficient funds are available.
  • When a third party organisation, acting independently of the school or Local Authority, arranges an activity that takes place during school hours and parent/carers want their child to join the activity, such organisations may charge parents. Parents/carers would then need to request an authorised absence, eg. Sailability.However, where an activity is organised by a third party (eg. RDA) and is approved by the school, is also considered educational, or is supervised by someone authorised by the school, then it is the DCSF view that it should be treated as if it were provided by the school and no charge should be made to the parents/carers. The school may then request a voluntary contribution from parents/carers.

Education outside school hours

  • Parents/carers will only be charged for activities that happen outside school hours when those activities are not a necessary part of the school curriculum.
  • Charges may be made for other activities that happen outside school hours if parents/carers agree to pay.
  • If a residential activity takes place largely during school time, meets the requirements of the syllabus for a public/approved examination, no charge will be made either for the education or for the cost of travel. Charges will be made for board and lodgings, except for those students whose parents/carers meet the remission criteria below. The school may request voluntary contributions from parents/carers.
  • Remission from board and lodgings charges of a residential trip is available to parents/carers who are in receipt of :
    1. IncomeSupport
    2. Income based Jobseekers Allowance
    3. Support under part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    4. Child Tax Credit (providing that they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £15,910 (Financial year 20013/014)
    5. The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
    6. An income related employment and support allowance that was introduced on 27 October 2008Parents/carers should contact the Headteacher for assistance. All requests will be treated in confidence.

Breakages and Damages

The Governors are entitled to required parents/carers to pay for the cost of wilful damage caused by the student’s behaviour (eg. Breaking a window, damage to furniture, doors etc). This also applies to lost, damaged or defaced text books

Voluntary Contributions

If a particular activity cannot take place without financial support from parents/carers this will be explained to them at the planning stage. Where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible and there is no way to make up the shortfall, the activity will be cancelled and any voluntary contributions already received will be returned.

Calculating charges

  • Where a charge is made it will not exceed the actual cost of theprovision. If further funds need to be raised, for example to help in hardship cases, this will by voluntary contributions or general fundraising. There will be no levy on those who can afford to pay to support those who cannot or will not pay.
  • The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and or parents/carers.

School Minibuses

  • Only the school’s students, staff or parents/carers may travel for a charge in a school’s minibus. Schools may charge for transport in their minibus only if they hold a permit issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985. A permit will not be required if no charge is made in cash or kind. Charges made for travel will cover only actual costs, including depreciation. The service will not make a profit for the school.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • The Finance and General Purposes Committee of the governing body will monitor the impact of this policy by receiving an annual report on activities that results in charges being made and subsidies being awarded (without giving names)