Charging and Remissions Policy
In general the provision of education is free if it takes place in school hours and is part of the national curriculum, but as permitted by the Education Act 1996 (amended by the Education Act 2002 and The Charges for Music Tuition regulations 2007) charges are permissible. The Charging and Remissions Policy considers charges that are applicable and minimises the financial barriers, which may prevent some pupils taking full advantage of the opportunities the school offer.
- The school governing body cannot charge for
- an admission application to the school
- education provided during school hours/outside school hours (including supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment) if it is part of the national curriculum or part of the school’s curriculum for religious education
- education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours/outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum or part of the school’s curriculum for religious education
- transport provided in connection with an educational trip
- tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments (or singing) if the tuition is required as part of the national curriculum
- entry for a prescribed public examination/entry for examination re-sit(s) if the pupil has been prepared for the exam at the school.
- The school governing body can charge for
- any materials, books, instruments or equipment where the child’s parent(s) wishes them to own it
- music and vocal tuition in limited circumstances (see point 7)
- optional extras’ (see below) which can include provision for any materials, books, instruments or equipment provided in connection with the optional extras. Also a cost for non-teaching staff, teaching staff/supply teaching staff engaged under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra and the cost or a proportion of the costs for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument, where the tuition is an optional extra.
- Optional extras where charges apply
- residential activities – board and lodging costs
- transport that is not required to take the pupil to school or to other premises where the governing body/local authority have arranged for the pupil to be provided with education
- examination entry fee(s) if the registered pupil has not been prepared for the examination(s) at the school.
Participation in any ‘optional extra’ activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement is a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an ‘optional extra’ where charges will be made. No child will be excluded from a non-chargeable activity because his/her parents are unable to contribute. Any charge made in respect of individual pupils will not exceed the actual cost of providing the activity. When any activity is arranged parents will be notified of the policy for allocating places, this would be in conjunction with the current Trips Policy.
- Voluntary Contributions
There is no legislation that prevents the school governing body or local authority from asking for voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or any school activity (free or not). The Governing Body/Headteacher will ensure it is made clear to parents that there is no obligation to make any contribution, but if a school activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, then it will be cancelled.
- Breakages and fines
The Governing Body reserves the right to request parents to reimburse the school for items lost, damaged or destroyed as a result of a pupil’s behaviour.
The Governing Body have agreed that some activities where charges can legally be made will be offered at no charge or a reduced charge to parents in particular circumstances. Consideration for remission would apply where parents are in receipt of Income Support / Working Tax credit or other recognised state benefits. The school requests that evidence is provided, when application for remission is made. The Governing Body reserve the right to help with some costs in exceptional circumstances.
- Additional considerations
The school can arrange for parents to pay in instalments for charges raised. In conjunction with the Trips Policy, information will be published with an appropriate lead time, in order to minimise an unnecessary burden on family finances.
- Music Tuition
The Charges for Music Tuition regulations 2007 now allows for charges to be made for teaching either an individual pupil or groups of any appropriate size to play a musical instrument or to sing, which takes place during the school day, subject to the parent/carer requesting the tuition. Charges can only be made if the teaching is not an essential part of either the national curriculum or a public examination syllabus being followed by the pupils. Please refer to the Music Charging Policy for detailed information.