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Charging and Remissions Policy

CHARGING AND REMISSIONS POLICY

Our school is:

a safe, supportive stimulating learning environment;

a team of respectful, tolerant, open minded citizens;

a community where everyone aspires to be the very best they can be;

a community of resilient lifelong learners;

a centre of excellence where all achieve success.

PURPOSE

 

This policy sets out the situations when we will charge parents, and where parents may be eligible for remission from these charges.

 

Review Date

May 2021

Reviewed By

ND, CH, CF

Next Review

May 2022

Summary of changes

 

New version based on The School Bus template

Approved By:

 

Head Teacher …………………………………………….………… Date …………………………

 

 

Chair of Governors …………………………………………….….  Date …………………………

 

CONTENTS

 

Statement of intent - 2 -

1.      Legal framework  - 3 -

2.      Charging for education  - 3 -

3.      Optional extras  - 3 -

4.      Voluntary contributions  - 4 -

5.      Music tuition  - 4 -

6.      Transport - 4 -

7.      Residential visits  - 5 -

8.      Education partly during school hours  - 5 -

9.      Damaged or lost items  - 5 -

10.        Remissions  - 6 -

11.        School trip refunds  - 6 -

12.        Monitoring and review   - 7 -

 

Statement of intent

Arboretum Primary School is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all pupils, regardless of financial circumstances, and has established the following policy and procedures to ensure that no child is discriminated against by our offering of school trips, activities and educational extras.

In addition, we are committed to adhering to legal requirements regarding charging for school activities, and meeting all statutory guidance provided by the DfE.

We promise:

  • Not to charge for education provided during school hours.
  • To inform parents on low incomes and in receipt of relevant benefits of the support available to them when asking for contributions.
 

1.Legal framework

This policy has due regard to all relevant legislation and statutory guidance including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Education Act 1996
  • The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007
  • The Education (Prescribed Public Examinations) (England) Regulations 2010
  • DfE (2018) ‘Charging for school activities’
  • DfE (2020) ‘Governance handbook’
  • DDAT2’s Funding Agreement

This policy operates in conjunction with the following school policies:

  • Complaints Procedures Policy

 

2.Charging for education

Parents will not be charged for:

  • Admission applications.
  • Education provided during school hours.
  • Education provided outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for by the school, or part of RE.
  • Instrumental or vocal tuition, unless provided at the request of the pupil’s parent.
  • Entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school.
  • Examination resits, if the pupil is being prepared for the resits at the school.

We may charge parents for the following:

  • Materials, books, instruments or equipment, where they desire their child to own them
  • Optional extras
  • Music tuition (in certain circumstances)

 

3.Optional extras

We may charge parents for the following optional extras:

  • Education provided outside of school time that is not:
    • Part of the national curriculum
    • Part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school
    • RE
  • Examination entry fees where the pupil has not been prepared for the examinations at the school
  • Transport, other than that arranged by the LA for the pupil to be provided with education
  • Board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit
  • Extended day services offered to pupils

When calculating the cost of optional extras, the school will only take into account the cost, or an appropriate proportion of the cost, of the following:

  • Materials, books, instruments or equipment provided in relation to the optional extra
  • Buildings and accommodation
  • Employment of non-teaching staff
  • Teaching staff (including TAs) under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra
  • Teaching staff employed to provide vocal tuition or tuition in playing a musical instrument

The school will not charge in excess of the actual cost of providing the optional extra divided by the number of participating pupils. A subsidy will not be charged for any pupils wishing to participate but whose parents are unwilling or unable to pay the full charge. If a proportion of the activity takes place during school hours, the school will not charge for the cost of alternative provision for those not participating.

The school will not charge for supply teachers to cover for teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit.

Participation in any optional activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges; therefore, parental agreement is a prerequisite for the provision of an optional extra.

If a charge is to be made for a particular activity, such as optional extras, parents will be informed of how the charge has been calculated if requested.

 

4.Voluntary contributions

The school may, from time-to-time, ask for voluntary contributions towards the benefit of the school or school activities. If an activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, the school will make this clear to parents at the outset. There is no obligation for parents to make a contribution and parents will be notified regarding whether assistance is available.

No pupil will be excluded from an activity simply because their parents are unwilling or unable to pay. If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay, their child will still be given an equal opportunity to take part in the activity. If insufficient voluntary contributions are raised to fund an activity, and the school cannot fund it via another source, the activity will be cancelled.

The school will strive to ensure that parents do not feel pressurised into making voluntary contributions.

 

5.Music tuition

Music tuition is the only exception to the rule that all education provided during school hours must be free. The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007 allow for charges to be made for vocal or instrumental tuition provided either individually or to groups of any size – provided that the tuition is at the request of the pupil’s parents. The charges will not exceed the cost of the provision, including the cost of the staff providing the tuition.

 

6.Transport

The school will not charge for:

  • Transporting registered pupils to or from the school premises, where the LA has a statutory obligation to provide the transport.
  • Transporting registered pupils to other premises where the governing board or LA has arranged for pupils to be educated.
  • Transporting pupils to meet an examination requirement when they have been prepared for the examination at the school.
  • Transport provided for an educational visit.

 

7.Residential visits

The school will not charge for:

  • Education provided on any visit that takes place during school hours.
  • Education provided on any visit that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of RE.
  • Supply teachers to cover for teachers accompanying pupils on visits.

The school may charge for board and lodging, but the charge will not exceed the actual cost. Parents will be assisted with board and lodging costs if they can prove that they are eligible for Pupil Premium through benefits-related Free School Meals.  Any other requests for assistance will be at the head teacher’s discretion.

 

8.Education partly during school hours

If 50 percent or more of the time spent on an activity occurs during school hours (including time spent travelling if the travel occurs during school hours), it is deemed to take place during school hours and no charge will be made.

If less than 50 percent of the time spent on an activity occurs during school hours, it is deemed to have taken place outside school hours and the school may charge for the activity; however, the school will not charge if the activity is part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of RE.

Residential visits If the number of school sessions covered by the visit is equal to or greater than 50 percent of the number of half days (any period of 12 hours ending with noon or midnight on any day) spent on the visit, the school will not charge for the activity.

The remission of charges for board and lodging payments is the responsibility of the school. These costs will be borne by the school’s contingency funds.

 

9.Damaged or lost items

The school may charge parents for the cost of replacing items broken, damaged or lost due to their child’s behaviour.

The school will charge for equipment loaned to families which is broken, damaged or lost whilst in their possession.

Parents will not be taken to court for failure to pay such costs.

 

10.Remissions

The school has set aside a small fund to enable parents in financial difficulty to send their children on visits and activities. The funding is limited and there is no guarantee that all requests can be met. Assistance will be allocated on a needs basis, and if the full cost of the trip or activity cannot be met through assistance funding and voluntary contributions, the trip or activity will be cancelled.

Parents may be assisted with the costs of activities if they can prove that they are eligible for Pupil Premium through benefits-related Free School Meals.

 

11.School trip refunds

All initial deposits for school trips will be non-refundable. Parents will be informed of this when they are provided with initial information about the trip.

In the event that the school has to cancel a trip due to foreseen circumstances, parental contributions will be refunded. In the event that a school trip is cancelled by a party other than the school due to unforeseen circumstances, it is at the head teacher’s discretion as to whether a refund is given to parents. The head teacher will consult the governing board on the matter, taking into account the cost to the school, including alternative provision cost.

In the event that a pupil or their parents cancel the pupil’s place on a trip, it is at the head teacher’s discretion as to whether a refund is given. The head teacher will consult the governing board on the matter, taking into account the reason for cancellation, whether the school will be reimbursed for the pupil’s place on the trip, and whether the place on the trip can be offered to another pupil.

Where a pupil or their parents have previously cancelled a place on a trip and received a full refund, the school has the right to refuse to allow the pupil to attend future trips and visits.

In the event that a pupil cannot attend a trip at the last minute, e.g. due to illness, it is at the head teacher’s discretion as to whether a refund is given, taking into account whether the school will be reimbursed for the pupil’s place on the trip and whether the place on the trip can be offered to another pupil.

In the event that a school trip is postponed due to unforeseen circumstances, it is at the head teacher’s discretion as to what happens with the parental contributions for the trip. The head teacher will discuss options with the governing board, which could include carrying forward the money until the trip takes place, transferring the money to another trip, or refunding parents.

In the event that the decision is made to postpone a trip due to foreseen circumstances, it is at the head teacher’s discretion as to what happens with the parental contributions for the trip. The head teacher will discuss options with the governing board, which could include carrying forward the money until the trip takes place, transferring the money to another trip, or refunding parents.

Once trip arrangements have been booked and confirmed, if contributions exceed the total cost of the trip, a refund will be given where the excess if greater than £1 per pupil. If the excess is less than £1 per pupil, this will be paid into the school’s account. Excess expenditure will be subsidised by the school fund. 

The school will deal with cancellations and refunds on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that all pupils and their families are treated equally.

If a parent wishes to make a complaint about refunds, they can do so via the Complaints Procedures Policy.

12.Monitoring and review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the governing board and head teacher. The next scheduled review date for this policy is May 2022.

 

APPENDIX – LIST OF CHARGES

 

  • Residential School Trips support for families eligible for Pupil Premium, parents to fund 1/3rd of the overall costs school and school to fund 2/3rd .
  • School Trips with coach travel: parental contribution
  • School Trips local:  parental contribution
  • Visiting Theatre Companies and other onsite providers: parental contribution up to maximum £3 per visit
  • Clubs After School: £1.00 contribution to staffing and resources
  • Breakfast Club: 50p contribution to costs
  • Lost or damaged reading books: RWInc black and white copies £1:00, all other books £5.00
  • Lost or damaged loaned electrical devices, the school will pay the first £100 of repairs or replacement. Parents to pay the remaining cost.
  • Other lost or damaged property - according to replacement value
  • School Meals Pupils £1.80

 

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