The Governing Body recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs and visits, can make towards a pupil’s education. The Governing Body aims to promote and provide such activities as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the pupils of the school and as additional optional activities.
The relevant statutory provisions are contained in Chapter III of Pt VI of the Education Act 1996. This requires the Governing Body to determine and keep under review a Charging and Remissions Policy.
There are two types of financial contributions for which parents can be asked in relation to educational activities:
They have different limitations as set out below.
There is no limit to the level of voluntary contribution that may be asked for or any restriction on the way in which it is used. Voluntary contributions therefore can be used to subsidise parents of pupils who are unwilling or unable to pay the charges made and to pay the travel and accommodation costs of accompanying teachers or adults.
Letters requesting a voluntary contribution for an activity must indicate that there is no obligation to contribute and that pupils will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made any contribution in response to the request or invitation.
Permitted charges are a direct request to cover certain costs involved with a school activity or visit. No charge can be made in respect of education provided during school hours (which excludes the midday break). Further more, no charge can be made for any education provided outside of school hours if this forms part of the syllabus for a public exam, or as part of the National Curriculum or religious education (non-chargeable education). A charge may be made however for board and lodgings on any residential educational visit (subject to the provisions of the LEA and school’s remissions policy).
Where a pupil or parent wishes to retain items produced as a result of art, craft and design, or design and technology, a charge may be levied for the cost of the materials used. In the case of Food Technology, pupils usually provide their own ingredients, but if the pupil forgets, the school provides the ingredients and levies a charge. Textbooks are provided free of charge, but in some subjects, additional revision guides are available, for which a charge is made.
The Governors appreciate that primary aged children are learning and that a large part of this process is experimenting with music, and in particular with playing an instrument. To facilitate this important aspect of a child’s creative education, the governors have decided to financially support your children by making a charge for music lessons that is broadly in line with other local schools. This will inevitably mean that the academy will need to add extra funding to this budget, but it is hoped that parents will appreciate this policy decision by encouraging their children to maintain their commitment for the whole academic year. No refunds will be granted if a child withdraws from lessons earlier than the agreed commitment, as the academy is required to pay the full year fees in advance.
If the activity is held outside school hours and is education other than non-chargeable education, then it is regarded as an “optional extra”. A charge may be made for the full cost of the activity but must not exceed the actual cost of providing the activity. The charge will include the costs of travel, board and lodgings, additional staff costs, entrance fees, insurance, materials and equipment. However, the charge made to individual parents cannot include any cost added to subsidise parents of children who are unwilling or unable to pay the charge.
When is an activity held in school hours?
A day visit is in school hours if:
50% or more of the total time (including travelling) occurs in school hours.
As mentioned above school hours do not include the normal midday break.
A residential visit is in school hours if:
The number of school sessions missed is 50% or more than the number of half days spent on the visit (including travel).
A school session equates to a registration session (i.e. 2 per day).
A half-day is a 12 hour period ending at midday or midnight.
Damage/Loss to Property
A charge will be levied in respect of wilful damage, neglect or loss of school property (including premises, furniture, equipment, books or materials), the charge to be the cost of replacement or repair, or such lower cost as the Headteacher may decide.
The school will make its facilities available to outside hirers, only regular users, at a charge of at least the cost of providing the facilities and this will also include out of hours payment required for site staff. The scale of charges will be determined annually by the Finance Committee and approved by the Governing Body.
The Headteacher, Finance Committee or Governing Body may levy charges for miscellaneous services up to the cost of providing such services e.g. for providing a copy of an OFSTED report.
The Academy Fund
Governors welcome voluntary contributions towards our Academy Fund. These contributions enable the Governors to maintain our high educational standards and also continue to develop our existing buildings programme.
Where non-chargeable education is provided during a residential visit, then the parents of a pupil who is eligible for Pupil Premium shall receive a complete remission of any charges that would otherwise be payable in respect of board or lodgings.
Charges may be made for some activities that are known as “optional extras”. Where an optional extra is being provided, a charge can be made for providing materials, books, instruments, or equipment.
Optional extras are:
The charge cannot exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra or the board and lodging.
Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement is therefore a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra where charges will be made.
Presented and agreed by the Full Governing Body 12.7.16