CHARGING AND REMISSION POLICY
Legislative background Section 4, of the Education Act 1988 Circular 2/89.
The Provision of Free Education
All activities that take place within the school day shall be free. The school will not charge for activities that take place within the school day although voluntary contributions may be sought towards the cost of the activities. Charges will only be made for activities that are arranged for outside school hours.
1. Voluntary contributions.
The school will ask parents, wherever possible, for voluntary contributions to cover expenses incurred. An initial letter will explain the nature of the proposed activity and its likely value in educational terms. If the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contribution, the governing body or head will make this clear to parents at the outset. It will then indicate the contribution per pupil which will be required if the activity were to take place. It will emphasise that there is no obligation to contribute and that no child will be omitted from the activity because his or her parents are unwilling or unable to contribute, but it will be made equally clear that the activity will not take place if parents are reluctant to support it.
There is no limit to the level of voluntary contribution which parents or others can make to school activities, nor is any restriction placed upon the use which can be made of such contributions. A request for a contribution towards the cost of a particular activity could include the cost of subsidising pupils from low-income families, or the cost of travel for accompanying teachers. Alternatively, parents will be asked to contribute towards part of the cost at the time of the visit or activity, and the rest will be met from the proceeds of general fund raising events held in preceding months.
If there are criteria for selecting a number of pupils eg. limited number of places available then the criteria will be published and the matter of whether a contribution has been sent will not arise. The relevant letter to parents, regarding the activity, may say that the activity may not take place if insufficient contributions are received.
2. Charging in kind.
A. Ingredients and materials needed for practical subjects eg. food technology and D/T will not be charged for unless the products are produced for a sale of work. Parents may be invited to cover expenses or donate ingredients in the case of parties and festivities.
Tuition in the playing of a musical instrument.
B. Discretionary charging for tuition.
Instrumental music tuition is proved for by the LA free of charge, although it is not part of the National Curriculum syllabus.
The governors would endeavour to continue to make this provision should LA funds be withdrawn, the funding for such activity being a proportion of school, parent and outside organisations, the ratio being a reflection of the circumstances prevailing at the time.
3. Residential/non residential visits.
If the number of school sessions taken by the visit is 50% or more of the number of half days spent on the visit, then the whole visit is defined as within school hours and no charge may be made except for board and lodgings, however a voluntary contribution will be asked for as above.
4. Board and lodgings.
Where an activity involves children in nights away from home, parents will be charged board and lodgings but this must not exceed the actual costs.
5. Optional extras.
Charges can be made for activities which are carried out wholly or mainly outside school hours. Participation in any optional extra, where there is a charge levied, will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet such charges as are made. The agreement of parents will be sought before pupils are accepted for an optional extra.
Any parents in receipt of income support or family credit will be able to claim a remission of charges if the activity is deemed to take place in school hours. Where a generous donation is given ie. from Cinderella Club or Children in Need, then the remission of charges will be extended to all pupils.