Charging & Remissions Policy
Policy on charging for and remissions for school activities
John Hampden and Tetsworth Schools Federation believe that :-
All our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities and visits (curricular and extra curricular) independent of their parents’ financial means. This charging and remissions policy describes how we will do our best to ensure a good range of visits and activities is offered and, at the same time, try to minimise the financial barriers which may prevent some pupils taking full advantage of the opportunities.
The 1996 Education Act requires all schools to have a policy on charging and remissions for school activities, which will be kept under regular review. The review date for this policy is recorded at the end of the document.
1. The policy identifies activities for which:
- charges will not be made.
- charges will be made
- charges may be waived
2. Voluntary contributions
Separately from the matter of charging, schools may always seek voluntary contributions in order to offer a wide variety of experiences to pupils. All requests for voluntary contributions will emphasise their voluntary nature and the fact that pupils of parents who do not make such contributions will be treated no differently from those who have.
The Law says:
If the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions the parents will be notified of this from the outset.
No child will be excluded from an activity because parents are unable to pay.
If insufficient contributions are raised, the trip or activity may have to be cancelled.
If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay their child will be given an equal chance to go on the visit.
3. No charges will be made for
- Education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment);
- Education provided outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education;
- Tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments (or singing) if the tuition is required as part of the National Curriculum, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school;
- Entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school*;
- Examination re-sit(s)* if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school;
- Education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours;
- Education provided on any trip that takes place outside school hours
- if it is part of the National Curriculum, or
- part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or
- part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education;
- Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential trip;
- Transport provided in connection with an educational trip.
* If a pupil fails, without good reason, to meet any examination requirement for a syllabus a charge will be made.
4. Activities for which charges may be made
a) Activities outside school hours
Non-residential activities (other than those listed in 3 above) which take place outside school hours but only if the majority of the time spent on that activity takes place outside school hours(time spent on travel counts in this calculation if the travel itself occurs during school hours).
b) Residential activities
Board and lodging costs (but only those costs) of residential trips deemed to take place during school time, However pupils whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits (see remissions policy below) may not be charged for board and lodging costs
Residential trips deemed to take place outside school time (other than for those activities listed in 3 above).
c) Music tuition
Music tuition for individuals or groups of up to 4 pupils
Is a residential trip in or out of school time?
If the number of school sessions on a residential trip is equal to or greater than 50% of the number of half days spent on the trip it is deemed to have taken place during school hours (even if some activities take place late in the evening). Whatever the starting and finishing times of the school day, regulations require that the school day is divided into 2 sessions. A “half day” means any period of 12 hours ending with noon or midnight on any day.
It is the policy of our schools that charges will (or may) be made as indicated below. Parental agreement will be obtained before a charge is made.
Activities which can be charged for (with the exception of board and lodging for residential trips) are regarded as ‘optional extras’. Charges will not exceed the actual cost (per pupil) of provision.
In order to remove financial barriers from disadvantaged pupils, the governing body has agreed that some activities and visits where charges can legally be made will be offered at no charge or a reduced charge to parents in particular circumstances. This remissions policy sets out the circumstances in which charges will be waived.
6. Families qualifying for remission or help with charges.
If remission or help is available in relation to a particular charge it is indicated in the right hand column of the table above. Criteria for qualification for remission are given below.
Parents in receipt of
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the family’s income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190
- Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit run – on eligibility
- Universal Credit
- Further qualification
- Children for whom the school receives Pupil Premium funding
Additional categories of parents may claim help with some costs in the following circumstances:
- Families not in receipt of the benefits listed in Category A above,but who nonetheless feel unwilling or unable to pay due to financial constraints. Parents in this category should discuss their concerns about charges with the Headteacher. Decisions about remission will be made on a case by case basis.
- Examples of families in this category would include those families with more than two children incurring simultaneous charges for school activities.
- Circumstances that are not included in the categories above for which the Governing Body may deem to be a special case for consideration.
9. Additional considerations
The governing body recognises its responsibility to ensure that the offer of activities and educational visits does not place an unnecessary burden on family finances. To this end we will try to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Where possible we shall publish a list of visits (and their approximate cost) at the beginning of the school year so that parents can plan ahead
- We have established a system for parents to pay in instalments
- When an opportunity for a trip arises at short notice it will be possible to arrange to pay by instalments beyond the date of the trip
- We acknowledge that offering opportunities on a ‘first pay, first served’ basis discriminates against pupils from families on lower incomes and we will avoid that method of selection.
Date to be reviewed : Spring 2020
This policy was reviewed and adopted on 15thJanuary 2018
Signed Adrian Cannon Chair
Signed Paul Hankey Headteacher