• Charging & Remissions

    The policy will set out the circumstances in which charges will or will not be made for school activities and when charges may be waived in order to ensure that all pupils have an equal opportunity to benefit from school visits, curricular and extra-curricular activities.

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  • Introduction

    The headteacher and governing body recognises the value of providing a wide range of experiences to enrich and extend pupils’ learning and to contribute to their personal development. The headteacher and governing body aims to promote and provide such experiences for the pupils of the school, both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and as additional optional activities.

    However, many of these activities have an associated cost and cannot be provided unless voluntary contributions are received or parents are charged for the cost.

    The policy will set out the circumstances in which charges will or will not be made for school activities and when charges may be waived in order to ensure that all pupils have an equal opportunity to benefit from school visits, curricular and extra-curricular activities.

    Statement

    The policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1996.

    Where “parent” is referred to this will include adults with a responsibility for the pupil.

    We aim:

    • To make activities accessible to all pupils regardless of family income
    • To encourage and promote external activities which give added value to the curriculum
    • To provide a process which allows activities to take place at a minimum cost to parents, pupils and the school
    • To respond to the wide variations in family income while not adding additional unexpected burdens to the school budget

    Legislation – Education During School Hours

    The DfE in its guidance to School Governors states that “education provided during school hours must be free”. The definition of “education” includes materials, equipment and transport provided in school hours by school to carry pupils between school and an activity. It goes on to advise that “although schools cannot charge for school time activities, they still invite parents and others to make voluntary contributions”.

    When additional costs are incurred by Northowram Primary school to enhance the curriculum opportunities for the pupils, parents may be requested to make voluntary contributions. However, no pupil will be left out of an activity because his or her parents cannot or will not make contribution of any kind.

    Education Outside School Hours

    The DfE in its guidance to School Governors states that “parents can only be charged for activities that happen outside school hours when these activities are not a necessary part of the national curriculum or religious education. No charge can be made for activities that are an essential part of the syllabus for an approved examination. Charges may be made for other activities that happen outside school hours if parents agree to pay. The Education Reform Act 1988 described activities, which can be charged for as “optional extras”.

    Remissions

    To ensure that access to activities reflects intentions, Northowram Primary school will implement the following Remissions Policy. The fundamental aim of this policy is to ensure that all pupils gain fully from everything that the school is able to offer them and is based on an understanding of the relationship between low income, entitlement and access. This policy takes into account the very real and persistent difficulties which people on low income have in meeting the costs of educational activities for their children.

    Where parents are in receipt of any of the following, the governing body will observe its statutory requirement to remit in full the cost of board and lodgings for any residential activity that the school organises for the pupil if the activity is deemed to take place within school hours.

    • Income Support
    • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
    • Support under part IV of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
    • Child Tax Credit (provided that working Tax Credit is not also received)

    There may be cases of family hardship which make it difficult for pupils to take part in other particular activities for which a charge is made. When arranging a chargeable activity the governing body will invite parents to apply in confidence for the remission of charges in part or full. Authorisation of remission will be made by the headteacher in consultation with the Chair of Governors.

    Data Protection of Pupils and Families

    Teachers will ensure that children are not publicly identified and stigmatised. This is particularly important as the fear of stigmatisation is often a key element in the non-take up of Free School Meals. This will be accomplished by developing methods of collecting voluntary charges or dinner money, which do not identify who do not contribute.

    Contributions

    Voluntary contributions may be requested to help with providing activities even though they may be part of the normal school day or part of the National Curriculum.

    If voluntary contributions are requested for an activity it should be clearly understood that there is no obligation to contribute and that if the parent is unable or unwilling to pay, the child will not be excluded from the activity.

    If sufficient contributions are not received the activity may be cancelled.

    Charges:

    The Governing Body reserves the right to make a charge for the activities and items detailed below:

    > Trips which are not part of the school curriculum or are outside the school day (i.e. weekend residential)
    > After school and pre-school clubs

    The school offers a range of out of school clubs and reserves the right to charge for such sessions to cover the costs of provision where those activities are not directly aimed at providing educational benefits to pupils

    > Music tuition if it is not required for the National Curriculum and is provided for an individual pupil or for groups of pupils

    Visiting music teachers from Calderdale Music Service offer individual or small group music tuition at the school, which is additional to the National Curriculum. We give parents information about this service at the start of each academic year and a charge is made for these lessons. Parents/carers who receive specific state benefits are exempt from charges for music tuition – details will be provided at the time that tuition is offered

    > Damage to school property, including school buildings, furniture or property

    The cost of replacing any item, such as a broken window or defaced, damaged or lost book, where this is as a result of a pupil’s behaviour. Parents will be charged for damage caused.

    > Visits to school by professionals, e.g. authors, storytellers, musicians, dancers, artists etc.
    > Residential Activity

    The DfE in its guidance to School Governors states that “For a residential activity taking place largely during school time, or essential to the education provided at the school, no charge may be made for either the education or the costs of the travel.

    However, charges will be made for board and lodgings in these circumstances, and we may invite voluntary contributions to meet other costs associated with the visit. Parents/carers who receive specific benefits are exempt from charges for board or lodgings and specific details of exemptions will be provided at the time that residential visits details are notified.

    Parents/carers will be given advance notice of proposed residential visit opportunities.