Charges, Voluntary Contributions, Remissions and Refunds Policy
Our Mission Statement
The aim of our school is to enable every child to grow intellectually, morally, spiritually and physically in a caring Christian community. We seek to help children achieve their full potential by encouraging a love of learning and the development of self-esteem and confidence. As a Church school we aim to develop Christian values and foster a respect for other people and their beliefs, as positive participants in the world community.
Definition of Learning
In our school we see learning as the process of acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding through investigation, discovery, guidance and reflection.
We believe this policy should be a working document that is fit for purpose, represents the school ethos, enables consistency and quality across the school and is related to the following legislation:
- Education Reform Act 1988
- Education (Prescribed Public Examinations) Regulations 1989
- Education (Pupils' Attendance Records) Regulations 1991
- Education Act 1996
- Education (School Sessions, Charges and Permissions Policies) (Information) (England) Regulations 1999
- Education Act 2002
- Education (Residential Trips) (Prescribed Tax Credits) (England) Regulations 2003
- School Information (England) Regulations 2008
- Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007
- Education and Inspections Act 2006
We are aware that under the Education Reform Act 1988 and the Education Act 20002 that no charge can be made for education in school hours and that every child has the right to receive free school education.
We recognise that all activities offered during normal teaching time must be made available to all children regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to help meet the cost.
We recognise the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs, educational visits and residential experiences, can make towards pupils personal and social education.
It is our intention to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and as additional activities.
Therefore, any activity which takes place mainly during school hours or is an essential part of the curriculum will be provided free of charge.
We are aware that we are able to ask for voluntary contributions from parents when organising educational visits which will enrich the curriculum and the educational experiences of children. Under no circumstances will we pressurise parents when we make a request for voluntary contributions.
We will refund in full all contributions if an activity has had to be cancelled and if a child is absent due to illness.
We will inform parents on low incomes and in receipt of Universal Credit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Child Tax Credit, the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit of the support available to them when we ask for contributions towards the cost of school visits.
We wish to work closely with the School Council and to hear their views and opinions as we acknowledge and support Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that children should be encouraged to form and to express their views.
We as a school community have a commitment to promote equality and we believe this policy is in line with the Equality Act 2010.
We believe it is essential that this policy clearly identifies and outlines the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the procedures and arrangements that is connected with this policy.
- To outline what the school can and cannot charge for.
- To outline the school policy for voluntary contributions and remissions.
- To work with other schools and the local authority in order to share good practice in order to improve this policy.
Responsibility for the Policy and Procedure
Role of the Governing Body
The Governing Body has:
- delegated powers and responsibilities to the Head teacher to ensure all school personnel and visitors to the school are aware of and comply with this policy;
- responsibility for ensuring that the school complies with all equalities legislation;
- responsibility for ensuring funding is in place to support this policy;
- responsibility for ensuring this policy and all policies are maintained and updated regularly;
- responsibility for ensuring all policies are made available to parents;
- the Governing Body to review this policy and report on it;
- responsibility for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy
Role of the Head teacher
The Head teacher will:
- ensure all school personnel, pupils and parents are aware of and comply with this policy;
- work closely with the governors;
- provide leadership and vision in respect of equality;
- provide guidance, support and training to all staff;
- monitor the effectiveness of this policy by speaking with pupils, school personnel, parents and governors;
- annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy
Conditions when charges cannot be made
Charges cannot be made for any books, materials, instruments, equipment or transport for use in connection with education if the education is:
- within school hours;
- for the National Curriculum programme out-of-school hours;
- part of a syllabus for an agreed examination for a pupil;
- for statutory religious education;
- for musical tuition as part of the National Curriculum;
- for education provided on any educational visit during the school day;
- for education provided on any educational visit outside school hours;
- for the cost of supply teachers substituting for absent teachers on residential visits with pupils;
- for the entry to public examination which is on the prescribed list;
- examination re-sits
Charges for transport cannot be made when:
- transporting pupils to or from the school premises;
- transporting pupils to other premises where arrangements have been made for them to be educated;
- a pupil needs to sit an examination;
- an educational visit has been planned
Conditions when charges can and cannot be made
Parents must be fully aware that the school or local authority:
- cannot charge for:
- an admission application to any state funded school;
- education provided during school hours;
- the supply of materials, books, instruments or other equipment;
- education provided outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum;
- instrumental or vocal tuition if it is part of the national curriculum or 'is provided
under the first access to the KS2 Instrumental and Vocal Tuition Programme';
- entry for a prescribed public examination;
- examination re-sit;
- transport in connection with an educational visit;
- transporting pupils to and from the school premises when it is the statutory obligation of the local authority;
- transporting pupils to other premises to be educated where the governing body or local authority has arranged this;
- transport that enables a pupil to meet an examination requirement when he/she has been prepared for that examination at the school.
- can charge for:
- any materials, books, instruments, or equipment if a child's parents wish him/her to own them;
- vocal or instrumental tuition provided that the tuition is provided at the request of the pupil's parents;
- option extras such as:
- education provided outside school hours that is not:
- part of the national curriculum;
- part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination;
- part of religious education.
- examination fees if the pupil has not been prepared for the examination at the school;
- residential board and lodging fees for an educational visit;
- breakfast and after-school clubs;
- tea and supervised homework sessions.
(Charging for School Activities (DfE))
Support for Parents/Carers
The Governing Body will:
- support any parent/carer in paying for any activity for an individual pupil if they are experiencing financial difficulties;
- inform parents/carers that if they can prove they are on state benefits (see below) then they will not be charged board and lodging fees for any residential visit;
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance,
- Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
We are aware that we can ask for voluntary contributions from parents/carers that will benefit the school or any school activity.
We will inform parent/carers:
- if planned activities depend on voluntary contributions for part or all of the cost;
- that there is no obligation on them to make voluntary contributions;
- that an educational visit or activity will be cancelled if sufficient costs are not raised via voluntary contributions;
- that no pupil will be excluded from an educational visit or activity if a parent/carer is unwilling or unable to pay;
We will remit any charge wholly or partly if any activity takes place:
- mostly within school hours or;
- partly within and partly outside school hours
Refunds will be given if:
- a child is absent due to illness;
- an educational visit/school event has been cancelled;
- contributions to an activity exceed the total cost, that is if the excess amount is over £1 per child
Role of Parents/Carers
Parents must be made fully aware what the school or local authority can or cannot charge for.
Raising Awareness of this Policy
We will raise awareness of this policy via:
- the school website
- the Staff Handbook
- meetings with parents such as introductory, transition, parent-teacher consultations and periodic curriculum workshops
- school events
- meetings with school personnel
- communications with home such as monthly newsletters.
- information displays in the main school entrance
All school personnel:
- have equal chances of training, career development and promotion
- receive training on this policy on induction which specifically covers:
- Organising an educational visit / school event
- Budgeting and Financial Planning
- School Fund
- Equal opportunities
- receive periodic training so that they are kept up to date with new information
- receive equal opportunities training on induction in order to improve their understanding of the Equality Act 2010 and its implications
Equality Impact Assessment
Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a duty not to discriminate against people on the basis of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
We believe this policy is in line with the school Equality Policy and the Equality Act 2010 as it is fair, it does not prioritise or disadvantage any pupil and it helps to promote equality at this school.
Monitoring the Effectiveness of the Policy
The practical application of this policy will be reviewed annually or when the need arises by the coordinator, the Headteacher and the governors.
Reviewed and Updated Spring term 2017.
Chair of Governing Body:
Reviewed and Updated Spring term 2017.