Charging and Remissions Policies

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1 Introduction

The Illuminare Multi Academy Trust (The Trust) has set out this policy on charging and remission for school activities and school visits to advise parents what activities will be charged for, how these charges will be worked out and who might qualify for help with the costs.

This policy follows the guidelines set out in sections 449-462 of the Education Act 1996 which sets out the law on charging for school activities in schools maintained by local authorities in England. It also references the ‘Charging for School Activities’ guidance produced by the Dfe.

Guidance to help schools set out their policies on charging for school activities and visits.

2 Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Directors of the Academy is responsible for determining the content of this policy and the Head Teacher for implementation. Any determination with respect to individual parents/carers will be considered jointly by the Headteacher and Board of Directors. While the responsibility for the implementation of this policy and provision rests with the Headteacher, on an operational basis, the management, responsibility and evaluation of this policy is undertaken by the CFO.

3 Suggested Audience

All staff and parents

Aim

The aim of this policy is to set out what charges will be levied for activities, what remissions will be implemented and the circumstances under which voluntary contributions will be requested from parents/carers.

5 Activities for which charges cannot be made

The Board of Directors recognises that legislation prohibits charges for the following:

  • the admission process
  • 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[1], or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or part of religious education
  • tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments, 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, or part of religious education
  • 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[2]
  • transporting registered pupils to or from the school premises, where the local education authority has a statutory obligation to provide transport
  • transporting registered pupils to other premises where the governing body or local education authority has arranged for pupils to be educated
  • transport that enables a pupil to meet an examination requirement, when the pupil has been prepared for that examination at the school
  • transport provided in connection with an educational visit

[1] It should be noted that ‘part of the National Curriculum’ is not restricted to learning outside the classroom experiences that are specifically subject based (e.g. geography or science fieldwork) and include, for example, activities designed to fulfil requirements under the National Curriculum ‘inclusion statement’ (e.g. developing teamwork skills).

[1] However, if a pupil fails, without good reason, to meet any examination requirement for a syllabus, the fee can be recovered from the pupil’s parents.

6 Activities for which charges may be made 

The Board of Directors and Headteacher will consider asking parents/carers to meet the costs of the activities detailed in the following table. The charges will be made after consultation with parents/carers, will not exceed the cost of the provision and will be proportional for each student. Lessons / activities will not be confirmed until parental/carer agreement has been received, ideally by return of a signed reply slip.

Activity Note
Board and lodging on residential trips Information about activities and costs to be distributed to parents/carers, well in advance of any trip, to enable financial planning by the family to take place
Materials or equipment if parents/carers indicate in advance that they want the child to bring them home.
The proportionate costs for any student on activities wholly or mainly outside Academy hours (‘Optional extras’) to meet the costs of:

  • Travel
  • Materials and equipment
  • Non-teaching staff costs and costs of staff specifically engaged for the activity
  • Entrance fees
  • Insurance costs
Vocal and musical instrumental tuition Charges to cover the additional costs incurred by the Academy, beyond any element covered by public funding
Re-sits for public examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the Academy
Examination fees, where a student fails without good reason to sit an exam After consultation with parents/carers
Any other education, transport or examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the Academy
Any other education, transport or examinations fee unless charges are specifically prohibited
Breakages, repairs and replacements as a result of damage caused wilfully or negligently by the student Charges will be made after consultation with parents/carers and will not exceed total replacement /repair costs
Extra-curricular activities and clubs Charges to cover the additional costs incurred by the Academy, beyond any element covered by public funding
Any extended Academy activity Charges to cover the additional costs incurred by the Academy, beyond any element covered by public funding


7 Voluntary Contributions

Nothing in legislation prevents the Trust board from asking for voluntary contributions for the benefit of the academy or any academy activities. However, if the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, the directors, CEO or head teacher will make this clear to parents at the outset. The directors, CEO or head teacher will also make it clear to parents that there is no obligation to make any contribution.

It is important to note that no child will be excluded from an activity simply because his or her parents are unwilling or unable to pay. If insufficient voluntary contributions are raised to fund a visit, then it may be cancelled. The Trust will make sure that this is made clear to parents. If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay, their child will still be given an equal chance to go on the visit. The Trust will make it clear to parents at the outset what their policy for allocating places on school visits will be.

8 Chargeable Activities

Material and Equipment

Parents may be expected to provide materials, or be charged for materials where the parent wishes to own the end product, for example, ingredients and/or materials for items produced during food technology, textiles, design technology and art classes. In addition, should a parent wish to own the books or equipment, such as revision guides, text books and musical instruments, these items will be chargeable.

9 Optional Extras

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:

  • education provided outside of school time that is not:
  1. a) part of the National Curriculum
  1. b) part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school
  1. c) part of religious education
  • examination entry fee(s) and re-sits, if the registered pupil has not been prepared for the examination(s) at the school
  • transport that is not required to take the pupil to school, or to other premises, where the local authority/governing body have arranged for the pupil to be provided with education
  • board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit

In calculating the cost of optional extras, an amount may be included in relation to:

  • any materials, books, instruments, or equipment provided in connection with the optional extra
  • non-teaching staff
  • teaching staff engaged under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra; this includes supply teachers engaged specifically to provide the optional extra

Any charge made in respect of individual pupils will not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of pupils participating. It will not include an element of subsidy for any other pupils wishing to participate in the activity whose parents are unwilling or unable to pay the full charge.

No charge will be made for supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit.

Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges.

Music Tuition

Although the law states that all education provided during school hours must be free, music lessons are an exception to this rule.

The Trust may charge for teaching either an individual pupil or groups of any appropriate size (provided that the size of the group is based on sound pedagogical principles) to play a musical instrument or to sing. The cost, or a proportion of the costs, for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument, where the tuition is an optional extra, may be charged.

Board and Lodging

Where a school activity requires pupils to spend nights away from home, the school may make a charge for board and lodging.

This is with the exception of pupils whose parents are receiving: Income Support; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or Child Tax Credit (providing that they do not also receive Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £15,575 FY 08/09) and an income related employment and support allowance. Since April 2003, the eligibility criteria that entitle families to an exemption from paying for the cost of board and lodging on residential visits have been aligned with free school meals eligibility criteria.

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