Charging and remissions policy
All education during school hours is free. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum with the exception of individual or group music tuition.
The charging provisions of the Education Act 1996: Sections 449-462 came into force on the 1st April 1989. Since that date, no school governing body has been able to levy charges for any school activity unless it has drawn up and published a statement on its policy for charging and remission of charges.
The governors wholly support the fundamental principles of free school education embodied in legislation and its interpretation by the courts. All activities offered in school time will be available to all pupils regardless of their parents’ ability to pay or willingness to meet the cost, within budgetary restraints. The governors do, however, wish to exercise their discretion in charging for optional activities provided out of school hours, and more especially to invite voluntary contributions for benefit of the school or in support of activities organised by the school.
We believe that educational and residential activities and extra-curricular activities play an important part in the delivery of the National Curriculum and have a large impact on the children’s educational and social development.
Charges cannot be levied for educational visits/activities which are part of the national curriculum and take part within the school day. If it is not possible to meet the cost of educational visits and or activities within the resources available to the school, the school may request or invite parents to make a contribution towards the cost of the trip. Pupils will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made any contribution in response to the request. However, where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible, then it may be cancelled.
If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, we do allow the child to participate fully in the trip or activity. Sometimes the school pays additional costs in order to support the visit. Parents have a right to know how each trip is costed. The school provides this information on request.
The following is a list of additional activities organised by the school, which require voluntary contributions from parents. These activities are known as ‘optional extras’. This list is not exhaustive:
- visits to museums;
- sporting activities which require transport expenses;
- outdoor adventure activities;
- visits to the theatre;
- various school trips to support learning in the classroom;
- musical events
Special rules apply for residential activities. Residential activities are those requiring pupils to spend one or more nights away from home. A charge can and will be made to cover the costs of board and lodgings. Costs for a residential can include elements for: hiring trained staff for specialist activities, materials, equipment, entrance fees and insurance and these will be charged in addition to board and lodgings. Parents will be able to pay for residential trips in instalments. The last instalment will be due the week before non–returnable deposits need to be made to the centre. That way a decision can be made to cancel a trip without parents losing out. Parents will have the option to decline to pay the charge in which case either the activity will not be provided, or the governors will use their discretion to meet the cost for that child from other funds available to the school. If parents are experiencing financial difficulty they are invited to write in confidence to the Headteacher.
Items Incidental to Education
The school may occasionally ask parents to supply their children voluntarily with particular items required for normal educational activity, or to contribute to the cost of materials being used e.g. cooking ingredients. However, no child will be disadvantaged if his or her parent is unwilling to help in this way.
All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum. We do not charge for this.
There is a charge for individual or group music tuition if this is not part of the National Curriculum. The peripatetic (visiting) music teachers teach individual or small group lessons. We make a charge for these lessons. If parents are experiencing financial difficulty, they are invited to write in confidence to the Headteacher. We give parents information about additional music tuition at the start of each academic year.
As the school has to agree an annual contract with the instrumental teachers providing peripatetic music lessons, we must ask you to make an annual commitment to the scheme. The annual charge will be payable at the beginning of the Autumn Term or by post-dated cheques collected in September dated: Autumn Term - 1 st October Spring Term - 1 st January Summer Term – 1 st April. Cheques should be made payable to Hampshire County Council and are non-refundable.
- Fees are payable per academic year.
- The school will endeavour to provide 30 lessons per year (any lessons additional to the 30 per year will not be charged for)
- A firm commitment to attend every lesson will be expected and a contract must be signed at the beginning of each term.
- Tuition missed through student illness or non-attendance cannot be refunded unless there is an exceptionally long absence.
- Parents are asked to pay at the beginning of the Autumn Term or by post-dated cheques for the academic year
- If the music tutor is not able to meet the provision of 30 lessons across the year then refunds will be made at the end of the school year
- The school will endeavour wherever possible to arrange school trips around music lessons
- A firm commitment to daily practice is essential
After School Activities
The school offers additional after school activities. Where these activities are run by members of staff there will be no charge, unless contributions are needed for incidentals. Where organisations hire the hall from us with a letting agreement, the Hirer will charge fees for the activity as per their own requirements. The school has no input in this decision.
Letting of Premises
The school will make facilities available to outside users at a charge of at least the cost of providing facilities. The scale of charges are set on the basis of the County suggested rates. The conditions of hiring and booking are laid down in Lettings Policy.
Damage or Loss to Property
A charge will be levied in respect of wilful damage, neglect or loss of property (including premises, furniture, equipment, books or materials), the charge to be the cost of replacement or repair, or such lower cost as the Headteacher may decide.
Charges may be levied for miscellaneous services up to the cost of providing such services e.g.: photocopying, phone calls.
Children in Receipt of FSM
The school does not want to disadvantage any child from taking part in activities for which there may be a charge/voluntary contribution. This will include, but is not limited to, school visits, residential trips, music tuition and after school clubs. The school may make a contribution towards such activities; the amount offered by school will be at the discretion of the Headteacher. If you feel that this applies to you, please talk to the office in confidence. Proof of benefits will be required.
The school operates a breakfast club for which a charge is payable. Parents/carers should book sessions, and pay for them, at least a week in advance.
Unless children are entitled to free school meals, all school meals must be paid for in advance of the meal being taken. You may choose to pay this either daily, or weekly/monthly in advance. If parents do not pay, a basic meal will be provided but this may not be the same is what is on the menu. We will attempt to contact parents if a lunch has not been provided to allow time for a lunch to be brought in from home.
It is expected that any outstanding debts are cleared and if they are not, further school meals will not be permitted until such a time as the debt is cleared. If you are experiencing any difficulties, please do speak to us as soon as possible. We are usually able to accept smaller instalments in this instance.
The school organises swimming lessons for all children in Key Stage 2. These take place in school time and are part of the National Curriculum. We make no charge for this activity. We inform parents when these lessons are to take place, and we ask parents for their written permission for their child to take part in swimming lessons.
Date of policy issue: March 2018
Date of policy review: March 2020