Charging Policy

1 EDUCATION DURING SCHOOL HOURS

1.1 Charges may be made for:

  • any materials, books, instruments, or equipment, where parents wish their child to own them;
    optional extras (see below);
    music tuition in certain circumstances (see below).

1.2 Where a charge is made it will not exceed the actual cost. If further funds are required, for example, to help in hardship cases, this will be by voluntary contributions (see below), general fundraising, from the school budget or from the locality deprivation fund.

2 VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

2.1 Although the school cannot charge for school-time activities, we may still invite parents and others to make voluntary contribution equal to the cost of the activity; such contributions are voluntary by law. Where parents are unable to make such contributions because of financial circumstances, they are asked to inform the Headteacher who will treat the matter in the strictest confidence; as a caring school community, we would not wish to deprive a child of a valuable learning experience through lack of funds. However, if sufficient parents are unable to contribute, the visit may not go ahead. The Pupil Premium Grant is used by the Headteacher in circumstances where the families of eligible pupils cannot make a financial contribution.

3 EDUCATION PARTLY DURING AND OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS

3.1 Sometimes an activity may happen partly during and partly outside school hours. If most of the time spent on a non-residential activity occurs during school hours, that activity counts as taking place entirely in school hours and no charge will be made. Time spent on travel only counts as being during school hours if the travel takes place during school hours.
3.2 If the activity takes place mainly outside of school hours then a charge can be made, provided the activity is not part of the National Curriculum, not part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination for which the pupil is being prepared at the school and not part of religious education.
3.3 The Education Act 1996 describes activities that can be charged for as “optional extras”:
transport that is not required to take the pupil to school or to other premises where arrangements have been made for the pupil to be provided with education;
board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit.
3.4In 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;
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.

4 RESIDENTIAL ACTIVITIES

4.1 Special rules apply for residential activities. A trip counts as falling within school time if the number of school sessions missed by the pupils amounts to half or more of the number of half-days taken up by the activity. Each school day is normally divided into two sessions and each 24 hour period is divided into two half-days beginning at noon and at midnight. If fifty per cent or more of a half-day is spent on a residential trip, the whole of that half-day is treated as being spent on the trip.
4.2 If a residential activity takes place largely during school time, meets the requirements of the syllabus for a public examination, or is to do with the national curriculum or religious education, no charge may be made either for the education or for the cost of travel.
However, charges, not exceeding the actual cost for the individual pupil, can be made for board and lodging. Parents will be invited to contribute towards the remaining cost of such visits in the same way as for day trips. Where a pupil’s parent/carer is entitled to child tax credit but not to working tax credit and the parent is receiving child tax credit based on an income not exceeding £16190, that pupil is entitled to free board and lodging on a residential trip.
4.3 For pupils whose parents are receiving:
Income Support;
Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
Child Tax Credit (providing that they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs);
the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;
an income related employment and support allowance;
a charge for board and lodging cannot be imposed but a contribution will still be requested.
Parents are asked to speak to the Headteacher, in strictest confidence, if they fall into this category.

5 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT TUITION

5.1 Musical instrument tuition is offered and the cost is deferred to parents. This activity is not
available to children of parents unwilling to carry the cost of the tuition unless they are eligible for free school meals. Please ask in the office for further details if you think you may be eligible to claim this.

6 SWIMMING

6.1 School swimming lessons take place at The Halstead Sports Centre for children in Key Stage Two. Parents are invited to contribute towards the costs. All children will swim once a week for half a term. The National Curriculum states that all children should be able to swim 25m before leaving primary school. This is a voluntary contribution.

7 ACTIVITIES NOT RUN BY THE SCHOOL OR LA

7.1 When organisations acting independently of the school or Local Authority arrange an activity to take place during school hours and parents want their children to join the
activity, such organisations may charge parents. Parents must then ask the school to agree to their children being absent. The governing body delegates to the Headteacher the power to determine whether to approve the absence. However, where an activity is organised by a third party and is approved by the school, is educational, or is supervised by someone authorised by the school, then it is the DfE’s view that it should be treated as if it were provided by the school and no charge should be made to the parents or pupils. Such an activity, if it takes place outside the school premises, is an “approved educational activity” within the meaning of Regulation 4A (a) of the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations1995 (as amended).

8 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

Should a request for copies of documentation be made under the Freedom of Information
Act, copies will be charged at 20p per A4 sheet. This includes an administration cost.

9. REMISSION OF CHARGES

9.1 The governing body delegates to the Headteacher a power of discretion. This discretion may be used to waive charges, either in full or in part, for an individual pupil. The Headteacher’s discretion will be exercised where, in the opinion of the Headteacher, there is clear evidence of financial hardship or an educational or social imperative for a given pupil to benefit from an activity which, but for a remission, would not make their participation impossible. The Headteacher’s discretion may only be exercised by the Headteacher or authorised deputy.

10 REVIEW

10.1 The governing body shall review this policy every three years. However, the governing body reserves the right to modify this policy at any time, save that alterations made shall not be effective retrospectively.

Signed JINNIE NICHOLS

Date: 23RD SEPTEMBER 2014