CHARGING AND REMISSIONS POLICY
At Whitley Lodge First School we believe that all our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities and visits independent of their parents financial means.
This charging and remission policy describes how we will do our best to ensure a good range of visits and activities is offered and at the same time try to minimise the financial barriers which may prevent some pupils taking full advantage of the opportunities.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that there is clarity over those items which the school will provide free of charge and for those items where there will/may be a charge.
The policy has been informed by DCFS guidance and complements the school's Equal Opportunities Policy and Finance Policy.
The Headteacher will ensure that staff are familiar with and correctly apply the policy. The Governors will review the policy annually.
No charge will be made for :
- Education provided during school hours, including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment.
- Education provided outside of school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum or part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education.
- Tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments or singing if the tuition is required as part of the National Curriculum.
- Entry for a prescribed public examination if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school
- Education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours
- Education that takes place on any trip that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum, part of the school’s basic RE curriculum or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school.
- Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on residential trips.
- Transport provided in connection with an educational trip.
Activities for which charges may be made: Residential visits
- Board and lodgings costs of residential visits deemed to take place in school time. (However pupils whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits may not be charged for board and lodging costs – remission applies)
- Residential trips deemed to take place outside school time
- Music tuition for individuals or groups of up to 4 pupils.
Activities outside school hours:
- Non residential activities which take place outside school hours but only if the majority of the time spent on that activity takes place outside school hours (time spent on travel counts in this calculation if the travel itself occurs during school hours) e.g. club activities, theatre trips etc
Other optional extras
- Charges may be made for any materials, books, instruments or equipment when permanent ownership is requested.
Is a residential trip in or outside school time?
If the number of school sessions on a residential trip is equal to or greater than 50% of the number of half days spent on the trip it is deemed to have taken place during school hours even if some of the activities take place in the evening.)
Activities which can be charged for, with the exception of board and lodgings are regarded as ‘optional extras.’
When charges are made for any activity, whether during or outside of the school day, they will be based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the total number of pupils participating. There will be no levy on those who can pay to support those who can't or won’t.Support for cases of hardship will come through voluntary contributions and fundraising.
Parents who would qualify for support are those who are in receipt of eligible benefits.
The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and/or charges to parents.
If a charge is to made parents will be told in advance of how the charge is calculated and who might qualify for help with the cost or get it free.
In order to remove financial barriers from disadvantaged pupils the Governing Body has agreed that some activities and visits where charges can legally be made has agreed that some activities and visits where charges can legally be made will be offered atno charge or at a reduced charge to parents in particular circumstances. This remissions policy sets out the circumstances in which charges will be waived. Criteria for qualification for remission is:
Parents in receipt of:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
- 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.
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- All children in receipt of pupil premium.
The Governing Body recognises its responsibilities to ensure that the offer of activities and educational visits does not place an unnecessary burden on family finances. To this end we will try to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Where possible we shall publish a list of visits at the beginning of the school year/term so that parents can plan ahead.
- We have established a system for parents to pay in instalments for residential trips.
- We acknowledge that offering opportunities on a first pay, first served basis discriminates against pupils from families on lower incomes and we will avoid that method of selection.
Separately from the matter of charging, schools may always seek voluntary contributions in order to be able to offer a wide variety of experiences to pupils.
- All requests for voluntary contributions will emphasise their voluntary nature.
- Pupils of parents who do not make such contributions will be treated no differently from those who have.
- If a particular activity cannot take place without voluntary contributions, this will be explained at the planning stage.
- Where there are insufficient funds from voluntary contributions to make the activity possible, the activity may be cancelled.
- The Governing Body reserves the right to let internal and external areas of the school for community and public use. The lettings fees charged will at a minimum reflect any expenses incurred for running and staffing costs.
This policy was agreed by Governors in October 2017 Signed: F Lutman
This policy will be reviewed annually.