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Charging & Remissions

The law on charging for school activities in schools is set out in Sections 449-462 of the Education Act 1996.  Charging and remissions are made in line with this legislation and reflect the following principles:

  • As a school recognise the valuable contribution that a wide range of activities including school visits, afterschool clubs and residential experiences can make towards pupils’ personal and social education.
  • The Governing Body aims to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and as additional optional activities.
  • We believe that all our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities and visits (curricular and extra-curricular) independent of their parents’ financial means.

 

Activities where no charge will be made

At Springwell Learning Community we do not charge for the following:

  • Admissions to our school
  • Education provided during school hours, including the supply of materials, books, instruments or other equipment
  • Education provided outside of school hours if it is part of the school’s curriculum
  • Entry for prescribed public examinations, where the pupil has been prepared for them at the school
  • Examination re-sit(s) if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school
  • Education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours;
  • Education provided on any trip that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the school’s 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
  • Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential trip
  • 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 he has been prepared for that examination at the school
  • Transport provided in connection with an educational trip.

 

N.B Free home to school transport is provided for some pupils by the Local Authority at the start and end of the school day only.  The end of the school day is determined by each pupil’s individual timetable and agreed formally as part of the review process.  The school cannot guarantee that transport will be available for pupils outside of these set times.  All questions about school transport should be addressed as part of the Annual Review process.

 

Activities where there may be a charge

We may charge for some activities that take place outside of the school day. The (Exec) Principal will decide when this is appropriate.  Where we make a charge, the total collected will not exceed the cost of providing the activity and no parent will be asked to subsidise the cost to other pupils by paying more than an amount equal to the total cost of the activity divided by the number of pupils participating.  Charges may include the following:

  • Board and lodging on residential visits
  • The proportionate costs for an individual child of activities wholly or mainly outside school hours (‘optional extras’) to meet the costs for travel, materials and equipment, non-teaching staff costs , entrance fees, insurance costs
  • Individual tuition in the playing of a musical instrument
  • Re-sits for public examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the school
  • Costs of non-prescribed examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the school
  • Any other education, transport or examination fee unless charges are specifically prohibited
  • Extra-curricular activities and school clubs.

Damage and Loss to Property

A charge will be levied in respect of wilful damage, neglect or loss of school property (including premises, furniture, equipment, books or materials).  The charge will be the cost of replacement or repair or a lower cost may be set at the discretion of the Principal.

 

Remissions

Children whose parents are in receipt of the following support payments will, in addition to having a free school lunch entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of charges for board and lodging costs during residential school trips.  The relevant support payments are:

  1. Income Support
  2. Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
  3. Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  4. Child Tax Credit, where the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and whose annual income (as assessed by The Inland Revenue) does not exceed the prescribed amount for the financial year to which this policy applies;
  5. The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.

 

In respect of (d) above account will be taken of any revision to the amount as advised by the Authority.

 

Voluntary Contributions

Parents will be invited to make a voluntary contribution for the following:

  • Visits that are not part of the curriculum.

 

The terms of any request made to parents will specify that the request for a voluntary contribution and in no way represents a charge in addition the following will be made clear to parents that:

  • The contribution is genuinely voluntary and a parent is under no obligation to pay
  • Registered pupils at the school will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made any contribution in response to the request.

 

The responsibility for determining the level of voluntary contribution is delegated to the Principal.  Voluntary contributions will be used to fund reward activities.

 

Hardship

No pupil will be discriminated against if financial circumstances prevent parents from paying for an activity that takes place outside of a school day.  In these circumstances we may choose to subsidise, in full or part, charges for certain activities and pupils, as determined by the governing body, advised by the Principal.  The circumstances in which concessions are applied will be subject to the application of a principle of equality of access to opportunities.  There may be occasions on which differential fees are levied in response to the identified financial hardships that would otherwise prevent equality of access.  On occasions, if there are insufficient contributions towards a trip or activity it may not take place.

 

Responsibilities

The Local Governing Body is responsible for determining the content of this policy and the Principal for implementation.  Any determinations with respect to individual parents will be considered jointly by the Executive Principal and Governing Body.

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