CHARGING & REMISSIONS FOR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Penketh High School believes that all our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities and visits (curricular and extracurricular) independent of their parents’ financial means. This charging and remissions 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 1996 Education Act requires all schools to have a policy on charging and remissions for school activities, which will be kept under regular review.
The policy identifies activities for which:
- Charges will not be made
- Charges will be made
- Charges may be waived
Independent of the matter of charging, schools may always seek voluntary contributions in order to offer a wide variety of experiences to pupils. All requests for voluntary contributions will emphasise their voluntary nature and the fact that pupils of parents who do not make such contributions will be treated no differently from those who have.
Statutory Guidance says:
- If the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions the parents will be notified of this from the outset.
- No child will be excluded from an activity because parents are unable to pay.
- If insufficient contributions are raised, the trip or activity may have to be cancelled.
- If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay their child will be given an equal chance to go on the visit.
NO CHARGES WILL BE MADE FOR:
- Education provided outside school hours if it is 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 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, or part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school;
- 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;
- Education provided on any trip that takes place outside school hours
- if it is part of the National Curriculum, or
- part of a subject specification for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or
- part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education
If a pupil fails, without good reason, to meet any examination requirement for a syllabus a charge will be made.
ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH CHARGES MAY BE MADE:
- Education provided by non-school staff or organisations on any trip that takes place outside school hours:
– if it is part of the National Curriculum, or
– part of a subject specification for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school, or
– part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education;
- Activities outside school hours
- Non-residential activities
– (other than those listed above) 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).
- Residential activities
– Board and lodging costs (but only those costs) of residential trips deemed to take place during school time, However pupils whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits (see remissions policy – section 9 – below) may not be charged for board and lodging costs.
– Residential trips deemed to take place outside school time (other than for those activities listed above).
- Music tuition
– 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.
- Where associated costs for the trip may be incurred, such as travel costs.
- The Principal has the delegated responsibility to decide whether pupils are entered into particular examinations.
- The Principal has the authority to charge for examination entries in certain circumstances – for instance when a pupil wishes to be entered for an examination contrary to the professional judgement of a teacher.
- The Principal is authorised to request payment for wasted examination fees
LOSS AND DAMAGE TO SCHOOL PROPERTY
Parents of a pupil who damages or loses any item of school property or equipment, including, for example, smashed windows or computer hardware, are liable for full cost costs of repair or replacement.
Parents and pupils should be made aware of this decision.
When any trip is arranged parents will be notified of the policy for allocating places and whether or not it is a residential trip in or out of 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 activities take place late in the evening). Whatever the starting and finishing times of the school day, regulations require that the school day is divided into 2 sessions. A “half day” means any period of 12 hours ending with noon or midnight on any day.
*If one quarter or greater of the total time is in school time.
It is the policy of Penketh High School that charges will (or may) be made as indicated below. Parental agreement will be obtained before a charge is made.
Activities which can be charged for (with the exception of board and lodging for residential trips) are regarded as ‘optional extras’. Charges will not exceed the actual cost (per pupil) of provision or any activity which may be charged for
Charges will / may be made for any:
- materials, books, instruments, or equipment, where a parent wishes their child to own them; Eg. A clay model – a charge to cover the cost of the clay.
- loss and damage to school property.
- Charges will / may be made for music tuition. The cost, or a proportion of the costs, for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument or singing, where the tuition is an optional extra for an individual pupil or groups of up to four pupils.
- Charges will be made for the board and lodging component of residential trips. The charge will not exceed the actual cost.
In order to remove financial barriers from disadvantaged pupils and those pupils entitled to Pupil Premium Funding, the governing body has agreed that some activities and visits where charges can legally be made will be offered at no charge or a reduced charge to parents in these particular circumstances. This remissions policy sets out the circumstances in which charges will be waived. Families qualifying for remission or help with charges might include;
Parents in receipt of;
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal Credit
- Free school meals
- Child Tax Credit, provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the
- Guaranteed State Pension.
Children who are:
- Looked after Children
- Service Children
- In receipt of Child pension from the MoD
The governing body recognises its responsibility 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:
- There is an established a system for parents to pay in instalments through Parent Pay.
- When an opportunity for a trip arises at short notice it will be possible to arrange to pay by instalments beyond the date of the trip
- No disadvantaged pupil will be refused a place on an Educational Visit due to lack of finances. School will support these pupils using the Pupil Premium Funding.
Provisions concerning charging for school activities can be found in:
- Chapter III of the Education Act 1996 (Sections 449-462)
- The Education (School Sessions and Charges and Remissions Policies) (Information) (England) Regulations 1999
- The Education (Residential Trips) (Prescribed Tax Credits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011; and
- The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007
Date of Approval by Governors: July 2019
Next Review Date: July 2020