Charging and Remissions
We want all our pupils to have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities, both on and off site, within and outside the curriculum, regardless of their family’s financial means. This policy sets out our school approach to charging and remissions, and is informed by local authority guidance. In doing this our intention is to ensure transparency in setting charges and ensure all children are able to access all the provision on offer.
This policy does not apply to charges made and determined by other organisations offering activities and services on the school premises.
Remissions and concessions
We will comply with legal requirements for remissions as outlined throughout this document. We may choose to subsidise, in full or part, charges for certain activities and pupils, as determined by the Governing Body, advised by the Headteacher. The circumstances in which concessions are applied will be reviewed yearly.
If a charge is to be made for a particular type of activity, for example optional extras, parents need to know how the charge will be worked out and who might qualify for help with the cost (or even get it free). This information will be made available to parents.
We may well in certain circumstances invite parents to make a voluntary contribution towards activities that are exempt from charging.
Where we do ask for voluntary contributions, we will make it clear that children of parents who choose not to contribute will not be treated differently from those who do. No pupil will be excluded from the activity if their parents do not contribute. If an activity cannot go ahead without sufficient voluntary contributions, this will be explained to parents when the contribution is requested. If the activity has to be cancelled due to insufficient funds, all monies received will be returned to parents. Parents who may wish to make additional payments are free to do so,
When making requests for voluntary contributions, parents will not be made to feel pressurised into paying as it is voluntary and not compulsory. We will avoid sending colour coded letters to parents as a reminder to make payments and direct debit or standing order mandates should not be sent to parents when requesting contributions.
WRPS cannot and will not charge for:
• an admission application to any state funded school - paragraph 1.9 (n) of the ‘School Admissions Code 2012’ rules out requests for financial contributions as any part of the admissions process;
• education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials,
books, instruments or other equipment);
• 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 religious education;
• instrumental or vocal tuition, for pupils learning individually or in groups, unless the tuition is provided at the request of the pupil’s parent;
• entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school; and
• examination re-sit(s) if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school**.
* It should be noted that ‘part of the national curriculum’ is not restricted to learning outside the classroom. Experiences that are specifically subject based (e.g. geography or science fieldwork) and include, for example, activities designed to fulfil requirements under the national curriculum ‘inclusion statement’ (e.g. developing teamwork skills).
** However, if a pupil fails, without good reason, to meet any examination requirement for a syllabus, the fee can be recovered from the pupil’s parents.
WRPS can and will charge for:
• any materials, books, instruments, or equipment, where the child’s parent wishes him/her to own them;
• optional extras (see page below);
• music and vocal tuition, in limited circumstances
• certain early years provision*;
• community facilities**.
Charges may be made for some activities that are known as ‘optional extras’. Where an optional extra is being provided, a charge can be made for providing materials, books, instruments, or equipment. Optional extras are:
• education provided outside of school time that is not:
a) part of the national curriculum;
b) part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being
prepared for at the school; or
c) part of religious education.
• examination entry fee(s) if the registered pupil has not been prepared for the examination(s) at the school;
• transport (other than transport that is required to take the pupil to school or to other premises where the local authority/governing body have arranged for the pupil to be provided with education);
* The Education (Charges for Early Years Provision) Regulations 2012
** The powers to provide community facilities are under s.27(1) of the Education Act
• board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit;
• extended day services offered to pupils (for example breakfast club, after-school clubs, tea and supervised homework sessions).
In 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;
• the cost of buildings and accommodation;
• 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; and
• the cost, or an appropriate proportion of the costs, for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument, or vocal tuition, where the tuition is an optional extra.
Any charge made in respect of individual pupils must not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of pupils participating. It must not therefore include an element of subsidy for any other pupils wishing to participate in the activity whose parents are unwilling or unable to pay the full charge. Furthermore in cases where a small proportion of the activity takes place during school hours the charge cannot include the cost of alternative provision for those pupils who do not wish to participate. Therefore no charge can be made for supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit. Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement is therefore a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra where charges will be made.
Although the law states that, in general, all education provided during school hours must be free, instrumental and vocal music tuition is an exception to that rule.
The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007 set out the circumstances in which charges can be made for tuition in playing a musical instrument, including vocal tuition. Charges may now be made for vocal or instrumental tuition provided either individually, or to groups of any size, provided that the tuition is provided at the request of the pupil’s parent. Charges may not exceed the cost of the provision, including the cost of the staff who provide the tuition.
The regulations make clear that charging may not be made if the teaching is an essential part of the national curriculum. No charge will be made in respect of a pupil who is looked after by a local authority (within the meaning of section 22(l) of the Children Act 1989).
WRPS will not charge for:
• education provided on any visit that takes place during school hours;
• education provided on any visit that takes place 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 religious education;
• supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit.
WRPS can and will charge for:
• board and lodging on the residential visit (the charge must not exceed the actual cost)
Damage to property and breakages
We may seek to recover some or all of the costs incurred due to wilful damage or breakage of school property. This will be determined by the Headteacher. We may seek to recover some or all the costs incurred due to wilful damage or breakage of property belonging to a third party where the school has been charged. This will be determined by the Headteacher.