South Bank Multi Academy Trust
Charges and Remissions Policy
Approved by Trustees: 21st April 2020
Review Timetable: 3 years
Renewal Date: September 2023
1 AIMS OF THE POLICY
1.1 South Bank Multi Academy Trust (SBMAT) believes that all our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school activities and visits (curricular and extracurricular) independently of their parents financial means.
1.2 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 otherwise prevent some pupils taking full advantage of the opportunities.
2 BACKGROUND TO THE POLICY
2.1 Sections 449 to 462 of the Education Act (1996) require all schools to have a policy on charging and remissions for school activities. This legislation may be viewed at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1996/ukpga_19960056_en_28
3 ITEMS FOR WHICH NO CHARGES WILL BE MADE
3.1 Education provided during school hours, (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment) subject to any exceptions indicated in section 4.
3.2 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.
3.3 Tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments 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, or part of religious education.
3.4 Entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school.
3.5 Examination re-sit(s) if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school.
3.6 Transporting registered pupils:-
· to or from the school premises, where the SBMAT has a statutory obligation to provide transport;
· to other premises where the governing body or SBMAT has arranged for pupils to be educated;
· to enable them to meet an examination requirement when they have been prepared for that examination at the school; and
· in connection with an educational visit.
4 ITEMS FOR WHICH CHARGES WILL BE MADE WITHIN SCHOOL HOURS
4.1 Educational visits and activities – voluntary contributions
4.1.1 When organising educational visits or activities, which enrich the curriculum and the experience of pupils, the school invites the parent to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the visit or activity. Although not an exhaustive list, these activities may include visits to museums, galleries and the theatre as well as sporting activities.
4.1.2 If the school does not receive sufficient voluntary contributions they may need to cancel the visit or activity.
4.1.3 When a visit or activity does go ahead it may include pupils whose parents have not paid any contribution. We may not, by law, exclude these pupils and indeed would not wish to treat them differently from others.
4.1.4 Non-payments will be made up from the school budget, from other school funds or from charities.
4.2.1 The costs of providing swimming tuition in the local public pools, including transport, hire of the pool and provision of instructors, will be reviewed on an annual basis.
4.2.2 Although the school will provide some funds to support this activity to ensure all pupils’ educational requirements for swimming will be met. It will be necessary to request voluntary contributions to offset the balance of costs.
4.3.1 All pupils study music as part of the normal school curriculum for which no charge is made.
4.3.2 In addition, several music groups run during the school day, at lunchtime or after school for which no charge is made (e.g. recorder groups, Choir). SBMAT schools reserve the right to charge for these activities as “optional extras” if they occur outside school hours and are not part of the National Curriculum.
4.3.3 Peripatetic music teachers teach individual or group lessons for which a charge is made.
4.4 Craft/Technology Activities
4.4.1 All pupils have the opportunity within the school curriculum of taking part in activities such as craft and technology.
4.4.2 The SBMAT schools reserve the right to charge for ingredients and materials at cost when they are not provided by the parents.
4.4.3 A contribution to towards the cost of materials for craft/technology activities may be requested.
4.5 Early Years Provision
4.5.1 A charge will be made to cover the cost of providing Early Years Education in excess of the Government funded hours.
4.5.2 As this is deemed to be an optional extra, the parent’s agreement is a necessary pre-requisite and the charge will not exceed the actual cost of providing the provision nor include an element of subsidy for any other pupil or from the school’s budget share.
5 ITEMS FOR WHICH CHARGES WILL BE MADE NOT WITHIN SCHOOL HOURS
5.1 Residential Visits
5.1.1 Charges will be made for the cost of the visit (Board and lodging, travel costs, entrance fees etc.).
5.1.2 Families are invited to pay in instalments over several months or in one single payment.
5.1.3 Any parent who refuses or is unable to meet the charge should not expect their child to be included.
5.1.4 Parents who receive state benefits may apply for a grant from the Children’s Trust via the school.
5.2 Optional Extras
5.2.1 Charges may be made for some activities known as “Optional Extras”. These may include-
· extracurricular activities
· any equipment and/or staffing in relation to extracurricular activities
· breakfast, after School and holiday clubs
5.2.3 Any charge made in respect of individual pupils will not exceed the actual cost of providing the activity. It will not, include an element of subsidy for any other pupil.
5.2.4 Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement is a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra where charges will be made.
5.2.5 Charges made by external providers of activities are the responsibility of those providers and consequently not covered by this policy.
6 OTHER CHARGES
6.1 Additional Text Books and Study Materials
6.1.1 From time to time recommendations may be made regarding additional text books, equipment and study materials which could enhance a pupil’s learning.
6.1.2 In these circumstances it is the parent’s choice to purchase and therefore the charge will be met in full by the parent. Any such charge will be equal to the cost price of the item concerned to the school.
6.2 Lost or Damaged Items of School Property
6.2.1 Parents may be asked to make a contribution towards replacing damaged school property caused wilfully or negligently by their child/ren. This may include window breakage and removal of graffiti.
6.2.2 A charge to cover the cost of replacement may also be made for lost or damaged items of school property, including library books/text books.
6.3 School Uniform
6.3.1 SBMAT schools use clothing suppliers who provide quality school wear at affordable prices.
6.4 School Meals
6.4.1 Parents whose child takes a school lunch must pay the relevant cost of the meal. Pupils may be eligible for free schools meals. Application forms are available from each of the SBMAT schools.
6.5 Public Examinations
6.5.1 A charge will be made for examination entry fee/s if the registered pupil-
· has not been prepared for examination at the school, or
· fails, without good reason, to complete the requirements of any examination for which the school has already paid or agreed to pay the entry fee.
6.5.2 No charges will be made for public examination entries at the time when the school normally makes entries, but the full cost of additional late entry fees will be charged to parents/carers. Parents/carers will be charged for the entry fees involved if their child is absent from the examination without reasonable cause, as defined by the Examination Boards. The cost of remarking examinations will be met by the school if the school initiates the request. Where a parental/carer request is received for a re-sit or re-mark of the examination the full cost will be passed onto parents/carers.
7. HIRE OF SCHOOL PREMISES
7.1 SBMAT wishes to encourage community use of their schools’ facilities when they are not required for school use.
7.2 Details of the facilities available, the terms and conditions of hire and the scale of charges may be found in the schools’ hire of facilities or lettings policies.
8.1 SBMAT believes that all pupils should have equal opportunities to benefit from school activities and visits both curricular and extracurricular, independently of their parent’s/carer’s financial means.
8.2 To that end the Board of Trustees has agreed in circumstances of family hardship to invite parents to apply to the school their child attends, in confidence, for remittance of charges in part or in full.
8.3 Pupils may be eligible for a remission of charge if their parent is in receipt of at least one of the following:-
· support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
· universal credit
· the guaranteed element of state pension credit
· income Support
· income-based jobseeker’s allowance
· income-related employment and support allowance
8.4 In cases where the specific circumstances, often temporary, of a particular family’s hardship fall outside these criteria; the Headteacher may use their discretion to remit charges in part or in full.
8.5 If a parent wishes to apply for a remission of charge a form is available from the school office. Authorisation for such remission will be made by the Headteacher and/or a nominated Governor of the individual school.
8.6 In the event a remission of charge is declined parents have the right to appeal in writing to the Chair of Governors of the individual school whose decision will be final.