Charging and Remission
- The governing body acknowledges the right of every student to receive free school education and understands that activities offered wholly or mainly during normal teaching time must be made available to all students regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to help meet the cost.
- The governors also recognise the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, trips and residential experiences can make towards students’’ education and aim to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the students of the school and as additional optional activities.
2. The legal position
- In general, no charge can be made for admitting a student to Bourne Grammar School. The general principle that no charge can be made for education in school hours (excluding the midday break) in maintained schools was first set out in the Education Reform Act 1988. Guidance came in the Circular 2/89, Education Reform Act 1988: Charges for School Activities.
- No charge can be made for any books, materials, instruments, equipment or transport for use in connection with education if the education is:
- within school hours;
- for the national curriculum programme out-of-school hours;
- for statutory religious education; and
- for a prescribed public examination prepared for by the school.
- Examinations. No charge can be made for entry to a public examination on the Secretary of State's prescribed list, except where the pupil without good reason fails to attend or meet the requirements of the examination (e.g. fails to submit coursework) where the Governing Body originally paid or agreed to pay the entry fee. An examination entry fee may also be charged to parents if:
- the examination is on the set list, but the pupil was not prepared for it at the school;
- the examination is not on the set list, but the School arranges for the pupil to take it.
- Admission. No charge can be made in connection with admission to Bourne Grammar School.
- Finished products. Where parents have expressed a wish in advance to have a finished product made at school (e.g. in Systems & Control) a charge can be made at cost price. The parents must know the charge for the product in advance.
- Board and lodging. A charge can be made for board and lodging on residential educational visits/activities, but parents who qualify for prescribed benefits and allowances are entitled to a remission of the charges.
- Transport to and from home to any activity not provided by, but permitted by, the School, can be charged for (the main example is work experience).
- It is not possible to levy a compulsory charge for transport or admission costs for swimming lessons or visits to museums etc. during school hours.
- Voluntary contributions
- Parents may volunteer to pay for any educational activity. The School may request voluntary contributions for any visits/activities both inside and outside school time. However, NO student may be excluded from the activity for not having paid the contribution. The Headteacher and Governing Body may ask parents for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of:
- any activity which takes place during school hours;
- school equipment;
- School funds generally.
- Where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible, and there is no way to make up the shortfall, then regretfully the activity will be cancelled since the School cannot bear the cost of such trips.
- The following are permitted charges:
- charges for board and lodging on trips;
- costs of lost and destroyed school property and breakages;
- any costs associated with individual tuition in the playing of musical instruments whether in or out of school hours (unless it is provided as part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination or is required by the national curriculum);
- the cost of optional extras provided outside school hours (or mainly outside school hours), but the charge must not exceed the cost of the provision, and parents must agree to their child receiving the optional extra;
- the cost of entering a student for a public examination not prescribed in regulations, and the cost for preparing a student for such an examination out of school hours; and
- re-sits of prescribed public examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the School.
- In all cases where a permitted charge is likely to be made the parents must be told the amount in advance.
- Activities partly during school hours. In order to determine whether an activity that is undertaken partly during school hours and partly out of school hours the 50% rule is applied:
- non-residential activities: if 50% or more is spent on an activity in school time (including travelling time, but excluding midday breaks) the whole activity is deemed to be inside school time, and cannot be charged for; and
- residential activities: the number of half-days is counted (a half-day being any 12-hour period ending noon or midnight). If the number of days and half-days spent on the activity is greater than the number of school sessions (morning and afternoon sessions) that a pupil would spend on a normal school day, the activity is deemed to take place outside school hours, and vice-versa. Travelling time is included in the time spent on the activity.
- When a departure or return time splits a half-day then all the half-day counts if more than 50% of the half-day is used for the activity.
3. School policy
The law allows governing bodies to charge only for the defined activities if they have first made a policy on charging and remissions.
4. Third parties
The School is permitted to charge for the provision of educational services by a third party, but schools must ensure that the monies are paid directly to the third party organisation. In such cases, if the activity is in school time, the School has to formally grant leave of absence to the students taking part, as the activity would no longer technically be part of the School's official programme. It is likely, too, that any staff taking part in the activity would also have to be granted leave of absence. The Head must consider carefully the position of accompanying staff, depending on the precise nature and duration of the visit.
5. The Governors’ charging policy
The Governing Body therefore reserves the right to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the School:
- Practical subjects. Where parents have indicated in writing that they wish to own a finished product, a charge will be made. The charge shall not exceed the cost of the materials used by the student.
- Residential trips. The board and lodging element of approved residential activities deemed to take place in school hours. The cost will not exceed the actual cost of the provision and prior written confirmation from the parent is required that he/she is willing to pay the charge.
- Activities outside school hours. The full cost to each student of all approved activities deemed to be optional extras taking place outside school hours and therefore not part of the national curriculum.
6. Voluntary contributions
The Governing Body reserves the right to ask parents for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of:
- any activity which takes place during school hours;
- school equipment; and
- school funds generally.
Parents may be advised that the continuance of an activity may depend upon voluntary contributions but once it has been decided to run such an activity, no qualifying child will be excluded on the grounds of voluntary contributions.
7. Private use of facilities
Private use of the telephone and photocopying facilities by students are not permitted. In the rare case that a private telephone call is made it is deemed to be an emergency and no charge is made.
- Parents of students who are in receipt of the following support payments will, in addition to having free school meals entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of charges:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
- Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- Child tax Credit provided the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190.
- Guaranteed State Pension Credit.
- When arranging a chargeable activity such parents will be invited in confidence for the remission of charges in full or in part.
- The Head in consultation with the Chair of Governors will make authorisation for such remission.
9. Equal opportunities
The Head will ensure that the School’s equal opportunities policies are observed in implementing the policy.
- The Governing Body is responsible for making and reviewing the policy.
- The Head is responsible for the implementation of the policy and ensuring that staff, parents and pupils know the details as appropriate.
- Other staff may be responsible for implementing the policy as part of their overall responsibilities.
11. Monitoring and review
- The Head will report to the governors’ finance committee on any relevant aspects of the working of the policy as appropriate.
- The Governing Body will review the policy every two years.
12. Date of next review