The purpose of the policy is to ensure that, during the school day, all children have full and free access to a broad and balanced curriculum and it sets out the charges and remissions for activities.
The school day is defined as 8.50 to 12.15 and 1.25 to 3.30
What was consulted
The policy has been informed by sections 449-462 of The Education Act 1996 which sets out the law on charging for school activities in schools maintained by the LA and the guidance document regarding music tuition charges. (The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007), which compliments the information given in chapter 23 of ‘A Guide to the Law for School Governors’.
Relationship to other school policies
This policy complements the school’s equal opportunities policy, curriculum policies and educational visits policy.
Roles and responsibilities
The headteacher will ensure that the following applies:
During the school day:
All activities that are a necessary part of the National Curriculum plus religious education are provided free of charge. This includes any materials, equipment and transport to take pupils between the school and the activity.
Charges may be made for any materials, books, instruments or equipment where a child’s parent wishes them to own them.
Education partly during the school day
If a non-residential activity happens partly inside the school day and partly outside of it, there is no charge if most of the time to be spent on the activity falls within the school day.
Conversely, if the bigger proportion of time spent falls outside of the normal school day, charges are made where the activity is not part of the National Curriculum. When such activities are arranged parents are told how the charges are calculated, for example, an evening theatre visit.
Charges are made on residential visits which are part of the National Curriculum for board and lodging. Pupils whose parents are in receipt of support payments (Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Child Tax Credit, provided the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit, the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit and an income related employment and support allowance that was introduced on 27 October 2008) are entitled to a remission for any charges for board and lodging if the visit is a necessary part of the National Curriculum.
Other charges are made to cover costs when the number of school sessions missed by the pupils total half or more of the number of half-days taken up by the activity and where the visit is not an essential part of the National Curriculum or part of an examination syllabus. In such cases parents are told how the charges are calculated.
Charges will be made for the annual school journey as it is not deemed to be an essential part of the National Curriculum but enhances learning.
Charges are made for teaching an individual or group to play a musical instrument or to sing where the activity is not an essential part of the National Curriculum or public examination syllabus.
Optional activities outside of the school day
We charge for optional, extra activities provided outside of the school day, for example, Breakfast Club. Such activities are not part of the National Curriculum or religious education, nor are they part of an examination syllabus.
Participation in any optional extra activity is on the basis of parental choice and a parental agreement is a pre-requisite for the provision of any optional extra activity.
When charges are made for any activity, whether during or outside of the school day, they are based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the total number of pupils participating. There is no levy on those who can pay to support those who cannot. Support for cases of hardship come through voluntary contributions, fundraising and pupil premium funding.
Parents who qualify for support are those who receive the benefits listed above.
The principles of best value are applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and/or charges to parents.
The staff and governors recognise the importance of activities, that while they may not be an essential part of the curriculum, add value and enjoyment to the experiences of the children. It may be necessary for voluntary contributions to be sought for such activities during the school day which entail additional costs, for example, school trips to Port Lympne and visiting theatre groups. Voluntary contributions are sought for swimming lessons.
In these circumstances no pupil is prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution. Children of parents who do not make a contribution are not treated any differently. If a particular activity cannot take place without some help from parents, this is explained at the planning stage. An activity may be cancelled if not enough voluntary contributions are collected.
Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation
The Finance Monitoring Governors monitor the impact of this policy by receiving on a yearly basis, a financial report on those activities that resulted in charges being levied, the subsidies awarded (without giving names) and the source of those subsidies.