All education during school hours is free. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum, with the exception of some individual or small-group music tuition.
When organising school trips or visits to enrich the curriculum and the educational experience of the children, the school invites parents to contribute to the cost. All contributions are voluntary. If we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may cancel a trip. If a trip goes ahead, it may include children whose parents have not paid any contribution. We do not treat these children differently from any others.
The 1988 Education Act draws a distinction between the term ‘charges’ which are considered to be an obligatory cost and 'voluntary contributions' which are self-explanatory.
Subsidies from various sources e.g. School Fund, FOBL, voluntary organisations, will be considered to cover deficits. Surplus finance will be used via school fund or the school budget, in some cases, for the benefit of the children.
Whenever possible, the school will give sufficient notice to allow parent/carers to pay by instalments.
If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, we do allow the child to participate fully in the trip or activity. Sometimes the school pays additional costs in order to support the visit. Parents have a right to know how each trip is funded. The school provides this information on request.
The following is a list of additional activities, organised by the school, which require voluntary contributions from parents. These activities are known as ‘optional extras’.
Optional extras are:
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.
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.
Optional extra may include:
Charges may be made for the actual board and lodging during residential school trips. The cost must not exceed the actual cost of the provision for the pupil. If the residential visit is to provide education directly related to the National Curriculum, we ask for voluntary contributions to cover the cost of entry fees and travel expenses.
No charge will be made if the music tuition is an essential part of the national curriculum or a public examination syllabus being followed by the pupil (including instrument hire, music books etc.).
We will charge for all other instrumental and vocal tuition requested by parents and delivered by specialist tutors within school hours, whether offered to an individual or group of pupils. Charges will be determined by the Headteacher and the appropriate committee of the Governing Body and may vary depending on size of group, length of lesson and type of instrument.
Swimming lessons take place in school time and are part of the National Curriculum. We therefore make no charge for this activity. We inform parents when these lessons are to take place.
The school offers additional activities after school and during lunch breaks. We reserve the right to make a small charge for these sessions
Charges may be made for materials or ingredients required for practical subjects where parents have indicated in advance their desire to own the product.
Charges may be made for the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged property or item resulting from a pupil’s inappropriate behaviour.
Charges may be made for the cost of replacing any property or item which has been loaned or hired to a pupil and not returned.
The discretion to remit in whole or in part any charge, which may be made by the school, has been vested in the Headteacher.
Remission may be made on the grounds of educational considerations with regard to both the pupil and the school needs.
Under the 1988 Education Act no charges may be made for activities which form part of the syllabus for a prescribed public examination or the National Curriculum.
The Governing Body may waive all or part of the charges for the board and lodging element of a residential activity within school hours. If parents have financial constraints they would be invited into school to discuss this confidentially with the Headteacher. Remission may be made on the grounds of financial considerations with regard to both the pupil and the school needs.
Remissions may be made on a group or an individual pupil basis.
We have a range of provision in place to support children who belong to vulnerable groups, including those who are socially disadvantaged. This provision has the full support of the Governing Body and may include paying for activities that broaden the curriculum.
Agreed by Resources Committee April 2017 to be reviewed Spring 2020