Charging and Remissions

INTRODUCTION

The Governing Body recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including trips, clubs, and residential experiences can make towards pupils' education.  The Governing Body aims to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the pupils of the school and as additional optional activities.  We do not levy a compulsory charge for any activity undertaken during the school day, as part of the National Curriculum.  However, we do ask for voluntary contributions for some events:

  • visits to places of interest

  • sporting activities which require transport expenses;

  • outdoor adventure activities;

  • visits to or by e.g. theatre company, artist, etc;

  • school trips – (including residential)

  • musical events

  • swimming

  • outside providers 

This list is not exhaustive and we do our best to give parents notification of events and the amount of voluntary contribution being asked for.  Furthermore, for larger sums of money, the school encourages parents to pay, by instalments, as and when they can manage.  Again, we stress that all contributions are voluntary.  However, if we do not receive sufficient funds, we may have to cancel a trip/event and issue a refund to those who have paid.  If a trip/event goes ahead, it may include children whose parents have not paid any contribution.  We do not treat these children differently from any others.  If a parent wishes their child to take part in a day school trip or an 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.

All Visits

The group leader should always ensure that parents are notified as early as possible as to:

  • How much each parent will need to pay or be asked to contribute towards the cost of the visit;
  • How much spending/pocket money pupils will reasonably need (especially important for trips which involve a residential element);

Early notification of the above is important as this allows parents to make financial preparations.  Many parents find it helpful to gauge the value of the visit if they have information relating to the constituent costs of the visit, i.e. transport, accommodation, food, etc.

During Normal School Hours

In all schools, visits which occur during school hours must be provided free of charge.  However, parents can be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the trip.  In reality the value of the requested contributions equates to the total cost of the visit (or more to allow for those parents who cannot or will not contribute).  Pupils whose parents/guardians do not contribute will not be discriminated against.  The school may seek voluntary contribution for any activity, free or not, but there must be no obligation and no pupil may be omitted from a non-chargeable activity because parents were unwilling or unable to contribute.  A school may point out to its parents that an activity will not take place if they are unwilling to support it.

Details about the visit are sent out to parents via ParentMail and there will be a section on meeting the costs of the visit, the essence of which is contained in the following example:

 All pupils will need to take a packed lunch with them.    As we are travelling by coach, a small cost will be incurred.  Current legislation permits us to ask only for voluntary contributions towards the costs involved.  No pupil will be discriminated against on the grounds of inability to pay.  A voluntary contribution of £___ would be appreciated."

Residential Visits

When the school organises a residential visit in school time* we do make a charge for this.  If a parent/guardian cannot pay for a trip, a decision will be made at the discretion of the Headteacher as to whether the child can be funded from the school account.  Parents are encouraged to pay for these trips in instalments.  In addition a charge may also take account of the cost of engaging teaching staff specifically for the purpose of providing the activity and supplying such staff with travel, board and lodging.  Existing employed staff of Herefordshire Council cannot have their costs passed onto pupils except for music tuition or where they have been given a separate contract to undertake this specific function.

* School time is defined by the following: This is the number of half days taken up by the activity, including travel, compared with the number of school sessions – For example, a term time trip from 5 a.m. on Friday to noon on Saturday is 3 half days compared with two school sessions.  The two sessions are more than 50% and the trip will, therefore, be inside school hours.  If the trip returned at noon on Sunday the activity is considered to be outside school hours.

 Music Tuition

All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum.  We do not charge for this.  There is a charge for individual or small-group music tuition, since this is an additional curriculum activity i.e. violin lessons.  These individual or small-group lessons are taught by peripatetic music teachers.  The charge for these lessons is dealt directly between parents and the outside company.

Transport

If we are required to transport children by coach to an extra-curricular activity then we do ask parents to help cover the costs of the travel expenses.  No profit will be made by the school under these circumstances.

Uniform

There will be a charge to parents for school uniform bought from the school provider (Ledbury Sports) i.e. uniform with the school logo.  Much of our uniform is non-branded and can be purchased from most supermarkets or high street retailers.  Non-logod items are perfectly acceptable.  Eastnor School’s PTA also run a second hand uniform shop.

Ingredients/Materials

The Governing Body reserves the right to charge for ingredients, materials, or equipment (or the provision of them by parents).

Broken Equipment (Replacement)

The Governors can allow the Headteacher to ask pupils and/or their parents to contribute towards the cost of replacement items where these were damaged or broken as a direct result of misconduct on the pupil’s part.  This does not in any way detract from the teaching staff's duty to brief pupils thoroughly and to manage a calm and safe working environment for the pupils.  At Eastnor Primary School we have a very small incidence of the above particularly through misconduct.

Refunds

The school does not make a profit on trips or extra curricular activities.  Refunds are given on any excess payments.  Refunds are not given if a child cannot attend a trip or extra curricular event unless a refund is issued by the provider.

Refunds for after school clubs will be granted in exceptional circumstances and are viewed on an individual basis.  The Headteacher makes the final decision. 

Refunds for residential trips are only granted in exceptional circumstances and are viewed on an individual basis.  The Headteacher makes the final decision.

Contributions made to cover the costs of transportation to Swimming lessons is calculated on a termly basis.  If a child cannot attend for more than 25% of the sessions in circumstances such as long term sick or leaving the school, a refund will be given for the weeks missed.

Parents are asked to pay termly in advance for milk.  If a child stops taking milk part way through a term, a refund will only be made for a complete half term.  No refunds will be given if a child is mid way through a half term.

Payments

All money should be brought into school (in an envelope).  The child’s details and reason for payment should be clearly marked on the envelope.  Money should be given to the class teacher then the money is passed to the office.  A receipt should be issued by the secretary for any payments, with the exception of dinner money.

Residential trips will have a separate card to record payments.

Monitoring and Review

This policy is monitored by the Governing Body, and will be reviewed in two years, or earlier if necessary.