Published on - 11-02-2015
This Charging Policy has been compiled in line with DfE requirements (and charging for school activities departmental advice for governing bodies, school leaders, school staff and local authorities October 2014) and in accordance with s457 of the Education Act, 1996
Education School governing bodies and local authorities, cannot charge for:
• an admission application to any state funded school - paragraph 1.9 (n) of the ‘School Admissions Code 2012’ rules out requests for financial contributions as any part of the admissions process;
• education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment);
• 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; • instrumental or vocal tuition, for students learning individually or in groups, unless the tuition is provided at the request of the student’s parent/carer;
• entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school;
• examination re-sit(s) if the pupil is being prepared for the re-sit(s) at the school .
Schools and local authorities can charge for:
1. Day Trips – No charge will be levied in respect of day trips that take place during School hours or are part of the curriculum (but also refer to Section 8)
2. Residential Trips – Essential – For residential trips which are essential to the curriculum or in preparation for prescribed examinations, a charge will be normally be levied for board and lodgings
3. Residential Trips – Non-essential – For residential trips which are not essential:
If the amount of school time on the trip is less than half of the total time of the trip, a charge will be levied up to the full cost of the trip
The school will normally only pay for a single entry per subject, at the level determined by the Headteacher, for prescribed public examinations for which the school has prepared the student, unless it is decided not to make an entry on educational grounds. Parents/carers will be advised if a decision not to enter a student is made.
Any additional entry, or entry at a level or for such an examination that is not recommended by the Headteacher, will normally be paid for by the parents.
If a student fails without good reason to complete the examination requirements for any public examination for which the school has paid (or is liable to pay) an entry fee, then the Governing Body may seek to recover the fee from the parents/carers.
Some students may be entered for additional examinations, e.g.
i. ‘non-prescribed' examinations (e.g. music grade examinations)
ii. prescribed examinations for which students have not been prepared in the timetabled curriculum
iii. ‘re-sits' of prescribed examinations. In the case of illness a doctors certificate must be produced
In all these cases, the school will normally charge parents the full cost of these examination entries.
If a parent is unable to pay, the following circumstances maybe taken into consideration.
4. A charge may be levied for students re-sitting an examination
5. A charge will be levied where a student fails without good reason to complete the requirements of any public examination where the school paid or agreed to pay the entry fee
6. The charge levied in 5 above will be the cost of the examination entry, and any late fees (if applicable)
Materials and Textbooks
7. Where a student or parent/carer wishes to retain items produced as a result of art, craft and design, or design and technology, a charge may be levied for the cost of the materials used. In the case of food technology, students usually provide their own ingredients, but if the student forgets, the school provides the ingredients and levies a charge. Textbooks are provided free of charge, but in some subjects, additional revision guides are available, for which a charge is made.
Although the law states that, in general, all education provided during school hours must be free, instrumental and vocal music tuition is an exception to that rule. The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007 set out the circumstances in which charges can be made for tuition in playing a musical instrument, including vocal tuition.
They allow charging for tuition in larger groups than was previously the case. Charges may now be made for vocal or instrumental tuition provided either individually, or to groups of any size, provided that the tuition is provided at the request of the pupil’s parent. Charges may not exceed the cost of the provision, including the cost of the staff who provide the tuition.
The regulations make clear that charging may not be made if the teaching is either an essential part of the national curriculum, or is provided under the first access to the key stage 2 Instrumental and Vocal Tuition Programme. They also make clear that no charge may be made in respect of a pupil who is looked after by a local authority (within the meaning of section 22(l) of the Children Act 1989).
8. The school levies charges in respect of individual music tuition, and group music tuition up to and including 4 persons, if the teaching is not an essential part of either the National Curriculum or a public examination syllabus being followed by the student. 50% discount is available to students whose families are entitled to free school meals
Activities Outside School Hours
9. No charge will be made for activities outside school hours that are part of the established curriculum, or that form an essential part of the syllabus for an approved examination
10. If a student is prepared outside school hours for an examination that is not set out in regulations (the full list of which is available from the school), a charge will be levied for tuition and other costs
11. For all other activities outside school hours, a charge up to the cost of the activity will be levied
Damage/Loss to Property
12. A charge will be levied in respect of wilful damage, neglect or loss of school property (including premises, furniture, equipment, books or materials), the charge to be the cost of replacement or repair, or such lower cost as the Headteacher may decide
13. A charge will be levied in respect of wilful damage, neglect or loss of property (including premises, furniture, equipment, books or materials) belonging to a third party, where the cost has been recharged to the school. The charge to be the cost of replacement or repair, or such lower cost as the Headteacher may decide
14. Nothing in legislation prevents a school governing body or local authority from asking for voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or any school activities. However, if the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, the governing body or head teacher will make this clear to parents/carers at the outset. The governing body or head teacher will / must also make it clear to parents that there is no obligation to make any contribution.
Where the School cannot levy charges, and it is not possible to make these additional activities within the resources ordinarily available to the School, the School may request or invite parents/guardians to make a contribution towards the cost of the trip. Students will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents/guardians have made any contribution in response to the request or invitation. However, where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible, then it will be cancelled
15. The school will make its facilities available to users normally at a charge of at least the cost of providing the facilities. The scale of charges will be determined annually by the Finance & Environment Committee. For users connected to the School, e.g., Friends of BHCS, the charge will be based on the site staff overtime costs
16. The Headteacher, Finance & Environment Committee or Governing Body may levy charges for miscellaneous services up to the cost of providing such services e.g., for providing a copy of an OfSTED report
18. If the parent/carer of a student is in receipt of income support, income based jobseekers’ allowance, support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or Child tax credit (providing that they do not also receive Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, assessed by the Inland Revenue, that does not exceed £15,575 – FY 2008/09), charges in respect of board and lodging will be remitted in full
19. The Headteacher, Finance & Environment Committee or Governing Body may remit in full or part charges in respect of a student, if it feels it is reasonable in the circumstances
20. Data Protection Policy requests for information under the Data Protection Act will be considered in line with the Data Protection Policy. The school reserves the right to charge for staff time and printing costs. If these exceed £10 in any instance, the person making the request will be informed of the cost before confirming whether they would like to make the request. The school may, in some circumstances, ask for this charge to be made in advance.
Last ratified: January 2015
Agreed: November 2016
Next Review: November 2017
Charging for school activities