Charging and Remissions Policy
St Stephen’s Junior school aims to:
- Have robust, clear processes in place for charging and remissions
- Clearly set out the types of activity that can be charged for and when charges will be made
Legislation and guidance
This policy is based on advice from the Department for Education (DfE) on charging for school activities and the Education Act 1996, sections 449-462 of which set out the law on charging for school activities in England. Academies are required to comply with this Act through their funding agreements.
- Charge: a fee payable for specifically defined activities
- Remission: the cancellation of a charge which would normally be payable
Roles and responsibilities
The governing board
The governing board has overall responsibility for approving the charging and remissions policy, but can delegate this to a committee, an individual governor or the headteacher.
Responsibility for approving and monitoring the charging and remissions policy has been delegated to the Finance and Audit Sub-committee
The headteacher is responsible for ensuring staff are familiar with the charging and remissions policy, and that it is being applied consistently.
Staff are responsible for:
- Implementing the charging and remissions policy consistently
- Notifying the headteacher of any specific circumstances which they are unsure about or where they are not certain if the policy applies
Parents are expected to notify staff or the headteacher of any concerns or queries regarding the charging and remissions policy.
Where charges cannot be made
As per the guidelines, St Stephen’s Junior School cannot charge for the following:
- The national curriculum
- A syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school
- Religious education
The national curriculum
A syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school
Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit
Where charges can be made
Below we set out what St Stephen’s Junior School can charge for:
- Any materials, books, instruments or equipment, where the child’s parent wishes them to own them
- Optional extras (see below)
- Music and vocal tuition requested by the parent
- Community facilities i.e. Lettings
St Stephen’s Junior School are able to charge for activities known as ‘optional extras’. In these cases, schools can charge for providing materials, books, instruments or equipment. The following are optional extras that St Stephen’s Junior School will charge for:
- Education provided outside of school time that is not part of:
- The national curriculum
- Religious education
- Transport for trips and visits outside of school hours and non-curricular trips and visits.
- Board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit
- St Stephen’s Junior School Breakfast and Afterschool clubs
- After school clubs and activities
- Residential Visits
When calculating the cost of optional extras, an amount may be included in relation to:
- Any materials, books, instruments or equipment provided in connection with the optional extra
- The cost of buildings and accommodation
- Non-teaching staff
- Teaching staff engaged under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra (including supply teachers engaged specifically to provide the optional extra)
Any charge made in respect of individual pupils will not be greater than the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of pupils participating.
Any charge will not include an element of subsidy for any other pupils who wish to take part in the activity but 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.
Parental agreement is necessary for the provision of an optional extra which is to be charged for.
St Stephen’s Junior School will also charge for Damaged or Lost School Property, Parents may be asked to contribute towards replacing damaged or lost school property caused willfully or negligently by their children, e.g. broken window, damaged or lost book
As an exception to the requirements set out above, the school is able to ask for voluntary contributions from parents to fund activities during school hours which would not otherwise be possible.
Some activities for which the school may ask parents for voluntary contributions include:
- Christmas and Easter activities; such as Christingle and Easter egg hunts,
- Cooking ingredients and food tasting,
- Resources for science, arts weeks and DT days,
- Some local trips; including the Cathedral and the Beaney Museum,
- Visits from external groups, theatres, musicians and sports coaches,
- Care, Courtesy and Consideration Trips,
- Additional learning resources; including Compost, seeds, book corner resources, cycle rides,
- Training for pupils; including Playleaders, Digital Leaders and Peer mediation,
- Productions and costumes.
- Transport to and from sports competitions
There is no obligation for parents to make any contribution, and no child will be excluded from an activity if their parents are unwilling or unable to pay.
If the school is unable to raise enough funds for an activity or visit then it may be cancelled.
In some circumstances the school may not charge for the optional items set out in this policy. This will be at the discretion of the governing board and will depend on the activity in question.
Remissions for residential visits
Parents who can prove they are in receipt of any of the following benefits will be exempt from paying the cost of board and lodging for residential visits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the family’s annual gross income does not exceed £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (this is paid for 4 weeks after an individual stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit (if the application was made on or after 1 April 2018, the family’s income must be less than £7,400 per year – after tax and not including any benefits)
The Finance Manager monitors charges and remissions, and ensures these comply with this policy.
This policy will be reviewed by the Finance and Audit Sub-committee annually.