SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION
Norton Road Primary conforms to the LEA's charging advice for schools, the DES Circular 2/89 and the Education Reform Act 1988: Charges for School Activities.
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. However due to the limited funds in the delegated budget the Governing Body reserves the right to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the school. The Governing Body will from time to time, review and amend the categories of activity for which a charge may be made.
SECTION 2 CHARGING FOR VISITS
The school should always ensure that parents are notified as early as possible as to:
· the total cost of the visit;
· how much of the cost will come from school or LEA funds (as in the case of Dell Farm);
· 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
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 and therefore if insufficient voluntary contributions are forthcoming the visit may have to be cancelled - parents must be notified of this contingency. Pupils whose parents/guardians do not contribute cannot be discriminated against.
The Governing Body or LEA may offer to remit the full cost of full board and lodging for any residential activity which:
· takes place during school hours or;
is not an optional extra (see following section for definition).
The decision to offer to remit board and lodging costs, as above, is subject to the parents of a pupil being in receipt of:
· Income Support;
· Income-Based Jobseekers' Allowance;
· Family Tax Credits;
· Disability Working/Living Allowance.
Parental permission should be obtained in one of two ways:
· that current legislation permits the School to ask for voluntary contributions towards the costs involved;
· that no pupil will be discriminated against on the grounds of inability to pay;
· that if sufficient money is not raised by voluntary contributions, then the visit may have to be cancelled.
A letter about the visit is sent out to parents and contains a reply slip (with space for parental signature) and also 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. Pupils who receive free School meals will be provided with a packed lunch. As we are travelling by coach, additional costs 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, but if sufficient money is not raised by voluntary contributions, then the visit will have to be cancelled. A contribution of £___ should be sufficient to ensure that the trip can proceed."
The Headteacher can charge parents for board and lodging on residential visits as well as the full cost when a visit is deemed to be an 'optional extra'. An optional extra:
· falls wholly or mainly outside school hours, i.e. a residential trip during the school holidays is an optional extra.
· does not form part of the National Curriculum or the statutory requirements for religious education.
The parents' agreement to meet the costs of an optional extra visit before that visit is planned in detail will always be obtained in writing. The stated cost of an optional extra visit must not include an element of subsidy for pupils whose families do not meet the full charge.
Parental permission should be obtained as follows:
· that current legislation permits the School to ask for the full cost of the visit;
· that current legislation does not require the School to arrange subsidies for the visit;
· that if insufficient numbers of pupils opt for the visit then the visit may have to be cancelled.
· that my child cannot attend this 'optional extra' visit if full payment is not made by myself/ourselves.
SECTION 3 TRANSPORT IN A MINIBUS
If any payment is requested/made towards the cost of passengers being carried in a minibus then a public service vehicle (PSV) licence is required by the School or their travel company. A licence is required if the school owns or rents the minibus. There are two types of PSV:
· restricted (for up to two vehicles);
· standard national (more than two vehicles).
Norton Road may hire minibuses from the LEA which automatically include insurance but may only be driven by LEA approved drivers. Charges may be made via voluntary contributions following all relevant preceeding guidelines to cover hire, and fuel.
SECTION 4 INDIVIDUAL INSTRUMENTAL TUITION
The cost to the pupil for providing any instrumental tuition not part of normal LEA peripatetic provision. The fees for the peripatetic lessons are now centrally collected by the LEA due to the large administrative burden involved in pursuing non-payment.
SECTION 5 INGREDIENTS/MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT (IN KIND)
The Governing Body reserves the right to charge for ingredients, materials or equipment (or the provision of them by parents) or require them to be provided if the parents have indicated in advance that they wish to own the 'finished product'.
This is particularly relevant for the cost of materials/ingredients for Design & Technology.
SECTION 6 BROKEN EQUIPMENT (REPLACEMENT)
The Governors will 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 pupils 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.
SECTION 7 REMISSIONS
The Governing Body may remit in full or in part the cost of any activity for particular groups of parents, for example, in the case of family hardship. When arranging a chargeable activity such parents will be invited in confidence for the remission of charges in full or in part. Authorisation for such remission will be made by the Headteacher or other member of the SMT.