Charging and Remissions Policy.

Introduction:

All education provided during school hours is free, including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment. No charge is made for any accreditation or examination held within school. Southgate School will ask for voluntary contributions and charge for some optional extras that are not part of the national curriculum. These are set out below:

Voluntary Contributions:

Southgate School reserve the right to ask for voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or any school activities. However, if the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, this will be made clear to parents at the outset. There is no obligation to make any contribution, and no child will be excluded from an activity simply because his or her parents/ carers are unwilling or unable to pay. If insufficient voluntary contributions are raised to fund a visit, and it cannot be funded from some other source, then it will be cancelled. This will always be made clear to parents/ carers. If a parent/ carer is unwilling or unable to pay, their child will still be given an equal chance to go on the visit. When making requests for voluntary contributions, parents will not be made to feel pressurised to pay as it is voluntary and not compulsory.

At Southgate, we are fortunate to have a variety of external contributors that make donations for a range of outdoor visits and residentials. Alongside a budget provided by the school, many activities and residentials can be provided to pupils without a charge or voluntary contribution being necessary, although at times a voluntary contribution may be requested. Parents/ carers have the right to know how each trip is funded and this can be provided on request. As part of the school’s nurturing ethos, breakfast and a snack is provided on a daily basis. A voluntary contribution of £5 per half term is asked for to support this, although there is no obligation to make any contribution. Breakfast and a snack will still be provided for all children as an option.

Optional Extras:

Charges may be made for some activities that are known as ‘optional extras’. Where an optional extra is being provided, a charge can be made for providing materials, books, instruments, or other equipment. 

Optional extras are:

  • Education provided outside of school time that is not: 

a) part of the national curriculum;

b) part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school; or

c) part of religious education.

  • Examination entry fee(s) if the registered pupil has not been prepared for the examination(s) at school;
  • Transport (other than transport that is required to take the pupil to school or to other premises where the local authority/governing body have arranged for the pupil to be provided with education);
  • Board and lodging for a pupil on a residential visit;
  • Extended day services offered to pupils (e.g. after-school clubs).

In 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, this includes supply teachers engaged specifically to provide the optional extra; and
  • the cost, or an appropriate proportion of the costs, for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument, or vocal tuition, where the tuition is an optional extra.

Any charge made in respect of individual pupils will not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of pupils participating. It will 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.

Furthermore, 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 will 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/ carer choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental/ carer agreement is therefore a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra where charges will be made.

If a residential visit is arranged during school time (or mainly school time), which is directly related to the national curriculum, we do not make any charge for the education or travel expenses. However, we reserve the right to request a charge to cover the costs of board and lodging if appropriate, and where no external contribution is made.

Some additional voluntary extras may also be charged for, such as having the option to take part in additional sports coaching.

Transport:

School will not charge for:

  • Transporting registered pupils to or from the school premises, where the local education authority has a statutory obligation to provide transport;
  • Transporting registered pupils to other premises where the governing body or local authority has arranged for pupils to be educated;
  • Transport provided in connection with an educational visit.

Swimming:

The school organises swimming lessons for children in Key Stage 2. This takes place during school time and no charge is made for this activity. Parents/ carers are informed when these lessons take place.

Damage to school property and vehicles on site:

School may request for parents/ carers to make a payment towards the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property. This includes, but is not limited to, items such as computer equipment, damaged doors, visitor cars and school buses, and any acts of vandalism.

P.Evans
March 2019