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Charging and remissions

Trust-wide policy. Adopted: January 2019

1.Introduction

  1. The Inspiration Trust recognises the valuable contribution that extracurricular activities, including clubs, out of school trips, residential trips and experiences of other environments can make towards pupils’ all-round educational experience and their personal and social development. The Trust provides many activities for free, but to ensure fairness to all pupils may charge for some activities. The charging and remissions policy of the Trust is set out below.
  2. Charges will normally cover the full operational costs of activities, including materials, staff time, premises costs, and other associated charges, based on the Trust’s reasonable estimate of costs.
  3. Parents or carers will normally be expected to pay in advance. References in this policy to parents includes carers, guardians, and others exercising parental responsibility. Payments may be made either to the Trust or directly to a service provider, depending on the nature of the activity.
  4. The Trust recognises that financial hardship may be a barrier to certain pupils accessing optional activities. Principals may establish a remissions scheme (discount) for each activity at their discretion; eligibility for remissions will normally be based on current eligibility for Free School Meals, as set out by the Government.
  5. Principals, at their absolute discretion, may extend remissions to other pupils based on exceptional hardship or particular circumstances of the pupil or activity. Applications for assistance should be made in writing, and will be treated in confidence.

2.Music tuition

  1. Individual or group instrumental or vocal musical tuition will incur a charge, when tuition requested by parents and where this is over and above the requirements of the approved examination syllabus.
  2. Fees may include the hire or purchase of an instrument, in addition to staff and premises costs associated with tuition.
  3. Tuition that is a core part of the curriculum will not be charged. No charges will be made in respect of a looked after pupil in the care of the local authority.

3.Food and technology materials

  1. Materials for food or technology tuition will normally be provided by the school as part of normal tuition.
  2. A charge may be made for materials where parents wish to keep the finished products, for example taking food or other items home. Alternatively, parents may supply the raw materials directly.
  3. A charge may be made where a pupil’s work exceeds the requirements of the curriculum, and would use a large amount of materials, or specialist materials.

4.School meals

  1. Food and drink made available at breaks, lunch, and before and after school will normally incur a charge. Pupils eligible and registered for the Government’s free school meals scheme will not be charged, up to the scheme’s daily financial contribution; additional food or drink will be charged for at normal rates.
  2. Schools may from time to time offer breakfast or after school clubs, with charges and remissions set at the relevant Principal’s discretion.

5.Stationery, uniform, and other miscellaneous items

  1. Items required by pupils such as stationery, uniform, calculators, and other specialist equipment may be purchased by the Trust and sold to pupils or parents, subject to VAT regulations in force at the time. Charges will reflect costs to the school of carrying stock, administration, and other associated costs.
  2. Except for branded or other custom items created especially for the school, parents may purchase identical items from other suppliers if they prefer.

6.Damage to and loss of school property

  1. The cost of repairing or replacing school buildings, property, books or equipment caused by a pupil (other than normal wear and tear) may be charged to a pupil’s parents or carers.

7.Activities outside school hours

  1. Where a pupil participates at the parent’s discretion in an activity outside of school hours, the pupil’s parents will be charged in full. The charges will include the cost of travel, subsistence, entrance fees, insurance, books, equipment and any staff (teaching or non-teaching) engaged specifically for the activity.
  2. For definition purposes where 50% or more of time spent on an activity – including travel time where applicable - falls outside school hours, it is deemed to have taken place outside school hours.

8.Examination and related fees

  1. Examination fees will be payable by parents where:
    1. the examination is on the set list, but the pupil was not prepared for it at the school or during school hours; 
    2. the examination is not on the set list but the school arranges for the pupil to take it; 
    3. a pupil fails without good reason to complete the requirements of any public examination where the school originally paid or agreed to pay the entry fee.
    4. Schools will arrange for re-scrutiny of exam results at the school’s expense only where the Principal agrees that such action is reasonable. When specifically requested by parents, fees for re-scrutiny of exam results, copies of exam papers or transcripts, and similar costs will be payable by parents directly.

9.Early years care

  1. Where a school provides care or tuition to children under compulsory school age, the school may charge fees on a normal trading basis.
  2. Fees will not normally be subject to remission, but Principal’s may choose to participate in Government schemes providing free or reduced cost childcare hours at their discretion.
  3. The Trust may from time to time offer remission schemes for its own staff.

10.Transport and trips in school hours

  1. Transport to or from school is the responsibility of parents or, where applicable, the local authority. Schools will provide transport to activities during school hours that are part of the curriculum.
  2. Schools may charge for transport to and from activities outside of school hours, or during school hours but not part of the curriculum, such as work experience, day trips, and residential visits.
  3. Schools may charge for board and lodgings on residential trips. Pupils eligible and registered for Free School Meals will not be charged.

11.Voluntary contributions

  1. Nothing in this policy shall preclude the governing body or principals from inviting parents to make voluntary contributions.
  2. Parents who do not contribute will not be treated any differently. Where an activity is dependent on contributions, that activity might be cancelled if insufficient contributions are received.

12.Monitoring, evaluation and review

  1. The Trust will review this policy at least every three years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the Trust.

Regulatory framework: Education Act 1996, Sections 449-462; School Admissions Code 2012; Education (Charges for Early Years Provision) Regulations 2012; Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007