Charging and Remission Policies

Charging and Remissions Policy

  

Introduction

This Policy sets out what charges will be levied for activities, when remissions will be implemented and the circumstances under which voluntary contributions will be requested from parents/carers.

The Governors of Forest Hill School are committed to providing the best education for all students and will endeavour, within reason and as funding resources allow, to ensure that all activities offered wholly or mainly during the school day are available to all students, regardless of their respective parents’/carers’ ability to pay.   However, Governors reserve the right to request voluntary contributions from parents/carers and in the event of insufficient funding, to cancel a proposed activity.

Instances where charges cannot be made by the school

The Governing Body of the school recognises that legislation prohibits charges for the following:-

  • Education provided during school hours
  • Education provided outside of 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
  • Tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments if the tuition is required as 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
  • Entry for a prescribed public examination if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school
  • Examination re-sits if the pupil is being prepared for a specific re-sit by the school
  • Education provided on trips that take place during school hours
  • Education provided on any trip that takes place 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 by the school
  • Supply teachers to cover those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential trip
  • Transporting registered pupils to or from the school premises where the Local 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 educational trips that are defined as part of the school curriculum

Instances where charges may be made by the school

Trips, visits, activities

  • Board /lodgings on residential visits (not to exceed the actual cost)
  • The proportionate costs for an individual child of activities wholly or mainly outside school hours (‘optional extras’) to meet the cost of –
  • Travel
  • Materials and equipment
  • Non-teaching staff costs
  • Entrance fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Extra-curricular activities and school clubs
  • Any extended school activity
  • Music tuition
  • Vocal and musical instrument tuition where this is an optional extra and not part of the curriculum

The Governors of Forest Hill School are keen to subsidise the provision of music lessons and extra-curricular activities, where financially practical.   There are currently no charges made for such activities although Governors will review this on an annual basis.

The cost of many trips and visits can be prohibitive and while students must not be excluded from trips on financial grounds alone, it is important to note that for trips, visits and activities it may only be possible to meet costs by requesting a voluntary contribution.    There is no obligation for parents/carers to contribute, and pupils will be treated the same regardless of their contribution status.   However, the visit, trip or activity can only go ahead if the level of support is sufficient to cover the costs involved.   Parents/carers are to be informed that if voluntary contributions are not adequate to fund a particular activity, then it may be subject to cancellation.   The responsibility for determining the level of voluntary contributions is delegated to the Headteacher.

Examinations

  • Re-sits for public examinations where no further preparation has been provided by the school
  • Re-sit examinations requested by the student and/or parents/carers
  • Examination fees where a pupil fails, without good reason, to sit the exam
  • Any other education, transport or examination where no further preparation has been provided by the school

Property and Equipment

  • Breakages and replacements as a result of damages caused wilfully or negligently by pupils.   This includes the cost of replacing books and/or equipment provided by the school
  • Damage, vandalism/loss to and of school property
  • Books or materials where parents/carers wish the student to own the goods – such as Art folders, calculators etc

Remission

Children who are in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) are entitled to the remission of charges for board and lodging costs during residential school trips.   Parents/carers on low incomes may be entitled to claim for their child.   Full details are available on request to the school.

Financial hardship

It is appreciated that parents/carers may face individual cases of financial difficulty – requests for financial assistance may be made in writing to the Headteacher immediately the parents/carers are aware that an activity is to take place.    All requests will be treated on an individual basis, with due respect for confidentiality.

The Headteacher may be able to agree flexible/extended payment terms.

Parents/carers may be able to ask for assistance from the school’s Hardship Fund – parents in receipt of benefits will be considered as a priority.   In most cases parents/carers will be asked to bear a proportion of the costs, which would usually be 50%.