The School Governing Body is committed to the general principle of free education for students.
The Governing Body recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs, out-of-School trips, residential and experiences of environments, can make towards students’ all-round educational experience and their personal and social development.
A parent means all those having parental responsibility for a child.
All charges for income of any nature must be made through the Finance Department by the Business Manager, who is responsible for raising invoices.
Likewise, all monies received for such income must be directed to the Finance Department. Official School receipts will be issued for all monies received.
The Governing Body reserves the right to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the School:
- School trips and residential trips in School time: the boarding and lodging relating to the residential experience and outdoor pursuit courses;
- Activities outside School hours: the full cost for each student of journeys, trips and overnight stays in the United Kingdom and abroad which take place at weekends and during holidays, which are deemed to be optional extras;
- Materials and ingredients: the cost of materials or ingredients for art and design, food, hospitality and catering, if parents have indicated in advance that they wish to own the final product. Alternatively, parents may be asked to provide the materials and/or ingredients prior to the activity taking place;
- Acts of vandalism and negligence: the Governing Body reserves the right to recover part, or the whole cost, of damage to buildings or equipment which is the result of vandalism or negligence by a student;
- Optional Extras: charges may be made for costs relating to optional extras that may be charged in accordance with Appendix A .
- Examination fees: if a student has not regularly attended the lessons for a particular examination subject, the examination fee may be requested, refundable if the student attends for examination.
If, without a medical certificate explaining the reason, a student fails to complete examination requirements for any public examination for which the School has paid an entry fee, the Governing Body may seek to recover the fee from the parent.
There may be a charge for examination entry where there is a request from the parent for additional subject entries to be made which are not supported by the School.
Where the parent of a student is in receipt of qualifying state benefit (Appendix A), the Governing Body will remit in full the cost of board and lodging for any residential activity that is organised for the student and which takes place within School time. This will also be the case where the residential activity forms part of the syllabus for a public examination.
The Governing Body may remit charges in full or in part to other parents after considering other specific hardship cases. The Governing Body invites parents to apply, in the strictest confidence, for the remission of charges in part or in full. The Principal will authorise remission in consultation with the Chair of Governors.
Any insurance costs will be included in charges made for trips or activities.
Nothing in this policy statement precludes the Governing Body from inviting parents to make voluntary contributions.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
Charges may be made for some activities that are known as “optional extras” and include:
- education provided outside of School time that is
- not a part of the formal curriculum;
- part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the student is being prepared for at the School; or
- part of religious education;
- examination entry fee(s), if the registered student has not been prepared for the examination(s) at the School;
- transport that is required to take students to destinations other than the School;
- board and lodging for a student on a residential trip;
- any materials, books, instruments, or equipment provided in connection with the optional extra;
- non-teaching staff;
- teaching staff engaged under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra, which includes supply teachers engaged specifically to provide the optional extra;
the cost, or a proportion of the costs, for teaching staff employed to provide tuition in playing a musical instrument, where the tuition is an optional extra.
Any charge made in respect of individual students may not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of students participating. It may not therefore include an element of subsidy for any other students 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 students who do not wish to participate. Therefore no charge can be made for supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from School accompanying students on a residential trip.
Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Parental agreement is therefore a necessary pre-requisite for the provision of an optional extra where charges will be made.
When the School informs parents about a forthcoming trip, they should make it clear that parents who can prove they are in receipt of the following benefits will be exempt from paying the cost of board and lodging:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance;
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- Child Tax Credit, provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the family’s income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190 (FY 10/11).
If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay, their child must still be given an equal chance to go on the visit.
The School should make it clear to parents at the outset what our policy is for allocating places on the trip.