Charges for School Activities

Legislation allows schools to charge for certain activities, which take place both inside and outside, school hours. Bignold Primary School and Nursery has decided to adopt the Norfolk County Council policy, which it recommends to governors. The School’s charging policy is described in its brochure, which can be obtained from the school, and is published on the school website.

These are the activities and materials for which parent/carers will be charged:

Music Tuition

Vocal or Instrumental tuition, which is not part of the syllabus for an approved public examination, part of the National Curriculum or provided under the access to the key stage 2 Instrumental and Vocal Tuition Programme. Schools may charge for tuition provided to individuals or groups of any size, providing it is at the request of the pupil’s parent. No charges may be made in respect of a pupil who is looked after by the local authority.

Ingredients and Materials

Ingredients and materials for practical subjects where parents have indicated in advance that they wish to receive the finished articles.

Travel 

Charges can be made for travel excluding:

  • Transporting registered pupils to or from school premises, where the local education authority has a statutory obligation to provide transport.
  • Transporting registered pupils to other premises where arrangements have been made for pupils to be educated.
  • Transport enabling a pupil to meet an examination requirement where they prepared for the examination at the school.

Board and Lodging

Board and lodging will be charged in all cases where a school activity involves pupils in nights away from home. The charge must not exceed the actual cost.

Activities outside school hours

A charge will be made for all non-residential activities, which take place wholly, or more than 50% outside school hours, where the child’s participation has been agreed in advance by the parents. The charge can include the cost of travel, entrance fees, insurance, books, equipment and any staff (teaching or non-teaching) engaged specifically for the activity.

Residential trips outside school hours

A residential trip is deemed to take place outside school hours if the number of ‘missed’ school sessions is less than 50% of the number of half days taken up by the trip. Charges will be made as described above. For example:

  • Pupils are away from noon on Wednesday to 9pm on Sunday. This counts as 9 half days including 5 school sessions, so the visit is deemed to have taken place during school hours.
  • Schools cannot charge for: 
  • Education provided on any visit that takes place during school hours. 
  • Education provided on any visit that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a public examination the pupil is being prepared for at the school or part of religious education. 
  • Supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit.

Schools can ask parents for voluntary contributions towards the cost of: 

  • Any activity taking place during school hours 
  • School Equipment 
  • General School Funds 

Children of parents unwilling or unable to contribute may not be discriminated against. If insufficient voluntary contributions are received, with no alternative method to make up the shortfall, the activity should be cancelled. It is advisable to make parents aware from the outset of the possible cancellation of an activity if insufficient voluntary contributions are received. 

Public Examinations

Charges are made for the entry of a pupil for a prescribed examination for which he/she has not been prepared by the school, or where the pupil entered for examinations in the same subject with two examination boards. 

Remission of charges

Only parents who are in receipt of Universal Credit (when fully rolled out), Income Support, Working Families’ Credit, Disabled Person’s Tax Credit or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance are eligible for remission of charges. Remission of charges only applies to board and lodgings charges, which are levied directly by the LA or the school and where they relate to activities, deemed to take place wholly or partly in school hours. 

Remission will not apply to such charges when they relate to activities wholly outside school hours, except if the activity is prescribed in a syllabus for a public examination, if it is prescribed by the National Curriculum or fulfils duties relating to Religious Education. 

Parents who have difficulty meeting any charges should discuss the matter in confidence with the Headteacher.

Refunds Policy

The full contribution to an activity will be refunded if a child is absent due to illness. 

If a trip has to be cancelled parental contributions will be refunded. If contributions to an activity exceed the total cost a refund will be given, if excess is over £3 per child. Excess income less than £3 per child will be paid into the school visit line of the school budget. Excess of expenditure will be funded by this line.

Busy Bees After School Care Club

Busy Bees After School Care Club is a chargeable service run by Bignold Primary School offering before and after school term time childcare and some school holidays. Set charges are applicable per sessions attended. Payment is expected at time of booking via card payment for two-three weeks of sessions. Upon booking an invoice will be raised relating to the charges for sessions booked for the following two/three weeks and the account needs to be in credit before the child can attend. Last minute (emergency) bookings will be accepted but payment will be expected before the child can attend a second session. Parents are made aware that individual, mutually convenient arrangements can be set up through prior discussions with the Finance Officer. Parents who do not pay their debt in a timely manner on 3 occasions are not permitted to use Busy Bees again without payment in advance.

Butterflies Pre School

There is a separate charging policy in place for Butterflies pre-school.  

School Dinners

Where a child is not eligible for universal free school meals (Rec, Year 1 and 2) or free school meals (based on families income) charges will be made when ordering a school lunch (includes, hot lunch, vegetarian, jacket potato and school packed lunch).

Payment is expected at time of ordering the dinner via card or cheque payment. Any dinners ordered where payment has not been made the parent/carer will be contacted asking to provide a home packed lunch. Once the debt reaches £20 no more dinners will be provided by school until the balance is cleared. 

Lettings

See attached table of charges for lettings and accompanying policy (Appendix E)

Debts

The school expects payments in advance for all services offered. Where payment is not made and a debt of £20 is accrued then the service will stop and not be provided until payment is made as per the bad debts policy. 



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