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Charging Policy


Introduction

The academy acknowledges the right of every student to receive free school education and understands that activities offered wholly or mainly during normal teaching time must be made available to all students regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to meet the cost. The academy also recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, trips and residential experiences can make towards students’ education and aim to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the students of the academy and as additional optional activities.

Academy Policy

The law allows governing bodies to charge only for the defined activities if they have first made a policy on charging and remissions.

Third Parties

The academy is permitted to charge for the provision of educational services by a third party, but schools must ensure that the monies are paid directly to the third party organisation. In such cases, if the activity is in school time, the academy has to formally grant leave of absence to the students taking part, as the activity would no longer technically be part of the school’s official programme.

It is likely, too, that any staff taking part in the activity would also have to be granted leave of absence. The Principal must consider carefully the position of accompanying staff, depending on the precise nature and duration of the visit.

The Academy Charging Policy

The Academy therefore reserves the right to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the academy:

A. Practical subjects

Where parents have indicated in writing that they wish to own a finished product, a charge will be made. The charge shall not exceed the cost of the materials used by the student.

B. Activities outside school hours

The full cost or part payment of where possible to each student of all approved activities deemed to be optional extras taking place outside school hours and therefore not part of the National Curriculum.

C. Residential Trips (including study visits abroad)

The board and lodging element of approved residential activities deemed to take place in school hours. The cost/or part thereof will not exceed the actual cost of the provision and prior written confirmation from the parent is required that he/she is willing to pay the charge.

D. Breakages and Fines

Parents will be charged for the cost of replacing damaged or lost equipment where appropriate.

Voluntary Contributions

The academy reserves the right to ask parents for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of:

  • any activity which takes place during school hours:
  • school equipment:
  • school funds generally.

Parents may be advised that the continuance of an activity may depend upon voluntary contributions but once it has been decided to run such an activity, no qualifying child will be excluded on the grounds of voluntary contributions.

Private Use of Facilities

Private use of the telephone and photocopying facilities by students is not permitted. In the rare case that a private telephone call is made it is deemed to be an emergency and no charge is made.

Remissions

Parents of students who are in receipt of the following support payments will, in addition to having free school meals entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of charges:

  • Income Support:
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance:
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999:
  • Family Credit.

When arranging a chargeable activity such parents will be invited in confidence for the remission of charges in full or in part.

The Principal in consultation with the Chair of Governors will make authorisation for such remission. The academy is sympathetic to those parents that are unable to afford the cost of additional activities and has limited funds available to assist parents in particularly difficult financial circumstances. Approaches may be made to the Principal or Vice Principals directly.

Equal Opportunities

The Principal will ensure that the academy’s equal opportunities policies are observed in implementing the policy.

Responsibilities

The Governing Body are responsible for making and reviewing the policy.

The Principal (or Business Manager) is responsible for the implementation of the policy and ensuring that staff, parents and students know the details as appropriate.

Other staff may be responsible for implementing the policy as part of their overall responsibilities (e.g. the Educational Visits Coordinator or Heads of Department).

Monitoring and Review

The Business Manager will report on the policy to the Principal as appropriate.

The Principal will report to the Governors’ Finance Committee on any relevant aspects of the working of the policy as appropriate.

The Governing Body will review the policy every two years. Next review date is June 2015.