1. The Governing Body is required by Section 110 of the Education Reform Act 1988 to determine policies for (i) making charges for school activities which are permitted by Section 109 of the Act (its 'charging policy') and (ii) remitting such charges (its 'remissions policy').
2. These policies will be no less generous than:
a) the policies of the Authority on charging for activities and remission of charges at its own residential centres
b) the arrangements made by the Authority for individual tuition in the playing of musical instruments
[a] Optional Extras
1. Section 106 of the Act confirms the principle that education provided by any maintained school for its registered pupils should be free of charge it if takes place during school hours.
2. Where education is provided for registered pupils outside school hours and is not required as part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination or specifically to fulfil statutory duties relating to the national curriculum or religious education, such education is defined by Section 109 of the Act as an 'optional extra' and charges may be made. (Where an activity takes place partly during and partly outside school hours, it will be deemed to take place wholly during or wholly outside school hours in accordance with the provisions of Section 107 of the Act).
3. Charges will be made for optional extras and may include an appropriate element for:
a) a student's travel costs
b) a student's board and lodging costs
c) materials, books, instruments or other equipment
d) non-teaching staff costs
e) entrance fees to museums, castles, theatres, etc.
f) insurance costs
g) teaching staff costs, including the cost of travel and board and lodging, where a teacher/instructor has been engaged specifically for the purpose of providing the activity. (The cost of any teachers employed by the Authority under a contract of employment may not be included.)
The charge levied for each optional extra will not exceed the total cost of the activity.
4. The cost of an optional extra will be determined on the basis of the cost to each individual pupil participating in the activity. The amount of any charge shall be payable by the parent of the pupil concerned although participation in any optional extra must be subject to parental agreement.
[b] Board and Lodging
1. In all instances where a school activity involves pupils in nights away from home, a charge will be levied to meet the cost of board and lodging, except in those cases where the remissions policy is applicable (see paragraph below).
[c] Public Examinations
1. Whilst Section 106 of the Act prohibits charging for prescribed public examinations for which registered pupils are prepared at school, where a pupil is entered for a prescribed public examination for which he/she has not been prepared by the school (e.g. where a pupil has received private tuition for the examination or where an examination re-sit is undertaken without further preparation since the occasion of the first examination entry) the cost of the examination entry shall be passed on to the parents.
2. A charge may be made for the entry fee if a pupil, with his/her parents' agreement, is entered for a non-prescribed examination.
3. If a pupil fails without good reason to complete the examination requirements for any public examination (prescribed or otherwise) for which an entry fee has been paid or is liable to be paid, then the fee can be recovered from the parent. Failure to complete the examination requirements might include failure to complete coursework and/or failure to sit the final examination(s)
4. Where a parent asks for examination results to be re scrutinised, the charge made by the examining body for this service will be passed on to the parent.
5. Where a students opts to resit a paper for which the school previously entered the student; the school reserves the right to levy a charge.
1. Section 110 of the Act requires that pupils whose parents are in receipt of income support or family credit may not be charged for board and lodging for participation in a residential visit which forms part of the syllabus for a prescribed public examination or is provided specifically to fulfil statutory duties under the national curriculum.
1. The existence of policies on charging and remission of charges does not prohibit voluntary contributions being sought for the benefit of any school activity.
2. In making a request or invitation for voluntary contributions it must be made clear that there is no obligation to contribute and that registered pupils at the school will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made any contribution.
Activities Arranged by Third Parties
1. None of the provisions of these policies will apply in those instances where a third party levies a charge direct on parents in return for services provided in accordance with the terms of Section 118(4 of the Act.