Charging and Remissions Policy
Statement of intent
Seaton Academy is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all pupils, regardless of financial circumstances, and has established the following policy and procedures to ensure that no child is discriminated against by our offering of school trips, activities and educational extras.
In addition, we are committed to adhering to legal requirements regarding charging for school activities, and meeting all statutory guidance provided by the DfE.
- Not to charge for education provided during school hours.
- To inform parents on low incomes and in receipt of relevant benefits of the support available to them when asking for contributions.
Charging for education
We will not charge parents for:
- Admission applications.
- Education provided during school hours.
- Education provided outside school hours if it is part of the national curriculum, part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for by the school, or part of RE.
- Entry for a prescribed public examination, if the pupil has been prepared for it at the school.
- Examination resits, if the pupil is being prepared for the resits at the school.
We may charge parents for the following optional extras:
- Education provided outside of school time that is not:
- Part of the national curriculum
- Part of a syllabus for a prescribed public examination that the pupil is being prepared for at the school
- Transport, other than that arranged by the LA for the pupil to be provided with education
- Extended day services offered to pupils
When calculating the cost of optional extras, the school will only take into account the cost, or an appropriate proportion of the cost, of the following:
- Materials, books, instruments or equipment provided in relation to the optional extra
- Buildings and accommodation
- Employment of non-teaching staff
- Teaching staff (including TAs) under contracts for services purely to provide an optional extra
- The school will not charge a subsidy for any pupils wishing to participate but whose parents are unwilling or unable to pay the full charge.
- If a proportion of the activity takes place during school hours, the school will not charge for the cost of alternative provision for those not participating.
- Participation in any optional activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a willingness to meet the charges. Therefore, parental agreement is a prerequisite for the provision of an optional extra.
- The school may, from time-to-time, ask for voluntary contributions towards the benefit of the school or school activities. If an activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions, the school will make this clear to parents at the outset. The school will also make it clear that there is no obligation for parents to make a contribution, and notify parents whether assistance is available.
- No pupil will be excluded from an activity simply because their parents are unwilling or unable to pay. If a parent is unwilling or unable to pay, their child will still be given an equal opportunity to take part in the activity. If insufficient voluntary contributions are raised to fund an activity, and the school cannot fund it via another source, the activity will be cancelled.
- The school will strive to ensure that parents do not feel pressurised into making voluntary contributions.
Education partly during school hours
- If 50 percent or more of the time spent on an activity occurs during school hours (including time spent travelling if the travel occurs during school hours), it is deemed to take place during school hours and no charge will be made.
- If less than 50 percent of the time spent on an activity occurs during school hours, it is deemed to have taken place outside school hours and the school may charge for the activity
Damaged or lost items
- The school may charge parents for the cost of replacing items broken, damaged or lost due to their child’s behaviour.
- The school has set aside a small fund to enable parents in financial difficulty to send their children on visits and activities. The funding is limited and there is no guarantee that all requests can be met. Assistance will be allocated on a needs basis, and if the full cost of the trip or activity cannot be met through assistance funding and voluntary contributions, the trip or activity will be cancelled.
Parents in receipt of any of the following benefits may request assistance with the costs of activities:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided that they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and they have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
- Working Tax Credit run on – paid for four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit – if they apply on or after 1 April 2018, their household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits they receive)
School trip refunds
- All initial deposits for school trips will be non-refundable. Parents will be informed of this when they are provided with initial information about the trip.
- In the event that the school has to cancel a trip due to foreseen circumstances, parental contributions will be refunded.
- In the event that a school trip is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, it is at the headteacher’s discretion as to whether a refund is given to parents. The headteacher will consult the trustees on the matter, taking into account the cost to the school, including alternative provision cost.
- In the event that a pupil or their parents cancel the pupil’s place on a trip, it is at the headteacher’sdiscretion as to whether a refund is given. The headteacher will consult the trustees on the matter, taking into account the reason for cancellation, whether the school will be reimbursed for the pupil’s place on the trip, and whether the place on the trip can be offered to another pupil.
- Where a pupil or their parents have previously cancelled a place on a trip and received a full refund, the school has the right to refuse to allow the pupil to attend future trips and visits.
- Excess expenditure will be subsidised by the school fund.
- The school will deal with cancellations and refunds on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that all pupils and their families are treated equally.
- If a parent wishes to make a complaint about refunds, they can do so via the Complaints Procedures Policy.
Review July 2023