The Education Reform Act 1988 states that there are no statutory requirements to charge for any form of educational activity. The principle is that of free education.
The Governing body of Beaufort Primary School supports the school’s policy on providing educational visits and having educational visitors into school. This is seen as a vital part of enriching and supporting pupils’ learning within school.
We recognise that the funding received by school is not sufficient to fully cater for this element of education. The Governing body, therefore, have instituted a policy of requesting voluntary contributions from parents to enable this valuable part of pupils’ education to continue. When sending out a request to parents and carers for a voluntary contribution the school must:
- Make it clear to parents that the contribution is voluntary.
- Make it clear at the outset that the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions and that if there is insufficient support it may be necessary to cancel the activity and reimburse any parents who have contributed.
- Ensure that children are not treated differently if the parents are unable or unwilling to pay. All children must be given an equal chance to take part.
- If there are limited places then the school’s policy for allocating places must be made clear at the start.
Where major expense is involved or where deposits have to be paid by the school to secure bookings, a deposit may be requested from parents. This should be in the region of 10% and will only be refunded to parents if the school or relevant outside agency decide to cancel the event.
Parents or carers on low incomes and in receipt of the relevant benefits may be entitled to a partial remission of charges in instances when parents are asked to contribute towards the cost of a school visit. The list of relevant benefits has been aligned with the Free School Meals criteria. Any parent who thinks they may qualify for Free School Meals entitlement should contact the school office who will provide them with an up to date list of the criteria and provide further support in completing the necessary paperwork.
The following headings detail the main areas of additional activities which Beaufort Primary School aims to provide, together with the school’s policy regarding charging for these activities.
These are visits which require the pupils taking part, to spend one or more nights away from their usual overnight accommodation.
In these circumstances schools can charge for board and lodging but the charge must not exceed the actual cost for the pupil. Children of parents in receipt of Free School Meals may be exempt from this charge. The school will apply to a variety of charitable sources for funding to aid these pupils. Parents who would like this support should apply to the Head teacher before the date that any deposit is due.
Other costs and activities can be funded by voluntary contributions. These costs can include an appropriate element for:
- Travel costs
- Materials, books, instruments and other equipment
- Non-teaching staff costs
- Accompanying staff board and lodging costs
- Entrance fees to museums, castles and other places of interest
Any non-educational activities should be optional and the parents should agree to their child taking part and commit to paying for these activities before a chargeable activity is arranged.
Day Trips and Visitors
No charge is made for visitors or non-residential activities taking place during school hours. However parents may be asked for a voluntary contribution to help cover the cost to the school.
The school may charge for individuals or groups of two of more to receive instrumental or vocal tuition, which takes place during the school day, in instances where the parent or carer has requested the tuition. This charge may also include an element for hire of any instruments.
However instrumental or vocal tuition which is part of the National Curriculum or is delivered to the whole class as part of the Wider Opportunities programme cannot be charged.
The school is permitted to ask parents to pay for the cost of replacing a broken window or defaced, damaged or lost resources where this is the result of a pupil’s behaviour.