Charging and Remissions Policy

Introduction

The relevant statutory provisions are contained in Chapter III of Pt VI of the Education Act 1996. This requires the Governing Body to determine and keep under review a Charging and Remissions Policy. Parents have a right to ask for this information and a summary must be included in the school prospectus and displayed on the school website.

Philosophy

Montpelier Primary School is an inclusive school committed to ensuring all our children have equal access to the range of curricular activities on offer and that none are excluded because of costs.

The Governing Body recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs and visits, can make towards a pupil’s education. The Governing Body aims to promote and provide such activities as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the pupils of the school and as additional optional activities.

We aim to support families who may not be able to afford extracurricular activities and will arrange subsidies where appropriate.

Charging Policy

Montpelier Primary School will not charge for the following:

  • education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment)
  • tuition for pupils learning to play musical instruments (or singing) if the tuition is required as part of the National Curriculum
  • education provided on any trip that takes place during school hours education provided on any trip that takes place outside school hours if it is part of the National Curriculum or part of the school’s basic curriculum for religious education
  • supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential trip
  • transport provided in connection with an educational trip

There are two types of financial contributions for which parents can be asked in relation to educational activities:

  • Voluntary contributions
  • Permitted charges

Please note the school holds minimal cash on site and that contributions will usually be paid either online www.scopay.com/login or by cheque made payable to Montpelier Primary School

Voluntary contributions:

Voluntary contributions are requested by the school in the following circumstances. All voluntary contributions need to be paid either online www.scopay.com/login (please speak to the business team if you need a registration code) or by cheque made out to Montpelier Primary School.

The school does not accept cash contributions for trips or events unless otherwise specified. While acknowledging that contributions are voluntary, the school reserves the right to remind parents/carers that they have not made a contribution and that the trip or event is at risk of cancellation if insufficient contributions are received.

1. Trips/Visits/Performances

When organising school trips or visits which enrich the curriculum and educational experience of the children. The school invites parents to make a voluntary contribution to the overall cost of school trips. If we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may decide to cancel a trip. If a trip goes ahead, it may include children whose parents have not paid any contribution. We do not treat these children differently from any others.

Should an entire trip need to be cancelled for any reason, the school will not be able to provide a refund to parents. However, the school will carry the voluntary contributions forward to pay for other trips later in the academic year or, in the case of a summer term trip, the next academic year for that year group’s trips. Any overpayments for year 6 will be refunded to parents the following September once the accounts for the academic year have been closed.

If a pupil is unable to attend a trip/visit or performance for any reason, including medical appointments, academic interviews/examinations or illness, any voluntary contribution paid will not be refunded.

If parents are experiencing financial difficulties, they are invited to speak or write in confidence to the Headteacher. (Also please see the section on Remissions Policy.) Parents whose children are entitled to Free School Meals are entitled to a 50% discount on residential school journeys but not on residential holidays, i.e. France. Parents whose children are eligible for pupil premium grant are eligible for a 25% discount on residential school journeys but not on residential holidays. Twins will be afforded any discount which the travel company offers to parents/carers.

Permitted Charges:

Schools are permitted to request monies to cover costs in the following circumstances:

1. Music Tuition

All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum. We do not charge for this. Current legislation allows pupils to be charged for instrumental music tuition during the school day as long as a teaching group does not exceed 4 pupils. A charge may not be levied where the tuition is provided as part of a recognised external examination course within the school’s curriculum.

2. Peripatetic Music

Subject to availability and to the terms of individual tutors we do from time to time offer children the opportunity to study a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Parents who wish their child to participate should purchase or hire the instrument from Ealing Music Service and pay the additional music lesson fee in advance of the lessons. If payment is not forthcoming in advance of the lessons’ commencement and no arrangement has been made with the school, the lessons will be relinquished and will be offered to another pupil from the waiting list.

Fees will not be refunded if a pupil is unable to participate in music lessons due to sickness, injury, forgotten or late instrument or the child simply not wishing to continue to participate. Due to the busy school schedule, fees will not be refunded in the event of other school activities taking place on the same day i.e. trips/sports days. Lessons missed for any reason will not be re-scheduled. A full term’s notice is required in writing if a pupil wishes to terminate their lessons. Insufficient notice will mean that parents will still incur the full term’s fees.

If tuition fees remain unpaid, including where the parents/carers do not honour the required notice period, the parents/carers will not be able to book further tuition or other services or activities including residential journeys for the same child or for siblings until the debt is cleared.

3. Activities Outside School Hours

Where clubs are provided by external providers before, during or after school or at lunchtimes the school/provider may charge. Charges are made explicit at the time of offering opportunities.

4. Residential Trips

If the activity is held substantially outside school hours and is education other than nonchargeable education, then it is regarded as an “optional extra” or holiday. A charge may be made for the full cost of the activity but must not exceed the actual cost of providing the activity.

The charge may include the costs of travel, board and lodgings, additional staff costs, entrance fees, insurance, materials and equipment. However, the charge made to individual parents cannot include any cost added to subsidise parents of children who are unwilling or unable to pay the charge.

Cancellation

Initial Deposit
The deposit for a residential trip will not be refunded if a pupil is unable to participate for any reason including sickness, injury, the child simply not wishing to continue to participate and in the event the pupil is leaving the school. The deposit will not be returned even if another pupil takes the place. This is because of the high level of administration that is involved.

Charges incurred by Montpelier Primary School due to late cancellation
For all residential trips, the school enters into an agreement with the provider’s travel insurance company, and may pursue a travel claim against cancellation fees on behalf of the pupil, on the basis of the terms and conditions of the insurance company. This may result in a refund issued to the parent from the school, subject to a successful claim.

If cancellation occurs for any reason, in line with the terms and conditions of the activity provider, the parent will be liable for any cancellation fees issued by the provider to Montpelier Primary School. However, for all residential trips the school enters into an agreement with the providers travel insurance company, and may pursue a travel claim against cancellation fees on behalf of the pupil, on the basis of the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy. This may result in a refund issued to the parent from the school, subject to a successful claim.

Montpelier Primary School will use the Charging Policy from Learning Outside of the Classroom to determine whether a trip is chargeable or not.

Damage/Loss to school property including reading/library books

In cases of wilful or malicious damage to equipment/property or breakages, or loss of school books on loan to children, the school may decide it right to make a charge in full or ask for a contribution towards the cost of the item. Each incident will be dealt with on its own merit and at the school’s discretion.

We reserve the right to ask families for the full cost of any reading/library books borrowed by children and either damaged beyond repair or not returned to the school on request.

5. School dinners

All parents/ carers are asked to register with ISS by registering online at https://parents.feedinghungryminds.co.uk/register

Parents reserve the right to choose whether their child has school lunches or a packed lunch from home. Parents/ carers who wish their child to have a school lunch need to pay ISS Catering Ltd in advance. The school does not accept any payments for school lunches.

Any staff/visitors/volunteers etc. who wish to partake of a school lunch will need to register beforehand with ISS at www.feedinghungryminds.co.uk debt that is passed to the school from ISS will be sought from parents and carers.

The school considers it inappropriate and so is not willing to use funds allocated for pupils’ learning to supplement the cost of school lunches.

Where a parent has neither paid ISS for a school lunch nor provided a packed lunch, the school may provide the pupil with a basic ‘snack pack’ lunch as an emergency measure. The school may invoice the parent a charge equivalent to a school meal for this service.

6. Other charges

Montpelier school office sells school book bags and school writing pens but does not charge VAT for these.

The Headteacher, Strategic Development Committee or Governing Body may levy charges for miscellaneous services up to the cost of providing such services, e.g. photocopying at their discretion.

Remissions policy

Where non-chargeable (see above for exceptions) education is provided during a residential visit, then the parents of a pupil who is eligible for Pupil Premium Grant or free school meals will be eligible for a discounted remission of any charges that would otherwise be payable in respect of board or lodgings. This will be in the amount of 25% for pupils eligible for Pupil Premium Grant and 50% for pupils in receipt of free school meals.

The policy has been produced in accordance with Department of Education (DfE) Guidance, Charging for School Activities, May 2018.

About this policy

This document will next be reviewed in line with DfE guidance in Autumn 2021.