Charging, remissions and lettings policy

Charging, Remissions & Lettings Policy (for review December 2018)

The Education Reform Act 1988 clarifies the activities for which charges can be made or voluntary contributions sought.

The Act gives LAs and schools the discretion to charge for optional activities provided wholly or mainly out of school hours, and the right to invite voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or in support of any activity organised by the school whether during or outside school hours.

As from December 2014 the Governors will operate the following policy on charges and contributions for school activities where such activities involve additional expenditure. Review will take place annually.

Charging for school activities

The school will charge in the following circumstances allowed by the Act and as advised in charging for 2013 DfE Charging for School Activities guidance:

(a)        The provision of music tuition given to pupils as individuals or in groups of up to four except where it is given to fulfil:

  • statutory duties relating to the National Curriculum or
  • requirements specified in the syllabus for a public exam.

(b)        Ingredients and materials for cooking and DT (Design Technology):

Materials will be charged for, or parents will be required to supply these, if the parents/carers have indicated in advance a wish to own the finished product.

(c)        Activities which take place wholly or mainly outside school hours and which are not a statutory part of the National Curriculum: e.g. outings, visits, cricket coaching, cycling courses.

Charges will be made for all or part of a pupil’s travel costs, board and lodging costs, materials and equipment, entrance fees, non-teaching staff costs, any insurance and costs of engaging teaching staff specifically for the activity.

(d)        Activities which involve pupils in nights away from home:

Charges will be made for board and lodging.

(e)        No charges will be made for examination entries except where:

  • The school has not prepared the pupil to take an earlier exam.
  • The pupil has failed to complete the requirements of the exam without a valid reason.

Information regarding how charges are calculated and exemptions will be available to parents/carers on request. Charges will not exceed actual cost to avoid VAT implications.

Voluntary Contributions

Voluntary contributions will be sought from parents/carers for activities which supplement the normal school curriculum, e.g. outings and visits which take place wholly or mainly during school hours; visits to the school by theatre groups and other organisations providing an educational service.

When voluntary contributions are requested, the terms of the request will clearly state:

  • there is no obligation to contribute.
  • pupils will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents/carers have made a contribution.
  • the proposed activity may not take place unless a substantial majority of parents/carers contribute.
  • a suggested amount for a contribution to cover costs.

Here at St Benedict’s Junior School, we have always operated happily with the voluntary principle. The activities we arrange are carefully chosen for their relevance to the curriculum, but without continuing parental/carer contributions to the cost, these simply could not take place.

Remissions

It is the policy of the Governing Body:

  • to remit charges for school activities to parents in receipt of income support and working family tax credit who had been unable to give a donation.
  • to look at individual cases where parents have been unable to give a donation.
  • to agree how to fund shortfalls for activities if at all possible.

Other Charges

Private Photocopying/Telephone Calls

The Governors have agreed to charge 8p per black and white copy and 12p for colour copy for private photocopying and telephone calls at 50p per local call.  These will be subject to VAT regulations.  These charges are to be reviewed annually.

Hire of School Minibus

The Governors have agreed to charge £1 per mile to cover insurance for hiring the school minibus plus users are to refuel the minibus after use.  These charges are to be reviewed annually.

Income from Sales – Non-profit Making

Some goods may be purchased through the school for the convenience of parents/carers, pupils or teachers.  The school will not seek to make a profit from these sales.  Goods in this category include school clothing, books, book bags, recorders, etc.

Income from Sales – Profit Making

Some goods will be sold through the school with the intention of making a profit and thus raising money for the school, PFA or other charity.  Goods in this category include school photographs, bring and buy items, etc. which may be subject to VAT.

Income from Donations

From time to time the school will seek voluntary donations for specific purposes.  This may be via non-uniform days, sponsorship, etc.  It will be made clear at the time of asking that such donations are voluntary and the purpose for which the donations will be used.

Lettings

These arrangements apply to groups, individuals and organisations regarding use of St Benedict’s premises and facilities.

The Governing Body annually review and set charges made for use of school premises.  The charges will cover any costs incurred by the school including heat and lighting, caretaking, insurance and a premises charge.

All hirers of the school premises will be made aware of the hire costs, terms and conditions, including insurance requirements, before the agreement is signed and the hire takes place.

Caretaker costs are based on the current rates issued by Somerset County Council’s Education Personnel Section, based on the number of rooms hired. An element for heating and lighting is added, based on advice from the sustainable development team. Insurance costs are added at the current rate of 12% issued by Somerset County Council’s Insurance Section.

Charges to children and youth groups may be subsidised if funds are available for this purpose, agreed on individual circumstances by the Headteacher and Governors.

The Governing Body will endeavour to avoid charging the PFA for its activities in the school.

Where possible fees are payable in advance; otherwise an invoice will be raised promptly following the event.

Please contact the school office for conditions of hire, insurance information and application forms.

Responsibilities

Authority for day-to-day management of the policy is delegated to the Headteacher who will determine the costs of activities other than those set by the Governors.

The level of charges is a matter for the Governing Body.  It is recommended that all charges should include a reasonable element for overheads like electricity, heating, caretaker’s overtime, etc.  Other things to consider are whether the school aims to make a profit, to meet actual costs or to offer say lettings at a subsidy.

All staff responsible for collecting income are made aware of the current charge rates and made aware of VAT implications.