Mount Pleasant Primary School

CHARGES FOR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES                                                                  

The Governing Body of Mount Pleasant Primary School outline the following Policy with regard to Charging for School Activities.

1.         INTRODUCTION

The Governors would wish to support the general objectives of the charging provisions in the 1988 Act and subsequent legislation which are:-

            (a)        To maintain the right to free school education.

            (b)        To establish that activities offered wholly or mainly during normal teaching time should be available to all pupils regardless of their parents' ability or willingness to help meet the costs.

            (c)        To emphasise that there is no statutory requirement to charge for any form of education or related activity, but that the school has the discretion to charge for optional activities provided wholly or mainly out of school hours.

            (d)        To confirm the right of the school 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.

2.         EDUCATION DURING SCHOOL HOURS

Incidentals to the Provision of Education

The Governors would emphasise that neither the pupil nor his/her parents may be required to pay for, or to supply, any materials, books, instruments or other equipment for use in connection with education provided during school hours.  Parents may be invited to provide voluntarily particular items for their children, in order to release resources in the school budget for other purposes, but no child should be at a disadvantage because of a parents' unwillingness or inability to contribute in this way.

Any transport provided in school hours by the school to carry pupils between the school and any other place where education is to be provided by the L.E.A. or the school must be provided free of charge.

Charging in Kind

With regard to practical subjects such as Food Technology and Design Technolgy the school is prepared to provide or pay for any ingredients, materials, equipment, etc. required.  Parents who are willing to contribute in cash or in kind can however, be encouraged to do so on a voluntary basis.  The school may charge for, or require the supply of, ingredients and materials if parents have indicated in advance a wish to own the finished product.

3.         RESIDENTIAL VISITS

Residential visits at Mount Pleasant Primary School typically take place during the school week only.  According to the criteria offered within the Act, these residential activities will be deemed to take place during school hours, even though many of the hours are outside normal school opening times. (Ref. V.26-32 - Circular No. 2/89, 12th January, 1989 - Charges for School Activities).

Within the guidelines of the Circular, where a residential activity is deemed to take place during school hours, no charge may be made for the education provided, nor for the cost of travel and any fund-raising must be made on the basis of voluntary contributions.  Charges may however be made for board and lodging.  Any charges made must not exceed the actual cost of providing board and lodging for that pupil.  Special arrangements apply for pupils whose parents are in receipt of income support or family credit and the Head Teacher will advise all parents of their entitlements to claim remission. 

4.         VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

The Act establishes that the restrictions on charging for school activities do not in any way prohibit or restrict an L.E.A. or school from seeking voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or in support of any school activity, whether during or outside school hours, residential or non-residential.  This Governing Body would underline however that such contributions must be genuinely voluntary.  The terms of any requests for contributions will make it clear:

            (a)        that there is no obligation to contribute;

 

                        and

 

            (b)        that pupils at Mount Pleasant Primary School will not be treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made any contribution in response to the request.

If the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contribution, the Governing Body or the Head will make this clear to parents at the outset.  An initial letter will explain the nature of the proposed activity and its likely value in educational terms.  It could then indicate the contribution per pupil which would be required if the activity were to take place.  It will emphasise that there is no obligation to contribute and that no pupil will be omitted from the activity because his/her parents are unwilling or unable to contribute but it would be made equally clear that the activity might not be able to take place if parents were reluctant to support it.

There is no limit to the level of voluntary contributions which parents or others can make to school activities, nor is any restriction placed upon the use which can be made of such contributions.  A request for a contribution towards the cost of a particular activity could, for example, include the cost of subsidising pupils from low income families, or the cost of travel for accompanying teachers.  Alternatively, parents could be asked to contribute towards part of the cost at the time of the visit or activity, and the rest could be made from the proceeds of general fund-raising events held in preceding months.  For instance, the transport costs of an excursion could be made out of money raised from social events and then parents of the children taking part in the excursion could be asked if they will voluntarily help with other costs such as entrance fees.

Equal Opportunities

Mount Pleasant Primary School is committed to equality, including racial equality, for all members of the school community. The school promotes a positive and proactive approach to valuing and respecting diversity, and will not tolerate racial harassment of any kind. Mount Pleasant is committed to providing a curriculum and environment that challenges and extends the learning and opportunities for more able and talented pupils.

Ratified: 26th November 2006

Reviewed: November 2010

To be reviewed: November 2013