Alphington Primary School
Charges for School Activities Policy
Personnel and Finance Committee 7 July 2011
Review date: 2012
Policy: Charges for School Activities
The Governors are required under the Education Reform Act 1988 to
publish their Policy regarding charges and remissions for School
1. School Admissions
The Governors may not charge for admission to any maintained school.
2. Education during school hours
The basic principle underlying the charging provisions of the Act is
that education provided by this School for its registered pupils should
be free of charge if it takes place wholly or mainly during school
hours. If the number of places for a particular activity is limited, the
School must decide which pupils should be given the opportunity to
participate, without reference to the parents ability to pay.
No pupil or parent shall be required to pay for or supply any materials,
books, instruments or other equipment for use in connection with
education provided during school hours. Parents may be invited to
contribute voluntarily with particular items, in order to release resources
from the school budget for other purposes, but no child shall be at a
disadvantage because of a parents willingness or inability to contribute in
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
3. Residential Activities
Where a school activity involves pupils in nights away from home, the
School is permitted to make a charge for board and lodging. The
charge for board and lodging must not exceed the actual cost of
providing board and lodging.
The School will remit the cost of any board and lodging to parents who
are in receipt of income support or family credit. The Headteacher will
advise all parents that anyone who is in receipt of Income Support or
Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance is entitled to claim remission.
4. Voluntary Contributions
The School is not restricted from seeking voluntary contributions for
the benefit of the School or in support of any school activity,
whether during school hours, residential or non-residential activities.
Such contributions must be genuinely voluntary. It must be made clear
that there is no obligation to contribute and that pupils will not be
treated differently according to whether or not their parents have made
any contribution in response to a request.
If an activity cannot be funded without voluntary contribution, the
School will need to make this clear to parents from the outset. A
standard letter will be produced in School to be used by all members of
staff. This will make it clear that there is no obligation to contribute,
that no child will be omitted through an inability to pay, but that the
activity may not take place if parents are reluctant to support it.
If an activity is offered and not enough contributions are made, then it
will be necessary to cancel the activity and return those contributions.
There is no limit to the level of voluntary contribution which parents
or others can make to school activities. There is no restriction
placed upon the use which can be made of such contributions.
Voluntary contributions may be used to subsidise pupils from
low-income families, or the cost of travel of accompanying teachers.
In the past a wide range of activities have taken place both in and out of
School, facilitated by voluntary subscriptions from parents. It is to be
hoped that this will continue in order that the quality of education is not
diminished. The Governors believe that this aspect of school life makes a
most valuable contribution to the education of each child. The Governors,
however, recognise that the School's General Allowance could not
possibly finance these activities.
The Act says "the basic principle underlying the charging provisions of
the Act is that education provided should be free of charge if it takes
place wholly or mainly during school hours." What it fails to do is to
provide the necessary resources to do this. In fact no public purse could
possible sustain the kind of enrichment programme that has grown up in
this and other Schools.
The School is faced with a simple dilemma. THERE REMAINS A SIMPLE
CHOICE. EITHER ACTIVITIES AND VISITS ARE FUNDED BY
VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS SUFFICIENT TO FINANCE THE
TRIP OR ELSE THEY DO NOT TAKE PLACE AT ALL.
The Governors believe that there is sufficient goodwill on the part of
parents to support the present level of activity by voluntary
contributions. They recognise that it will be necessary to hold a
contingency fund in order that the children of those who are unable or
unwilling to make a contribution are given financial support and so that
the activity itself is not jeopardised. It is hoped that the ‘School Fund'
assisted by contributions from PTFA Funds might act as this contingency