Aycliffe Community Primary School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Pupils and the school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day.

Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights.

Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Article 31: Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.

Article 13: Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.

Article 17: Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

We recognise that all pupils are equal regardless of cultural or ethnic background, religion, social circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability. The curriculum and whole ethos of the school demonstrates that diversity is understood, is welcomed and appreciated within the school. Equal opportunities means that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum with which all pupils can engage and achieve.

Background

This Policy follows the Department for Education’s guidance “Charging for school activities”, dated October 2014.  Reference to the guidance should be made for greater interpretation of the policy.

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that, during the school day, all children have full and free access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

The school day is defined as 09.00 – 12.10: 1.00 – 3.15.

The policy has been informed by sections 449-462 of the Education Act 1996 which sets out the law on charging for school activities in schools maintained by the LA and the guidance document regarding music tuition charges (The Charges for Music Tuition (England) Regulations 2007.) 

The policy complements the school’s equal opportunities policy, educational visits policy and the teaching and learning policy.

Roles and responsibilities of Headteacher, other staff and Governors

The Headteacher will ensure that the following applies:

During the school day

All activities that are a necessary part of the National Curriculum plus religious education will be provided free of charge.

The staff and governors recognise the importance of activities that while not an essential part of the curriculum, add value and enjoyment to the experiences of the children.  Voluntary contributions may be sought for such activities during the school day which entail additional costs.

In these circumstances no pupil will be prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution.  Children of parents who do not make a contribution will not be treated any differently.  If a particular activity cannot take place without some help from parents, this will be explained at the planning stage.  An activity may be cancelled if not enough voluntary contributions are collected.

Education partly during the school day 

If a non-residential activity happens partly inside the school day and partly outside of it, there will be no charge if most of the time to be spent on the activity falls within the school day.

Conversely, if the bigger proportion of time spent falls outside of the normal school day, charges will be made where the activity is not part of the National Curriculum.  When such activities are arranged parents will be told how the charges were calculated.

Residential visits (During the school day / partly during the school day)

Charges will be made on residential visits which are part of the National Curriculum to cover the costs of board and lodging.  The charge for board and lodging must not exceed the actual cost.  When a school informs parents about forthcoming visits, they should make it clear that parents who can prove they are in receipt of the following benefits will be exempt from paying the cost of board and lodging:

• Universal Credit in prescribed circumstances

• Income Support

• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance

• Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

• Child Tax Credit, provided that Working Tax Credit is not also received and the family’s income does not exceed the current threshold assessed by HMRC

• The guarantee element of State Pension Credit

• An income related employment and support allowance that was introduced on 27 October 2008

Other charges will be made to cover costs when the number of school sessions missed by the pupils total half or more of the number of half-days taken up by the activity and where the visit is not an essential part of the National Curriculum or part of an examination syllabus.  In such cases parents will be told how the charges were calculated.

Music Tuition

Charges may be made for teaching an individual or group to play a musical instrument or to sing where the activity is not an essential part of the National Curriculum or public examination syllabus.  This tuition would be provided at the request of parents.  Charges should not exceed the cost of the provision, including the cost of staff who provide the tuition.

Optional activities outside of the school day

We will charge for optional, extra activities provided outside of the school day.  Such activities are not part of the National Curriculum or religious education, nor are they part of an examination syllabus.

Participation in any optional extra activity will be on the basis of parental choice and a parental agreement will be a pre-requisite for the provision of any optional extra activity.

Transport

Charges will not be made for transporting pupils to or from the school premises where the Governing Body or LA has arranged for pupils to be educated or in connection with an educational visit.

Voluntary contributions may be sought for transport during the school day which entails additional costs.  In these circumstances no pupil will be prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution.  Children of parents who do not make a contribution will not be treated any differently.  If a particular activity cannot take place without some help from parents, this will be explained at the planning stage.  An activity may be cancelled if not enough voluntary contributions are collected.

Calculating charges

When charges are made for any activity, whether during or outside of the school day, they will be based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the total number of pupils participating.  There will be no levy on those who can pay to support those who can’t.  Support for cases of hardship will come through voluntary contributions and fundraising.

The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and/or charges to parents.

Voluntary Contributions

The staff and governors recognise the importance of activities, that while may not be an essential part of the curriculum, add value and enjoyment to the experiences of the children.  However it may be necessary for voluntary contributions to be sought for such activities during the school day which entail additional costs.

In these circumstances no pupil will be prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution.  Children of parents who do not make a contribution will not be treated any differently.  If a particular activity cannot take place without some help from parents, this will be explained at the planning stage.  An activity may be cancelled if not enough voluntary contributions are collected.

Breakfast Club

A daily charge, payable in advance, will be made for attendance at the school’s Breakfast Club.  Parents should register that their child(ren) would like to attend the Breakfast Club, at least the day before.  Places will be allocated on a “first come” basis.  Discounts may be offered for siblings attending the Breakfast Club together.  Those pupils who are entitled to a Free School Meal (income support based) will be entitled to attend the Breakfast Club for free, subject to a place being available.