De La Salle School & Language College Charging Policy
The governing body of De La Salle School & Language College must have a policy on charging for activities that take place during or outside of the school day, without such a policy they are not allowed to make any charge.
In general, no charge can be made where education is provided wholly or mainly during school hours that are part of the national curriculum. It is therefore not possible to levy a compulsory charge for transport or admission costs for swimming lessons or for visits to museums during school hours.
Head teachers or governing bodies may ask parents for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of:
- any activity which takes place during school hours
- school equipment
- school funds generally
The contribution must be genuinely voluntary, and the students of the parents who are unable or unwilling to contribute may not be discriminated against. Where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible, and there is no way to make up the shortfall, then it must be cancelled.
There is no legal reason why a school should not invite parents/carers to make voluntary contributions towards the cost of providing activities within and outside school hours.
Equal opportunity is given to students in receipt of PPG through the PPG Entitlement which supports students with exceptional or disadvantaged circumstances. This includes assistance with school uniform, resource packs and school trips.
Schools are permitted to charge for the cost of board and lodging during residential school trips. This cost must not exceed the actual cost of the provision. Where the trip takes place wholly or mainly during school hours, students whose parents are in receipt of the following support benefits will, in addition to having a free school lunch entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of these charges:
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit provided the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,040
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
A similar entitlement applies where the trip takes place outside of school hours but it is a necessary part of the National Curriculum, forms part of the syllabus for a prescribed examination that the school is preparing the student to sit, or the syllabus is religious education.
If the trip takes place outside school hours and does not form part of the above, the school can make a charge for transport.
Instrumental Music tuition
A charge may be made for instrumental music tuition for up to and including four students, unless the tuition forms part of the syllabus for a prescribed examination (e.g.
GCSE), that the school is preparing the child to sit, or is part of the National Curriculum or the syllabus for religious education, in which case a charge is not permissible.
No charge may be made for entering students for public examinations that are set out in regulations. However, an examination entry fee may be charged to parents if:
- the examination is on the set list, but the student was not prepared at the school
- the examination is not on the set list, but the school arranges for the student to take it
- a student fails without good reason to complete the requirements of any public examination where the governing body or LEA originally paid or agreed to pay the entry fee Charges may not be made for any cost associated with preparing a student for an examination.
However, charging is allowed for tuition and other costs if a student is prepared outside school hours for an examination that is not set in regulations.
Recovery of Examination Fees
If a student fails to fulfil the examination requirements of a public examination (prescribed or otherwise) without good reason (as defined by whichever body was paid the fee), the governing body will attempt to recover from the parents any fees paid.
Charges for “finished products”
De La Salle School & Language College will request an annual voluntary contribution to cover the costs of materials/ingredients for subjects such as design or food technology where the student will be allowed to bring home the finished product.
This kind of activity can be charged for where the activity takes place outside school hours.
This can include:
Student’s travel costs.
Board and lodging
Materials, books and other equipment
Non-teaching staff costs
Entrance fees to museums, theatres etc.
The cost of engaging a teacher, who is already employed by the Authority, on a contract for service, as distinct from a contract of employment, specifically for the activity.
Although no charge can be made for “equipment” for use in school in connection with education provided during school hours, clothing is specifically excluded from the definition of equipment. Parents can therefore be asked to provide their children with such things as PE kit, protective aprons and sports kit.
Updated January 2017