Charging & Remissions Policy
Charging Policy Statement
The governors fully support the principle of free education for all children. However, it is the policy of the governors that events and activities which require payment should be funded by inviting voluntary contributions from parents to meet the full cost where possible.
1 To continue the wide range of activities and visits that have traditionally been organised by the school and to broaden these educational opportunities in the future, as appropriate.
2 To ensure that all pupils take part in planned educational activities by the use of pupil premium funding or financial subsidies from the unofficial school fund or the school association.
3 To maintain the rich variety of art, craft and technology (including food) activities in school by parental contributions covering some of the cost of the materials used and taken home.
4 To ensure that school property is repaired or replaced in the event of wilful damage.
1 Letters to parents will explain the nature of the proposed activities in educational terms and will indicate the necessary voluntary contribution per pupil. It will be explained that all children will take part, but it will be explained that the activity would not take place if it was not financially viable.
2 For all school visits, residential and non-residential, insurance is provided by Chartis Insurance UK and is arranged through North Somerset. The cost for this is covered by the school.
3 Where costs are incurred for the necessary supervising adults (eg admission charges) these costs will be covered by a proportion of the voluntary contribution requested from the parents of children taking part in the activity. The governors do not wish adult "volunteers" or school staff to pay for their own expenses when supervising children.
4 The cost of music tuition provided by peripatetic music teachers is calculated each term and will vary depending upon the number of children taking part. Bills for lessons will be sent out in advance and paid for within the term of tuition. Parents will be informed before tuition commences of their responsibility to fund the lessons in full and to encourage regular practice at home.
5 Parents will be asked to pay for the cost of repair or replacement of any school property damaged or lost through a pupil's wilful misbehaviour.
6 A small amount of pupil premium funding will be used to provide subsidies for residential visits and music lessons for some of our most disadvantaged families (see Pupil Premium policy for full details).
ASHCOMBE SCHOOL DEBT RECOVERY POLICY
This policy aims to adopt a consistent approach to debt that is fair for all families. It provides clarity and consistency in managing debt for the school and for parents.
The Free School Meals (FSM) system exists for parents who cannot afford school meals. Applying for FSM is straight forward and parents can apply online. Assuming eligibility is authorised, the child can take a free school meal the following school day. Ashcombe Primary School will assist parents by offering support with applications if required.
Wrap Around Care:- Breakfast and After School Club
We support our parents by offering wrap around care from 07:45 – 18:00.
The school must plan and pay for staffing, resources and food. Our Breakfast Club (ABC) and After School Club (Raskoolz) must be self-sustaining and cannot be funded by the school budget.
It is therefore essential that parents pay for this service in advance and do not get into debt. Debt creates pressures on the provision and creates a significant administrative burden on the school.
Debt management process
Weekly email/letter reminders will be generated each week to all families with any negative balance.
Initial reminders may also be made either in person (when a parent comes to collect/drop off the child) or by telephone.
A second reminder email/letter will be generated 1 week after the first reminder if no payment has been made or no agreement for payment is in place.
Formal reminder letter
A formal reminder letter will be always be preceded by a phone call and will be issued when the debt relating to any one child reaches £25. This letter will inform the family that they cannot use any service (ABC, lunches or Raskoolz) until the debt is paid in full.
Failure to respond to formal reminders / settle a debt
If no response is received from the reminders issued, a letter will be sent to the debtor advising them that the matter will be referred to the school’s chosen debt collection agency.
Once a debt is transferred to the agency, it is then assigned to them to pursue payment. The agency will charge debtors for the cost of debt recovery on top of the accrued debt through this process. Once the debt is transferred, the families will need to ensure they pay up front for all services (in line with our Charging policy).
Reporting of outstanding debt levels
The Head teacher will ensure that the level of outstanding debt is known and can be determined at any time and will report this to governors on a regular basis at the Business Committee meetings.
Write-off of any debt requires the written approval of the Business Committee up to a maximum of £500.
A record of the write-off, the reason for it, and the approval for it, will be retained for 7 years.