Payment Assistance Request
On occasions, we are approached by parents/guardians with requests to help with payment for school related activities. In order to save embarrassment, we have compiled the following notes to assist the process.
Please be aware, that any contact you make with the respective Head of School or Finance Department is done in absolute confidence.
There are two kinds of educational activity that are offered: those that are compulsory because they relate directly to the subject content being delivered in lessons, and those that are offered, are recommended but are optional.
Should you or your child be made aware of an activity that you believe will cause financial hardship, the following steps will apply to those parents/guardians who are able to prove that they are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
- Income Support (IS);
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA);
- 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 (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) does not exceed £16,190 (Financial Year 2009/2010);
- The guarantee element of State Pension Credit; and
- An income related employment and support allowance that was introduced on 27 October 2008.
- Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
1. Telephone contact to be made by parent/guardian to alert Urmston Grammar to the potential problem;
- Written statement to be sent into Urmston Grammar detailing the circumstances including any changes that have taken place with regards to the family income, including dates, plus copies of the required documentation;
- Contact will then be made with parents/guardians to discuss possible assistance routes. They may include either or both of the following:
- Longer payment terms;
- Negotiated cost reduction.
Please be aware that the process of alerting the School to possible hardship in the event of your child’s participation in an activity, will notguarantee assistance.
Should family circumstances change after assistance has been offered, resulting in the assistance no longer being required, you are duty bound to inform us.
Should you change your mind about your child’s participation on an activity after commitment has been given, then deposits cannot be refunded unless the child’s place can be filled.
Charging and Remission Policy
Urmston Grammar School encourages a varied and full range of activities for all students to participate in, and this policy aims to enable equal access to these experiences for all our pupils.
In conformity with the Education Act 1996 it is Urmston Grammars policy that the following is sought.
The Education Act 1996 gives schools the discretion to charge for optional activities provided wholly or mainly out of school hours, and the right to invite contributions for the benefit of the school or in support of any activity organised by the school whether during or outside school hours.
- Education should be provided free to all pupils of Urmston Grammar provided it takes place wholly or mainly during school hours. School hours are those when a school is actually in session, not including mid-day break.
- Except where students are entitled to statutory remission, to charge for all board and lodging costs on residential activities.
- To charge for activities wholly or mainly outside of school hours which are not part of a prescribed public examination, required to fulfil the national Curriculum or religious education.
- To charge for examination entries:
- See Examinations Charging Policy for details.
- Not to charge for books, materials, equipment, instruments or incidental transport provided in connection with the preparation of prescribed public examinations, National Curriculum, statutory religious education except where parents have indicated in advance their willingness to purchase the products. Exceptions to this are:
- The charge for ingredients for Food Technology, ingredients should be provided by parents / guardians.
- Materials for Art, Design and Technology – Where a parent has indicated in advance a wish to own the finished product a request for payment to cover the materials may be made.
- Subject specific text books into which students write notes and keep (not handing back at the end of the school year).
- Deposit for text books for 6th Form Students studying Science and or maths. (On return of books in year 13 a refund will be given.)
- Music Tuition – A charge will be made for the provision of instrumental or vocal tuition given to pupils as individual or in groups of an appropriate size during the school day at the request of the parent / guardian, except where it is given to fulfil:
- Statutory duties relating to the National Curriculum
- Requirements specified in the syllabus for a public exam.
Trips and Activities
Contributions will be requested to ensure financial viability of a trip or activity. A letter will be sent out to parents / guardians detailing the amount required to make the trip viable. However if a pupil is unable to contribute to the cost of the trip they will not be excluded just because of this.
Charges made in respect of a school trip will be set to recover the cost of the trip only. It can include up to 5% profit (agreed by Urmston Grammar Governors) for the provision of non-payment.
Charges may be made for all of a pupils travel costs, board and lodging costs, materials and equipment, entrance fees, non teaching staff costs, any insurance and costs of engaging teaching staff specifically for the activity.
The school cannot charge for:
- Any supply teachers to cover for those teachers who are absent from school accompanying pupils on a residential visit.
The School cannot charge for:
- Transporting registered pupils to or from the school premises where the local education authority has a statutory obligation to provide transport.
- Transporting registered pupils to other premises where the governing body or local education authority has arranged for pupils to be educated.
- Transport that enables pupils to meet examination requirement when he/she has been prepared for that examination at the school.
Governors expect that pupils will attend school with the appropriate equipment such as calculators. For convenience these may be purchased at cost from the finance office.
School Uniform and PE Kit
Currently there are no provisions in school to purchase uniform or PE kit except for GCSE PE kit which is purchased via the PE Department. A second hand uniform shop is being looked into for those parents / guardians who are interested. Results of this will be communicated to parents at the earliest opportunity.
Other request for Payment
The school may:
- request payment from parents for damages or loss of school property caused wilfully or neglectfully by their children.
The Governors wish to continue to offer a wide range of activities and trips as possible and it is in the hope that parents will, where possible, look sympathetically on requests for contributions.
Reviewed and agreed by the finance committee annually.
Charging Policy for School Activities
All staff should inform the finance department of any impending activity which will involve collection of money from students. This will allow the finance department to plan their time and to ensure that other staff are aware of cash handling procedures.
All Activities should be costed.
A list of all payments made by students must be kept by the finance department.
If cash is required by staff to cover petty cash needs during the trip, they must supply receipts which cover all costs once they return. Any balance must be returned to the finance department.
No school trip should run at a loss. If it has, the loss must be analysed to avoid future mistakes.
No school trip should run at a large profit. It has been agreed with the governors that a maximum of 5% of the individual cost of the trip may be kept by the school. Anything over and above this agreed limit should be offered back to the parents/guardians.
Income and expenditure must be shown, identifying cheques and cash payments.
Payments through the bank must be shown and reconciled.
Each activity should be recorded as a budget heading, showing income and expenditure.
At the end of the year a balance sheet identifying total income, expenditure and balance for each budget heading must be shown.
It may be that some of these balances are carried forward within the budget heading and some will be amassed under a general purpose heading.
The balance sheet must show total income and expenditure for the year, the balance and carry-forward from the previous year.
Profit and loss should be identified and investigated if causing concern.