Charging Policy

At Garsington C of E Primary School we want to provide a range of experiences which add excitement and enjoyment to children’s learning and personal development. All our pupils should have an equal opportunity to benefit from school visits, curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Many of these activities have a cost associated with them and, unfortunately, cannot be provided unless we ask parents for voluntary contributions and, in some cases, make a charge. But there are some strict rules we have to abide by. Our charging policy, which has been agreed by governors, sets out what we will charge for, how we will try to make it manageable for parents and how we will help parents with limited incomes.

Voluntary contributions

We cannot charge for activities which are part of the normal school day or part of the National Curriculum but we can ask for voluntary contributions.

Examples of circumstances in which we might ask for voluntary contributions include:

·         Transport to swimming sessions

·         Transport on trips

·         Admission charges

We promise that:

·   We will tell you at the outset if the activity cannot be funded without voluntary contributions.

·   We shall give as much notice as possible of any activities which will require voluntary contributions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the school need to ask for voluntary contributions?

We want to offer a wide range of activities to broaden your child’s experience but we can’t afford to do everything we would wish without help from parents.

What happens if I am unwilling to pay?

Your contribution is voluntary. Your child will not be excluded from the activity.
However, if the school does not receive enough voluntary contributions we may have to cancel the activity.

What happens if I am unable to pay?

Parents in certain financial circumstances will not be expected to make voluntary contributions (see section: Special Financial Arrangements).

Will my voluntary contribution pay for people who have not paid?

No. The amount we ask in voluntary contribution must not exceed the actual cost of the activity per pupil.

Optional Extras

We can charge for any materials, books, instruments or equipment if you wish your child to own them. This means that we will make a charge for:

  • Materials used in technology if your child is expecting to bring the finished product home
  • Cookery ingredients if your child will bring the result home
  • Trips which are not part of the school curriculum and outside the school day e.g. some theatre trips, football matches, music concerts
  • After school clubs

We can charge for music tuition if it is not required as part of the National Curriculum and is provided for an individual pupil or for groups of up to four pupils.

We promise that:

  • The charge will not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra.
  • We will obtain your agreement before we provide the optional extra.

Residential Visits

We believe that every child has an entitlement to a residential visit during their time at Garsington Primary School. This will be built into the school curriculum in years 4 and 6.

We will request a voluntary contribution towards transport and also board and lodging (unless parents are in receipt of one or more of the benefits listed at the end of this guide). The charge will not exceed the actual cost.

We promise to help you to plan for these costs by:

  • Issuing a calendar of visits/activities to ensure that you have as much notice as possible. 
  • Having clear procedures to enable you to pay by instalments. 
  • Publishing a fair, objective and transparent procedure for allocating places in case of over-subscription (we shall avoid ‘first come, first served’ which favours some pupils).
Special Financial Arrangements

Parents who are in receipt of any of the benefits listed below will not be required to pay for:
  • Board and lodging on residential visits (not optional) 
  • Technology materials 
  • Music tuition 
  • Transport to out of school activities 
In addition, reduced rates may be negotiated for:
  • Extra-curricular activities 

Benefits required to qualify

  • Income Support (IS) – proof of entitlement is in the form of a Job Centre Plus letter or FF260 form. 
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA) – proof of entitlement is in the form of a Job Centre Plus letter. 
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – proof of entitlement is in the form of a Home Office letter. 
  • State Pension Credit – proof of entitlement is assessed by the ‘Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice’. The ‘How Pension Credit has been worked out for…’ section of this form clearly shows details of any Guaranteed Pension Credit in payment. 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has been introduced to replace both Incapacity Benefit and Income Support 
    • ESA(IR) - Proof of entitlement is a letter or a statement from the Department of Work and Pensions/Job Centre Plus. 
    • ESA (C) recipients are NOT eligible. 
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual income “as assessed by the Inland Revenue” that does not exceed £16,190 (the parents/guardians must not have Working Tax Credit). 

This policy was last reviewed in November 2011 and will be reviewed every year to reflect changes in OCC guidance.


Garsington Primary,
Jan 14, 2015, 4:47 AM