Sturminster Marshall First School

Grow, Achieve, Inspire, Nurture. SMFS where learning is an adventure.

Charging and Remissions Policy

Adopted: 12/11/2019     

Staff Lead: Mr A Joyce     Governor Committee: Finance & Resources Committee (FAR)

The Education Reform Act (1988) introduced new provisions on charging for school activities. The purposes of these provisions are:

  • to maintain the right to a free school education.
  • to ensure that activities offered as part of the National Curriculum and wholly within normal school time should be available to all pupils, regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to help meet the cost.
  • to give educational authorities and schools the discretion to charge for optional activities provided wholly or mainly out of school hours.
  • to confirm that schools may invite voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or in support of any activity organised by the school, either in or outside school hours.

Every school must have, and publish for parents, its charging policy. This policy lists the governors' decisions.


All education during school hours is free. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum with the exception of individual music tuition.

The Governors believe that activities such as educational visits (or visitors) are an extension to, and an enrichment of the curriculum. This allows the school to ask for voluntary contributions from parents to support these activities. The policy is reviewed annually.

Activities within the school day - Voluntary contributions

When organising school trips or visits which enrich the curriculum and educational experience of the children, the school invites parents to contribute to the cost of the trip. All contributions are voluntary. If we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may cancel a trip. If a trip goes ahead, it may include children whose parents have not paid the full contribution. We do not treat these children differently from any others.

If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, we do allow the child to participate fully in the trip or activity. The school subsidises enrichment activities in order to support parents with their voluntary contribution.

The following is a list of additional activities organised by the school, which

require voluntary contributions from parents. These activities are known as ‘optional extras’. This list is not exhaustive:

  • visits to museums;
  • sporting activities which require transport expenses; •outdoor adventure activities;
  • visits to the theatre;
  • school trips;
  • musical events

Activities outside the school day:

For these activities payment is required for pupils to take part – after school clubs etc 

Residential visits

If the school organises a residential visit in school time or mainly school time, which is to provide education directly related to the National Curriculum, we make a charge to cover the costs of any workshops, board, lodging and travel expenses. If parents are experiencing financial difficulty they are invited to speak in confidence to the Head teacher. A Payment plan is set up in advanced so payments can be spread out over several months.

Books and equipment:

Books and stationery are provided free for all pupils in the school. Each year group is allocated a budget for the year to accommodate these resources. Parents of pupils who lose or damage books or equipment issued to them are expected to pay the cost of replacement or repair.

Music Tuition:

The Head teacher is authorised to charge for music tuition outside normal classroom activities, when permitted.

Loss and Damage to School Property:

Parents of a pupil who damages or loses any item of school property or equipment, including, for example, windows or computer software, are liable for the cost of repair or replacement.

Supporting Families

Parents who are in receipt of Pupil Premium may be entitled to support for some of the charges. You could qualify for pupil premium if you meet the following criteria:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance – Income Related
  • Pension credit guaranteed
  • Child Tax Credit, where the parent is not entitled to Working Tax Credit and whose annual gross income (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) does not exceed £16,190.