Schools must ensure that they inform parents on low incomes, and in receipt of the benefits listed on page 2 of this guide, of the support available to them when being asked for contributions towards the cost of school visits.

  1. Introduction

1.1       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 or group music tuition.

2. Voluntary Contributions

2.1       When organising school trips, events or visitors 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, event or visitor. Each school trip, event and visitor will be assessed on an individual basis in terms of cancellation due to insufficient contributions.

2.2       If a parent/carer wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, the child will participate fully in the trip, event or activity. We do ask the parent or carer to inform us if they do not make a contribution and all children must return the signed confirmation slip giving them permission to take part in an activity.  Sometimes the school pays additional costs in order to support the visit.  Parents/carers have a right to know how each trip is funded.  The school provides this information on request.

2.3       The following is a list of additional activities organised by the school, which require voluntary contributions from parents/carers to go ahead.  This list is not exhaustive:

–           visits to museums and places of worship;

–           sporting activities which require transport expenses;

–           outdoor adventure activities;

–           visits to the theatre/cinema;

–           school journey;

–           musical events;

–           visiting speakers/ authors

–           visiting theatre groups/music groups

–           ingredients for cooking
2.4       As the school pays for the trip or visitors to the school in advance of the event, we are unable to refund contributions if a child is off school on the day, unless a medical certificate is provided, in which case we may be able to claim a refund through our insurance policy.


  1. Residential Visits

3.1       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 do not make any charge for       the education.  However, we do make a charge to cover the costs of travel expenses, board and     and lodging.

3.2       When we inform parents about a forthcoming visit, we make it clear that parents who can prove they are in receipt of the following benefits will be exempt from paying the cost of board and lodging:

  • Income Support (IS);
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA);
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £16,190;
  • Guarantee element of the State Pension Credit; or
  • Working tax credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment finishes.
  1. Non-residential activities4.1 If 50% or more of the time spent on the activity occurs during school hours, it is deemed to take place during school hours. Time spent on travel counts in this calculation if the travel itself occurs during school hours.  School hours do not include the break in the middle of the day.

4.2       Where less than 50% of the time spent on an activity falls during school hours, it is deemed to have taken place outside school hours.  For example, an excursion might require pupils to leave school an hour before the school day ends, but the activity does not end until late in the evening.

  1. Residential visits

5.1       If the number of school sessions taken up by the visit is equal to or greater than 50% of the number of half days spent on the visit, it is deemed to have taken place during school hours (even if some activities take place late in the evening). Whatever the starting and finishing times of the school day, Regulations require that the school day is divided into 2 sessions.  A “half day” means any period of 12 hours ending with noon or midnight on any day.

5.2       Example 1:  Visit during school hours

Pupils are away from noon on Wednesday to 9pm on Sunday. This counts as 9 half days including 5 school sessions, so the visit is deemed to have taken place during school hours.

5.3       Example 2:  Visit outside school hours

Pupils are away from school from noon on Thursday until 9pm on Sunday.  This counts as 7 half days including 3 school sessions, so the visit is deemed to have taken place outside school hours.

  1. Music Tuition
  • All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum. We do not charge for this.
  • There is a charge for individual or group music tuition if this is not part of the National Curriculum.  The peripatetic music teachers teach individual or small group lessons.  We make a charge for these lessons.  Parents/carers in receipt of state benefit are requested to contribute to the costs of the lesson if possible, however, parents do have to pay the full cost of the instrument rental, if required.  We give parents information about additional music tuition at the start of each academic year.
  1. Cooking ingredients or materials needed for a technology

We can make a charge to cover the costs of materials/ingredients for subjects such as design or food technology where parents have indicated in advance that they would like their child to bring home the finished product.


Reviewed March 2017