How to review your charging and remissions policy

Be clear on how to review your charging and remissions policy, including what questions you can ask if you're reviewing a trust-wide policy. Save time with our model policy to see what good looks like.

Last reviewed on 10 January 2024See updates
Ref: 38428
Statutory/mandatory for:
Maintained schools
Academies
Free schools
Contents
  1. Key facts
  2. What this policy needs to do
  3. 3 key questions to challenge this policy
  4. Take a look at our model policy 
  5. Examples of policies

The Department for Education (DfE) withdrew its guidance on Statutory Policies for Schools and Academy Trusts on 7 March 2024.

Details of statutory policies have now been incorporated into the new governance guides for maintained schools and academies. Take a look at our summary of the new governance guides.

We’ve reached out to the DfE to clarify some of the detail on the statutory policy list in the new guides, and we will update our related articles with any updates in due course. Select ‘save for later’ at the top of this page to be notified when this article has been updated.

Key facts

  • This policy is statutory for maintained schools, academies and free schools
  • You can delegate the approval of this policy to an individual, committee or the headteacher
  • Maintained schools must publish this policy on their website
  • Academies should publish it on their website
  • It should be reviewed at least annually
  • The headteacher and senior leadership team will write and be responsible for the implementation of this policy
If you're in a multi-academy trust (MAT), it's likely this policy will be set centrally

What this policy needs to do

It should reflect:

It's not your job to cross-reference the policy with this guidance, but you should expect your senior leaders to have done so.

You'll want to make sure the policy sets out: 

  • What your school can and can't charge parents for
  • When your school might ask for voluntary contributions, and that parents aren't obliged to make any contributions
  • Under what circumstances your school will remit/cancel any charges (wholly or partly) 

3 key questions to challenge this policy

You need to ask challenging questions of senior leaders when the policy comes to you for approval, so you can be sure the policy-reviewing process was robust.

1. Does the policy make it clear to parents what they can be charged for?

Check the entire policy is clearly written for a parent audience, without too many technical terms or any complicated language.

2. Does the policy explain the circumstances under which parents can be exempt from a charge?

Make sure the policy clearly lists how parents can be exempt from paying a cost and what sort of evidence they need.

3. How will we know this policy is working and being properly implemented?

Your senior leaders should be able to demonstrate:

  • That the policy is published on your website
  • How they make sure that parents and staff are aware of the policy
  • How they make sure the policy is applied consistently by all staff

MATs: further questions for trustees and local governors


Further questions

See more questions to ask when reviewing any policy.

Take a look at our model policy 

This model document is not meant as a guide for writing or updating your school's/trust's policy, since that's your senior leaders' job. Instead, use it to give you a sense of what a good policy looks like. 

Model policy: charging and remissions

Approved by Forbes Solicitors, our model document is designed for your school to adapt to suit its context. It will save your senior leaders time and help to keep your school compliant.

Please note: this model policy is aimed primarily at maintained schools and academies, but can be easily adapted to suit any school. If you wish to use the policy in a different type of setting – for example, a pupil referral unit (PRU) or non-maintained special school – we recommend your senior leaders check it against any requirements or considerations specific to your context and adapt it accordingly.

Examples of policies

Primary schools

Secondary school

Special school

MAT

Alpha Academies Trust, with 5 schools, has a charging and remissions policy on its website.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.