In Shropshire Council maintained schools, the education provided wholly or mainly during school hours must be free. This includes:
- the materials, equipment, books and transport provided in school hours by the council or the school to carry pupils between the school and an activity.
This means that head teachers may not impose a charge on parents/carers for:
- any visit undertaken during school hours, which is part of the National Curriculum, or is an essential part of the syllabus for an approved examination
No charge can be made entering a pupil for a prescribed first public examination, but a charge may be made for subsequent resits.
Parents/carers can only be charged:
- for activities that happen outside school hours when these activities are not a necessary part of the National Curriculum or religious education.
No charge can be made:
- for activities that are an essential part of the syllabus for an approved examination.
Schools are permitted to charge for the cost of board and lodging during residential school trips. This cost must not exceed the actual cost of the provision.
Where the trip takes place wholly, or mainly, during school hours children whose parents are in receipt of the following support payments will, in addition to having a free school lunch entitlement, also be entitled to the remission of these charges:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (but not contribution based JSA) ;
- Income related employment and Support Allowance (but not contribution based ESA)
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- Child Tax Credit but only if your HM Revenue and Custom assessed annual income is less than £16,190, and you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit. If you are entitled to Working Tax Credit you will not be eligible for free school meals as well.
- Guaranteed State Pension Credit.
If you are receiving Working Tax Credit during the 4 week period immediately after your employment ceased, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your children will be entitled to free school meals for that 4 week period. Proof of this will be required.