At Gomersal St. Mary’s Primary School, our vision underpins all decisions that we make.
This vision is: By being the best we can be, we all shine brightly, making our world and school a better place.
While we make every effort to support parents in any way we can, and will always take into account the personal circumstances of particular families, we also have to bear in mind that any money owed to school has an impact on the budget. In turn, the loss of this money may affect the resources, provision and opportunities we can provide to all children. Consequently, we will make every effort to support families not to accrue debt as ultimately this is in our families’ and the school’s best interest. This policy aims to make clear how we will do this.
The Governing Body has a duty to ensure the school receives all the funds to which it is entitled. This policy has been created to ensure the appropriate procedures are in place to deal with any debt relating to the payment for Breakfast Club and Tea-Time Club.
This policy has been compiled recognising the difficulties placed on Headteachers in balancing the social welfare of pupils with the management of the school budget. By introducing a procedure for payment and debt collection we aim to reduce the risk of parents incurring debt and minimise the amount of staff time taken chasing up outstanding payments. This policy aims to ensure that pupils can access provision where necessary, supporting parents/carers to access work or childcare when required, but reducing the pressure on mental health of a financial debt.
A fortnightly meeting will take place between the Headteacher, the Office Manager, and the School Business Manager. All debts linked to Breakfast Club and Tea-Time club will be reviewed and the next steps will be agreed.
If a debt of £30 or more has been accumulated the following steps will take place unless a payment plan is in place:
- The parent/carer will be contacted directly by phone or by a face to face conversation at drop off/pick up time.
- If the debt has not been paid off within 3 days, or an agreement has not been reached on how the debt will be paid off, access to the provision will be stopped immediately.
- If the debt has not been paid off as laid out in the agreement (see above) then provision will be stopped immediately. Further advice may then be sought from the Kirklees Local Authority Legal Team.
The above will differ if childcare vouchers are used to pay for provision. These are paid on invoice.
We hope that by implementing this policy, we can help parents/ carers to manage payments and, at the same time, ensure that our available budget is used to enhance all children’s learning. We also aim to support our workforce by recognising that the chasing of debts is time consuming for our staff, and has a bearing on their workload. Time spent checking debts and sending out messages and letters takes our staff away from other duties which impacts on the smooth running of our school.
Therefore, we request that parents and carers work with us to avoid unnecessary time spent chasing debts by making regular payments for Nursery additional hours, Breakfast and Tea-time clubs. Please talk to the school office so we can create a mutually agreed plan to move forward.
The Governing Body reviews this policy every three years. They may, however, review the policy earlier than this if the government, or the LA introduces new regulations or receives recommendations on how the policy might be improved.