TALLANGATTA SECONDARY COLLEGE
PARENTS PAYMENT POLICY 2015
In October 2007 the Department released a revised Parent Payments in Victorian Government Schools policy to provide a greater clarity about the type of educational items or services parents may be requested to pay for under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 provides for the provision of free instruction in the standard curriculum program, and empowers school councils to charge for goods and services used in the course of instruction and to raise funds.
The school-level policy ensures that:
• Students are not treated differently, denied access to the standard curriculum program, or refused instruction on the basis of payments not being made for education items, services or voluntary financial contributions.
• All students have access to the standard curriculum program
• Parents and guardians are provided with an alternative option for their children if they choose not to participate in an excursion or camp.
Categories of parent payments
Tallangatta Secondary College School Council requests payment from parents for student materials and service charges, and for voluntary financial contributions. These payments fall into three categories: (see Appendix 1)
1. Essential education items which parents and guardians are required to provide or pay the school to provide for their child. Schools generally acquire these items at a reduced cost than if parents source them independently (eg. Stationery, textbooks, and school uniforms where required).
2. Optional extras which are offered on a user-pays basis and which parents and guardians may choose whether their child accesses or participates in (e.g. school magazine, extra curricular programs or activities.) In this case, once the child accesses the program or activity, the parent is required to pay the school (i.e becomes an essential item).
3. Voluntary Contributions which parents and guardians are invited to donate to the school for identified projects e.g. grounds beautification, furniture, specialised equipment.
Communication with parents
All communication with parents about education items, including requests for payment will be fair and reasonable. Payment requests, letters or CASES 21 invoices for student materials and services charges will be accompanied by the following information:
• A clear description of each of the three payment categories.
• The availability of alternative payment options and an invitation to contact the principal if the parent wishes to discuss these.
• Details of how payments or contributions will be spent by the school
Payment requests or letters to parents will be itemised and the category each item falls under will be clearly identified as an essential education item, optional education item or voluntary financial contribution.
Receipts will be issued to parents immediately upon making payment
Bus travel is allocated based on entitlement and seating capacity. Bus guidelines outline requirements for fare paying travellers. All students travelling on a fare paying basis are required to pay in advance of travel or via alternative payment options.
Essential Education Items
Essential education items are those times used in the course of instruction in the standard curriculum program that parents and guardians are responsible for and may choose to either provide or pay the school to provide.
These items include:
• Materials that the individual student takes possession of, including text books and student stationery.
• Materials for learning and teaching, where the student consumes or takes possession of the finished articles (e.g. home economics, woodwork, metalwork, design & technology, art, etc.
• School uniform
• Essential services associated with, but not considered to be part of, instruction in the standard curriculum program, such as costs associated with camps and excursions which all students are expected to attend (e.g. transport, entrance costs and food)
Optional extras (or non-essential materials and services) are those that are provided in addition to the standard curriculum program, and which are offered to all students. These optional extras are provided on a user-pays basis and if parents and guardians choose to access them for students, they will be required to pay for them.
These items include:
• Extra-curricular programs or activities offered in addition to the standard curriculum program ( e.g. instrumental music)
• School-based performances, productions events
• Materials for subjects where the payment sought is the difference between the basic materials/services required for access to the standard curriculum program and higher cost alternatives which may be more desirable (e.g. the use of more expensive materials)
• Materials and services offered in addition to the standard curriculum program (e.g. school magazine)
• School facilities and equipment not associated with the provision of the standard curriculum program, and no otherwise provided for through the SRP (e.g. student accident insurance, and hire or lease of equipment such as musical instruments).