Mereside Primary School and Children's Centre Nursery Policy
Mereside Primary School and Children's Centre aims to provide a nursery experience for children that is affordable, high quality and geared towards a smooth transition to primary school
We aim to:
- Ensure everyone feels valued and respected and has an equal chance to do their best.
- Help children develop a positive attitude, self-respect and respect for others, and learn to take responsibility for their own actions.
- Understand and meet children’s individual needs, especially those of vulnerable pupils.
- Ensure all achievements are recognised and celebrated.
- Create a caring, safe, purposeful and calm environment which promotes children’s wellbeing.
- Develop positive and supportive relationships between children, parents, school and the wider community.
We will work with parents to claim benefit entitlement related to nursery fees such as Working Tax Credits.
This Nursery Fees Policy has been established to provide transparent fee information, set procedures for the payment of fees and create a framework for dealing with non-payment in a swift and fair manner.
Parents should be made aware of and given access to this policy and the school’s procedures. It will be included on the school’s website and made available to view at the school on request.
1.1. Mereside Primary School and Children's Centre only charges parents for care provided outside of statutory 15 hour or where eligible, 30 hour provision. Parents will book the required extra sessions in advance.
1.2. Fees are £ 10.50 per additional session.
1.3. In addition, the fee for lunch time supervision is £1.75 and £ 1.50 for each lunch provided.
- Payment information
2.1. Fees are payable in advance on Monday morning (or the first day at Nursery following a holiday or other closure) and should be paid at the school office from 08:00.
2.2. Payments will be made by cheque or cash at the school office. Cheques will be made payable to Blackpool Borough Council – Mereside PS.
2.3. Any charges made against the school for un-presented cheques will be passed onto the parent/carer.
2.4. Fees continue to be payable when a child is absent from nursery. If a child is absent for a long period due to illness, the nursery will decide on a case-by-case basis as to whether fees will need to be paid for the period. The nursery’s decision is final.
2.5. Frequent or regular late payment of fees will incur a £10 fine for each week that payments are overdue. Parents can avoid this by ensuring the timely payment of fees each week.
2.6. 1 months’ notice and payment will be required to withdraw your child from the nursery.
- Late collection
3.1. Staffing ratios must be maintained at all times. If a child is collected late, this can lead to staff needing to stay beyond the end of their shift. This incurs a cost which will be passed on to parents at £5.00 for the first 15 minutes and a further £1.00 for each subsequent 5 minute period.
- Difficulty with payments
4.1. Mereside Primary School and Children's Centre will work with parents to ensure all avenues for assistance with payments are explored. Parents may face financial difficulties and, understandably, would like to ensure as little disruption to their child’s care and education as possible. Parents and carers experiencing such difficulties should contact the School Business Manager as early as possible, to reach a suitable arrangement for both parties.
4.2. In the event of two weeks missed payments your child will only be able to attend nursery for their statutory provision of 15 hours per week until all outstanding arrears have been cleared.
- Debt collection
5.1. The Governing Body has a duty to ensure the school receives all the funds to which it is entitled including nursery fees.
5.2. The Governing Body will not write off any debt which exceeds £500.
5.3. A full record will be kept of debts owed to the school for 7 years. This will include all letters requesting money, reminders and invoices.
5.4. The school will not initiate legal action to recover debts. However, we will refer uncollected debts to the local authority to consider such action.
- Roles and responsibilities regarding debt collection
6.1. The Headteacher and School Business Manager will ensure that:
- Letters and final reminders requesting money are accurately recorded and those records maintained.
- Evidence of the steps taken by the school in pursuance of debt is recorded including dates and times of both letters and phone calls.
- The privacy of the family involved will be respected and only made known to those who need to know.
- The level of outstanding debt can be determined at any time.
6.2. The Governing Body:
- Will prescribe and regularly review the arrangements for debt recovery.
- May delegate its responsibilities under this policy to the Headteacher and School Business Manager.
- The process for pursuing debts
7.1. Informal reminder – Within 2 days of late payment, the debtor will be informally reminded in person or by telephone that they owe money to the school.
7.2. First reminder letter – If the debt is yet to be paid one week after an informal reminder, a formal letter will be sent to the debtor.
7.3. Second reminder letter - If the debt is yet to be paid one week after a first formal reminder, a second formal letter will be sent to the debtor. These letters allow the debtor every opportunity to settle their debt and ensure the school can prove all reasonable steps have been taken to recover the debt should the issue proceed further.
7.4. Final reminder letter - If no response is received following the second reminder, the school will send a letter to the debtor advising them that they will be referring the matter to the local authority to consider legal action. This letter will be sent by recorded delivery to ensure the debtor has had every chance to respond.
7.5. Possible legal action – If no payment is made the local authority will decide whether to take legal action against the debtor.
- The waiving of debts
8.1. The waiving of debts is at the discretion of the Headteacher and the Governing Body. A debt may be waived when it is believed the debtor is experiencing serious financial hardship or if all reasonable avenues to recover the debt have been exhausted and it is believed it would not be cost effective to pursue the debt through legal action.
8.2. The Headteacher is authorised to waive debts off up to £100.
8.3. Debts between £100 and £500 will only be waived with the approval of the Governing Body. Debts of £500 or more will never be waived.