Can academies and free schools charge?

The short answer is no.

Although the way it is done varies between funding agreements, all of them (as far I as know) prohibit charging of pupils/parents for education in academies/free schools.

By way of example, the current model agreement (i.e. the draft used as the basis for academies being created at the moment) requires of the academy that:

“there will be no charge in respect of admission to the school and the school will only charge pupils where the law allows maintained schools to charge”


  1 comment for “Can academies and free schools charge?

  1. Androulla Zucker
    October 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    school trips contributions omission of the word ‘voluntary’ from parental letters

    Walton High academy in Milton Keynes, a converter academy no longer informs parents in letters it sends out for school trips that the contribution is ‘voluntary’. I have taken this up with the Academies directorate at Dept of Ed who informed me that they would remind them of their legal obligation.

    This term I had a letter sent to me asking for a contribution for History GCSE controlled assessment trip with the word ‘ voluntary’ omitted.

    So much for reminding the school of its legal obligation.

    It appears that I am supposed to take this up with the governors but since the finance director told me that they were not going to put the word ‘voluntary’ back into the letters I have reported this breach of their obligation to the lead person for the school at the academies directorate at the Dept of Ed.
    I pointed out that since they were the only authority that the school was now accountable to, I expected them to bring the school to account and make them adhere to their legal obligation.

    What is the point of Parliament, and the laws they make if a group of unaccountable people running our schools can ignore the legislation that our representatives pass?

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