To ask if your state school asks for lots of money?

(65 Posts)
happynewmind Mon 21-Jan-13 16:27:34

Because this week I have paid for one child £10 dinner money, £20 for four tickets for junior play, 20 pound trip money for this year, 20 pound residential trip depositmoney for later this year, add to this requests for a Chinese dress for Chinese day, a dress for Victorians day.

Then optional of 32 pound instrument hire and 28 pound group lesson.

It's Monday sad

happynewmind Mon 21-Jan-13 16:30:36

and we were completely lured in and hadn't realised cost amounts for the music lessons as they had them free before this and I can't cancel until Easter.

mrsjay Mon 21-Jan-13 16:41:28

god that is loads you think they could spread the cost a bit, saying that i made a payment to dds school trip abroad today 100 quid OUCH

no, I havent been asked for any money recently. I did put £5 on dd's school dinner card. We havent had notification of any trips but they are normally fairly cheap. We dont tend to have dress up days - more likely to have a dress down/wear your own clothes day - costs £1

I just had to write 2 snack money checks at £12 each, and a school trip payment of £10, plus the final installment of the yr6 trip, another £15

We got a letter today asking for £13.75 for DD to go and see The Tempest in March. The bit that pisses me off is it says "voluntary contribution" but the one time I didn't send trip money in because we didn't have it, they phoned and hassled me for it until I broke down in tears and told them they couldn't have what I haven't got, and they then said they would take DS anyway hmm and took him on the educational part, then detoured the coach back past the school and left him behind while everyone else went to the fun part sad
We also owe the last £50 for a trip to France, due in a fortnight, but that's DD's christmas present from my Mam so she'll give us that, or DD wouldn't be going.
I don't pay dinner money because we can't afford £30 a week. The weird thing is, if we had £20 a week less working tax credit, we'd get free dinners, but the dinner money would be more than £20 confused

Tee2072 Mon 21-Jan-13 18:10:54

Only snack money, £22.50 each term and £2 for Santa and Mrs Clause.

But he's only in preschool so who knows what it will be next year when he's in P1?

Hulababy Mon 21-Jan-13 18:11:57

I work in a state infant school. We are allowed to ask for up to £29.30 a year towards the voluntary donation for extra curricular/enrichment from each pupil.

This is separate from sponsorship/charity type things.

Samnella Mon 21-Jan-13 18:14:30

and took him on the educational part, then detoured the coach back past the school and left him behind while everyone else went to the fun part sad

PomBear - That is outrageous. shock Did you complain? I would be livid. Your poor son.

JoanByers Mon 21-Jan-13 18:15:46

I know some ask for LOTS of money.

"There are of course no fees, but we do ask for a voluntary and substantial contribution to the Tiffin Education Fund, without which we would not be able to offer the great breadth described in this booklet."

"The current suggested contribution is £520 per year, per child. This amounts to £10 per week and we believe that there is no better way to help your son’s education than this. Many families support at a higher level than this already."

CloudsAndTrees Mon 21-Jan-13 18:17:46

We had to pay nearly three hundred at the beginning of the school year, but that's for a week long residential, and two day trips. My children are benefiting so I expect to have to pay for things that will educate them and that they will enjoy.

The one I have at primary school has dinners twice a week at £1.90 a day, but I choose to pay that because I could give him packed lunches instead.

I have to provide a costume for a theme day next week, and I expect there will be more somewhere before the year is out. Children are expensive!

Yes. Loads of raffle tickets, non-uniform days which cost £1 otherwise kids have to wear uniform (wrong, wrong, wrong), school trip to Scotland costing almost £300 (although much cheaper trips were available so this was an option), £10 trips to the panto, the museum ..............

Thankfully my other two children are in different schools!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 21-Jan-13 18:21:20

pombear you wouldn't get fsm.

Getting any wtc even if its only £1 automatically stops you getting fsm even if your income is under the cut off amount.

What upsets me though is that at my youngest son's school, despite all the fund raising, there seems to be no provision for those who can't afford to go on school trips. Son's best friend missed a Christmas trip to a museum and skating because his parents couldn't afford it. He was the only one in the year not to go and had to do work and reading all day on his own. Surely that is wrong. He was so gracious about it too [ sad]

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 21-Jan-13 18:25:16

Dinner money plus a quid or two for charity non-uniform days once a term. A quid if they want a drink and popcorn for film club twice a term.

That's about it, although there are cake and book sales at the end of the day, but they are very much optional.

All trips are free because they go on the TFL scheme.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 21-Jan-13 18:25:41

shock that Tiffin state that they think the best way for a parent to support their child's education is by giving them money! hmm Really? Wouldn't a child's education be better supported by involved parents that supervise work and provide a quiet space for homework to be done in, as well as helping to provide extra curricular activities?

I not surprised they ask for money though, my older ds's grammar school does the same. I don't pay it because i cant afford it, but I happily would if I could. But grammar schools seem to get very very little money from government compared to other schools, so they do need money from somewhere. I don't think that expecting parents to pay towards their own children's educational experiences is a bad thing.

Utterlylostandneedtogo Mon 21-Jan-13 18:26:03

£10 per child per week dinners
£10 per child per week breakfast club
They recently did the young voices concert at the O2 which I think all tolled was £40 per child for the 'essential' stuff then £22 plus travel costs per ticket and also dinner on top...

This term they have swimming at a voluntary £5 per week per child that I've refused to pay as its a legal curriculum requirement

Also they had a play come in that my mum deals with and they take it into school for free, the school tried to charge us £10 per child for that too...

And don't get me started on cost of after school childminder

PoppyWearer Mon 21-Jan-13 18:27:18

We got asked for loads last term, especially in the run up to Christmas (multiple raffles and tombolas), a non-uniform day every other week...it was way OTT. We live in a naice area and the money goes to fund school trips etc, but it's not like most parents can't afford those, whereas the begging for £1 here, £1 there for tickets is just fucking annoying. Just ask for a one-off donation, FFS!

Nothing yet this term besides dinner money, but it's a matter of time.

DC1 is in reception. God help me once the residential trips kick in!

Viviennemary Mon 21-Jan-13 18:34:01

I think there should be a cap on these 'voluntary' donations. Just because a school is in a reasonably affluent area doesn't mean there aren't people who are struggling. These schools who do this do it because they think they can get away with it. But it's not right or fair.

JoanByers Mon 21-Jan-13 18:39:33

It's just another way of segregating schools between middle class and not. Those with lots of wealthy parents get a premium education for almost nothing, and those without are stuck with whatever the government gives them.

Iteotwawki Mon 21-Jan-13 18:40:55

There is a "voluntary contribution" here which varies by school - at ours it's $50 per term (4 terms a year so $200). We also pay for all stationary; each class has a required list of exercise books, pens (including whiteboard markers for teachers), pencils, homepack - that comes to another $50 normally but should last the year. If it doesn't we have to replace whichever item is lost or used up.

We don't have to contribute to food because it isn't provided, though twice a week we have the option of paying for a Subway or sushi lunch.

Then there's gold coin donation days, mufti days, purple cupcake day (where I buy the ingredients, make and ice the cupcakes and then have to buy them back at $2 each!), school trips out ...

My son also has extension classes which have to be outsourced as the school is too small to offer its own programme, which is $455 per term plus voluntary donation of $60 per term (sent by way of invoice, not sure how voluntary it is but we haven't paid it yet!)

Education here is not free.

impty Mon 21-Jan-13 18:49:40

We get asked for £15 per child, per term for the school fund. I refuse to pay it. I asked what it went on, and got the vaguest of answers.

The school trips are expensive and do not seem to be assisted by the school fund. Teachers ask us to buy text books as there aren't enough to go round. School activities have a cost, school shows you buy the tickets.

Today I just paid the school £95 for various things, and that's an average month.

So the 'school fund' can do without my cash!

I think there needs to be a distinction between what is voluntary, what is requested by the PTA.

At the infant and junior school there is a request for a voluntary doation of £25 per pupil. If we choose school dinners we are charged £10 per week per child (can be subsidised/free if you fall into some benefit categories) and once a year we are asked to pay an amount towards a school outing (barely covers the bus hire and entrance).

The PTA organises things like the raffles, school fairs and mufti days - the money is raised for the school to pay for equipment, events and kit that is not covered by funding given to the school.

Personally, I would question any teacher who thinks it is appropriate to single out non-payers from a outing. Is the head aware of this - it can't be right

Adversecamber Mon 21-Jan-13 19:05:37

I don't really count dinner money.

There were two trips,DS didn't want to go on one and the other was a fundraiser for something that we had objections to so he didn't go. Neither of them were in school time either.

Impty - IIRC schools are now legally obliged to account for any voluntary contribution. (Both DCs schools have sections on their websites detailing contributions and expenditure)

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