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

kerala Mon 21-Jan-13 19:09:56

How can you begrudge paying your child's dinner money? Or afterschool care? Do you think these things should be provided by the state? Am baffled.

Trips cost money - if you take DC to the theatre it will be at least £30 its often cheaper if organised by the school. Would you all prefer if these things didnt happen at all <genuine question>.

Sabriel Mon 21-Jan-13 19:10:06

The huge bonus of DD going to a school with 40% FSM is that they rarely ask us for money grin

YR Y1 and Y2 recently went to the panto. The coaches were paid for by a cake sale (we have many of these and they go down very well - I've been impressed at how many parents bring in cakes), and I think the tickets came out of school budget - we certainly weren't asked for any money. We've only had to pay for the end of year trip in the summer, which I think was about £15.

Cinema night is free and the children only pay for popcorn which is less than £1, while the "better" school nearer our house that we couldn't get into charges £5 per child for cinema night plus an extra £1.50 for popcorn shock

spotsdots Mon 21-Jan-13 19:14:29

I don't mind contributing when I can but I hate when they say "voluntary contribution" and yet if you don't contribute, you are hounded down and threaten that the trip will be cancelled. The school now behaves like the sales people, they offer instalment so it works out e.g £1 a week so you have no excuse of saying I can't afford.grin.

So my hump is with the voluntary contribution crap. smile

kerala Mon 21-Jan-13 19:16:56

Still way cheaper for your child to go the panto with school - otherwise you have to pay for your adult ticket and siblings who wont want to be left out etc. And then you have to sit through a panto <horrors> am grateful when schools do trips like that.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 21-Jan-13 19:17:52

Agree that dinner money only counts if a) it's unusually high and b) the school has packed lunch police so zealous that you are essentially forced to take school dinners.

Would it border on being a stroppy parent if the organiser was actually questioned about the voluntary cost?

loverofwine Mon 21-Jan-13 19:32:36

every year my kids' school writes to ask us to set up a DD to some special fund. Every year we ignore the envelope but I always wonder if the reason why they are not on the school council/singled out in plays etc. is because we haven't contributed to this.

BTW we pay £100 p/a (x4 kids)toward school trips plus lunches, endless cake sales etc. Its a good school but I innocently thought state school meant no extra charges (except lunch).

lljkk Mon 21-Jan-13 19:34:19

I don't think it adds up to a lot, but it's lots of times, iyswim, I get confused about what I've paid or not (especially when school is closed or Dd forgets to hand an envelope in). 3 DC at same primary and they all need bits and pieces, 25p for a pen (much confusion about whether this is prerequisite or not), £2.15 for Circus skills demo, £2.10 for hot dinner, £1 for snack money this week, £3 contribution to that and £4 contribution to that. £51 for a term of violin hire & tuition (at least that was easy to pay by cheque and a receipt gets written).

I always seem to need small change in the house.

hermioneweasley Mon 21-Jan-13 19:34:26

But I bet there are plenty of people who would get away with not paying the voluntary contribution if they thought they could get away with it, so I expect the schools have to be persistent or events wouldn't take place at all. I really doubt the staff in the school enjoy chasing at all.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 21-Jan-13 19:44:00

You cant moan about dinners as its a responsibility to feed your child. Trips are extras, dont pay if you dont agree and leave your child in school. They are a hassle for teachers and admin staff but run for the benefit of the children.

PTA wise, im sure your children benefit from the extras so only fair that you donate.

Aybody would think it came as a surprise that it costs financially to have a child!

SminkoPinko Mon 21-Jan-13 19:55:05

Disgusted at the way the school treated your boy, pombar.

And shock at a school cinema club costing £5 per child and £1.50 extra for popcorn. Surely no one goes!

faulkernegger Mon 21-Jan-13 20:07:25

Many years ago, schools asked for trip money and if you didn't pay, you didn't go. Then it was deemed unfair that children should be left out in this way, so contributions became voluntary and now no child should be left behind at school because they didn't 'pay'. Letters from school usually state that unless enough contributions are received, the trip can't go ahead. i pay 5 pounds per month by standing order to my son's school and don't feel guilty if I don't make any cakes etc.

happynewmind Mon 21-Jan-13 20:11:30

Happymumofone im not moaning about feeding my child, I am not moaning about the benefit of trips.

It doesn't surprise me that a child costs money how patronising. When I had dd I was pat of a marriage with two good wages hence my decision to have a child.
I'm now a single working mother with no support financially or otherwise from exh who became abusive.

My dds previous school And the schools I have worked in asked for very little contribution wise because they were in deprived areas, they still provided a rich curriculum.

DDS school is in a middle class area (only place available when we fled) and asks constantly.

Its just difficult when you are on a low working income and you have a small financial buffer and you are asked for two costumes they will never wear again.

Of course my dc could be only one in uniform, not going on trip, not having a costume but as dd1 is sen she gets picked on enough for being different.

happynewmind Mon 21-Jan-13 20:24:08

I complained to school last year, I have no issue with trips not going ahead if not enough pay. But dc school were naming and shaming children who hadn't paid in a " you might not be going on your trip as L , S and C havent paid yet"
She did this until they paid up.

Dc school also do an event each half term where you have to provide enough stuff for your child to have their own fair type stall with all money going to charity, many mufti days and costumes.

Happynewmind - the teacher should be named and shamed instead.

I am angry on your behalf that the schools do this ... wrong on so many levels

That's all we get pixie the £20 a week, and we're not quite sure why. We did ask about ending the claim, so we could have free school meals, but they said ending the wtc claim would stop the ctc claim too and we need those (even though they've gone down by nearly half, thank you bloody co-alition Govt)
I didn't complain samnella about the trip thing because he was in his last year at the school, and I was worried that the other pupils would find out what had happened and be mean to him for being poor confused I have always told all my DCs that there's no shame in being poor, but he was struggling to make friends as it was and it just wasn't worth the hassle with younger siblings due to follow him up the school iykwim.

OmgATalkingOnion Mon 21-Jan-13 20:58:12

Dressing up all the time annoys me. It's the default for every topic at our school and it drives me nutshmm

MikeFlowersPops Mon 21-Jan-13 20:58:33

No mine doesn't

I pay for school dinner for 2 days a week - but that's my choice, they're not compulsory. It's £1.90 a day.

School trips usually cost £3-£5 and are roughly 2-3 times a year. Tickets for the nativity play were £2 each.

Snacks fruit and a drink are free. Breakfast club (optional) is £1 a day. After school childcare (optional) is £10 a day. After school activities are free at the moment (infant school).

Occasionally have to send in £1 for non-uniform day for charity.

Sabriel Mon 21-Jan-13 21:14:31

sminko, apparently they do shock. I know some of the parents and they were moaning about it, but still send them.

butterfingerz Mon 21-Jan-13 21:22:25

my dd is only in reception but so far so good. The pta do lots of fundraising but participation is entirely optional. My dd has music, drama/dance and French provided by private companies for free. There's not too many non-uniform days and I think there'll only be only one trip this yr as they're only in reception.

My nephews school is quite bad for money grabbing, for totally ridiculous things, wo betide if you forget to pay something - they'll be on the phone hassling dsis.

MadameBoolala Mon 21-Jan-13 21:30:00

Yes. DS has only been at school since September and they are bleeding us dry.

I have joined the PTA and I am going to stick a word in for those of us who are a bit skint. smile

Porkster Mon 21-Jan-13 21:43:59

Since beginning of term, we've paid £170 for music, £40 for smart card top up, £12 for ds2 half term of one lunch p/w, £140 deposit for school trip and £70 governors fund (only once per year).

SminkoPinko Mon 21-Jan-13 21:46:16

what is governors fund?

Scholes34 Mon 21-Jan-13 21:57:12

Following six days' notice to come up with £50 for a school trip, we wrote to the Head and asked that each year they provide a list of anticipated trips during the year for each of the school years to help us budget throughout the year, and year on year having three children going through the school. This is also done now by the secondary school and if anything it makes the school stand back and look at what they're asking the parents to pay.

We also had an apology from the head for the six days' notice.

I don't mind the lunches and the trips if they aren't too often or too expensive. I do get grumpy over paying 5 pounds a week for them to spend half an hour a week on a coach, get changed, have a 20min splash around, then get dressed and go back. They are only 5! We pay for private lessons, so are paying twice, and the pool the school uses has such a shallow training pool that it's a bit pointless. The ratios are 2 staff for 30 children (plus lifeguards, TAs etc), so they don't learn much.

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