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16 children not going on year 6 residential

(204 Posts)
Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:12:57

Out of a year group of 40ish.

School doesn't know "reasons" for them not going, but it's likely IMO that most is down to cost. Some will be because they/their parents didn't want to be away from home.

The yr6 teacher, who will be at school with the 16, is planning activities for the week. She feels sad that these children are missing out on "experiences" and wants to do something everyday for the week. So far has arranged for them to go swimming at the local comp (free) a day at an outdoor activity centre (£32 each, plus transport) bowling (£5?)and a session at the local Wildlife Trust reserve (£4.50 plus transport)

The parents haven't been told anything about this yet, but AIBU to think that if you'd had to say no to residential because of the (£230) cost, you'd be annoyed/upset at the request for money for all these activities while the others were away?

The teacher means well and I support entirely the desire to provide experiences and fun for these children who are missing out, but I don't think she has any idea just how much £50 is to some families.

If you agree, do you have any ideas for ways to provide fun and experiences more cheaply?

SirChenjin Tue 07-May-13 09:11:36

Jinty - I'm very glad you said that, I was beginning to think I'd imagined the non-voluntary aspect. We've been in the nursery/primary school/high school system now for 13 years and it's always been the case that if you don't pay you don't go, and alternative lessons are provided.

Jinty64 Tue 07-May-13 07:35:40

We are in Scotland and the contribution is not voluntary. If you want your child to go you pay. No other activities are arranged for the children who are not going, until now they have joined another class although often a class of littlies to make it more fun. This year, I believe, one of the job share teachers is not going on the trip and will teach the children who are staying behind.

We had decided not to send ds1 on the residential trip as he has ADHD and no additional help in school. We were unsure they could safely meet his needs, he is young for his age and young for year and requires medication. In the end, with help, he went but he would have joined another class if he had not.

I'm sure, in a case of real hardship and a child desperate to go, something could be arranged but I have never heard any mention of it and I have had a child at the school for 13 years.

ryanboy Mon 06-May-13 23:13:19

The more I think about jamdonut post the more I feel riled why should parents prioritise paying for a school trip they didn't ask for (or want) and the kid is ambivalent about?

Bakingnovice Mon 06-May-13 21:39:13

Our yr 6 residential is in early January. This year the coach set off two hours late because of massive snowfall. All the activities planned were outdoor. The timing of the trip (in winter) and the fact that I know I'm going to worry sick about ds made me try and talk ds out of the trip. However, he really wants to go so we have paid up (he's in yr 5 at the moment). There are 35% of the year group not going and they usually get put in the yr 5 class for the week. I feel very sad that there are kids who can't afford to go, but instead of asking the school for financial assistance the families have instead provided excuses. My friend has done this as she said she would be too embarrassed to ask for help. And ours is a fairly middle class area.

greengoose Mon 06-May-13 20:55:05

My DCs school have an activity week where they camp in the school grounds. First night is for whole school, then rest of time for older class (mixed yr 4,5,6). It works because the school is very rural, and small. Teachers are also 'up for it'! They go canoeing, climbing, cycling etc for the week, and the cost is really low (can't remember how much, but under £80).
Also means nobody is too far from home, and parents can opt to help out if they know it would help their child to see them. Our boys really look forward to it.
The laundry at the end of it is criminal though!

eminemmerdale Mon 06-May-13 19:36:40

Yes, it is 'voluntary', but we (as in parents at the school) are always told in a tutty manner than if we don't pay, then the trip/person/activity will HAVE to be cancelled. We pay 95% of the time, this last time it has been very difficult and we made the really humiliating decision to say sorry but this time we can't. It's horrible sad And yes, we were treated dreadfully - I intend to bring that up now - was just too embarrassed at the time!

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 19:13:35

cost is voluntary

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 19:13:20

That's the thing though Restorer, I'm not sure that the cost of voluntary up here - I've never had a letter asking for a VC. I've got a few friends who are teachers so I must pick their brains next time I see them

Restorer Mon 06-May-13 19:11:33

Maybe, i think youd struggle to demonstrated that you'd done that adequately if the whole class and teacher are out. And i wouldnt want to be part of a school that treated children like that.

There is a strong sense that its not fair though when you know parents could have paid and others have really struggled to find the cash

burberryqueen Mon 06-May-13 19:05:33

restorer you can exclude a child from an educational visit in school time, as long as something else is scheduled for those children.
What really bothered me was the primary school charging £3 per child for a normal timetabled in-school history lesson and the teacher telling my child loudly that it 'wasn't fair' to the others that he should be there without paying. I was like...er...hello...is this suddenly a private school or something?

Restorer Mon 06-May-13 19:00:54

.....Which means school dint go it of their way to point it that it's voluntary - may even suggest that you need to pay. I've never worked in a school that was unsympathetic to genuine hardship though

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 18:59:18

Do you know what the criteria is for classing a trip educational? I'm thinking of the ski lessons we couldn't afford for DS1.

Restorer Mon 06-May-13 18:52:34

I dont know Chenjin but in England you can't exclude a child from an educational visit in school time because they haven't paid. Different if it's something for only a few kids, if it's a fun rather than educational trip or if its ouside school hours. But, if bulk of costs aren't covered by contributions, the trip can't run

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 18:47:10

Is the voluntary thing an English thing? It's definitely not voluntary here in Scotland confused

Darkesteyes Mon 06-May-13 18:21:17

Emin i would be sending a letter back to them saying that if they dont know what the word voluntary actually means then i am somewhat worried about their abilities and the quality of education that they are giving my child. hmm wink

Having said that i saw your earlier posts on this thread and think you and your DC have been treated appallingly.

Restorer Mon 06-May-13 18:17:34

They are voluntary in that the school can't make anyone pay, but the schools would be foolish to make it easy to opt osut- If more than 2-3 don't pay the trip will have to be cancelled.

eminemmerdale Mon 06-May-13 17:52:45

Well they're not really voluntary any more! if you are in a position to be unable to pay - in our experience anyway, you are treated fairly shoddily sad The notes home have changed over the years from 'there is a voluntary contribution of X, please let the office know if you are unable to pay this', to 'The voluntary contribution of X is due on...' with no opt out.

ryanboy Mon 06-May-13 15:56:09

jamdonut
what do you mean by your comment that voluntary contributions are not voluntary?
I find it a bit rich that you organise a school trip and then presume oarents ought to prioritise spending on that rather than perhaps other extra curricular activities which the child actually enjoys.

LIZS Mon 06-May-13 08:55:47

dd's old school used a similar system to hula's, also naming one definite no-no . Of course if rooms take 4 or 6 by extension they may still end up with kids they don't really like or know well but sometimes that works to advantage in social terms.

alpinemeadow Mon 06-May-13 07:55:19

Yes bb, the hulababy system (and other poster's - so clearly an accepted way of doing things!) sounds like a good compromise between giving the dcs some autonomy and protecting the shyer, or less popular, ones, from the 'be my roommate' contest. More work for teachers, but if that's the objection then i'd suggest just straightforwardly allocating the rooms is better than a free for all.

KatyDid02 Mon 06-May-13 06:22:32

Round here they do a residential in Years 4 and 6.

BegoniaBampot Sun 05-May-13 22:45:00

regarding room allocation, I might have a word with the teachers then. sounds like they can't be arsed sorting it out and dealing with whiney kids complaining so have totally left it up to the kids which is causing is turning it into a big popularity contest and causing some upset. Had bloody tears and saying they don't want to go over it all.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sun 05-May-13 22:17:46

TBH if they were going in last weeks of year 6 rather than first few weeks and if they did not make a huge thing displaying photos and doing work on what they had done I would not even be considering dd going.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sun 05-May-13 22:14:27

Only read OP but YANBU.
Dds four day residential is costing £20 less than it cost me, my mum and dd to go for 7 days to Menorca!

School ask me for money constantly and its often short notice and a real struggle, one week not so long ago we got FIVE letters asking for money in the space of 8 school days totalling £65.

I have been thinking about it lots. Its all kinds of activities my dd would hate as she is dyspraxic and sen and tbh we cant really afford it this year.

Hulababy Sun 05-May-13 21:59:03

Re room allocation. Dd's school also has the system where children wrote down names of 3 children they'd like to be with. They are guaranteed to be with at least one of them for their dorms, and at least one for their activity groups

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