To be a bit scared about financial implications of new school?

(35 Posts)
LovelyBath Fri 29-Jan-16 10:45:03

OK so it looks great, the local secondary school. However it does have very expensive trips etc. I know I should be grateful as it's a state school and has lots of opportunities etc etc. BUT I'm a bit worried about how much it's all going to cost. Apparently most of the after school clubs are free at secondary though so I suppose that's good.

To be honest some of the trips don't sound exactly necessary, but I guess if they didn't go on it they'd be well, left behind (which I suppose might be a lesson that we can't always do as we wish)

When we looked around I asked the boy showing our group around about the trips. What happens, about the trips costing a lot? He told me, well the ones who can afford it go and the others don't. I'm not sure how true this is or if there is some sort of a fund to help people.

I would have thought it might be better to have some sort of fund raising for charitable type trips maybe but the ones which were described were ones like:

A trip to (somewhere hot can't remember) to go snorkelling
A ski trip to the USA which cost thousands
Geography trip to Iceland

They have trips every year apparently so you can see that with more than one child this could add up!

Any thoughts? You might think, well don't send him there but it has a great reputation and it's our local school. Other options would mean a costly bus pass, which again I'm too stingy to want to do.

balletgirlmum Fri 29-Jan-16 10:47:15

I send my children on reasonable trips eg France & Lake District etc but they won't be going on trips such as you describe not an issue at dds school but ds's private school have lots of them.

It's not an issue- loads of kids don't go.

LovelyBath Fri 29-Jan-16 10:48:20

OK thanks. A thought I had was as they get older maybe a Saturday job to help pay for the trips. Think they can't do such a job until 16 though.

Babyroobs Fri 29-Jan-16 10:50:17

The trip will be optional, there will be many who can't afford to go. I have 3 ds's at secondary school and only one has been on a week long trip to wales. My boys don't even bother bringing the letters about expensive ski trips home as they don't want to go and know we can't afford it. If the school has a great reputation then you are lucky to have a good school on your doorstep and I would go for it.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Fri 29-Jan-16 10:51:56

Just don't send them on trips you can't afford.

Ds3 went to Madrid last year and there's a Berlin trip this year that is really worth the money and very educational but he didn't bring home the form as he thought he wouldn't be able to go because of the previous trip sad. [He could have]. He'll be one of those left behind at school amongst all of his friends but that's life, he'll get on with it.

CalleighDoodle Fri 29-Jan-16 10:52:43

Trips are optional.

bigbadbarry Fri 29-Jan-16 10:52:44

Of the ones you list, snorkelling and skiing are fun trips and loads of children won't go - you'll probably find there are only about 30 places anyway. A geography field trip - I'd probably make more effort to afford, but if we couldn't, we couldn't and we wouldn't be the only ones.

Babyroobs Fri 29-Jan-16 10:53:34

My 16 year old ds has an after school job which earns him a round £250 a month. He would never consider the idea of putting any towards a school trip, He is far too busy spending it on following his football team around the country and buying his season ticket ! he is hoping his team will play in Europe next season and is saving to go ! There are no many jobs they can do until they turn 16, except for paper rounds which pay very little.

Noofly Fri 29-Jan-16 11:07:39

DS is at a private school and loads of kids don't go on trips. DS a only goes on the ones to do with the curriculum- he's never gone on the annual water sports trip to France or any of the ski trips. Even the foreign language exchange doesn't get a great take up. DS is one of only 4 in his class of 12 going to Taiwan this year (he's mostly going because I don't see the point in doing Manadarin in school unless you are doing the exchange!).

I wouldn't worry about not sending your child on most of the trips.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 29-Jan-16 11:16:40

If it's a good school, send your kids there. Lots of kids just won't go on the trips, yours won't be left out.

Once you're at the school, perhaps you could provide a bit of pressure to have them put more into trips that are accessible to the whole student body.

LovelyBath Fri 29-Jan-16 11:21:43

I got the feeling the majority of the kids do go on the trips though. I think quite a few are wealthy and could well send their kids to private school but save the money and then have it for the trips. If you see what I mean. It is in fact a state school but also takes paying pupils as boarders I believe.

LaurieLemons Fri 29-Jan-16 11:29:01

Even if the majority do go, there will be many that don't or can't afford to. Are they in the school holidays? If so he won't be feeling left out or anything. You and DS (pocket money) could try and save for one but he might not even be that bothered.

Sounds like they need to make up their minds whether they are private or state!

Mistigri Fri 29-Jan-16 11:31:15

I don't understand why state schools run trips that many or most students can't afford. My daughter went to Madrid (language exchange) and Rome/ Naples (trip for Latin class) with her middle school and it cost under €200 each time. There was some fundraising to reduce the cost and they had to slum it a bit (they took an overnight public bus service to Madrid) - no child was excluded for lack of funds. I appreciate that we're a bit closer to these places, but the school also managed to run a very reasonable trip to Galway, which is much further away.

LovelyBath Fri 29-Jan-16 11:32:43

I think they are in term time. I know they have a school cottage in Wales where the children do in the first few weeks in a kind of out of bounds trip and I don't think that is as expensive as they have the cottage for the school etc.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:35:57

I don't think it would be the majority that go on expensive trips. There will be restrictions on numbers in any case.

I've been on school trips to France, Holland and USA. There were about 30 students and 6 staff. My own children didn't want to go on the school trips when they were at school and my parents couldn't afford for me to go. We weren't allowed Saturday jobs to help pay for them either, so I never went. I'd still like to go to St Jean de Luz, although I have been to other parts of the South of France.

I would be more concerned about the standard of education in general, rather than occasional trips abroad.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 29-Jan-16 11:36:45

That makes it harder. Maybe investigate how many do go on the trips and see if you can find parents who are close to your financial circumstances you can talk to to see what the school feels like for their children. Then it's a matter of judging how yours will react to the situation.

For what it's worth, I was the "poor kid" at secondary school and got on just fine. It isn't always isolating. But the school was quite progressive and there were a fair few in my situation and not that many who were very well off. Plenty of trips I didn't go on though.

It feels very wrong that a family should feel a state school isn't for them because they don't have enough money though. And the more people who pull away because of it, the more entrenched the privilege becomes.

Seriouslyffs Fri 29-Jan-16 11:39:36

Don't worry. The numbers are likely to be tiny. My dcs schools have the ski trips, ski team trips, antipodean sports etc. Iceland and I doubt DC could tell you who went!

Helenluvsrob Fri 29-Jan-16 11:43:12

The trips are optional.

DD2 is planning on going on the USA history trip for year 13. She will pay with a small inheritance from a great aunt I think as the message with the money was " use it to do something amazing" .

Previous trips we have paid for ( and 2 tours in the summer this year!) but we do get her to use her singing bursary for spending money ( the bursary is intended to recompense parents for travel and inconvenience re singing , it's not strictly " pay" ).

Lucsy Fri 29-Jan-16 11:46:59

I wish schools didn't do these expensive trips.
I have 3 residential trips to pay for this year at a total estimated cost of 750. I do t have the letter for one yet, but it's on the school calendar for the high school Dd will go to

One year 6 trip may 15 Dd
One year 8 trip sept 16 for Ds
One year 7 trip sept 16 Dd

Where the hell do they expect me to find that much money?

And these are trips that every single child goes on. State schools and yes I really do mean every child.

One high school I looked at regularly had trips to China for 5 weeks, USA for 3 weeks and God only knows what else. State school again.

I will never be able to afford those trips. But I'll sell a kidney if I have to, to make sure my children aren't he only ones not going on the above mentioned ones

And yes I've begged the schools for help
Sorry for hijack.

Katenka Fri 29-Jan-16 11:52:44

Dd secondary is quite large.

None of the trips include whole years groups. Places are first come first served. Even on the language trips. Everyone who is studying French isn't going on the France trip.

Some go and some don't.
Dd doesn't want to go on her Spanish trip and she knows there is no way she would be spending the equivocal of a family holiday on a holiday for her.

I would be really surprised of all or most pupils go on several of these trips. I bet there are loads that don't go on any. Some through lack of funds some through choice

wotoodoo Fri 29-Jan-16 11:57:06

I am very glad our state secondary offers annual ski trips, African safaris, icelandic geography trips and other interesting trips in Europe and in this country. They also help children to go whose parents can't afford to go.

It definitely is not one glove fits all with regards to state secondaries, a lot have control of their own budgets nowadays. Ours is highly regarded, hs high expectations and has an excellent, well earnt reputation.

Heavens2Betsy Fri 29-Jan-16 12:09:44

My dc don't go on every school trip.
I try and do one residential trip a year and the as many of the various field trips and day trips as I can afford.
DS2s school is a grammar and offer skiing trips and lots of fancy expensive holidays and they are usually in a ballot system so I just leave it a bit late to apply and he doesn't get on them anyway.

Babyroobs Fri 29-Jan-16 12:11:46

Kids will manage perfectly fine without going on an African safari or ski trip before they are out of their teens,it's ridiculous. A lot of the cost of these trips is all about insurance and travel costs and can probably be done a lot cheaper when they are adults. The most I ever went on as a teenager was a sixth form trip to Whitby fossil hunting and staying in a youth hostel. I'm really not sure when these trips became the norm.

DG2016 Fri 29-Jan-16 12:27:11

Mine are at a private school and we could afford all the trips and they never choose to go on any which in my view is missing the opportunity so don't assume people don't go on them because they cannot afford them. Some children just like to stay at home and if going away to go away with their family ! Mind you their father enjoyed a good few trips - the teachers go free so it's quite a nice perk in a private (and presumably state school too).

redexpat Fri 29-Jan-16 12:56:51

I wouldnt panic just yet.

You could always encourage DC to get a paper round and then a job when they are 15. Or babysitting or dog walking or whatever.

You could also try grant giving organisations.

If I were you I would set up a savings account and a standing order of a certain amount each month. eg my 2 dc have 2 accounts each, and each account gets 10 quid per month. So when they get confirmed and want a year at boarding school the money is there (am abroad, different expectations for teens).

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