To Be P***** Off at yet another expensive school trip

(853 Posts)
meah Fri 28-Sep-12 12:58:56

Hi, my ds has is now starting yr 9 & dd yr 8, in yr 7 a school trip was offered but cost was in the £300s (i forget exactly how much) being so expensive i couldn't afford it and it left both kids gutted when well over half of the kids in their yr got to go. ive just recieved another school trip email (not sure which yr not that it matters) offering a ski holiday trip, abroad for 6 nights for £680. which would be fantastic if i where loaded!! Why cant schools offer school trips that are affordable to all like they're supposed to instead of making those whos parents cant afford it feel left out!!! angry

alphabite Fri 28-Sep-12 13:18:42

Should all the children miss out because you can't afford it?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:20:15

This is something OP that actually makes my blood boil. All trips should be capped at around the £250 mark.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Sep-12 13:20:30

Is it the sort of school which would expect its parents to be well off? If not then the odd expensive trip would be fine but not lots and lots.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:21:14

Why should the more priviliged kids get to go and the ones who's parents can't afford it not?

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:21:28

I hate school trip letters but mine go or they don't DD1 never got to go on the sking trip dd2 didn't even ask I do let them go on some but some I can't afford or don't think it is worth the money yes children are dissapointed but they get over it or just lump it you can't magic the money out of thin air ,

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:22:14

and yes capping school trips is a good idea,

Pourquoimoi Fri 28-Sep-12 13:24:20

Our school has 6th form trips for over £2k!!! (State comprehensive). I gather the kids are encouraged to fund raise for them though rather than just expect the parents to pay.

scurryfunge Fri 28-Sep-12 13:24:57

Will there be other less expensive trips throughout the year? I'm not sure children are that bothered about not going though.

ChessieFL Fri 28-Sep-12 13:25:26

Tricky one. I'm on the fence about this. Yes it's a shame when your kids can't go. But as Alphabite says why should all children miss out? I hate the thought of going skiing so it's something I would never want to do, so if my DD wanted to do it and could go with the school I would be really pleased that the offer was there so I didn't have to take her (which would cost more as I would then have to pay for the whole family to go instead of just her).
I think as long as there are some cheaper trips that you can afford then it's ok. But if all the trips are that expensive it's not fair.

Pourquoimoi Fri 28-Sep-12 13:27:55

Clippedphoenix - whether you like it or not, richer people have more choices - that's life. Doesn't make it fair but that's the way it is.

Playing devil's advocate, If you turned it round, why should the richer kids not have the opportunity to go on the trip because some people can't afford it?

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:28:21

Mine have been on school trips trips to London theme parks but I can't afford to pay for the Holiday type ones our school go to Italy and it would eat into our own holiday fund iyswim, but once they have been they don't get to go the next year

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 13:30:07

Why shoudo the children whose parents can afford it, or who can budget better be denied opportunities because others can't afford it?

The school is there to offer opportunities to all it's pupils. They all deserve to be taken into consideration, it pisses me right off when people who can't afford things think the schools plans for education and opportunities should revolve around them.

Should my ds never get the opportunity to learn to ski because we couldn't afford a skiing holiday for all of us? Or because my husband is a clumsy sod who would undoubtably break a limb if he went up a ski slope?

These things are often much cheaper than they would be if families had to pay for all of them to go privately. It's great that schools offer these opportunities, long may it continue.

When nearly half the kids in the year don't get to go, no one is being left out! If it were three children out of one year group staying behind, you would have a point. As it is, you don't.

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:31:31

Im not sure if I am agreeing with the OP or not confused

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:32:53

Why on earth should any school take kids for a 3 grand ski trip?

Clippedphoenix - whether you like it or not, richer people have more choices - that's life. Doesn't make it fair but that's the way it is
Pour - your attitude absolutely stinks.

By the way, I could afford it, just think its ludicrous and very very unfair.

QueefLatina Fri 28-Sep-12 13:34:08

My DS is 15 and goes to an inner city Academy. In the 11 years he has been at school there has never been a school trip further than 2 miles away.

We could afford it but there isn't the option at his school. I wish I'd realised it when he started at the school as I feel that he has missed out.

But it's not a compulsory trip is it - they are offering it and I should imagine at that price there will be a lot of kids that dont go.

My DS did an activity trip for year 6 - it was £260 and the school gave us a years notice and allowed us to pay in installments.

In answer to people saying why should the kids who cant afford it miss out.....well, thats just life isn't it and the sooner they learn that the better. Why should my DS miss out just because some others can't go!

DS goes into year 7 next year and some of the trips look amazing....Italy, Spain, even New York. Brilliant opportunity for him and good luck to him too !

worldgonecrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:35:08

DD's school organises fund raisers for all the school trips so that everyone who wants to go can go. It's much fairer than parents continually having to fork out, and the children learn the value of money as they have to organise and decide upon fundraisers themselves. Of course, the richer parents can pay £100 for a cupcake!

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Fri 28-Sep-12 13:36:21

DD1's school does offer expensive trips but they're not compulsory and I just tell her no when she asks to go. In theory we could afford it, but I refuse to spend the cost of a family holiday on a school trip for one child.

porcamiseria Fri 28-Sep-12 13:36:21


who has this money floating around? serously!!!! screwed

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:37:08

Yet another stinky attitude from Betty I see.

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:38:55

mostly the school don't expect the money right away they spread it over months,

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 13:40:29

Why is that a stinky attitude Clipped?

It's no different from the OPs attitude really. No one wants their child to miss out on opportunities that other their age may have. But why is OK for someone on a limited income to not want their child to miss out but for someone who can afford it it's wrong?

porcamiseria Fri 28-Sep-12 13:42:11

I am not badly paid but where on earth do people find £850, for a school trip! jesus thats a family holiday

feeling poor now!!!!

Zavi Fri 28-Sep-12 13:42:34

I don't think it's unfair that these opportunities are available to other children.
I do think however that you need to manage your children's expectations better so that they don't end up feeling disappointed.
My parents could never afford to send me on school trips - even fairly cheap ones! - and I just got used to it. I didn't expect to be able to go when trips were announced. No disappointment there.
Also, it's a good motivator for your kids to do better than you so that they can afford school trips for their own kids further down the line.
That's what I've done.

Ds1 has the opportunity to got to Morocco with the school on a Geography field trip next Year. £1000. I am umming and aahing TBH.

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 13:43:02

If you want your kids to go on amazing trips, great, organize it yourself.

Why should a nanosecond of school time or energy be wasted on arranging trips for parents who dont want to sort them out themselves.

The school is not a travel agent.

Educational trips are a different matter. If the trip is genuinely educational (not simply somewhere foreign) then the cost should be subsidised so that all children who are on that course would benefit.

BeauNeidel Fri 28-Sep-12 13:44:01

I'm not sure what I feel about this.

I do know that at £680 per child, if my twins were offered the opportunity to go, we wouldn't be able to afford it.

I am dreading them getting older sad

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 13:45:17

Oh sparkling that is a lot of money,

Yet another stinky attitude from Betty I see.

Eh?? I am only giving my opinion and I though I was quite polite about it thanks!

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 13:47:36

I pushed the boat out for dd to go to Aushwitz with history teacher. That's not somewhere she would go to otherwise. We got a good reduction ( if on fsm you do if it's one of their gcse subjects)

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 13:48:21

Didn't see much wring with bettys post either confused

Betty are you often stinky then? I hadn't noticed. sad

DontmindifIdo Fri 28-Sep-12 13:50:09

Skiing is a common school trip though, and it isn't something that can be done on the cheap - if you capped school trips at £250 that would mean certain things just wouldn't be offered at school - while that would make sense in schools where the majority of parents couldn't afford it, it does seem rather harsh in others where there are a large number who could

(disclaimer, my parents could afford skiing trip, but where of hte opinion it wasn't safe so wouldn't let me go, I was in my 20s when I first skied and discovered I really rather enjoy it)

Ds1 has been chosen to go to Kenya, £1400!!!
Also this week, have has to pay £36 for dd2's choir trip
£26 for dd1 to go to food show.
And £25 for dt's panto trip.
Oh and just remembered need to pay £25 football subs

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 13:50:57

It's not about schools doing it for parents who done want to sort it out for themselves. There are plenty of reasons why a child's family might not be able to provide their child with trips that the school could offer.

What about children who have parents or siblings with disability or medical conditions that make travel, or at least certain types of travel much more difficult or expensive?

What about children who have siblings who are much younger, making it very difficult for a family to take their 15 year old and their 6 month old skiing?

What about children whose parents are carers for older family members so the family are very limited about being able to take holidays?

Why does everything on MN always harp back to things being unfair on families with a limited income? All children deserve to be considered when the school is planning trips, not just the ones with poor parents.

Scholes34 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:50:58

I currently have DCs in years 7, 9 and 11. I've been aware since they started school that there would be a Year 6 residential and a ski trip around Year 10. I've said no to many trips, whilst promising we would think seriously about these Year 6 and Year 10 trips.

The Year 6 trip I considered essential and we paid £300 for each of them.

Yes, the ski trip was expensive - £800 - but I've been building up to paying that for five or more years. I know we'll never ski as a family unit, so it was an opportunity worth taking. DD was blown away by the experience and even rang me from the slope to say thank you and how grateful she was. DS1 and DS2 will also be given the opportunity to go, but know that there we will be saying "no" to a lot of the £300 or so trips that are offered in other years. On the ski trip, the children were active all day every day and I felt it much more worthwhile than trudging around museums and shops in a European city.

We did ask that the head of both the primary and secondary schools give an indication at the start of each year of the trips being proposed for each of the school years with an idea of the costs and they now do that. This makes it very easy to start to budget over a number of years for expensive trips.

I certainly don't have money sloshing around and need to plan.

Sparkling - I dont think so, I do wash now and again grin

Sara - DS's school do Auswitz as well, sounds really interesting so I will work my arse off to make sure he can go smile

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:51:40

These things are not arranged with the "children in mind" Kids don't care where they go as long at its "FUN".

BeatTheClock Fri 28-Sep-12 13:52:16

I think schools are travel agents, what I dont understand is why? What has a holiday to Disney or wherever got to do with their business which is teaching pupils?confused

I don't go to the doctor and get someone trying to flog me a holiday whilst I'm there, or go for a haircut and come out with a new car. So why do schools branch out into travel agency?

QueefLatina Fri 28-Sep-12 13:52:20

Do any of your DCs schools not organise any school trips?

Is it just DSs school? DS has never been on a proper school trip and he is in year 11.

Seriously, the school have never organised a school trip further than a couple of miles away.

DS has missed out sad

The trip to Morroco involves things like camel trekking in the Saraha, and sleeping out under the stars. sad It sounds fabulous.

It does clearly state on the letter though that non attendance won't affect any progress.

I think it's quite hard to ask a child now whether he wants to go on a trip in October 2013. They have timed it for half term week though which is genius.

soverylucky Fri 28-Sep-12 13:53:08

I was at high school over 20 years ago. There were numerous ski trips and exchange trips that I couldn't get to go on. It wasn't a problem. We couldn't afford it. In adult life there are lots of places I would like to go to that I can't afford to - places my friends get to go to every year. Should they not go because I can't afford it and they might make me feel bad.
Many children get to go on these expensive trips because if they didn't get to go to school they wouldn't get to go at all. I went on one trip abroad that my parents scrimped and saved for and other family members chipped in. It was an amazing experience that my parents would never have been able to do because the cost for the whole family to go would have been too much.

Clipped - please enlighten me on my other stinky attitudes then confused

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 13:53:24

Yes Betty dd got a lot from it. It's not the sort of place you can go on a family holiday after all. She came back haunted though.

I can imagine sara but how fascinating. I bet she came back too even keener on history and wanting to learn more though.

akaemmafrost Fri 28-Sep-12 13:55:23

I agree that school trips should be capped. The only kids who can afford to go on the expensive ones are likely to be taken away by their parents anyway. Should be mid range price and accessible to all. My parents were never able to afford to send me on any trips and I really felt the sting of that. Never went on one.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 13:56:54

I think the op has a point. Children can explore a different culture easily enough in Britain - head over to the Western Isles, while you're there try wind surfing, horse riding, rock climbing Munro bagging ...that is the dirt if trip that should be affordable for all.

Some schools fundraise throughout the year to bring the costs of the school trip down to enable more children to participate.

Friend was telling me her DS was going to Venice with the primary school, 5* hotel. Third is in a fairly disadvantaged area. The kids left behind got to go to their local park hmm

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 13:57:26

Dirt =sort

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 13:58:05

I don't think it's true that the only kids that can afford to go on the expensive trips are likely to go away with their families anyway.

It is much more possible that a family will be able to find the money for one child to go on a trip which is subsidised through group booking than it would be for them to find the money for the whole family to go.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 13:58:45

Why don't you enlighten me Betty? I'm sure there are more where that one came from grin

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 28-Sep-12 14:00:28


Yes but school trips tend to me about what they are learning about on the curriculum (well, the educational ones anyway) so if you are learning say about I dont know, Ann Frank, then the trip would have to be to Amsterdam wouldnt it.

Any trips that are just for fun, then that's like a holiday isn't it.....if we coudnt afford it then DS wouldnt go. Like Sparkling mentioned, one of her DC's trips is £1000 - well, DS wouldnt go to that but I wouldnt feel bad for him or annoyed that others were going, that's just life and the way it is.

I dont know Clipped, I am baffled as to why you even said that. Apologies if I have offended you in the past but I really dont think I have confused

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 28-Sep-12 14:01:52

I don't think it's true that the only kids that can afford to go on the expensive trips are likely to go away with their families anyway

Me neither. The exact opposite in our case.

armedtotheteeth Fri 28-Sep-12 14:02:18

I went on quite a few school trips back in the day but there were a few more expensive ones that I didn't go on (skiing amd Israel spring to mind).

It didn't bother me at all, especially as less than half the.children went on those.

Must feel worse to be one of the few children whose parents can't afford a £250 school trip to be honest.

As for those being taken to Auschwitz by history teachers, I.thought if it was an educational trip then no child could be excluded even if their parents can't (or don't want to) pay?

Ithinkitsjustme Fri 28-Sep-12 14:02:57

I think there should be an opportunity for kids to raise money towards their trips - why not suggest a sponsored event or organise a Christmas Fair or something to help out for those who would struggle. We always raise funds for the rugby tour. There is no way at all that I could afford all the trips that are on offer for my DC's but we pick and choose which ones are the most important, and we will make sacrifices to pay for them, so eg a French trip for a child who decided to continue with their French at GCSE level. I get more annoyed at the excessive amount the school charges for those kids who CAN'T afford to go on these trips, last year it cost me over £250 for 2 children to NOT go on camp, instead they had day trips to Alton Towers/ paintballing etc, etc.

Blu Fri 28-Sep-12 14:02:59

DS won't be going on expensive trips, thats for sure, and he won't be going ski-ing because he has a mobility disability.

But I can see that there is a way in which these trips make the big wide world accessible to some kids whom wouldn't otherwise go anywhere. A family that cannot afford for the parents and siblings to ever go abroad could perhaps save and enable the children to go, perhaps on one trip each.

There is clearly a demand for thise trips, I will just be explaining why it isn't possible, and doing my best to send DS on the cheaper and eduationally focussed ones when possible.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 14:03:20

I didn't get to go on the school skiing trip - in fact I never asked to go as I knew mum and dad coyldn't afford it and I didn't want them to have to say no.

Dragonwoman Fri 28-Sep-12 14:04:14

I never went on skiing trips with the school. Tho they were offered most kids couldn't afford them so I didn't feel left out especially. I learned to ski as an adult paid for by myself once I was working. Just because you can't go with the school doesn't mean you' ll never have the opportunity.

higgle Fri 28-Sep-12 14:04:32

We are not very well off but allowed our sons to go on 2 trips each at secondary school, at around £450 each time. I saved a little bit each month from when they were about 10 as I knew this would come up at some point.
Their school has run some expensive trips - one to China was nearly £3k - we couldn't afford this but I don't begrudge those that can.

It sounds like the trip was very 'take a letter from the pile if you are interested' some kids just don't want to go anyway. DS1 jumped in the car and immediately handed the letter to me but he said it was expensive.

Ds2 (10) has had the opportunity to go on one of those outward bound zip wires/ low ropes / raft building/abseiling jobbies. He went on one in Year 4 and 5 and said he's had enough of that sort of thing. Shame as it was only £140. grin

Sparking - DS has just been on that sort of one - he loved it. Sounded so good I was a bit gutted I wasn't invited smile

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 28-Sep-12 14:06:35

I'm sitting on the fence on this one.

Yes trips give DCs opportunities to do things they would never get to do with their families.

My DDad neither liked not could afford to go away, but somehow my parents scrapped together ski trip money for me (I've never dared ask what mum went without)

But they are a massive guilt trip. They also eat into the family holidays and days out budget very badly. So one DC has an amazing time, but parents and others loose out.

Especially if family circumstances change and parents can't afford to send siblings on similar trips when their turn comes.

For poorer parents they are just yet another no and each no eats into the soul a little more.

ratbagcatbag Fri 28-Sep-12 14:08:04

My DSS has not asked about one residential school trip until this yr (yr10) it's for austwitz and Germany, it is useful to his history gcse. So we've agreed to go halves with his mum. It's costing nearly £300 per parent though, so not chap and needs to be paid by nov. we've always suspected he might want to go on one or two trips so a good few years ago we starting putting £20 per month away. The trip money is coming out of that else we couldn't afford it either.

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 14:08:55

It's not about schools doing it for parents who done want to sort it out for themselves. There are plenty of reasons why a child's family might not be able to provide their child with trips that the school could offer.

But why does this mean that the school should step in and offer the trips? It makes no more sense than the school stepping in and offering a home decoarating service or car repairs.

The only reason these trips exist is because clever marketing people in travel companies have realised that schools are an untapped market. That there are plenty of parents who for whatever reason dont take their kids away themselves but are quite happy to pay someone else to do it.

If you cant/dont want to take your kids away and want someone else to do it then fine, companies like PGL will happily do it for you. I just dont see why any time or energy of the school is given over to it. It is just the school providing free advertising then disguising it as some sort of benefit.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:11:25

In answer to people saying why should the kids who cant afford it miss out.....well, thats just life isn't it and the sooner they learn that the better. Why should my DS miss out just because some others can't go!

This is what dropped the stink bomb for me grin

I have friends from all walks of life, whenever I arrange a "group" outing I make sure it suits everyones budget. Because I know how awful it feels to be put in such an awkward spot of having to decline due to lack of funds.

Now if the school decided on a trip and subsidised or arranged fundraising events so ALL the children could go fair enough.

It's ridiculous. I've had to pay £1600 for dd and DS to go skiing next year, I've also just paid £300 for dd to go on a history trip to Berlin and next week £190 for DS to go to Belgium for a geography trip.

I know I don't have to send them and tbf we are given 11 months to pay for the ski trip and 6 months to pay for the others so we pay x amount every month but it is still very expensive.

Pourquoimoi Fri 28-Sep-12 14:12:17

clipped - I don't think my attitude stinks at all. Surely I just quoted a fact, richer people have more choices, doesn't make it fair but it's a fact. Do you not think that is true?

Betty - we can stink together...

Pour - what a couple of stinkers we are grin

Actually, quite apt as sometimes life in general stinks , it's not a fairytale and we don't all get to do the thing we want, fair or not!

soverylucky Fri 28-Sep-12 14:15:50

If the trip is educational but not compulsory and it takes place out of school time (eg bulk of it in half term or easter hols) then the school does not have to subsidise payment. (There is an exception for those who are certian benefits)

Plenty of parents send their children on trips and take them away themselves - I find it quite odd to think that these trips only exist because of parents not bothering to take their children away.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:15:53

But there is a benefit to travel, so why shouldn't schools provide it? They directly benefit children.

We expect schools to provide counsellors and pastoral care and support when needed. You may as well say schools shouldn't bother doing any of that and should just have standard lessons and nothing else. No extra curricular clubs, no additional sports activities like inter school matches, nothing. After all, parents could organise all of that themselves if they want to.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:16:10

No I don't Pour not where things like these trips are involved.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:19:34

Our local grammar school runs a ski trip every year, it costs about a grand, I think?

Not cheap, but then not extortinate, either, about the same per person, if you were going as a family.

Our DDs will certainly go on the annual ski trip, but we will certainly expect them to contribute towards it, too, and probably cite their ski-gear as part of their Xmas pressies etc.

Fluffy1234 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:20:57

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I was chatting to some friends with children slightly younger than my DC and they were asking about school trip costs. The school offers a trip each year that is during term time that nearly everyone goes on. It year it involves more nights away and ends up with a week in France. I could see my friends were really concerned about the cost and although I thought it was actually good value for what the children did lots of people just don't have that kind of spare money. My friends then asked if my DS is going on the ski trip which he is and I could see them thinking Spending 1k on a trip was nuts.
I know it's life that people can afford some others and others can't but it can be a real worry for families. My DC junior school got around this problem by offering a one night break on a boat at the beginning of year 6 and then a 2 night very local activity break at the end of the year. This was a lot more affordable than their usual one week activity holiday hours away.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:21:41

I have taken my son away to various destinations.

His favourite trip was a PGL one to The Isle of Wight which cost £250. Because like I said up-thread kids just want to have fun.

claraschu Fri 28-Sep-12 14:24:02

Kids don't care that much if you don't care that much, at least mine don't.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 14:24:05

The vast majority of kids at school do not go on the ski trip.

Any guilt parents feel at not sending their kids is really in their mind. Kids don't get ponies, iphones, trips to Alton Towers all the time because they're too expensive. What is the problem with saying no here?

Dd came home with a letter for a trip to morocco - £750 for 5 days.

She's not going, Not only does it mean I'll also have to do it for her brothers on a few years but also it's money I'd prefer to spend on a family holiday!

Any guilt parents feel at not sending their kids is really in their mind. Kids don't get ponies, iphones, trips to Alton Towers all the time because they're too expensive. What is the problem with saying no here?

I agree noblebut I will save you a seat on the stinkers bench grin

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 14:27:23

Are these trips in the school holidays or term time? If in the holidays, well - they are a nice option. If term time - everyone goes or no-one goes.

Belgian primary schools do 2 "compulsory" trips - one in year 3 to the seaside for a week and one in year 6 skiing for 10 days/2 weeks. Dds school informs you in year 1 of the likely cost and offers a saving account. All the children go though - and there is fund raising at the school to help families who might struggle with the cost.

Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 14:28:03

So what is the purpose of those 'opportunities'? That the children will develop a passion for ski? Or are they going to become skiers in 5 days?
As another poster said they could do horseriding in Britain for much less money and as for 'culture' there is plenty here imo.

shewhowines Fri 28-Sep-12 14:30:51

Mine have been on the trips in primary that virtually all go on. (if struggling then help is available) but no way are they going on secondary ones even though we could technically afford it. That cost is a family break for all of us to enjoy. If half of the children are not going, then it is not hard to say no and it is not hard for the DC's to understand why.

Nanny0gg Fri 28-Sep-12 14:31:20

I don't think that school trips should be prohibitively expensive for some/most children.
Yes some children come from wealthier backgrounds and get more than their peers. Out of school that's fine - that's life.
But in school? No. If there is supposedly any educational basis in the trip then all should be able to go. And if it's not educational then should it be based in school at all?

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:00

How does her attitude stink, ClippedPhoenix? confused
It's just life. It sucks when you can't afford a new Merc every year; but whinging that it's unfair for those who can to avail of the opportunity is both childish and ridiculous.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:27

The purpose is to build independence, to allow children to experience another country, different cultures and see other customs, to enable them to see something that will help broaden their understanding of what they are learning in school, to help them to build social skills by having to share accommodation with their peers and manage their own belongings, to try out a new sport or activity that isn't available in their home country, and because they might just enjoy it!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:57

Judging by the posts that bench isn't very full though at the moment which is heartwarming, it really is.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:22

Why NannyOgg?

Why should only the children with limited family income get consideration from the school? Why shouldn't the school offer enriching opportunities to all of the children they are there to serve?

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:36:30

Agree with noble our DDs certainly don't get everything they ask for, or hope for.

All pets are forbidden, and always will be. DD2 won't be having riding lessons anytime soon and DD1 wasn't allowed a video camera last Xmas, despite her lengthy letter to Santa pleading for one (and she wrote one the previous year, too).

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:36:38

Have any of you thought how the other children who can't go feel? I just think it's all ridulously unfair and very unnecessary.

Bumblequeen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:37:43

I did not go on any school trips at secondary school and was not at all bothered. Only 50-60% of my peers went on the trips so I did not feel I missed out.

It is very expensive and sad if your child would like to go but cannot due to expenses.

Is financial support offered?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:38:28

ridiculously of course.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:40:14

Yes, clipped I assume they probably feel disappointed? My DD2 is disappointed she can't have riding lessons, like her two best friends. But, she already does gymnastics, Brownies and violin and doesn't want to give any of them them's the breaks.

So - does everything children do at school have to only be necessary then hmm

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:40:37

They feel a bit disappointed Phoenix. The same as the vast majority of children will feel at some point about one thing or another. It's not the end of the world.

A child that has never been disappointed to not be able to have or do something they want is probably very spoilt.

Oh Clipped stop being so bloody sensitive. Ok - here's some more stink for you!!

Me and DH moved in together when we were about 20 - we had bugger all money, we both worked full time and then took on a part time job each to make ends meet. DH set up his own building company and was supported by me until he was well established. We only have one child whom we are bringing up to realise that he cant have everything he wants, I dont care if joe bloggs down the road has it, does it or whatever, I only care about him! I dont find saying no to him a problem...... I work full time still and save all I can so that DS can have the odd luxury or two.....I have a property I rent out, DH and I own a holiday home (mortgaged, anyone can do it, it aint that hard) and like I said we work our bloody trollocks off so that if he wants to go on a school trip and I think it's a good one to go on then he can.

We are not unusual, we have had no help, we have no family to give handouts so it can be done.

I cannot bear people who moan and whinge about what they can't afford and think it is unfair that anyone else can afford it- we are in charge of our own destiny so sort it, change it or whatever, just dont moan about it.

There - now I agree, that does stink.......and I suspect there is less room on the stinkers bench than you realise.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:42:17

Agree Freddo - a child experiencing disappointment and unhappiness for a wee while isn't the end of the world. They get over it, life goes on, they chalk it up to experience. It's a useful Life Lesson to learn.

Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 14:42:51

Yes, but they can teach independence, social skills, managing their belongings etc with few days camping in UK.

And as for different cultures well, china town in Soho, Queensway for arabic culture, Brixton, East london for Asian, Palmers Green for Turkish/Greek...Cheaper grin

Plus - I bet a lot of disappointed/deprived kids out there go on to be very driven successful adults.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:44:06

It's just unnecessary for schools to do this. Peer pressure is hard at the best of times for kids.

This creates a divide of the have's and have nots which doesn't "need" to happen

MySweetPrince Fri 28-Sep-12 14:44:40

DD is going to Poland in 2 weeks time as part of RE course. The cost for 5 days is £580. That includes all entry prices to Auswitch, Cathedrals, Museums etc. That amount may seem a lot but the school allows parents to pay by instalments over 10 months so I am surprised that your school doesn't offer that option as £600 would stretch a lot of parents to pay all in one go. Can you not ask about paying by instalments if you really feel your child is missing out?

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:45:01

Well, I pretty much agree with you Betty so budge up wink

But, to clarify - DH runs his own company. Hideously long hours at times, lot of responsibility, lots of stress etc - sometimes this translate into the DDs missing out on stuff. It also means we can afford for them to do other stuff which is totally unnecessary, but which they really enjoy.

It's swings and roundabouts.

MsElisaDay Fri 28-Sep-12 14:45:24

Fifteen or so years ago I was the only one of my friends not to go on the school ski trip, and also one of only a small group not to go on the German exchange, both because my mum couldn't afford it.
It was a really big deal for me at the time. I understood why I couldn't go as I understood that my mum didn't have the money, but that wasn't really the problem. The main issue was that it was more fuel for the playground bullies who already enjoyed singling me out as my trainers/ schoolbag/ coat weren't the right brand.

I think that such trips really single out the poorer kids from those who are well off. Yes, children have to learn that not everyone can have the latest Merc or whatever, but this is different. We're not talking about the thousands of pounds that fancy cars cost, we're talking about a few hundreds of pounds for a school trip. The majority of kids will go, leaving the same ones behind every time.

As a teenager, being singled out for being poor is a big deal, and a week's holiday with your mates is a HUGE deal. Being the one who can't go - and who misses out on the in-jokes and gossip for months afterwards - is really upsetting.

I firmly believe that the kids from better-off backgrounds will already have the opportunities to go on expensive holidays outside of school. Certainly my friends who went on the ski trips etc were the same ones who were taken to the likes of Orlando during the summer.
What's wrong with keeping school trips to affordable foreign exchanges or outdoor pursuit-type holidays in the UK, with subsidised places for those on free school meals or whose parents wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it?

In many cases, it will be the kids from poorer backgrounds who will get the most out of these trips as they are the ones who perhaps otherwise wouldn't go away at all.

charlottehere Fri 28-Sep-12 14:47:18

Wow that is a lot of money. There must be loads us who couldn't afford to pay that sort of money. DD (yr6) has just been on a 5 day trip and that was around the £250 mark which could be paid in installments.

meah Fri 28-Sep-12 14:48:00

Is a basic - no was a basic county school is now an academy but none the less still not a private or up state school though some times i wonder!

It wouldn't be so bad if there where more affordable trips on offer aswell as the expensive ones, that way no children would have to miss out!!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 28-Sep-12 14:48:10

YABU. These trips are optional extras, not compulsory parts of the curriculum. I went on a couple of skiing trips with my school as one of 40 out of a school of 1400. They were during half term, it was fun, I was aware that I was very lucky to be able to go, what's the problem? There were other trips that I didn't want to go on or my parents just said no to, again no hassle.

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Sep-12 14:48:28

I find this really interesting........

I work in a high achieving statecomprehensive. Our headteachers are really clamping down on trips, as it takes the kids out of school for too long. We never run trips like this as they are deemed as uneeded. We are in a wealthy catchment area too, so a lot of parentswould be able to afford them

Hasn't had any effect on results either.........

Laqueen - that's the thing isn't it.......people dont see what you have gone to get to where you are, they just see what you have!! We went without for years and years when DH was setting out, sleeping on a matress on the floor. We had no heating/hot water for 5 months as he was slowly doing our house up (after a full day at work) and I remember shivering my boobs off in a stone cold bath.

20 year later we are glad we did it and we deserve all we have, but it was a hard slog.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:49:38

I'm not moaning Betty "stinky" Swollocks I'm saying this is an unnecessary pressure on a large number of parents and an upset to their kids. A school trip should be available to all it teaches.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:49:50

Clipped but there are a 101 things at school which don't need to happen, but do happen, and can cause a divide.

A group decide to go to a festival (others can't afford it)
A new trend starts for a certain type of phone (as above)
A parent arrives in a brand new fancy car (other parents can't even afford a car)
A group start hanging out at an expensive cafe (others can't afford it)

You can't decree that everyone has to be the same, with the same life, with the same means, with the same income, with the same attitude. You can't.

Life and people are very textured and very colourful. And, if a child learns the ability to mix those textures and colours, then it's a vital Life Skill.

A child who can only mix beige isn't going to get very far.

Hanikam Fri 28-Sep-12 14:51:02

jackjacksmummy was that £750 for a primary school or secondary school trip? Freaking out slightly. Stil A LOT OF DOSH regardless. My dd went to Cornwall for 5 days (we live in Suffolk) and two whole days were spent on the train! It cost £250. The school said the cost is high because there are few hotels / lodgings willing to insure the risk of a group of yr5/6 children on the premises.
She's my first child and it was her first time away without family so we agreed after a long talk between me and dh. Not sure if we'll cough up that much again in the future, and I think they could have gone somewhere much closer for a fraction of the cost.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:51:22

Now you're just being silly LaQueen.

Well, if thats the case then shouldnt all the activities school offer be open to everyone.

Ok then, my DS can't go to Judo because I cant get him there as I am at work.........he is missing out......not fair as some of the other kids do it.......

See, that just sounds ridiculous doesn't it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 14:52:01

Meah, no matter how 'affordable' schools tried to make trips, there would always be parents that couldn't afford it and would complain. There woudo always be children left out because some parents are bad at budgeting, don't prioritise school trips or would prefer to spend the money on something else.

I have seen plenty of threads on here where parents are complaining about £8-12 for day trips. There is no way schools will ever keep everyone happy.

The solution is not to deny all children opportunities that can easily be offered by the school.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:53:02

No more silly Clipped than you ranting that because some children can't afford to go on a school trip, then no child should have the opportunity hmm

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 14:53:17

FFS op, these are optional trips. Why do you want every child to in the school to miss out on a skiing trip because YOU can't afford it? Not very nice, that attitude.

YOU made choices along the way of your life. How hard to work at school. Uni or not. Sell your soul in return for higher pay, or not.

School trips should be capped at £250? Having a fucking laugh. You can barely even get a ski pass for that let alone cover all the other costs.

Do you believe schools shouldn't offer DofE? Cos it's not fair if you can't afford the walking boots? Not fair to offer a world challenge trip?

Really pisses me off when people complain about the cost of optional school trips.

Oh, and If HALF the year didn't go on the last one, then your kids were hardly in a poor minority were they.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 28-Sep-12 14:54:42

It doesn't matter whether a trip costs £10 or £1000, there will be parents who can't afford it.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 14:55:30

Oh, and kids from richer backgrounds often don't have the chance to go on loads more expensive holidays, cos their parents have to bloody work!

OldCatLady Fri 28-Sep-12 14:55:56

So should nobody be allowed to go on holiday because you can't afford it? I'm assuming its during holiday time, so it's not like your children will be left at school. I really don't think it's a big deal.

My school offered a £350 French trip and £600 ski trip EVERY year, some people went every year, some people went to one or two, some people went to none, no big deal.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:56:03

Yep Betty DD2 has really crap hand-eye co-ordination, so obviously hasn't been picked for the netball I think they should disband the netball team, because she's bitterly disappointed...and that's really unfair hmm

DD1's friend has just had some silvery Wheelies...I have asked her Mum to bin them, because DD1 would dearly love some, but having just splashed out on new school shoes and trainers and new Winyter boots for her, I can't really afford them...and that's unfair hmm

And so on and so forth...

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:56:42

Well then schools should only ask for contributions and fundraise, then take the kids on things out of their "enrichment programme" budget.

Who said schools are there to take kids on holiday? Where did this all come from in the first place?

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 14:58:01

DD1's school does offer expensive trips but they're not compulsory and I just tell her no when she asks to go. In theory we could afford it, but I refuse to spend the cost of a family holiday on a school trip for one child.

This is how I feel about it and dd2 doesn't travel great either and her trips abroad are by coach and they end up 3 days in the resort not worth the money IMO

I know...and DS didnt get picked for the footie team as he was crap and doesnt run very fast....I asked all the other kids to slow down and make him feel better but they didn't....I shall be having strict words with their mothers later!

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 14:58:40

Exactly whois DH has taken a grand total of 11 days annual leave this year (all his staff get 25 days per year)

I highly doubt he'll take another day this year. He has a company to run.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 14:58:59

Come on LaQueen give us some of what you're on, it would help pass the next couple of hours until I finish work grin

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:00:00

You've obviously shared it with Stinky Betty grin

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:00:30

DD2 is crap at painting and drawing.

However DD1 is really quite talented and loves drawing/painting - but I have binned all her paints and pencils, and forbidden her to ever draw again. It's only fair hmm

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 15:01:14

Do you believe schools shouldn't offer DofE?

Our school offers D o E for the children with special educational needs and not on offer to the whole school that is not fair imo, I have 1 dd who couldn't do it and another who could

I know that is not what the thread is about but its my own personal gripe ,

Yeah, my DS is brilliant at art but as I am the most uncreative person ever I dont let him do it, makes me feel inferior.

God, it really stinks in here grin and my arse is squashed with too many on this bench!

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:02:50

Well, I'm on a stiff dose of pragmatism Clipped. You should try some.

Pourquoimoi Fri 28-Sep-12 15:03:14

LaQueen, I think you're budging me off the stinky bench gringrin

hanikam - secondary year 9. I think they organise a trip to Iceland for year 11. Unless I win the lottery, again she won't be going.

The school do put on alternative day trips for those who don't go so she won't be missing out completely.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:04:30

DD1 has beautifully thick, shiney I purposely ensure she has a crap haircut every 6 weeks, with a too short fringe. Makes me feel much better.

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:08

laqueen you are on a roll today grin

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:10

Are you saying my arse is too big Pour grin

Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:46

Some of you say that 'it doesn't matter if poor ckildren miss out cos they have to learn to miss out', and then you say 'why should my child miss out?' grin

meah Fri 28-Sep-12 15:06:05

If it where a compulsary school trip that would be fantastic as compulsary trip are free. Schools are not not supposed to charge for any compulsary trips - but they do!

QueefLatina Fri 28-Sep-12 15:06:19

I'm sounding like a stuck record now.

My DS is in year 11.
He has NEVER been on a school trip more than 2 miles away.
This is because the school never do school trips, nor did his primary.
It is an inner city school with a mix of family incomes.
The school don't do any trips because of the feelings of low income families, meaning other kids miss out. Never mind ski trips, they don't do anything apart from 1 trip to local museum in year 11 that takes 3 hours!

It seems unfair to me that all children miss out because of some others, there's no easy answer to it.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:09:27

There are some families who can't even afford £10 for a trip to the local nature park.

There are some families who can only afford to send their child on one ski-trip, for their whole time at secondary school.

There are families who can afford to send their child on every school trip going.

It's life.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:09:50

All or none.

Isn't it bad enough if life is a struggle without having your nose rubbed i it?

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 28-Sep-12 15:10:08

Queef you should join the governors!

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 15:10:53

Laquitar - quite. grin If you want your kids to have all these fancy opportunities then pay for them to go to private school or send them on PGL type trips in the school holidays. Fine.

However, I think there is no place at all within a state school for the situation where 50% of the intake are excluded from activities because their parents cannot afford it. No place at all. All children should be entitled to the same opportunities WITHIN the school environment.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:11:47

I'd rather a pint of snakebite with a whisky chaser and a fag if that's alright with you and your cumbersome posterior LaQueen grin

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 15:12:01

QueefLatina are you sure they need do optional trips in the holidays? That is really quite sad then. I would never have learnt to ski of all this bull shit 'equality' (because it's not really equality is it?!) was in place.

My parents don't want to ski. They wouldn't have wanted to spend £2k on a family ski trip. They could, however, afford the £650ish for me to go with school. I went away with school every year from Y7 to L6, trips ranged in size from 12 kids to 100 kids in a school of 1500. People who didn't go hardly felt singled out!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 28-Sep-12 15:12:28

That's a real shame, Queef.

And it's not just your son who has missed out; there will be many families on really quite low incomes that could manage, once in a child's school career, to allow them to go to France or wherever and have a ball.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:13:34

Cheers Portofino wine

A snakebite - now that bring back memories of a dim and distant past grin

Sirzy Fri 28-Sep-12 15:14:41

Schools should make sure that all children have the chance to attend most events whether that be capping the costs or having some system whereby the school helps fund trips for families on a low income.

However, they shouldn't not do "big" trips because some can't afford it. However, perhaps for such trips children should be encouraged to get involved in fundraising to reduce the costs for all.

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 15:15:18

send your kids private so they can go on a school holiday really ? that comment made me want to sign up dd for the Skiing trip grin not all people are poor if they send kids to state school not all parents send their kids to every single school trip .

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:15:58

Doesn't it just Betty huh, raises a Friday glass to Betty and all on the bench for helping me pass a boring afternoon wine <puts peg on nose and squeezes in next to fatty bum bum>

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:16:30

If you did trips that were say, £100 and fundraised for them etc, and made sure every child that wanted to could go, you would be teaching the children this:

Everyone can work together for the common good
Everyone can have a chance to enjoy the same activities

You would not be teaching:

The poor kids that yeah sorry, you're poor so your life starts a bit shit and will probably carry on like that because where's your self-esteem and hope now?

And the rich ones that they are better and get more simply due to money.

LtEveDallas Fri 28-Sep-12 15:16:47

*BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 28-Sep-12 14:43:44
Plus - I bet a lot of disappointed/deprived kids out there go on to be very driven successful adults.*

Oh yes. My DH grew up seriously poor. He left home and joined the Army as soon as he could (no jobs in his home town) so that he could guarantee a wage, part of which he sent home to his mum so his you get sister wouldn't suffer as he did. In fact one of the (many) reasons his first marriage failed was because his ex wasnt happy that he still sent cash home.

It made him determined to have more for his children. DD (and DSD) have never gone without. In DDs case he provides his love and his time as I am the working parent, but we are cut from the same cloth.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:16:56

And not even THEIR money, their parents. They just get because their parents did. Great.

Feel free - as long as you ain't accusing me of being the fatty bum bum grin

Yep, nothing like a good debate to pass the time nicely.

WhyTheBigGoldPaws Fri 28-Sep-12 15:18:11

That's true LaQueen but it's easier to accept that 'it's life' if you're in the position to afford the trips. I don't agree that kids should have everything they ask for but it's a lot easier to say no because you're trying to teach them a life lesson than saying no because you have no choice.

A lot of people work very hard and do long hours, it doesn't always make them well off. People suggesting that those who can't afford £1000 (or whatever) for a school trip just haven't budgeted properly are living on another planet.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:18:27

There is less social mobility than ever in this country.

So the let's deprive them as motivation isn't working.

Why is it that people think the rich will get demotivated if you tax them and take their money away, but the poor will get motivated if you give them less?


Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 15:19:54

I totally agree with Hully <<faints>>

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:20:19

<kicks her fainted arse>

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 15:20:30

I do think schools should do more fundraising for trips so it is a school thing rather than parents responsibility I agree with that although I think I would still say no to some trips because of DD2s rubbish travelling but she is old enough to understand that,

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:20:38

Hully, spot on!

OldCatLady Fri 28-Sep-12 15:20:45


That would be fair.

Or, how 'bout you all shut up and get over it? Why should someone else have to subsidise stuff you can't afford that isn't necessary?

If your DC was the only child not going, I see the issue, if not then yes, YABU.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:22:12

Shut up and know their place at the bottom of the shit heap?

What a lovely kind caring idea! Why not suggest it to Bono?

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 15:22:26

Children from better off homes get more opportunities in life all round, generally speaking. School should be a place where everyone is treated equally fairly - nowt to do with money.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 15:22:32

My parents chose to send me to the local comp rather than the v. good grammar school I'd won a place at because by saving the £10 a week bus fare they could afford to send me on extra curricular trips.

I went abroad for the first time with school so I don't think it's true that those who go on these trips are those who would go somewhere anyway. I got opportunities to try sports on those trips that I would never have got anywhere else, I'm grateful to the teachers who took us outside of term time and my parents for making the decisions they did so it was something they could afford.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 15:24:41

I am just loving the attitude that having your nose rubbed in it is character building.

QueefLatina Fri 28-Sep-12 15:25:43

whois it's not about students going on expensive trips in the school holidays. I never went though my school offered them and I'm not sure we could afford for DS to go either. Saying that, I wouldn't begrudge anyone else's kids going.

I think it's a shame that DSs school offer nothing in the way of school trips apart from once, when they are 15 to a local museum that any of them could go to whenever they like.

To spare the feelings of some they have taken away the chance for all.
Its that 'if I can't have it then why should you' mentality.

Just to stress. I'm not talking about mega expensive trips abroad, just a day trip to Derbyshire or something!

I don't think anyone suggested anything as utterly stupid as every trip being a pound.

However it is going to cause a divide in a standard state school if trips cost in excess of £500 for example, especially if you are, like a lot of people, unable to finance such a huge expense.

And it tends to teach our children, you can work hard, every day,like a lot of provide for your family, go on holiday as a family if you can but it's a waste of time because you cannot manage to fund school trips.

People with more than one child at the school, working parents, earning enough to have a decent standard of living still cannot afford to finance a lot of these trips.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:28:06

Every child gets their nose rubbed in it, from time to time Porto.

The child who gets to go on the ski-trip, could well be last to be picked for netball, everytime.


Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:28:27

Absolutely Tantrums.

You can work your arse off, but if you only earn enough to live on, like MOST people, there simply isn't any extra.

Port - I dont think that missing out on a trip that half the kids arent going to anyway is rubbing your nose in it - It's not as if the teacher makes the kid come to the front of the class and publicly humiliates them. There will always be something that we can't afford to do (unless you are Simon Cowell).

My FIL grew up very very poor - in his words the council house kids looked down on us (disclaimer - this is a quote not a council house bashing) - he grew up very driven, very determined to make a better life and he managed to and giving his values to his kids along the way.

I suppose it can be sink or swim, some people will grow up to be determined to make a better life and then there will be some who drift along, not really trying but getting a bit upset when they cant have everything they want.

mollymole Fri 28-Sep-12 15:29:40

Perhaps you need to manage your children's expectations more realistically so that they aren't gutted that they are not able to go on expensive trips.
I was brought up in a very poor mining community and never expected to go on this type of trip. However, in my final year my parents let me go on a ski iing trip. Unknown to me they had saved over the previous 5 years so that I could go on the last school trip that was available to me.
My son is fortunate that I have done quite well for myself and could have afforded to send him on all of the school trips, BUT he hardly ever asked to go
on the trips abroad as he said they were 'too expensive for what they are'.

Doesn't really build character does it?

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:30:52

Betty joking aside, my Dad grew up in a council house. He was very ambitious and driven all his life. Before he reached 40 he could afford to send me to private school.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:32:11

It doesn't have to be character building. It doesn't have to be anything. It just has to be endured, and got over, and moved on from.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:32:31

Betty and LaQueen


You each had a father/FIL who worked their way out.

1. It is much harder now.


Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 28-Sep-12 15:32:51

I think I had better take a seat on the stinky bench grin

DH runs his own business and takes very little leave. Should we cancel the leave of all the people who work in the public sector and get 6 weeks+ bank holidays because it isn't fair on our DSs to have less time off with their Dad?

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:33:06

And how the hell do you know what it's like, private-school and all?

meah Fri 28-Sep-12 15:34:09

Personaly i feel its hypocritical of schools to say that one of the main reasons for introducing ridiculous school uniform policies is to
"protect children from social pressures to dress in a particular way",
then offer expensive trips that only well off families can afford!!

So, because it's harder now should we all stop trying to get on in life then?

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:34:59

Yes, Betty, that's exactly the point.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:36:14

Oh, I had plenty of disappointments at my private school Hully. My failure to be picked to play Joan of Arc, in The Lark, is seared into my memory, and will go with me to my grave.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 15:36:15

Of course we should try.

And part of trying is encouragement and exposure to different activities and lands. Surely you can see that the only way to have a true meritocracy where effort triumphs is to at least try and level the playing field (if it hasn't been sold off) at school?

And the majority of people who cannot afford these trips are working hard, in order to provide a decent standard of living.

So we are trying to work our way up or whatever it is we are supposed to doing.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:37:01

My Dad got out of poverty, because he was clever and passed the 11+.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:37:10

And another spot on from meah wine

trixie123 Fri 28-Sep-12 15:39:13

Trips cost what they cost. Schools don't make a profit from them but they offer them as opportunities. If it's curriculum based and related to coursework for example, the school has an obligation to meet the cost but if its a leisure trip like skiing it would be harder to make the argument. I did once successfully petition the governors to make a special one off payment for a student to come on a trip to Israel that was about £700 for a week, but generally, I am afraid it is just how life is. Should shops not have things that cost more than xx in the window as not everyone can buy them? Kids are generally pretty good about this kind of thing and understand the deal.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:39:35

what the frig is everyone on about now grin

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 28-Sep-12 15:39:37

But it ISN'T only well off families that can afford these trips, meah.

People save, grandparents chip in, kids get paper rounds.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:40:14

<whispers, the topic was "school trips">

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 15:40:18

"protect children from social pressures to dress in a particular way",
then offer expensive trips that only well off families can afford!!

But what about the parents who really aren't well off, and have to scrimp and save to send their child on a school trip maybe once in 6 years hmm

meah Fri 28-Sep-12 15:40:33

lol thanks thanks

Clipped - we're all on snakebites now and have veered in the other direction!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:42:58

But what about the parents who really aren't well off, and have to scrimp and save to send their child on a school trip maybe once in 6 years

This should never be the case confused

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Fri 28-Sep-12 15:44:03

What zavi said.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 28-Sep-12 15:46:10

Right, bollox, I'm shutting shop early and going to the pub!

But it is the case.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 28-Sep-12 15:53:19

this should never be the case

It is their choice though - who are you to say that they shouldn't?
I cannot understand the position of being able to afford opportunities for your kids and not offering them. My parents (private school and grammar educated) could have afforded to send me and my siblings private. But out of a desire to support their political views, they sent us to the state comp. Where we were all bullied for being clever and a bit geeky.
My parents are lovely people, but this one thing I will always resent them for.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 16:00:30

There is no way in hell that the school could run a ski trip for all the kids, even with fundraising etc, because they wouldn't be able to staff it. Staff who volunteer to give up their holiday time to take the kids skiing are not in abundance, so the ratios wouldn't be met. At my school, even all the kids who can afford it don't get to go, it's names out of a hat.

If I'm 'stinky' hmm for thinking that it's not actually that much of a hardship to miss out on things occasionally, then that's bullshit because I was one of the kids who would never in a million years have got to go.

Kids who are shit at sport don't get to go on the cricket tour, kids who aren't in the choir don't get to sing at the cathedral, kids who fail their exams don't get to continue to sixth form. Kids never get to do everything.

meah Fri 28-Sep-12 16:09:03

limeted space meaning its a first come first served thingy so those with quick access to £100 for the min deposit get the spaces

LtEveDallas Fri 28-Sep-12 16:12:05

You know, I remember my brother going on a ski trip, but I didn't go on any school trips, except for a weekend at an adventure training type place that was about 5 miles from home.

I remember my French O level class going on a trip - but I didn't go.

It didn't even register on my radar (until now). Either i was spectacularly oblivious, or I didn't care. Maybe I didn't even know about it until after the fact?

I wonder how disappointed the kids actually are? Or is it just the parents? I think if this becomes an issue when DD is of age I would be more likely to brush it off rather than make a thing of it. Hate the thought of DD believing she could do something, rather than understanding all along that she couldn't.


CassandraApprentice Fri 28-Sep-12 16:14:13

The DC primary does give a lot of notice and old does trips in last 3 years.

They get more expensive - and TBH we'll have to see when we get there if we can afford them. Problem is if we pay for one DC we'll have pay for the other 2.

It will be a struggle but there is some educational value in the trips and I'm glad the option is there. I do remember missing out on a lot of trips in secondary - I suppose I learnt money wasn't always there when needed.

However a nearby Junior school - and this is a deprived area - has a trip to India costing over 1000. Parents get really upset and feel they are depriving their DC but I can't see why a cheaper tip couldn't be done.

charlearose Fri 28-Sep-12 16:15:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I never went on any school trips either. Most of my friends went skiing at least once, maybe twice but I didn't. My parents couldn't afford it. The only trip I did was an exchange one where all you had to pay was your share of the ferry crossing and a coach - £30 - because board and lodging were with a French family. I got to go on that as it was educational. Admittedly that was 1980 but that would only be about £90 now.

I don't think children have the right to these sorts of trips and I do think their expectations need to be managed. I didn't feel left out, it was just the way it had to be. I also think that you should use it as a motivational thing as my parents did - get a decent education and then you can afford your own trips!

Mostly the secondary school ones I have seen in DS1's school have been for fun rather than educational which is fine, they are very easy to ignore. I have no qualms about refusing them and no worries about DS missing out. Probably we could afford them - we have already paid for the junior school ones which amount to £800 over 3 years, so we are kind of used to forking out - but I don't really see what benefit it would be and I would rather have a family holiday.

I never went on any school trips either. Most of my friends went skiing at least once, maybe twice but I didn't. My parents couldn't afford it. The only trip I did was an exchange one where all you had to pay was your share of the ferry crossing and a coach - £30 - because board and lodging were with a French family. I got to go on that as it was educational. Admittedly that was 1980 but that would only be about £90 now.

I don't think children have the right to these sorts of trips and I do think their expectations need to be managed. I didn't feel left out, it was just the way it had to be. I also think that you should use it as a motivational thing as my parents did - get a decent education and then you can afford your own trips!

Mostly the secondary school ones I have seen in DS1's school have been for fun rather than educational which is fine, they are very easy to ignore. I have no qualms about refusing them and no worries about DS missing out. Probably we could afford them - we have already paid for the junior school ones which amount to £800 over 3 years, so we are kind of used to forking out - but I don't really see what benefit it would be and I would rather have a family holiday.

I have no problem with the school offering to take the children. Why would I? confused There are and will always be people better off and worse off than me. I would like a brand new car and swanky new house but I can't have one. I am not at all bothered by people who can afford them though.

Sorry double posted. blush

No idea how that happened. confused

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:16:26

Exactly noble. There are often more children who can go than there places available on the trip anyway.

All these people going on about fundraising - great idea! There is nothing stopping parents from fundraising to send their dc on school trips. So let those parents who want their children to do school trips but are unable to save do just that.

Those saying that children should be treated equally at school - children are treated equally at school. They are all offered the same opportunity. It's up to parents how they support that opportunity. Some parents help with revision timetables and homework and by providing the right equipment etc. Some don't. If they don't, then that's their responsibility and its only their own children that miss out. Should every child be unsupported at home when it comes to school work just because some parents cant or wont provide the same support as others? No, of course not. School trips are no different.

Parents need to take responsibility for their own children. They either save up for school trips, find the money elsewhere, or manage their child's expectations and dissapointment properly. No one else can be parents for them.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 16:16:46

Yes life is unfair and some children will miss out. That's absolutely a fact. But an unpleasant and unpalatable one, isn't it?

Seems really, really tasteless for some posters to be ramming this point home from their position of monetary privilege.

Lots of people work extremely hard and could still never afford the things others routinely have.

I am probably one of the ones who could afford the trips but it still wouldn't sit right with me that children's opportunities within the school environment were determined by their parents' affluence.

I don't think schools should just be like the outside world and accept this inequality.

I worry about paying for the trip then DS1 deciding he doesn't want to go after all........

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 16:18:34

Kids whose parents don't have enough money, dpn't get to go skiing.

I think the issue is that we recognise that not all children have the same talents/commitment and therefore it is accepted that, for example, my DD will not sing in the choir. But she was given a chance to audition. She was not good enough. She accepted that.

I think that is a bit different to one group of children going skiing because their parents can afford it ( and the ski suits, spending money) and another group not.

I just think that there is just as much to be gained on a cheap school trip as there is a visit to China etc

I used to go on an activities holiday every year, set up by a charity which was dedicated to providing a 'wilderness' experience for inner city children. It was in Scotland. I remember how I fell in love with the place on my first trip there aged 11 -and now I live there.

I doubt that skiing could have provided more of a learning experience of experience of a different way if life than that experienced on the Mull of Kintyre.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 16:20:03

"I don't think schools should just be like the outside world and accept this inequality"
Yy to that.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:22:01

But schools are supposed to prepare children for life in the real world.

I don't want my children educated in a little pink fluffy bubble that will burst spectacularly when they get let loose on the real world and have to learn what real life is really all about.

I'd rather they grew up knowing that education and hard work provide you with more chance of having enjoyable opportunities than thinking that it doesn't matter what they do or don't do because they and any children they decide to create will be given the same as everyone else anyway.

Adversecamber Fri 28-Sep-12 16:25:14

I was one of the kids at school who could never go on school trips. I can still remember the pain of not being able to go to France when all my friends went. This year I visisted Mont Saint Michel in France, 30 years late.

My reaction to feeling like this as a child was to start working at 13 and continue with my education. I was not gracious about it and it made me very annoyed and determined.

I don't want my children educated in a little pink fluffy bubble that will burst spectacularly when they get let loose on the real world and have to learn what real life is really all about

Amen to that!

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 16:28:48

What's interesting is no more people attended the term time outward bound trip that was heavily subsidised (£50 for a week or free if on a low income) than people went on the ski trips or activity holidays (£400 ish). Suggests that it wasn't money that was putting people off. I wonder if like LtEveDallas said, some children just don't care about attending.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 16:31:28

I'd rather they grew up knowing that education and hard work provide you with more chance of having enjoyable opportunities than thinking that it doesn't matter what they do or don't do because they and any children they decide to create will be given the same as everyone else anyway

They haven't got opportunites through education and hard work. They have got them because their parents have money.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 16:32:19

I'm a bit concerned about the people on this thread whose self-worth seems to be so inextricably linked with what they can afford.

LaQueen Fri 28-Sep-12 16:34:17

Agree LtEve I think this is probably much more about the parents fretting what others think, rather than the kids themselves.

Even at my private school, none of us got to do everything every time. Debating teams, school plays, school choir, exchange trips...sometimes you were picked, sometimes you weren't.

I expect your parents (like mine) were sensible enough not to stress about it, too much, therefore we didn't.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:34:23

Their parents have money because somewhere along the line, they have worked for it! The children can recognise that, whether their parents do or don't send them on the school trip.

LaQueen - that is true. My DS wasnt massively fussed about the activity break he went on but I put him through for it as I knew he would love it and it sounded fun!

I think a lot of the time us parents fret far more than our kids do.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 16:36:56

I don't think we are talking about the same thing.

I am not talking about bubbles, some bizarre scenario where each child is given exactly the same irrespective of ability or need. A school trip is the precise and only situation I am talking about.

It's about children missing out on an opportunity at school not because of ability and natural talent or lack thereof. But solely because of how much money their parents have.

Within school that will always seem wrong to me.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Fri 28-Sep-12 16:39:55

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddosFri 28-Sep-12 14:52:01

Meah, no matter how 'affordable' schools tried to make trips, there would always be parents that couldn't afford it and would complain. There woudo always be children left out because some parents are bad at budgeting, don't prioritise school trips or would prefer to spend the money on something else.

Yes those pesky parents frittering their money away on council tax food and the gas bill really should learn to manage their money better!!

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 16:40:46

yy ovenchips

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 16:44:14

"Their parents have money because somewhere along the line, they have worked for it! "

Ah! Of course I'll explain to DDs that they cannot go on skiing trip because mummy and daddy don't work hard enough blocks out the soul crushing series of nightshifts she is doing this weekend

I just think schools could choose cheaper holidays which have the same educational and social value as more expensive ones - as someone said up thread, all kids want to do is have fun.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:45:17

So what Darkeyes? I take it you are another that thinks every child should go without because of the life choices of some parents?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:47:09

Why is it ok for a child to miss out because of a lack of natural ability or talent but not because of their parents income?

Surely the dissapointment (if any) will be the same regardless of the reason?

No, just explain to your DD that she cant go because you can't afford it. That is what I say to my DS when he wants something we cant afford - he totally understands that we cant afford to do everything and sometimes he just has to go without.

allthefun Fri 28-Sep-12 16:49:17

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos - Their parents have money because somewhere along the line, they have worked for it!

That's right being poor people don't work hard enough. FFS. We have non paying schools because it's right to educate all children. We have free healthcare for children for the same reason.
So poor children don't get a holiday because of their parents? And that helps them how exactly? I assume they don't need a lesson in the world isn't fair because they live and breathe that.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 16:52:04

Outraged - the difference is everyone gets a chance to audition for choir etc.

My children are familiar with 'we can't afford it,' grin and readily accept - DP and I are very honest with them about money. And DP and I grew up with thrift and milk tokens etc

My point is that surely schools can make better choices for school trips which would allow children from all backgrounds to participate.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 16:55:03

"Their parents have money because somewhere along the line they have worked for it".

See I don't think that's wholly true. I think it's more Their parents have money because somewhere along the line they have worked for it AND BEEN LUCKY.

Good on them too and I don't begrudge them it.

But some parents also work very very hard and don't have money.

Setting all that aside, why does the child, when they are at school, have access to an exciting opportunity and they are chosen for it not through ability, hard work or even luck but by what their parents have in their bank account?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 16:57:56

About, no, that's not a difference. Because I as a parent had access to the same education and work as parents who can afford way more than I can. In a country where education is free for all, we do all have the same options on the things that matter. School trips don't really matter that much, it's not going to actually harm a child's future career choice if they didn't get a place on the year 8 ski trip.

So poor children don't get a holiday because of their parents? And that helps them how exactly? I assume they don't need a lesson in the world isn't fair because they live and breathe that.

Allthefun, like I said at the beginning of the thread, not everything is about helping poor children. All the children in a school deserve to have opportunity provided to them. The school cannot and should not revolve itself entirely around one socio economic group when there are other that deserve as much consideration as anyone else.

QuickLookBusy Fri 28-Sep-12 16:58:55

Agree Ovenchips.

Imagine if getting into the choir, football team or the opportunity to take a particular GSCE depended on how much money your parents had?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 17:00:19

I'm really not understanding why it's ok to make a child face disappointment because of their lack of ability or talent but its not ok to allow them to feel disappointment because of anything else.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 17:02:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Sep-12 17:04:10

well well, this really has opened a can of political worms. Who knew a thread about school trips would be so feisty.

BellaVita Fri 28-Sep-12 17:04:21

I also agree with Betty.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 17:10:28

Interesting that there seems to be an assumption that people who don't have a problem with expensive trips are those that can afford them, or who went on them.

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 17:11:31

I imagine that people who can afford £650 for one child to go on a school trip can afford to organise their own holiday. If their parents don't like skiing, well diddums.

Unless it is about making these things accessible and affordable to more people, it is totally unnecessary and inappropriate for state schools to use their staff's time and other resources to run them.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 17:11:36

grin I want children to be offered as many opportunities for learning and enjoyment as possible and that makes me 'stuck quite far up my own selfish and entitled arse'?

Err, no. It's those that think that no child should have what their own children can't have that are being 'selfish and entitled'.

And I might understand the disappointment thing better if it was explained. I'm quite open to understanding valid points that I may it have considered.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 17:12:44

I thought the same noblegiraffe!

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 17:12:48

" it is totally unnecessary and inappropriate for state schools to use their staff's time and other resources to run them."

I thought we were talking about trips that took place outside of school hours?

QuickLookBusy Fri 28-Sep-12 17:16:49

Outraged, if you really need it to be explained..

Getting into a team/choir etc depends mainly on a child's own abilities.

Going on an expensive school trip depends mainly on a parents income.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 28-Sep-12 17:18:14

I remember back in the ancient past day, when Operation Raleigh first started thinking how fantastic it sounded, and wanting to do it. But then slowly realising there was absolutely no way I could raise the funds (which was IIRC around £1k back then). I would basically have had to work a full time job for half a year or more to save the money. And sponsorship from people I knew would have raised around £200 if I'd dedicated most of my last year to it, and pestered everyone I knew till they hated the sight of me. If another person from my peer group had also tried it my sponsorship would have been down 30 - 50 %. Businesses in our area just didn't sponsor individuals.

I was really put out because the blurb around it made it sound like it was designed for everyone and all you needed was a bit of energy and dedication. It was accessible and worth the effort and would give you a real boost in your experience of life, organisational skills and general "how to be a successful grownup-iness". It confused me for a while. I wondered how kids actually did it. How could anyone raise that money? Did they know about it years in advance and fun raise/save as soon as they hit senior school? What happened?

It was only when I went to University that I realised that, for the most part, the "fund raising" that went on was kids from rich families asking their parents to fund it with token cake sales etc. It was no proof of your ability to make things happen in life. It wasn't a way for "normal" kids to access the things those from more privileged backgrounds did. It was just one more way that kids from richer backgrounds got their experiences. I'm not so much against them having the experience, I'm against this way of gaining experience being sold as something that is for everyone. Run by a charity that benefited from tax breaks. Promoted as a sign of maturity and entrepreneurship in the participant. And then finding out it's just another holiday camp (for most) but with more kudos.

So I agree with the OP - if the school doesn't make sure there are funds available for those who can't afford it, they should be concentrating their efforts on things that all the kids at the school could access. Because if they are running a £600+ skiing trip they could instead be running a £100 camping trip that far more children would have access to and that more bursaries could be made available for.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 28-Sep-12 17:18:17

I think its great schools offer trips, they have for years and long may it continue. I didnt have the option to go as a child but DS will if he chooses.

Schools do local day trips and exceptional trips, they shouldnt have to change that as some people cant afford to go. People budget differently, choose to work part time or not at all so why should they dictate to the school what other parents can spend their money on.

I agree with the poster who says parents are responsible for their own children. Children have always come with expenses and high school trips can be saved for years in advance if need be.

Mrsjay Fri 28-Sep-12 17:18:48

school trips at our school are run in term time and I see this thread has moved on quite a bit hmm

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 17:23:05

Surely state schools should not deliberately set out to discriminate on the basis of wealth? Especially given how many schools bang on and on about school uniform being important so that all children look the same and you cant tell which are the rich kids.

If the trip is educational then it should be planned at a level that all children can go. If the trip isn’t educational then school time and resources should not be wasted on promoting it – this is a particular waste of scarce school resources when only a very small number of students go on the trip.

Not laying on a ski trip does not mean that students are missing out. If you want your kids to go on a ski trip then sort it out yourself and don’t waste the school’s time sorting it out for you.

Sending your kids on the school ski trip because you cant be bothered/dont want to sort it out for yourself is just laziness.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Fri 28-Sep-12 17:28:46

Gnome i wish there was a like button for your post. Especially the first paragraph. Schools really are giving out mixed messages demonstrated beautifully in the first two lines of your post.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 17:30:46

Can you honestly not see a difference?

Because it's a lot fairer. It's them being successful or not on their own merit. If it's based on ability or hard work yes they face disappointment but crucially they have the opportunity to try. And that is a big part of learning about 'real life', something people keep banging on about on this thread. And as a parent we do our best to help them to find their natural talents and hopefully they achieve some success with them, so their school life isn't one disappointment after another.

I guess in some ways it depends on whether you ascribe to meritocracy or not.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 17:33:00

I was rude and I apologise Freddos. Had a little rage moment there.

May I point out how splendidly ironic your name is btw?

And absobloodylutley Emmeline

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 17:34:17

exactly GndP

HappyMum - for a massive number of people this is NOT a "budgeting" issue. you must be incredibly cossetted if you believe that

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 17:37:51

I'm glad that our school offers a range of opportunities throughout the year, at several different price points, so that parents can choose which one - if any - they want their child to attend.

Some years DC get to go on the expensive foreign trip, some years they don't, but I don't begrudge those that can afford it sending their child on every trip - blimey, if I got jealous every time someone bought something I couldn't, or gave their child something I couldn't give mine, I'd be a seething bitter wreck.

I just tell them that we can't afford this one. And actually, this year, out of a year group of 300, only 50 went on the skiing holiday so they were hardly in the minority (and if they were I wouldn't care).

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 17:39:47

Gnome - most people don't send their child on the skiing trip because they are too lazy to sort it out themselves, they do it because they can just manage to send their child but couldn't afford to take a whole family.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 17:42:50

It's not about jealousy - it's about organising school treats better do everyone can enjoy them.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 17:46:54

Aboutlastnight. Exactly!

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 17:51:46

So schools should only offer treats that everyone can afford?

Who decides what constitutes affordable then?

Because for my parents it would've been about £5.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 17:57:23

Outraged, if you really need it to be explained..

Getting into a team/choir etc depends mainly on a child's own abilities.

Going on an expensive school trip depends mainly on a parents income

Yes, obviously. But that doesn't really answer the question I asked.

If this is all about protecting children from disappointment, then why is one type of disappointment ok but not the other?

QuickLookBusy Fri 28-Sep-12 18:01:28

It's not about protecting them from disappointment. It's about the school providing equal opportunities.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 18:03:57

Thank you for the apology Hully, it's all good smile

The name is genuine! I may come across on this thread as if I can afford whatever I want whenever I want it, but believe me, I really can't. I am one of few parents at my dcs primary that has chosen to pay for the Y6 residential in instalments, and I already have the savings fund going for secondary school trips.

School trips are often the only way a child will get to go abroad especially for lower income families because the cost for one child on a group trip is always going to be less than booking privately for the whole family. I am grateful they exist precisely because I couldn't afford for us all to go at once.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 18:06:01

They are providing equal opportunities. Everyone has the opportunity to go.

It's no different to them offering a maths GSCE and child X having more chance of achieving it than child Y because child Ys parents don't give any educational support.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 18:09:13

Life is full of disappointment.

You pick and choose your trips.

I knew one trip would be particularly expensive in Y11 so I had 4 years to budget for it. Consequently DS did not express desire to go to Skiing in Utah in Y7, Germany in Y8, San Francisco and Fiji in Y9, Nepal and the Himalayas in Y10. We also had to forego the South Africa trip which was a sports tour.

He wanted and aimed for his Y11 trip. It was horrendously expensive but I had 234 weeks (4.5 years) to plan and save for it. Unfortunately he's just asked to go on a field trip for his A level Geography to West Africa. Not compulsory but useful. But I'll move heaven and earth for him to go. He wont get the St Lucia trip in Y13.

Selective state school.

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 18:18:53

Fucking hell, those are one set of seriously outrageous trips though

It isn't NORMAL for 13 year old kids to go to Fiji just for fun

And that kind of consumerist tourism needs to be discouraged for all sorts of ethical and environmental reasons.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 18:22:38

The term equal opportunities has a particular meaning and absolutely does not mean the same as offering the same thing to all.

If you offered a group of people, including a person in a wheelchair, a bog standard walking holiday and the person in the wheelchair refused because there is no way they could access it, would that be okay as long as you'd offered it??

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 18:23:17

It isn't NORMAL for 13 year old kids to go to Fiji just for fun

No, not normal. But if you could afford for your DC to go... Wouldn't you think it was a fantastic thing for them to do?

<goes off dreaming of Fiji after having a weekend camping in the UK in the severer weather warning rain last weekend> smile

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 18:24:13

Blardy hell Robyn - when I was at school there was a week in Scotland every year and a trip skiing in Sixth Form an an alternative trip doing the Coast to Coast walk - which was the one I could afford opted for.

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 18:26:11

I think the San Francisco and Fiji trip sounds brilliant.

I doubt DC would be able to go, but good luck to anyone who can manage it.

Aboutlastnight Fri 28-Sep-12 18:27:55

Outraged - I guess if you approach everything with an individualist, market ethos the yes providing everyone an 'opportunity' regardless of whether they can access it, makes sense.

I was brought up differently. And my children, I hope, will have different values to those.

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 18:29:12

No, I think over-inflated, inappropriate and a bit unethical (don't agree with unnecessary flying really). And that kind of experience is way more valuable when you're a fair bit older and can process it properly.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 18:39:39

Fiji was the rugby tour, it took in a bit of NZ too, cant remember what the San Francisco bit of it was for grin music festival I think.

South Africa was another rugby tour, combined with modern history tour.

Personally I move heaven and earth to facilitate my childs education and experiences. He'll never be able to afford it once he has the mill stone of tution fees, mortgage/rent round his neck. Life is for the living.

He does appreciate the trips, he asks and expects nothing for birthdays or Christmas when he has something he wants in the offing. He's saving for his West Africa trip himself, he knows thevalue of money and that we wont have a family holiday or break for the 8th year running. He doesn't expect anything. That's why I give him as much as I can.

I really wanted him to go to Nepal but he knew it would probably be at the expense of the other trip he wanted in Y11 (it wouldn't, because I would have sold everything to pay for it) so he said he didnt want to go.

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 18:40:01

I agree Meryl, I dont get this need to send teenagers on expensive and exotic trips. If you go to Fiji when you are 14 what the hell do you have to look forward to when you are a grown-up?

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 18:45:26

I would move heaven and earth to get my children the things they need to live a decent and happy life.

A trip to Fiji at age 13 does not fulfil that criteria, anyway you look at it.

It is simply over-indulgent.

BeatTheClock Fri 28-Sep-12 18:53:33

I thought school was supposed to be the place where making one person look so much more privileged than another for the sake of it was off the agenda.

Uniform worn to keep the focus on schoolwork and not on who has the latest fashion etc, isn't that the thinking? And yet the sky's the limit with the holidays they offer.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 28-Sep-12 18:54:26

It'd be a real shame if children from OK-ish off, but not loaded, and children from low-income families but with the means (grandparents, some extra hours at work, ability to put a few pounds aside a week) to afford a child one opportunity in a school career to do something different, missed out on these trips.

It's like the whole race to the bottom thing: my pension is shit, therefore so should the Armed Forces'.

How about extending opportunities as far as possible?

fwiw I never went on a Big Trip - there's no way we could have afforded it. Nor have I pulled myself up by the bootstraps or any such caca - I am a bit better off though than my own mother was, and hope to allow him to do a few of the things I couldn't.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 19:16:48

Excellent post Jenai

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 19:36:55

I don't disagree Jenai. I thi

I am not suggesting no trips whatsoever is the answer to the problem. What about the school fundraising, as suggested upthread, to meet the costs of school trips, destinations which are chosen so as to be more affordable?

Everyone then gets a school trip.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 19:38:42

I don't disagree Jenai. I think extending opportunities as far as possible is deffo the way to go.

I am not suggesting no trips whatsoever is the answer to the problem. What about the school fundraising, as suggested upthread, to meet the costs of school trips, destinations which are chosen so as to be more affordable?

Everyone then gets a school trip. Opportunity extended to all.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 19:39:27

Whoops, must have posted first one in error. Sorry.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 19:40:11

Who pays most of the money when schools fundraise though? It's generally the parents!

GoldShip Fri 28-Sep-12 19:40:26

Fucks sake can't they just provide school trips that all can go on. Kids don't have to go on expensive foreign holidays to have fun and learn.

And if you're that arsed about your kid going skiing or whathaveyou put them into a club!

ginnybag Fri 28-Sep-12 19:41:20

DH and I fit the definition of squeezed middle class almost to a tee. We're both well-educated, both in salaried, professional, managerial positions, both earning the middle of the expected band for the jobs we do. We're also both the first in our families to make the 'jump'. He grew up on a dodgy estate; I was in a 2 bed flat with my brother and sister, courtesy of my mother's seriously screwed priorities.

We don't have huge amounts of spare cash. We can find, maybe, some years£500 a year for stuff like holidays. If we're incredibly careful, and don't need major car repairs to our 12 year old renault megane.

At the mo, that means a week in the UK, either travel lodge or cheapy cottage rental. It will never mean a week skiing for us all, or Nepal, or China. I (and DH) will probably never do those things.

What it might mean is exactly what people have been trying to point out. It might mean that DD does get to go. I wouldn't send her skiing, as I personally wouldn't see the value, but China? A chance to stand on the Great Wall, to experience that history and culture. Oh, yes. What parent wouldn't want that for their child?

School trips like that offer more children the chance to do things like that, not less. It's awful that not every child can afford it, but limiting trips to the very bottom of the financial ladder will hurt more than it helps.

GoldShip Fri 28-Sep-12 19:41:33

Oh and it's not promoting equality or fairness at all. It's showing kids from a young age that the rich get the best end of the deal and always will

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 19:41:46

Everyone does get school trips. The ones which run during school time have to be voluntary contribution only.

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 19:57:09

Outraged. I think we are operating from two opposing ideological viewpoints.

I don't think it is okay that children are excluded at school from school trips solely because of a circumstance they have zero control over.

As far as I can tell, you do.

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 20:09:27

I wonder how many more modest (and therefore affordable) school trips are never even offered because the staff who accompany these exotic trips are volunteered out?

DD1 had the letter in for her A level French trip. DH said that he would far rather give DD and her boyfriend the £600 to go to France on their own. They would see far more and do far more than on a strictly chaperoned school trip.

Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 20:12:25

A safari trip in Africa it is at least fun and interesting.

But nearly 1K for a ski trip? It is only one--boring--sport out of 100 sports, its not essential. Or do you aim for your kids to try every sport known? So, why all the fuss about skiing?

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 20:13:45

My department used to offer a modest, affordable uk-based residential trip. We had to stop offering it because not enough kids signed up. They were all saving their money for the more exciting non-residential Normandy trip.

Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 20:16:22

Good point Gnome

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 20:18:37

All my childs trips are in holiday time not term time. So the staff are giving up theirown family time.

Most schools are specialist status and belong to the Specialist Schools Trust which facilitates and subsidised tri[s abroad. Most schools CBA to a. look at the website, b. bid for places c. staff wont give up a week or fortnight s holiday.

I know one school that bid for the China trip, got 10 subsidised places and the staff took them all; not one child went. Wrong IMHO. Lovely cheap all expenses paid jolly for the price of the flights only.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 20:21:42

Ovenchips, yes, you are probably right. I would rather see as many children as possible benefit from what the school can offer. I agree completely with what Ginnybag is saying. It is a shame that all children can't have these experiences, but without the school offering them then there would be far far fewer children having these opportunities at all. Through the school is the only way for some children.

Children have little to no control over how good they are at sport, but you seem to think its ok if that takes enjoyable experiences away from them. It's the same thing.

Parents don't have to be rich to save up and afford trips for their dc. I'm far from rich, I will still do what I can to ensure my children get to experience some of the world before they are saddled with student debt.

Shesparkles Fri 28-Sep-12 20:25:57

I'm another of the squeezed middle. IF my kids' school offered this kind of trip, I'd be doing my damnedest to make sure he or she could go. Unfortunately there will be some who cannot afford it, but that's the same as other families going to Disneyland every year, which we can't afford.
Does that mean that these families shouldn't go on their choice of holiday because I can't afford it? Of course it doesn't. It's the same as school trips

ovenchips Fri 28-Sep-12 20:34:22

Thanks for responding Outraged.

I simply cannot compare this issue with children being excluded from sport if they aren't very good at it. It really isn't the same to me.

Different ideologies, as I said.

In fact I'm starting to think your opinion on this shows your voting preference. I'm a bit of a lefty. I wonder if those who don't see it as unfair are natural Conservative voters?? <ponders>

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 20:42:44

Maybe. I just can't see why it's ok for one child to be dissapointed but not another. Yes, we have different ideologies.

I don't think it's fair to limit opportunity to the whole of society based on the circumstances of one small group. Everyone deserves equal consideration, it drives me crazy that so often on MN it seems only the poor are worthy of that from state services.

I have voted both red and blue in my time so I'm not sure I would help with that theory.

Shesparkles Fri 28-Sep-12 20:47:59

I'm absolutely NOT a conservative voter so bang goes that theory.

And for the record, I thoroughly enjoyed the school hoiday to Switzerland in 1985 that my parents went without a holiday to pay for.

I just don't see why everything has to go to the lowest common denominator?

GnomeDePlume Fri 28-Sep-12 20:50:33

Why do people think that the only chance that their DCs will have of travel is a school trip in year 9? That's a bit limiting isnt it? I hope for better for my DCs.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 28-Sep-12 20:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:01:28

Definitely not conservative, not even slightly.

I just don't see the point of denying an opportunity to many who would otherwise not have it, (it's not only rich parents that send their kids on these trips, as mentioned, many parents go without and save up for years for these opportunities) to spare the feelings of those who really can't afford it.

There are many children who won't be able to go for many reasons. Parents could pay but won't let them, parents have other plans for the holidays, limited numbers meaning kids don't get places, and then there are many kids who don't even want to go.

There seems to be some kind of assigning victimhood to children of poor parents to protect them from disappointment in this sort of situation which, having been one of the kids so deprived of ski trips in my youth I find incredibly patronising.

Hullygully Fri 28-Sep-12 21:01:47

Our current society is grossly unfair, and becomaing increasingly so.

Schools are supposed to give every child a decent chance at education and to be a place where the differences outside don't count, hence uniform.

Wouldn't it be great if the school had a two year fundraising target, like Blue Peter say(!) and at the end, depending on how much was raised and donated (and yes, some would donate more than others one would hope), it was worked out what could be offerec to evey child within that budget?

So they all worked together for a common aim, and the wealth of your parents didn't confer priviledge right from the start.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:10:07

I don't think my parents would have liked to have been seen as a charity case on the school trip front.

School trips in term time are free for those who really can't afford them. But you want free holidays for your kids outside of term time too? And for everybody else to subsidise them?

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:11:38

It is NOT about the lowest common denominator! It is about all children at A school having an equal opportunity. State schools should offer ONLY things that all children can access - be that a try out for the choir or the football team, OR a trip somewhere. Offering trips that only a handful can afford is not the business of state schools imho. Some of the posts on this thread are horrifying and "I'm all right jack - I earnt MY money - so why should the children of the LAZY bastards get to have a nice time"

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:15:14

If you want and can afford to send your children on fab trips - do it in the holidays.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:19:37

These trips are in the holidays.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 21:20:51

A lot of these school trips are in the school holidays. I guess what people are saying are they are against teachers using their own holidays to take school kids away as it's not inclusive enough.

I agree that if these are term time trips it's slightly different, but schools can offer trips that are subsidised by virtue of group size and I think it would be a step backwards to not permit these to go ahead outside of term time.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:21:02

Portofino I think you have missed the entire point of this thread. People are talking about optional trips in the holidays which just happen to be run and staffed from school.

If schools couldn't offer exotic or exciting holidays, does anyone really think any trips would be offered at all??!

Who the hell wants to give up a week of their holiday, to go to a YH in wales with 200 of other peoples children? Not many teachers that is for sure.

These optional trips are run on the goodwill of teachers, don't forget that. And they are much more likely to organise a nice ski trip than an adventure sports holiday to Wales in the middle of winter.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:22:23

I have not missed the point at all. If these are optional trips in the holidays - that most people can't go on - they should NOT be run by the school at all.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:22:34

Oh, and I am sure that anyone who is complaining about these optional school trips gets in touch with your DCs school and offer to arrange a cheapo inclusive trip somewhere local. You might realise how hard it is.

I agree with the race to the bottom and pension analogy. My life is shit, yours should be too.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:25:03

Presumably your life is not shit then Whols?

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:25:45

How do you know that most people cant go Portofino? Mostly it is a case of don't want to / parents have other priorities like a family week.

Have to say, there was actually a bigger % take up of the ski trip at my state school than at my private school where no doubt 95% of the parents could have afforded it!

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:26:06

How do you know that most people cant go Portofino? Mostly it is a case of don't want to / parents have other priorities like a family week.

Have to say, there was actually a bigger % take up of the ski trip at my state school than at my private school where no doubt 95% of the parents could have afforded it!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 21:26:55

It's not only a handful that can afford them though. In the original post it was said that 'well over half' of the children went on this trip.

Lots of children have parents that can afford these trips, it doesn't seem fair on them that to be denied opportunities, when it has been pointed out numerous times that these trips are the only chance some children have to go on trips like this.

Opportunity in life isn't always equal and it isn't in schools no matter how much you want to try and believe that it is. Opportunities that children have in school are different from the day they start in reception because of what the parents do and don't provide for their them.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:27:36

Mine isn't at all - and I can afford to send my dd on trips at my whim or hers. That does not mean that I think it is FAIR that schools should propose or run them when it means that a substantial number of pupils get left out. It is NOT fair, it is NOT RL, it is NOT character building. It is exclusive bollocks.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:29:45

RL isn't fair. That is true. This is SCHOOL. Where all children HAVE to go to hopefully receive a fair and equitable education that is not influenced by how much cash their parents have.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:29:59

Presumably your life is not shit then Whols?

Nope, it's not shit thanks for asking. This week was especially nice as it was a 4 day week after a camping trip last weekend. Had a lovely weekend away despite the rain and the cold.

The two weeks before that I might have given you a different answer as I worked 70 to 80 hours both those weeks. On the plus side, work pay for tea and a taxi home when you stay that late. Always look on the bright side and all.

Looking forward to my March ski trip too which was booked this week grin

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:31:44

And your point is?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 21:31:59

If enough people get 'left out' then they stop being left out and just start becoming a different group. That's like me complaining that I'm 'left out' of Mensa. No, I'm not left out, I'm part of a substantial group of people that cannot access Mensa.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:34:23

Are you implying that I don't work or something? Because I do.

GoldShip Fri 28-Sep-12 21:34:58

Outraged that's a bit different surely? You don't go to a school filled with Mensa students who could potentially be rubbing your noses in it...

School should be the one place where children can feel equal. Where money isn't an issue. I find it a crying shame that even at school they're being affected by their parents income.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:36:10

Outraged, Mensa is an entirely different thing, as is being able to sing well enough to join the choir. It is about a child's abilities. Trips are about PARENTS income and priorities. It is entirely different.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:36:57

There aren't many schools filled with kids going on an expensive ski trip either.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:38:39

And I am feeling totally fucked off with Whols comments about her 80 hour week and skiing trip.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:40:11

Noble - at my dd's school ALL the children go skiing for 2 weeks in Switzerland in year 6. ALL of them! It is part of the national curriculum.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:40:18

And your point is?

Me? I didn't really have one. I just replied to your question that currently my life is not shit.

Why is it fair to miss out on something because of a parental choice such as not liking skiing (or not wanting a family holiday trenching in Peru) or nt beig able to e.g disabled parent, or otherwise healthy parent with a dodgy knee?

I don't understand why that is fair, but to miss out because of money is not fair?

Spare a thought for the child who has a single mum and and a disabled brother who can't travel. A school trip like this would be amazing for them. Or the child with a parent who is scared of flying. Or whatever or whatever. Or the parent who can't take any holiday as they are fighting to save their family business during the recession.

Cash is not the only limiting factor in life.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:40:51

If trips are about parents' income and priorities, then why are people on this thread only crying for the children with low income parents?

No one seems to be arguing that no kid should get to go on a ski trip because some parents don't give an arse about skiing. Yet that kid might be just as disappointed at being denied.

Is it not about the kids, in that case, but the parents and their feelings. In which case maybe they should get over it, as their kids inevitably will.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 21:42:02

My sons selctive school runs heavily subsidised day trips and activites at the end of the summer term for a fraction of the real cost - which the local comp charge full price for thus excluding by financial means those who often can't afford to let their children have different experiences. The selectice school on the other hand makes sure all have access.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:43:09

No the point is IF THE TRIP IS OFFERED BY THE SCHOOL everyone should have the opportunity to go. You can do what you like in your private life. The SCHOOL should not offer trips that are not accessible to all.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:44:44

I really do not see how hard that is to understand.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Sep-12 21:44:45

porto how awful for those kids who really don't want to go skiing.


whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:45:56

noblegiraffe I think that is the point I am trying to make, only you pit it more eloquently.

"Noble - at my dd's school ALL the children go skiing for 2 weeks in Switzerland in year 6. ALL of them! It is part of the national curriculum."

Wow. What country is this? I would LOVE that for my children. Can't possibly be the UK as even moderately well off people are avoiding skiing in Switzerland at the mo due to the awful fx rate.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 21:45:56

How would you make a trip accessible to all outside of term time? There'll be children who can't go because it clashes with family holidays/visits etc.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 21:47:36

How can everyone have the opportunity to go? Not every teacher wants to go away on residential trips. if you have a year group of 180-200 you would be hard pressed to find 20 teachers that wanted to go away over night. You also have accomodation problems. A trip of 20-40 children is much more managable.

The local comp can't get a minimum of 10 pupils to go to Italy for a long week end (and its cheap) being offered out to Years 10-13 in a reasonably affluent area.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:48:30

Of course - like the children who don't like games at school, cross country, or hockey.....they still have to do it.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:51:50

"No the point is IF THE TRIP IS OFFERED BY THE SCHOOL everyone should have the opportunity to go. You can do what you like in your private life. The SCHOOL should not offer trips that are not accessible to all."

ARGH nothing is accessible to everyone!!!! OMG it isn't just cash that's a problem it is time, inclination, priorities and needs. A child who is their mum's full time career will not be able to go on ANY trip abroad. So schools should stop doing cheap foreign exchanges then???

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:52:44

I live in Belgium. I said up thread. 1 week class de mer in year 3. 2 week class de neige in year 6. It is not ALL about skiing, they do educational things most of the day with some skiing lessons thrown in. But NOONE is excluded. And I have mixed feelings about it still after the bus crash this year. But EVERYONE goes - that is the important point.

cumfy Fri 28-Sep-12 21:52:53

How much do the supervising teachers pay meah ?

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:54:13

Whols - that would be very sad. That is NOT the point of this thread though which is talking about MONEY.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 21:54:33

How can everyone go on that Portofino?? A child in a wheelchair won't find it easy to go on, for example.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 21:55:02

Why does it seem to be such a big deal to some posters that children have equal opportunity at school and that nothing be different for them because of their parents?

You are living in cuckoo land and dreaming of utopia if you think that parents don't influence what goes on in schools. Like I said already, parental influence affects children in schools from the day they start in reception. It is useless to try and pretend otherwise.

SoSweetAndSoCold Fri 28-Sep-12 21:55:06

This thread contains some of the most ignorant comments I have ever seen in my entire life on Mumsnet.

The purpose of schools should not be to prepare pupils for the disappointments of life (i.e. to perpetuate social inequality). They should strive to eliminate social inequality, by providing all children with the opportunity to succeed based on their individual merit, regardless of their social / cultural / financial background.

ALL children should have EQUAL ACCESS to ALL opportunities within school. Schools should take active measures to ensure that those children whose backgrounds impede their ability to make use of opportunities, are given additional help to succeed in achieving their full potential.

The notion that if people 'just work harder' they can pull themselves out of the trap of social, cultural and financial poverty shows a gross misunderstanding of the way that society is organised to keep the poor down and keep the rich at the top. The idea that 'we all have access to the same education' is utter, utter crap. Two children can sit in the same classroom and have educational experiences that are poles apart. Child A, comes from an educationally motivated family, his parents supervise homework, take him to museums, read books to him from early childhood, go to parents evenings, are able to provide nutritious food and a home environment that is safe, warm, and suitable for quiet study, and child B, whose family lives in poverty, in overcrowded, unhealthy accommodation, with inadequate nutrition, cultural deprivation etc etc etc. These two children do NOT have access to the same education.

The idea that it is acceptable for schools to offer wonderful opportunities to all it's children, but in the full knowledge that these opportunities will only be accessible to those whose parents are lucky enough to afford them is utterly repellent to me.

Offering school trips to a child based on a parents ability to pay is the equivalent to offering trips on the basis of gender or colour.

mmira Fri 28-Sep-12 21:56:19

Oh dear, this sounded as if I wrote it. I have 14, 11 and 7 years old. When my oldest was in grade 5 we were offered ski trip and had to pay $350 Canadian (3 days of skiing no accommodation). We were in a bit of a struggle then (and we are not farther away now) and thinking that it is too expensive and most of the kids will not go anyway said No. It turned out that 99% of the kids did go. It has been 4 years now and I still feel guilty as hell for not sending him. However, this triggered chain of events, because we did not send the older one then, we decided not to send the middle one when she was grade 5 which made me feel double guilty. I mean we could have borrowed money and sent them both, we have tons of debt, would not even feel this “little” extra, but it made me feel really pissed at school. Most of us are working class families. School trips should be cheap and affordable to all, if they cannot find something like that they should not even try to organize anything, by doing this they put us parents on a very bad spot with our kids. None of my kids was angry or anything, I guess they figured that the money was tight, but I could feel their disappointment since most of their classmates did go.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 21:57:28

But there are trips like that in this country too, ok maybe not skiing but I used to work at an activity centre that did week long trips for year 6 pupils, activities and parts of the curriculum.

The fact that this sort of trip exists doesn't mean the other sort shouldn't

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 21:57:40

Whols - that child would still get to go though. They might not ski, but could do the rest of the stuff.

allthefun Fri 28-Sep-12 21:58:49

AbsolutelyPortofino - the point of a school trip is so children experience things in a different context. Seeing their classmates without their normal friends and family, seeing teachers in a different way,seeing school as being something other than just a place for exams or assessment.

Doesn't matter where this happens so I think it is entirely reasonable to have cheaper trips rather than ones that are £100's.

I also don't know why they are so expensive considering the accommodation is usually basic and the flights/coach cheapest available. I think i should organise them

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:00:43

Offering school trips to a child based on a parents ability to pay is the equivalent to offering trips on the basis of gender or colour

No, it isn't. That's a ridiculous thing to say which completely belittles all the people who have ever suffered at the hand of sexists or racists.

And you seem to be forgetting that the majority of parents do have some ability to pay. In the trip in the OP, over half the children went!

Do you think that child A in your scenario should be penalised for having good parents then? That his needs don't deserve to be met as much? Because that's what you are basically saying when you say that no children should be offered anything extra because if the few that can't afford it.

allthefun Fri 28-Sep-12 22:01:14

SoSweetAndSoCold Hear Hear.

GoldShip Fri 28-Sep-12 22:02:31

Brilliant post SoSweet

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:02:49

Maybe it is not a fair analogy - but you are still excluding children based on a criteria.

whois Fri 28-Sep-12 22:03:04

Ok I have to go now, but I see I am fundamentally at a different viewpoint to lots of people with regards to what opportunities are good and what aren't.

dikkertjedap Fri 28-Sep-12 22:03:13

You know, this is what I love about the British education system ...

they all have to wear school uniform so they are all equal and you don't get problems that some kids have nicer clothes than others (except on the many non-uniform days that is ...) but then they make school trips utterly unaffordable to a large section of parents.

I have no concerns about rich kids, they get plenty of opportunities. School is supposed to be a place of learning, personally I don't see a need for expensive holidays (it is not supposed to be a holiday camp anyway). I think that the charge should actually be higher than the actual cost so that the richer families can subsidise the poorer families. Otherwise, don't offer it at all.

I really dislike this side of British society.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:06:06

whols - I might have listened harder to your argument if you hadn't pointed out how very HARD you work -like-- the rest of -us-- don't

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:07:22

Why are people on this thread so determined to insist that the only, or main reason we have uniform is so that everyone looks the same. confused There are plenty of reasons for school uniform, the idea that you can't tell the rich from the poor kids is only one of them.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:07:23

Ooh - epic strikeout fail!

allthefun Fri 28-Sep-12 22:07:36

It's exactly the same as racialism or sexism. you can't help being a colour or sex or a child of poor parents.
Children loose out because they have no choice. They can't make their parents have well paying jobs or save money fora trip rather than a new sofa can they.
But they can still learn life is shit because that will teach them more than a once in a lifetime school trip?

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:08:20

I don't recall that being discussed here Outraged.....

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:08:31

Porto, you asked when Whois made those comments, she was responding to you!

charlearose Fri 28-Sep-12 22:08:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:26

People choose to spend their income in different ways. I choose to spend mine on my child.

I may not choose to spend it on alcohol, takeaways, cigarettes, junk food, designer clothes, games consoles, false nails, fake tan, handbags and so forth - you may see some or all of those as priorities in your day to day life. I may or may not choose to. Therefore my disposable income may be greater than yours because I spend it differently even though our salary may be equitable.

I've just re-read the OP, £680 for 6 nights (7 days?) which will include airfare, food, accommodation, skiing, lift passes, tuition other trips, other entertainment, food and so forth plus chaperone is proportionately cheap. But it is only 'cheap' if you have time to budget for it and you don't have to purchase any specialist equipment.

SoSweetAndSoCold Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:51

Outraged, I have to say that you have been responsible for some of the most inane comments on this thread and your latest post is no exception.

My point is that a child's access to opportunity should not be inflenced by an arbitrary circumstance that is entirely outside of its control (i.e. colour / gender / parents bank balance).

You say the 'majority of parents do have some ability to pay', yet only half the children went.

And my favourite comment of yours, that the parents of child A are the 'good parents'. Erm no, this is exactly the opposite of my point. They are simply the parents who have been lucky enough to be provided with cultural and financial capital during their childhood, that means they now are able to navigate the educational and work markets, equipped with the tools to do so. The parents of child B, are those people who did not have equal access to opportunity in THEIR childhood. And thus the cycle of social inequality is perpetuated.

Do you honestly think that only 'the few' can't afford £1000 pound trips to Morocco? Really?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:52

Then read the thread back (it has gotten quite long) uniform has been commented on a few times.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:11:49

Robyn - WTAF!!!!! And some parents might choose to spend their income on rent, food, transport to work and utility bills. I am astounded that you would post that!

Robyn. shock

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:13:37

Do you live in DailyMailLand, or somesuch?

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 22:14:46

I was assuming most parents do spend on rent/mortgage food, house hold, work expenses.

I was pointing out that disposable income is just that, disposable - priorities for spending it differ. You may like a set of gel nails, I would consider that a waste of money that could be more usefully deployed IYSWIM

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:15:20

I understand all about the cycle of social inequality and how these things are about luck of birth etc, but I still can't see that as a good reason to deny everyone a good opportunity just to spare a little disappointment.

I said the majority of parents have some ability to pay, because I was thinking of my own experience and referring to the OP which says "well over half the kids in their year got to go".

That's the majority, and I don't see why you think they should be denied because of the minority.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:15:55

Some people don't HAVE disposable income. How very fucking dare you!!

I don't know what gel nails are.

Portofino Fri 28-Sep-12 22:17:56

And Outraged - why should the minority be denied a school trip though - it is not THEIR fault that their parents cannot pay.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:20:43

Agree with Robyn, and that's what I mean when I say most parents do have some ability to pay. I really do think its a minority that couldn't, over 5-7 years of secondary school save up £700 for one trip. And there are trips cheaper than this available at schools too. That's where it comes to the point about priorities, and people choosing to spend their disposable income differently.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 22:21:45

Thank you Outraged.

SoSweetAndSoCold Fri 28-Sep-12 22:23:56

Well maybe outraged you should think of those people (i.e. vast, vast numbers of them) who live outside of your own experience. The education system should not be a means of providing opportunity for the able majority, and of denying it to the unable minority. I don't think that the majority are 'denied' in life, they are already the winners outside of the education system. I believe that schools should focus on providing GENUINE opportunities for the minority (and I am not talking about trips to twatting Fiji, but things like the ability to read, write, communicate with people on all levels, have self belief that they are able to achieve genuine success).

Robyn 'You may like a set of gel nails, I would consider that a waste of money that could be more usefully deployed IYSWIM'. WTAF????

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:24:58

No, it's not their fault their parents can't pay, and it might not be their parents fault either. But we aren't talking about children that can't go having to ensure that severe a hardship. They will be disappointed, just the same as the child who came home gutted that he wasn't good enough to make the football team, the parents will manage that and then life will go on. It's not the end of the world for a child to miss out on a trip that enough other people can't do.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:25:14


Laquitar Fri 28-Sep-12 22:25:42

shock @ having good parents comment.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 22:27:26

SoSweet, don't you think that individual schools take these things into consideration when they plan school trips? Schools do have some idea of the demographic of their intake, and they can plan trips and likely budgets accordingly.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 28-Sep-12 22:29:01

My comprehensive school used to offer each year

January Ski Trip
Feb half term walking (UK)
French exchange
German exchange
Summer multi activity
Oct half term walking (UK)
Dry ski slope trips once per half term

Nobody went on every trip, some people went on none. Now you're saying that these options shouldn't have been available to anyone because they weren't fully subsidised trips?

I think it's amazing that teachers were willing to give up their time to arrange these trips and supervise us all. Group discounts meant it was all far more affordable than it otherwise would have been. They were providing opportunities for pupil's who may otherwise not have had them, not taking opportunities away.