It's the principal, not the money

(39 Posts)
bigpaws Wed 24-Apr-13 05:32:16

Keeping it as brief as possible -
My DD missed her school trip last week due to being unwell. I have asked the school for a refund of my trip money. Having asked twice, I was told it is being considered and someone will call you.
I am pissed off they haven't rung me to give an answer - do I take that as 'you cheeky cow, fancy asking'. But part of me thinks 'it was a voluntary contribution - why should I make donations towards school trips in the future?'
Please be honest and tell me if IABU?

NotSoWitty Wed 24-Apr-13 05:37:39

YABU they would have had to pay for your daughter even if she didn't attend because she was sick.

nooka Wed 24-Apr-13 05:38:14

I'm sorry that your dd missed the trip but why do you think you should get the money back? Presumably the school still paid for the cost of her going on the trip (travel, tickets etc) I doubt very much that they were able to recoup any funds.

Well from the school's perspective I guess, they will have paid out in advance for the coach, facilities etc so won't be getting a refund themselves

Although voluntary, if they don't receive enough money, it comes out of their school budget which means less funds for other things.Our school has currently sent out a letter for a school trip and said if they don't get enough funds, they will cancel it.

I appreciate its frustrating when your child is sick as it is when you pay out for holidays and trips as a family and you have to cancel due to illness but for me, it's just one of those things and I would personally leave it as it is

MidniteScribbler Wed 24-Apr-13 05:45:21

Oh suck it up. The school would have already paid for her DDs share of the trip. God some people have more arse than class.

Numberlock Wed 24-Apr-13 06:01:44

How much was it anyway?

Alligatorpie Wed 24-Apr-13 06:15:29

Depends on the trip. I always try to refund parents if their child is absent after committing to a field trip. Or at least i try to refund the entrance fee ( might have to forgo any transportation costs)

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 24-Apr-13 06:22:19

YANU - the school will hvae had to pay for the transport, and her entrance.

Blissx Wed 24-Apr-13 06:34:35

They say 'voluntary contributions' so as not to offend those that cannot afford trips. There will be a small fund available for disadvantaged pupils,who wouldn't able to go on field trips etc. otherwise. YABU. Your refund will probably, come out of this very necessary fund.

claraschu Wed 24-Apr-13 06:38:55

What principle is involved here?

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 24-Apr-13 06:42:17

If it was a 3 week field trip to the Galapagos, maybe.

An afternoon at a tramway museum, perhaps not.

christinarossetti Wed 24-Apr-13 06:43:00

How much was it, do you mind me asking?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 24-Apr-13 07:01:40

Seriously? I think the school are trying to be polite in the face of your rudeness. That money is already spent.

jojane Wed 24-Apr-13 07:05:28

My Ds missed a panto trip due to being unwell, a month or so later a refund got sent home, I hadn't even thought about a refund.

I'm amazed that you asked for it once, never mind twice. The school will have paid for everything in advance. You need to let this go. There is no principle involved that I can see.

SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 24-Apr-13 07:10:06


SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 24-Apr-13 07:12:18

Sorry damn phone!
My ds broke his wrist just before his school trip. We got all our money back, but if he had been 'poorly' I doubt we would have got anything.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 24-Apr-13 07:13:25

Unless they had been able to find someone to take her place, that money shouldn't come back to you. They spent it. There was an empty seat on the coach, an empty place wherever they were going to.

It's unfortunate but think of it like any other thing you buy tickets for - if you can't show up on the day, they don't give you your money back!

My youngest has music lessons. £8 a time. He's missed a couple due to illness. I haven't even asked about it. She was there. He wasn't. She gets paid.

It's the same thing, imo.

Tailtwister Wed 24-Apr-13 07:14:26

I agree that you're unlikely to get a refund since the money will have likely already been spent. They should confirm with you one way or the other though since you asked, but I'm guessing they're hoping you'll let it slide. I would just let it go tbh.

twofingerstoGideon Wed 24-Apr-13 07:14:59

MidniteScribbler - why the rudeness? Was it really necessary?
Swish - where has OP been rude? She has simply asked for a refund. Perhaps she needs the money.

ryanboy Wed 24-Apr-13 07:16:26

You won't get it back- it is a voluntary donation not a payment for a service

I have been asked for £3.50 back for a child who missed one of my clubs. (independent school)
Usually I say to the children to come and get some beads, or come twice the next week to make up for it, but the mum wasn't having any of that.

I took £3.50 out of my purse then and there and felt very sad doing it. I wonder if she tries this on with violin lessons at £14 for 20 minutes?

bigpaws Wed 24-Apr-13 07:49:47

The cost of the trip was £15. Free entry to the visit, so just travel cost.

I have other communication issues with the school, so I suppose I am letting this rage me more than I usually would.

Yes, I am struggling to meet the daily cost of living - so £15 would come in handy. Also, I am self employed - so my experience is I would refund clients if I failed to provide a service.

I hope this explains a few of my reasons. And NO, I am not an arse without class ;-)

happystory Wed 24-Apr-13 07:51:50

They didn't 'fail to provide a service.' The trip went ahead. YABU

pooka Wed 24-Apr-13 07:56:32


The school didn't fail to provide a service. Your daughter was unfortunately unwell and unable to attend. If they were travelling by coach, the coach would have been paid for and the contributions would have reflected the cost of booking for the number of children going.

I think it is very poor form to ask for a refund.

If you were sick and unable to do your work woud you still ask for your client to pay regardless?

IceCubes Wed 24-Apr-13 07:57:08

To be fair to the OP, I've always received the money back if DS1 misses a trip, and I've never asked for it!

If trip money is an issue in the future, the school cannot make you pay for trips that are necessary for the curriculum if you are experiencing a financial hardship. It's best to discuss it in advance though as they will be more willing to help.

ENormaSnob Wed 24-Apr-13 07:58:59


CloudsAndTrees Wed 24-Apr-13 08:00:40


Would you really give your clients a refund if you had done all the preparation to provide your service, you were wiling and able to provide your service at the agreed time, and then they failed to turn up as planned for some reason?

It's probably taking them a while to consider it because they have never come across a parent this cheeky before.

Quite often places that offer free entry still make a charge for school trips because they provide a lunch room or a person to host them.

MortifiedAdams Wed 24-Apr-13 08:01:14

If you are struggling with the daily cost of living then why pay in the first place if it was voluntary?

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 24-Apr-13 08:02:46

OP, YABU for reasons others have said. And its called a voluntary contribution, because it is not mandatory. Not to spare feelings, though this may be a good side -effect. But if nobody paid, they wouldn't be able to go anywhere, would they.

IntheFrame Wed 24-Apr-13 08:12:30

If it's classed as part of curriculum then they have a duty to provide the trip for free and can ask for contributions. Obviously if there isn't enough voluntary contributions the trip can be pulled or the school makes it up.

I think you should get a refund. School is a service to you, not you funding the school. It's not compulsory and your donation was voluntary.

£15 is really expensive if it's just for a coach.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 24-Apr-13 08:12:31

But they didn't fail to provide a service.

The trip ran. your daughter didn't go.

That's not the same thing at all.

I am also self employed. If I was running something and someone didn't show up - I would still bill them. If I didn't show up, then I'd refund them!

They provided a service .
You did not provide a daughter.

LIZS Wed 24-Apr-13 08:18:34

So it is about the money really. If they refunded you the cost of the travel even though the seat was presumably empty then next time they hire a 30-seater the cost goes up by another 50p per head to balance the books - is that fair ?

kukeslala Wed 24-Apr-13 10:01:02


The school didn't fail to meet any of their side of the "contract".

Also do schools ask for voluntary contributions, as they not allowed to exclude children who may not be able to pay? Im not sure but think I remember someone saying that's why they were worded like that.

If you have other issues with the school, concentrate on those.

YABU, for all the reasons stated. Do you also realise the extent of what schools have to deal with, these days? To expect an instant reply is totally unreasonable. Also, what other issues do you want communication over? You would be best going to see the relevant staff member. Do you get involved with fundraising or volunteering, at all? this is were the extra money for trips comes from.

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 11:04:16

I would think you were more reasonable if you asked for half back. So you & school each equally take the pain.

PiHigh Wed 24-Apr-13 11:22:52

YABU. The school didn't prevent your child going or fail to priovide the service, you kept your DD at home because she was unwell.

Dd1 missed her first school trip because she was unwell. It didn't enter my head to ask for the money back because they would have already spent it expecting her to go. As it happened, lots of children were off ill with the same bug and we got some money back (the entrance price to the museum but NOT the travel costs - I presume the museum only charged on the day for children who were there)

fedupofnamechanging Wed 24-Apr-13 11:24:04

I think you should get a refund. The school would have had to hire the same size coach regardless of whether your dd attended the trip. Your child couldn't go, through no fault of her own and £15 is a bit steep for something your child didn't get the benefit of.

If they don't refund, then view it as money 'owed' and don't pay next time.

I feel strongly that schools should consider the financial situations of families a little bit more than some of them do.

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