16 children not going on year 6 residential

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

Out of a year group of 40ish.

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

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

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

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

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

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 04-May-13 11:16:20

I do agree with you completely. I dont know if any arrrangements with certain activity centres can be arranged? Donations and the like. Sorry not helpful what a horrid situation for these parents.

FadedSapphire Sat 04-May-13 11:16:35

I think it is very sad that some children can't get away because of 'cost'.
Our primary discreetly helps out financially in cases where children will miss out because of cost alone.
I think you are right re cost of events for those left behind and again maybe school should help out here with families who need help. Has to be done sensitively though.

cornypringle Sat 04-May-13 11:20:06

the £32 activity centre is far too much
I would suggest a local park (within walking distance)for a picnic and a game of rounders instead

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 04-May-13 11:22:21

Wildlife trust - instead there must be a free entry woods or lake somewhere nearby, you coukd set up activity sheets/orienteeering to do there yourselves quite easily.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 11:25:31

I can see this from both sides, on the one hand it's great the teacher doesn't those 16 children stuck doing lessons whilst the others are off on a jolly however if cost is the true reason then doing expensive trips is not on.

There is plenty that can be done for little or no cost, the swimming already mentioned. At our school we do shelter building with plastic sheets and sticks which have to withstand water being thrown on them, great fun and cheap! Also they go to local parks/wildlife places that are free to have a picnic and play games such as football and rounders.

Photography competitions (most families have access to a digital camera and schools do too) with different categories such as abstract, wildlife, funniest smile etc, the pictures can then be voted for winners and small prize.

Parachutes for eggs (very popular with our KS3 pupils and helps if you have a multistory school building). They have to design and build a parachute that will safely land a hard boiled egg from a drop, marks deducted for cracks, marks awarded for style and design (loads of links to DT)

T shirt painting/printing, school gets some cheap T shirts from QS or similar and fabric pens/paints and each child to make a t shirt of their own to commemorate the week.

Just some ideas of what we have done at our school (middle so years 5-8) in the past.

Pancakeflipper Sat 04-May-13 11:25:36

Our school plan things that are far cheaper.

They have done woodland walks.
Gone on the bus to the museum and art galleries (free entry).
The other year the ones remaining planned an afternoon of sports for one of the other year groups and it was amazingly cute to see the reception children running holding hands with a Y6.
One year the group did a gardening task -planning, clearing, creating. And they had fish'n'chips as a treat. Again cost effective.

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 11:25:54

blimey, that one day of £32 is crackers.

The activities might be ones the kids don't wont to do, so what a waste.

Was there any provision for those children on school meals to have the residential at a lower price, this is, luckily (for us)what they do at dd's primary.

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 11:26:27

i meant free school meals of course. PLus everyone was allowed to pay in installments.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 11:27:35

Also school should look into whether some pupil premium money can be freed up especially if the 16 includes some on PP.

Fairenuff Sat 04-May-13 11:28:09

Watching a film with popcorn. Baking. Clay modelling. Sports activities. Bring board games in to share. Science experiments. Walk to local park for picnic, etc.

How do you know what the teacher is planning btw?

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:34:33

If my child was not going because of cost ten I would not be able to pay for these other trips either.
Surely it's a no-brainer?
I would struggle paying for all those trips myself now tbh.
Did the parents not get the option to pay for the residential trip weekly?

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:35:18

The interesting thing (I find) is that the FSM families often find the money. This year particularly, the working poor have become a really big group. Many families with one or both parents working are finding life really tough, with rising costs and changes to tax credits. Maybe it's because they have lifestyles (mortgages/cars) that the FSM families can only dream of, but for whatever reason, it seems to be this group that have really struggled this year. I know this because I'm the bursar and deal with the dinner money and children's club arrears etc.

As the bursar, I know we might be able to help FSM children, but we really don't have the money to fund 16 residential places for working families.

Those that are going on the residential have been paying monthly since September, so not really that big a monthly commitment. Still it has been a real struggle getting the money paid.

OrangeMabel Sat 04-May-13 11:35:48

Cancel the expensive residential. Let all the children stay behind and join in the cheaper activities as a year group. Bloody disgraceful that some get the chance to go away whilst others don't. And don't tell me "life's unfair" - they're 10/11 years old!

UserError Sat 04-May-13 11:37:40

What does FSM stand for? </insert dense smiley here>

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:38:38

Maybe weekly payments would have been better?
It is often easier to find a smaller weekly amount than a larger monthly one.

letseatgrandma Sat 04-May-13 11:40:14

Cancel the expensive residential. Let all the children stay behind and join in the cheaper activities as a year group. Bloody disgraceful that some get the chance to go away whilst others don't. And don't tell me "life's unfair" - they're 10/11 years old!

So what about in 6 month's time when they're at secondary school and skiing trips etc are arranged? Should these not be organised because it might upset some children who can't afford it?

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:41:43

They could have paid weekly if they wanted insancerre. they were told £x by the end of each month, but we took the money, in whatever amounts and whenever they wanted to pay it.

Orange - you wouldn't believe the outrage there'd be if we didn't offer the majority the opportunity for a yr6 residential.

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:45:17

oh good
daft idea to cancel the trip
DD had a fantastic time on hers and it really was a milestone for her- the first time away on her own

any chance of getting in a theatre group or clown school or something similiar and the school paying?
do you have any drama colleges nearby that would do a free show?

LydiasLunch Sat 04-May-13 11:46:41

My daughter refused to go on the residential in year 6 after watching the film that informed them there'd be no time for reading books, just non stop outdoor adventures and fun. She's like Wednesday Addams. <proud> Not every kid wants to go on these trips. I took her out for a couple of days.

HeySoulSister Sat 04-May-13 12:06:48

so how many have actually gone?

NatashaBee Sat 04-May-13 12:09:42

FSM = free school meals.

Fairyliz Sat 04-May-13 12:09:56

Restorer I do the same job as you and yes I agree its the working poor who are struggling more than those on FSM. I don't think that relatively well paid teachers who often have professional partners understand how difficult it is for some people.
I gave my teachers a good talking to about trips, but then I am old and miserable so they are all afraid of me!

NatashaBee Sat 04-May-13 12:12:18

And if 40% of the kids can't afford to attend, the trip is too expensive IMO. Year 6 residentials usually include lots of build up and related lessons beforehand, it seems unfair to do that if so many of the children can't attend. Was there any financial assistance offered?

superbagpuss Sat 04-May-13 12:13:32

my sister and I are the same age - not twins, long story, - so couldn't go on the trip in year six as two expensive for both of us. spent the week either in our classroom on our own on the computer or in the class below.

life's not fair

I now have a great job and work hard so my children can do what they want

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 12:16:26

I don't think that you should stop trips because some can't afford them but at the same time I think it is cost rather than overprotective parents and therefore they need a fun week at school with no costs. It is embarrassing, parents do not want to say they can't afford it.

LIZS Sat 04-May-13 12:17:05

16/40 is quite a high number. However you are being equally unreasonable in your assumption that most simply couldn't afford it . I'd disagree with the outdoor centre more because it is what the children have avoided doing by not going (for whatever reason) so they may not want to go plus it will be too pricey for some. Most wildlife centres have outreach teams who visit schools so think she ibu to focus on offsite activities only. Maybe a community based day , such as weeding/delittering a local garden or churchyard, packing bags in a supermarket etc

KingscoteStaff Sat 04-May-13 12:17:48

Our school are paying all or some of the residential fee for 15% of our cohort. Our head feels that the experience is so valuable for them (first time away and first time out of town for lots of them) that she feels it's a good use of school funds.

notfluffy Sat 04-May-13 12:20:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Babyroobs Sat 04-May-13 12:24:36

From previous experience I know kids get so much out of the yr 6 residential, gaining experiences that many won't get elsewhere. In our school most of the kids that stay behind do so because they don't want be away from their parents. The school funds those that can't afford it and parents have a year to pay in instalements.

Jbck Sat 04-May-13 12:25:35

£230 seems v expensive, DDs recent trip was about £115/£120, can't recall exactly.
Doesn't help immediate problem but a thought for future years, need it be so dear.
Only a handful of children didn't go from DDs school, about 4% so not really enough of them to do big activities but they did dvds with popcorn, trips out of school but free things, museums, library type stuff. Helped in younger classes to give them a change and a bit more 'fun'.

ilovechoc Sat 04-May-13 12:34:17

Cheap in comparison to our school's cost. £450 last year!

infamouspoo Sat 04-May-13 12:37:42

how much? Blimey. ds wont be going on the Y6 residential then.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 12:43:45

Jbck, when and where did your dd go? I'd be really interested to know for next year, because i negotiated very hard to keep the price as low as it is. We could have got it cheaper before SATS, but not good for year 6.

There really is no spare cash to help children other than fsm this year
because we took the decision to employ an extra teacher to keep class sizes small.

ilovechoc Sat 04-May-13 12:44:18

4 nights and only 1 hour away! Parents were allowed to pay in instalments.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 12:48:47

Normally these things are traditional and on the school calender so in advance parents know about it.

£230, known about in September, with the trip, usually in early July, is 10 months, 40 weeks, a fiver a week if thats the way you have to pay. it's a shame that people don't budget accordingly for it and their children miss out.

Again with the take up if there are a year group of 40 and 16 don't go, the cost of the 16 may be passed down to the 23 who are going. I'm surprised the whole trip is still going a head if nearly 50% of the year group can't go.

Myliferocks Sat 04-May-13 12:53:08

My DC's school does residentials every year for every year group.
My DC have stayed behind before while the rest of the year group go away.
The school run a really good alternative week that sometimes has sounded better than the actual week away.

lljkk Sat 04-May-13 12:54:04

yanbu, this has come up at our school & I was a bit shocked to hear about the costs, too. DD is going on the residential but someone I know (who can afford the residential, her DD just wasn't interested) was saying that it was silly money when they had booked a holiday that week, anyway, they had to explain their DD would only be around for one day.

I am sure that DS2 won't go either, when he's in yr6.

What happened to larking around with the reception kids for a week?

Either 10 or 14 of 44/45 aren't going on our trip.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 12:57:10

Holly, a school is not allowed to charge paying families extra to subsidise others.

Trip was booked in Sept when there was high expression of interest and then high drop out rate when faced with the reality of paying for it. Would you cance for the majority, whose parents had paid, because their classmates weren't going?

mikkii Sat 04-May-13 13:01:00

My DS has just had a 2 night 3 day residential, Y4, it cost £185. We can afford this, but I know some parents can't school are sympathetic and asked parents to talk to them if cost was a problem, especially where also Y6 siblings also die to go to France.

I really like the fact the teacher wants to organise fun things, but £32 for one day is too much. My DC's holiday club once took them to legoland for £10, also did london eye with aquarium for £10.

You don't say where you are, but perhaps the school could approach local theme parks etc and ask for special consideration?

mikkii Sat 04-May-13 13:01:41

Sorry, really bad typo, DUE to go to France

ihearsounds Sat 04-May-13 13:05:17

Sometimes it's not down to cost.
We do a residential every year. Our school is different though, and the school fully fund the students to go.
However, still not all go. This year, a class of 7, only 3 are going.
One is because the equipment needed is there. Only just found this out, despite being assured that it would be.
One doesn't want to go because of anxieties.
One doesn't want to go because it's not something that she finds interesting.
One because mate isn't going.

Other reasons for mainstreamers not wanting to go is because of bed wetting and not wanting their mates knowing. Additional needs that you wouldn't be privvy to knowing. Parents not wanting their children away from them.

Chesntoots Sat 04-May-13 13:09:10

I can remember in junior school being the only one not to be able to go on the residential trip because we couldn't afford it. What made it worse was that the next terms work was based on the place they went to. You can guess how much that sucked...

OrangeMabel Sat 04-May-13 13:18:28

Do away with residential trips, including ski-ing and whatever at high school. I think children from poorer families will already have got the message that Life Is Unfair without school ramming it down their throats.

£230 might be the difference between the family having a holiday together rather than one child going away with the school for a few nights.

AmberLeaf Sat 04-May-13 13:25:14

Restorer I do the same job as you and yes I agree its the working poor who are struggling more than those on FSM

No, not struggling more struggling as well as those on FSMs.

It just seems worse, because you expect work to mean you are much better off.

My son didn't go on a yr 5 residential because I couldn't afford it, its not just the the cost of the trip, it's the cost of stuff you need to take as well, it all adds up. There are sometimes discounts for those on FSMs but it isn't as much of a discount as it used to be.

When my son didn't go on the residential, the school had things on about 3 or 4 days out of the 5, I think only one of those had to be paid for and it wasn't much [about £5 I think] the rest were all things that were free entry, school subbed the travel costs [London transport so not much]

Secondary trips are worse, £3-500 plus other costs.

A nightmare for everyone that is either not working or not on a high wage.

verygentlydoesit Sat 04-May-13 13:25:49

Our PTFA have funded 6 children in Y6 to go on their residential trip. None of the 6 are FSM children. Our head teacher asked for this funding at our last meeting, I was dumbfounded when she said that she felt sure that at least 3 of these 6 children's parents could afford the trip but knew that school would fund it if they pleaded poverty.

She rightly didn't disclose their names but I was a bit hmm that she was so blatantly judgey about them.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 13:27:57

LOL very, I have another thread ATM, about our struggle to get an PTA going smile

Fairenuff Sat 04-May-13 13:29:24

I actually think the trips can be helpful. My ds went on a ski trip with school. If the trip had been cancelled he would not have had that ski experience at all because there is no way we could afford to all go as a family. This way, we only had to pay for one, instead of four of us.

LilyBolero Sat 04-May-13 13:33:47

DS1 didn't go on his Y5 week residential. He just really didn't want to go, so I didn't force him. Retrospectively I should have done, he would have loved it, but given that he might have spent the whole week unhappy, I wanted it to be his decision.

OrangeMabel Sat 04-May-13 13:34:49

So he would have missed out on a "ski experience" ... and? If you can't afford to go ski-ing as a family, what's the point in him learning to ski?

And before anyone accuses me of being chippy, we will be able to send our DD on school trips; I would just rather they weren't offered by the schools as many children will have to miss out.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:36:37

Massive bugbear this one! DS school have a trip every year. Last year (7) we paid for him to go on a residential (220), this year ithas been France (500), we simply could not do it, next year it is ski-ing (700) again, we just can't see a way. In year 10, the football team (of which he is the star) get to go to Milan - this will be near on a grand, so we have told him that we will save for that and only that. It's hideous sad

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 13:40:53

Oh I don't agree with that at all Orange. It's like saying what's point of trying abseiling, canoeing, archery or to speak French, if they're never going to do it again. It's about the experience.

Also, just because a child is poor now, doesn't mean he always will be, that's what education's for! If he loves skiing maybe that will provide the motivation to work hard, get a god job and be able to afford it as an adult.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:45:46

dd's school have asked for over £30 this week for different activites. We have had to say, look even though we are working, we cannot do it this time (terrible months recently sad ) they are not 'voluntary' anymore - that is a joke. Last time money was asked for, the children who were late paying were named all over the whiteboard (including us) that was awful.

ivykaty44 Sat 04-May-13 13:48:09

£230 for a residential in year 6 shock

My dd is in year 9 and went on a residential in year 6 and year 7 at new school and both residentials didn't cost £230 put together!

This year dd is going on a trip abroad for history and it will cost £230.

YummyCalpol Sat 04-May-13 13:48:48

emimemerdale, that's disgusting! I hope you complained to the school about the names on the board!!

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 13:52:19

I didn't actually blush. I was so mortified I rushed to the office with my last tenner sad But, this is why we told her straight up this time that we simply wouldn't be paying and if necessary, would keep dd off school those days. The trouble is, it's a very middle class professional school and hardly anyone doesn't pay, so I think they just believe people have forgotten. Her teacher was astounded when dh told her our circumstances and they have waived it 'this time' sad

Fairenuff Sat 04-May-13 13:53:04

So he would have missed out on a "ski experience" ... and? If you can't afford to go ski-ing as a family, what's the point in him learning to ski?

Don't follow your logic there at all? Should he not do anything that we can't all do as a family then?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 04-May-13 14:02:10

Our family would not have been able to afford trips at that sort of level, it is a considerable sum. Many people are budgeting like crazy and just don't have spare.

Even a fiver a week is quite a bit really, if you haven't got it.

dayshiftdoris Sat 04-May-13 14:07:54

I think the 'credit crunch' has hit hard but I don't think its a new thing... This the first time we've qualified for FSM but only just earned over the threshold since my son started school.

In every setting we've been in in the last 3 years there has been a letter out because of a 'large number' of parents not paying their school dinner money or childcare bills and at one school I was told I was the ONLY parent paying in advance and one half term I was the ONLY parent who paid at all!
This was a school that attracted middle class, professional parents with 'decent' jobs.

I dont think anyone can make distinctions anymore... lots of families are struggling... I am on less money than I dare think about but I saved for it and planned for it so I am 'ok' at the moment yet my status as a FSM family would be considered poverty hmm

dayshiftdoris Sat 04-May-13 14:13:31

Sorry and meant to say that money is not the only reason a child might not go on a trip... mine didnt go (that £230 in Y4) as his needs would have out-stripped provision... I am sure they and I could have figured something out but it was cheaper for me to take him on holiday!

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 14:17:16

Ah yes, dayshift, there are three groups of non-payers. Families who genuinely struggle, families who are disorganised/forgetful, but do pay when reminded often enough and those that are able to pay, but think they can get away without paying.

We have 3 1-2-1 TA's going to support children who need it. The travel company provide their spaces free.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 04-May-13 14:18:41

I would guess that many parents struggle to afford school trips, I know we have. It is all very well to say that there may be funds for parents in genuine need but how many parents want to discuss their personal financial business in the school office?

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 14:22:51

I don't agree that a child shouldnt experience something because the whole family can't.

I'm quite happy to cancel the prospect of a family holiday to send my DS2 on school trips abroad. Broaden his horizons and show him different cultures. I could never afford for 5 of us to bugger off to China for a fortnight, but I don't understand why he shouldnt go.

I know I am probably spectacularly missing the point but the whole object of parenting is to work to give your child opportunities you never had.

kylesmybaby Sat 04-May-13 14:23:09

we had a meeting about the year 6 trip (beginning october) when they went into year 5. you were able to pay money in throughout the whole of year 5. every year 6 child went. i remember there were kids that had never been away from parents and the school worked with them during year 5 as they thought it was so important for them to experience it.
ours (in Tregoyd, wales) worked our cheap as no one wants to go in october lol.

jamdonut Sat 04-May-13 14:24:23

Yesterday we gave letters out for a trip to a nearby place of historical interest, that fits in with our term's topic.

We have asked for £4 towards the cost of coaches. Immediate reaction from several children was "My mum hasn't got £4".

Now, whilst I acknowledge that every penny counts,for some people,( as it does for me with my own children bringing home letters from school for this and that - TA pay,and Tesco's, is not great.) I do think sometimes people's priorities are skewed. I would (and have) move heaven and earth to make sure my child was not left out.

Some people take the "voluntary " donation to mean they shouldn't bother. Of course it is not truly voluntary, but schools are not allowed to say it is not. If you tell the school it is difficult to pay, ways round will usually be found.

Confusingly, some people think the trips are optional,(obviously not residential ones)and will say "He/she doesn't want to go". These are the people whose children are suddenly ill on the day,and don't come to school. I think it is sad that parents pander to this.The trips are as much part of their education as sitting in a classroom is.

We have to literally chase parents with forms in the playground ,sometimes, because if people don't pay it is a very real possibility that the trips will get cancelled.

Next we'll get people complaining that their children don't do anything exciting at school.

You can't have it every way.

whitewineintherain Sat 04-May-13 14:37:11

At our middle school, we have a no uniform activity week, where most of the pupils go on a residential with their year groups and the children who stay behind can choose what activities they want to do at school, including circus skills, decorating white masks and t-shirts, swimming, an afternoon of games on the field, watching a film, baking biscuits/cakes, orienteering/treasure hunt around the school grounds and we're having a few talks from various people such as a local Romany gypsy, someone from a local animal rescue center and the local emergency services (fire,police,paramedic and lifeboat). We're lucky that non off this costs very much, there is a £5 charge per child for the week and the children really enjoy it. Non of the activities are mandatory but of course are encouraged to join in as much as possible so a few (normally the yr8's) will spend half the week sat on the field reading or talking with a T.A.

dayshiftdoris Sat 04-May-13 14:37:28


There are £4 trips and then there are £400 trips... there in lies the difference.

My son's school charged £15 for a day out at an interactive museum about 50miles away which costs about £18 (without adding travel) to get in - as a parent I felt that was fantastic value for money and happily paid (tho it was handed back as we get FSM!).

Yet my friend got a a letter from a different school asking for £7.50 for a geography field trip about 9 miles away! This is just the coach cost as they are going a rock formation - one google search revealed that the same geological interest can be found in our home town... Most of the parents haven't paid.

It has to be value for money and useful to the children!

LatteLady Sat 04-May-13 14:42:53

We have a no child left behind policy, if the parents cannot afford it, we pay. This has happened in every school where I have been a governor (seven in over 20 years). We have old pupils who went on trips who now send us money to be used for this, which choked me up when I saw the first letter come in with a cheque.

At one of my schools we had governors whose company policy was to match fundraising... this meant that we could do a whole school trip for every single child for free so we knew that they would get at least one trip out during the Summer holidays.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 14:52:06

My DD didnt much like school residentials so she didn't go. It was nothing to do with cash. I don't think it's a problem. If there is a biggish group not going.

At our school, the kids who didn't go on residentials (there were many of us) went on something called an Activity Week. We basically did music days, kayaking at the local outdoor activity place (which was incredibly cheap at the time so the school paid for it), sports days, arts and crafts sessions. Most of which was held within school grounds, we all had a week-long timetable and we were never bored. It was completely free!

I think the teacher's plans are too elaborate, and that she could quite easily provide loads of entertainment for a lot cheaper. £35 for one day is a massive amount for parents on a budget!!

jacks365 Sat 04-May-13 14:57:52

I have always moved heaven and earth to ensure my children didn't miss out but there have been times in the past were every penny would be accounted for and then school would send home a letter requesting money within 2 days ( think they thought if they gave more notice parents would forget).

Two years ago i had a sports trip abroad for one child a geography trip abroad for another so had to realistically let the third go sking so that was £2000 to find.

DeWe Sat 04-May-13 14:59:09

Our school pays for any child who can't afford to go. They positively push the trip, any child who doesn't return the form is likely to have an enthusiastic teacher (to parents) making sure that they are very sure that there isn't a reason that can be sorted to encourage them to go.

They still have children who choose not to go. Not huge numbers, but about 6-10 most years. Could be a bit of a domino effect when one says they don't want to go, others who are wobbly may be more inclined to stay behind.

If there are 16, then it's possible: A isn't going because she doesn't like being away at nights, B and C aren't going because they're friends with A and don't want to go without them.
D decided not to go because they thought it would be fun being one of the ones left behind (actual reason why one in dd1's class stayed) and persuaded E and F that they'd like to do that too because she painted a glorious picture of it
and G and H are in a dance show in the evening that they'd rather do, and J wanted to stay to watch them...

dayshiftdoris Sat 04-May-13 15:52:31


'No Child Left Behind'

Lot of choice there then!

Whilst it is great to offer residentials the pressure placed on children and parents is bad enough without 'No child left behind'...

It's not always about money...

MerylStrop Sat 04-May-13 16:11:31

16/44 is a pretty big "No" vote, whatever the reasons. Maybe it would be good for the school to consult a bit with parents about this when planning the next one.

If I couldn't afford the residential I would be frankly fucking heartbroken to have to tell my kid I also couldn't afford the activities arranged for that week. Good on the teacher for trying to find a more affordable alternative, and make it fun, but £32 for one day is bit steep. One or two trips at £5 each would be doable for most people with notice and presumably the school could cover for those who that would really struggle.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 04-May-13 16:18:43

DD didn't go on hers about 9 years ago, it was £250 which we could have afforded, but she would rather have stuck pins in her eyes grin. She wasn't the only, some kids really don't enjoy stuff like that.

The cost of trips is ridiculous unfortunately, especially if they're happening more than a one-off and there's one every year.

There were ski trips yearly in her state comprehensive, at about £700 a time. No idea why the school thought that was ok!

Remotecontrolduck Sat 04-May-13 16:23:47

I have to say though if 16/40 aren't going, something has gone wrong. It was far less than 16 out of DDs year of about 80!

Is it the trip that's wrong? Is the place they are going a bit rubbish? Activities not very good or worth the money? Or is it the fact it's just too expensive for most parents?

matchpoint Sat 04-May-13 19:31:58

I actually used to work at an outdoor activity centre that did school residentials, so I'm coming at it from a different perspective, but I strongly believe that these trips are incredibly valuable for children: they challenge themselves, learn new things, build relationships with peers and teachers, gain independence, and most importantly HAVE FUN!

It makes me sad that parents let their children stay away simply because the child doesn't want too! Well, if you're happy for your child to stay in their comfort zone for their entire life and never push themselves...it's certainly not something I want for my DDs.

Yonididnaedaethat Sat 04-May-13 19:39:55

My Dd didn't go to her trip away not because of money but because she's a bed wetter hmm

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 19:47:48

That's a shame Yoni. If you'd spoken to the school, they would have got school nurse involved to try and solve the problem (apologies if you've already tried everything) and it that didn't help they would have taken steps to make sure she wasn't embarrassed by it while she was away. No-one needs to know if it's handled properly.

matchpoint Sat 04-May-13 19:48:49

Yonididnaedaethat we had so many children at the outdoor activity centre who were bedwetters, and obviously they (and their parents) were very concerned about how it would be managed. It can be dealt with discreetly, and the child can go on to have a great time (as I witnessed many times with my own eyes).

Seems a shame to deprive a child of a positive experience because they wet the bed-it can be dealt with successfully, with minimal embarassement.

infamouspoo Sat 04-May-13 19:51:18

I am vaguely wondering how schools deal with children who have difficullties at night, like bed wetting or in ds's case, seizures, stopping breathing (he's on an O2 monitor) so will need night care. Plus he wakes 5 or 6 times a night and screams. Now for me it would be bliss to have him bog off for 6 nights grin but clearly a bit of an issue for classmates....

lljkk Sat 04-May-13 19:53:12

One of DD's buddies not going, not because of money but rather she is a total homebird & cried herself to sleep last year, both nights, on the 2-nite local residential. The other girls mocked her for crying which Dd was incensed about; DD became her mate because DD told the other girls off.

The mate has had enough of comfort-zone pushing for now.

Another friend her DD not going because the girl's mother hugely dislikes one of the adults going; he publicly mocked the girl last year, by all accounts.

£200 for our trip, which includes an ice skating stop & ice creams out for all on last day, it is good value for money, they are doing loads & loads. Even DD's very skint friend is going (but no homesickness issues for her).

lljkk Sat 04-May-13 19:54:15

Oh fig, this discussion is making me just remember, I have been asked to get travel sickness pills for DD! Never tried any before. Any suggestions?

Our schools fundraise to make sure the trips can happen. They also ask parents if they would be willing to make a small extra donation to help pay for scholarships. The kids organised a halloween costume/old toys sale the month before Halloween to pay for their spring 5th grade trip. They made posters and advertised and ran the stall before and after school for a week.

DS went to his 5th grade camp and his 6th grade one (two different schools) but did not go to his 8th grade one (age 13) because he decided he wanted to do a different trip (for the sport he did) and we gave him the choice.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 20:07:02

You can't cancel the big trip for the 24 children who are going and who are looking forward to it. That's still 60% after all and it would definitely be unfair on those children to have their expectations dashed!

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 20:09:42

DD's school does a residential every year from Y3. They have had children who wet the bed. The teachers always mentioned it in the initially parent's meeting, before letters go out, and how they manage it - incase any parents are concerned about it. They are very discreet.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 04-May-13 20:18:08

I didn't go on my high school outdoor activity centre week. It sounded like my idea if hell - still does

I'm happy in my comfort zone thanks.

LillyPickle Sat 04-May-13 20:21:54

Restorer, we managed to get a grant from a charity towards our Y6 residential course - would you like me to DM you the details so you can try for it next year? It was very generous.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 20:25:02

That would be great Lilly, thank you. I spent ages researching and really negotiating hard to get the costs as low as they are and it is a real shame that some still can't manage it.

SirChenjin Sat 04-May-13 20:31:39

It is a shame, but that's the reality for many, many parents. £230 is a heck of a lot of money, and that's before spending money and buying outdoor kit - even if it's from ebay or gumtree. I know you said they've been paying in installments since Sept, but that's £30 a month with Christmas and Easter in the middle of all that - families really are struggling these days.

ryanboy Sat 04-May-13 20:32:57

My DS had a school trip which was arranged at very short notice .You had 2 weeks notice (in December) to fing £450.He was the only one who didn't go and the subject teacher went too.So not only was he stuck at school. he missed out on the lessons in that subject 3 months before A2s

Panzee Sat 04-May-13 20:35:04

I took some children on an activity day once, and got to join in the activities too. I had an ok time but could have lived without it. And that was as an adult.
I'm glad I never did it as a child. It would have been hell on earth. I don't get why people assume that abseiling or getting wet is automatically fun for everyone. I was a bit Wednesday Addams too. grin

Yonididnaedaethat Sat 04-May-13 20:39:03

Thanks to the replies about bed wetting, my DS is also a bed wetter and I was starting to worry about him going too but after reading the messages I'm feeling better about it.....even tho it won't be until next year it's still a weight off my mindsmile

SirChenjin Sat 04-May-13 20:41:54

Bit of a thread hijack here - sorry OP! - but do teachers have to pay to go on trips out of their own pockets or does the school pay? Always wondered that...

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 20:45:59

You get teacher places free with a certain number of child places (usually 10)

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 20:46:27

The school pays SirChenjin. Sometimes the cost is covered by the children who are going, but it's not supposed to be and our school never does that. The residential centres often provide 1 free place per so many children, but we usually send a few extra adults too.

bubbles1231 Sat 04-May-13 20:47:55

At our school all children entitled to free school meals have their trip fully funded by PTA.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 20:49:51

That's nice bubbles, but we have c. 50% FSM and as I said earlier, the children who aren't going are (mostly) not on FSM.

Also, in poor/high FSM areas, you really struggle to get a PTA going anyway.

BegoniaBampot Sat 04-May-13 20:50:46

so much for a great experience - my 10 yr old has already been in tears and he hasn't even been yet. teachers have left it to the kids to arrange who shares and it's turned into a big popularity contest with the popular kids picking and choosing and then changing their mind while the quieter kids are desperately trying to find someone to share with. Is this the normal way?

SirChenjin Sat 04-May-13 20:52:03

Thanks Suffolk and Restorer smile. Do you know if that's the case with trips abroad at High School level too?

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 20:53:36

Ah that's really sad and not on Begonia.

We get all the children to write three names on a secret piece of paper. Then the rooms are arranged so everyone shares with at least one person they asked for. The children aren't told which room they'll be in until they get there, which means there's no interference from parents and the children are always happy with what's been decided and don't have time to worry about it anyway.

LillyPickle Sat 04-May-13 20:59:09

I have messaged you, Restorer.

pussycatwillum Sat 04-May-13 21:09:18

I actually used to work at an outdoor activity centre that did school residentials, so I'm coming at it from a different perspective, but I strongly believe that these trips are incredibly valuable for children: they challenge themselves, learn new things, build relationships with peers and teachers, gain independence, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
I can understand this viewpoint, but does it have to happen at Junior school? My DS refused to go on the Year 6 trip simply because the teacher in charge was horrible and he didn't want to spend a whole week with her. The slightly less horrible teacher was organising the ones who stayed behind. He didn't go on all the activities for children left behind because he had a hospital appointment so I deducted what I thought was about the cost of that day's activities from my 'vountary contribution' and no one said anything.
He went on to do a lot of adventurous things as he got older and I don't think he lost out at all by waiting until he was ready to do them.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 04-May-13 21:20:36

PCW - was talking along similar lines here after reading this thread, I do feel these experiences have got younger and I am to sure what is the rationale.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 04-May-13 21:21:01

Not sure, not to sure!

piprabbit Sat 04-May-13 21:34:05

I've been thinking about the 16 children who aren't going away, and I think that the school could let them stage some sort of 'school takeover' event throughout the week:

So, plan one day's school dinners. Help with some preparation and cooking if possible.
Vote so that one child a day becomes the HT (or shadows them).
Get them to plan and run a PE class for another year group (with supervision of course), so that the get to teach them a new game.
Ask them to keep a video diary of their week.
Write a school newspaper for the week.
Give them an assembly slot where they get to choose the topic and prepare and deliver the assembly.
Let them plan and run a charity tuckshop/bring and buy/sponsored event - maybe even split them into smaller teams to see who raises the most money.

Basically make them feel very mature and sensible, take their ideas seriously and give them chances to try new things out in school.

SirChenjin Sat 04-May-13 22:08:11

That's a great idea Piprabbit smile

chocolatespiders Sat 04-May-13 22:13:18

my dd did a space week at school when not on trip and an apprentice based thing making cookies in groups and selling them in school after advertising etc

matchpoint Sat 04-May-13 22:21:34

pussycatwillum Fair enough. I suppose it was slightly extreme of me to imply that children who don't go on a primary school residential will never challenge themselves in their lives, ever.

I don't see why going on a residential trip with school should be restricted to secondary school children though.

hope4455 Sat 04-May-13 22:24:42

My kids have a school trip to London this year - both want to go cost £400 each. My ex would contribute so they couldnt go.
My eldest also has another school trip this year £85 for the wk. She is going to this.
If the school were putting on trips during the wk away that amount to £50 £100 in my case i would b able to afford it.
I have a limited supply of money and that is it.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 22:33:09

I definitely don't think Y6 is too young for a residential at an activity place. DD is going to one next week and can't wait. She would hate to miss out on it, especially if she thought it was because some adults felt they were too young.

In Y5 DD had a residential in France for 3 nights; again something she and her classmates loved and talk about a whole year later.

In Y3 and Y4 they also have 3 night residentials at Centre Parcs - CP because it worked out cheaper than the school residential places such as PGL. Every child went and DD came back raving about it. I was nervous as she had only just turned 8y - but there was no need.

At DD's school there is also a 2 night weekend residential from age 8y - it's very local and less expensive - think about £80? - and again, great times had.

I like that DD gets these chances, but I am aware that we are very fortunate to be able to afford them all.

hope4455 Sat 04-May-13 22:33:40

should of said wouldn't

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 22:39:49

None of my dc have never been/ will go on a school residential, especially an outward bound centre.
I don't think it is safe and also don't think teachers nor the employees of the centres are suitably qualified to look after dc outside of their own working environment. Every year a child/more than one child are killed whilst on a school trip/outing or holiday and my dc are not going to be another statistic. I can also take them away myself for less money and abroad, without risking them breaking bones.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 22:58:17

What a shame for them, morethanpotatoprints.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 23:08:17

Blimey - yes that is sad. I used to be a youth worker and we took some seriously damaged young people on very 'outward bound' residentials over several years. The staff on these things are incredible! I wouldn't blink at any of my dc going anywhere if we could afford them all - having been to so many myself.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 23:12:43


My dd dances and plays 4 instruments. There is no way SHE would risk any injuries. Ds's represented county in their particular sport, neither would they want injuries. We could go on holiday cheaper, they serve no purpose and they don't feel like they missed out. I am happy because I don't trust the staff or teachers I'm afraid.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:14:26

My DS won a bursary to one for a week- he had a wonderful time.
I think it such a shame when parents hold their DCs back and then claim they are doing it for the best sad. Going away with the Scouts, Guides, doing Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme etc are wonderful experiences for DCs - something they would all get to do in an ideal world.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 23:16:09

Maybe your children would be better off not being at school at all if you have no trust in their teachers.

I think it is a huge shame that you have such a lack of trust in qualified members of staff being able to keep your children safe.

Yes - there have been accidents and even sadly deaths. In these cases, how often is the teacher negligent in their care?

Sadly children die far more frequently from things like being in a car, crossing a road, etc - do you protect your children from these far greater risks?

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:17:22

I know DCs who played instruments to a high level, they now play professionally as adults all over the world- I also know several who played sport for the county and they didn't miss out because of parents who held them back.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:20:17

People hop in the car without a thought- the risk of death is high- far, far higher than the risk at an outdoor adventure place. In the latter it would be so unusual to be top news whereas a car fatality is so common it would be local news only unless a huge pile up, or derailing a train or something out of the ordinary.

eminemmerdale Sat 04-May-13 23:22:27

just...blimey - I agree, why send them to school at all??? What about team work? bonding? learning to be away from home? Ok team sports are good for two of those but I find that all quite disturbing. Maybe it's just me- having seen some youngsters who have started the week away with hideous issues coming home full of pride in their achievements. And the care and committment of centre staff - they don't just wander into the job off the streets!!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 23:22:57


At least none of my dc will be a statistic and dd doesn't go to school anymore. Any broken bones would have meant 6 weeks off sport, music or dancing. As the residential is around music exam time, auditions, trials etc. We don't regret it and neither did the dc, they were happy taking the week off. There were plenty of other things they did with their friends in their final year. How were they held back? and held back from what? Please don't say team building, or extending outside comfort zone as my dc had gained these skills during pre school grin

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 23:25:28


My only dc to still be of school age doesn't attend school, my much older ds's did.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:26:57

I think some people lose the ability to risk assess- the risk of getting injured in the parent's car on the way to a music lesson is far higher than the risk at an Outward Bound Course. I wouldn't want mine to think 'the world is a scary place away from mother'!

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:28:47

I have just injured my foot and been unable to do much for a month by misjudging one step in a friend's house!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 23:29:31


I have a lot of respect and trust for teachers within a classroom. I have done both jobs, not outward bound but dc out of school. I know many teachers i wouldn't trust outside of the classroom and many centre workers who shouldn't have been in the job. Ime teachers aren't trained nor qualified to care for dc out of the classroom environment.

willyoulistentome Sat 04-May-13 23:29:36

My son is meant to go on a y6 residential in November. Sea kayaking, canoeing, in sodding November. It will be freezing. He has AS and he doesn't want to go. He did a two night residential last autumn and came home in pjs, not having cleaned his teeth or washed for 3 days. The AS means he is bad at self care. He was in a rowdy room and missed out on loads of sleep. He absolutely exhausted when he came home. We had the a weekend of emotional meltdowns. I don't want him to go away in November. He will hate it. We will suffer the consequences of him being stressed for a week and I will have to pay £250 for this. HT is making all the right noises about 'supporting' him
But I just don't want him to go.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:29:59

I broke my wrist by falling over my back door step! I have been skiing over a dozen times and not injured anything!

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 23:31:44

Outward Bound staff are fully qualified! It is their job!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 04-May-13 23:34:14


Every year at any school my children have attended and there have been a few, a teacher and several children have come back with broken limbs. Just unlucky I guess grin

Jbck Sun 05-May-13 00:14:30

OP pm'd you earlier and meant to let you know.

MidniteScribbler Sun 05-May-13 00:27:37

but do teachers have to pay to go on trips out of their own pockets or does the school pay?

Why should the teacher have to pay? They're only going because they have to be there to care for your children and are sacrificing time with their own families to provide the experience for other people's children. They don't get paid any extra for going away, even though it means being on duty 24 hours of the day.

clam Sun 05-May-13 00:51:03

"do teachers have to pay to go on trips out of their own pockets or does the school pay"
You want teachers to give up a week of their time to supervise and care for your child 24 hours a day and PAY for the privilege? Yeah, right.

And no, the school doesn't pay either. Either the outward bound centre offers 'free' places for accompanying staff, or the cost is factored in to what the children pay collectively.

You don't like that? Fine, the trips don't happen.

Leavenheath Sun 05-May-13 01:09:47

My overall feeling about this is that it's a huge shame for children who want to go on the Y6 trip, but are held back either by over-protective parents or financial difficulties. One of the main reasons this trip is part of our culture is because it gives children the necessary level of independence and detachment to start secondary school, when mum and dad won't be in the playground any longer and they'll have to learn more responsibility for looking after their possessions and ensuring they have the right equipment.

One of your problems OP might be the nature of the trip itself. There has been a trend in recent years towards activity centres and outward bound type trips and these don't suit all children. In years gone by, the Y6 trip tried to combine a range of academic and outdoor interests with pure fun and leisure pursuits; a trip to a historical building, fossil hunting to capture physical geography, a factory making something fun or beautiful to understand manufacturing and business. Plus lots of activities that were just for fun, but a good range to excite most children's interest and imagination e.g. funfairs, sporting contests, swimming, discos, basic orienteering.

Your costs seem very reasonable to me, but I'd do two things in future:

Look at going in the September before the serious SATs work has started. Several primary schools round here do it then because it's cheaper, the weather is often better and it is quite a nice bonding experience for the children's final year.

Consider a wider range of activities on the trip.

School trips provide children with some amazing memories and the Y6 trip especially has a huge significance in preparing children for secondary school.

Darkesteyes Sun 05-May-13 01:12:04

jamdonut said this...

Some people take the "voluntary " donation to mean they shouldn't bother. Of course it is not truly voluntary, but schools are not allowed to say it is not. If you tell the school it is difficult to pay, ways round will usually be found

If its not voluntary why say it is. Seems like some schools have been taking some lessons from certain workfare providers who get jobsseeekers to do workfare in charity shops on threat of losing their benefits and the jobseeker has to wear a badge saying "Volunteer"
Better phone the Oxford Dictionary quick smart because the whole definition of the word "volunteer" seems to have changed.

Leavenheath Sun 05-May-13 01:19:36

No, schools usually bend over backwards to help families in difficulty, but they recognise that there will always be some parents who take the piss and refuse to make a donation, despite having disposable income for parental luxuries. Schools take the entirely reasonable view that this parental fecklessness is not however the children's fault and so they will fund that child's place. If parents haven't had the courtesy to speak to the school to say they will be unable to make a contribution, schools might well chase them for the money, but none of that chasing should be communicated to the children themselves.

MidniteScribbler Sun 05-May-13 01:31:52

It always astounds me that when people start reproducing, they don't consider that they may need to actually pay for things for that child in life. A pound a week put aside to pay for things like school trips will mean having the funds available when it comes time to pay. You can't just say 'oh we didn't know they go away in year 6' when not only is it standard, but you've been at school for five years already at that point and watched five years worth of year six students go away on camp. You don't think that it's going to happen when your child is in year six? "Oh they only gave us two weeks to pay." No, they gave you ten years to pay.

I get fed up with the "I can't afford it" brigade. Usually while they're standing there smoking a cigarette or texting on their brand new iphone. It's not that they can't afford it, it's that they don't prioritise their children's education. People who genuinely have issues with finances will quietly talk to the school, make arrangements to pay it off or offer to do some other work around the school to make up for it.

madbengal Sun 05-May-13 01:49:43

DD went last year and it was £230 for her and we got a A4 list of clothes she had to bring we did get 6 months notice and installment sheet which made it more managable and it was for 4 days and she loved it. where was only 2 kids that didnt go and they were twins I think they just got put into another class

My kid has played at an elite youth level in more than one sport and still goes on school trips. He hasn't been injured during them but has been injured during a PE lesson that required crutches and off sports for 4 weeks -- during a really important part of the season. I still think that getting these kids to do other stuff away from home and parents is important. Personal development is why we do extra curriculars, the achievement is the cherry on top, not the reason. Having to sit out and learn patience when injured is a big part of that.

I agree with exotic, driving to the activity be it an away camp or a music lesson is way more dangerous.

ravenAK Sun 05-May-13 02:13:14

I think the teacher should be aware that the trip-refusers may be giving it a miss because of lack of money, so alternative activities need to be funded by the school. Ideally, the residential should be funded for those who can't afford it.

Also, too many exciting alternatives are liable to nobble the residential for next year. So - free swimming, fine, but otherwise, it should be activities within school.

& no, teachers don't pay to go on trips - I know things are grim, but so far we aren't expected to work from 6am-midnight or later AND & pay for the privilege. Teachers volunteer to give up our time. There is quite often arm-twisting involved.

Residential trips in school term mean several extra hours per day, unpaid. If over a weekend, we do all that & miss out on time with our own dc. If it's half-term, we often have to fund extra childcare for our own dc in order to go away with our students.

Speaking as an experienced teacher who enjoys & values residential trips, I've yet to go on one that didn't leave me exhausted & stressed. It's worth it, but it's work. Not a jolly.

sashh Sun 05-May-13 06:25:03

You need to talk to the teacher and say if s/he want to take them on a £32 trip then s/he will need to pay for it.

Some of the Y6 here spend a night sleeping in the uni library. Loads of other things already suggested that would be cheaper / free.

Jinty64 Sun 05-May-13 08:15:42

I think one of the difficulties is working out which parents can't afford it and which parents choose not to prioritise it. My friend has a bigger income than we do but enjoys nights out, I-phones on contract for them both (eye wateringly expensive), designer clothes, every conceivable gaming device, holidays and trips away etc. up to them as they are earning the money.

We have less income but spend it on a bigger house, music lessons and Tescos clothes and budget furiously for school trips. We would definitely be perceived to be the better off family. She would be the one to be offered help with trips so it is not always fair.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 05-May-13 09:41:08

We dont prioritise school trips, we prioritise family holidays. These holidays have given us a fund of family jokes, shared memories and experiences which we wouldnt have if we had prioritised ski trips (or whatever) for one DC at a time.

If we had decided that we didnt want to send DCs on a school trip because of cost, we would be less than thrilled to find that the school had decided that the only alternative was to spend a lot of money in a different direction.

sarahtigh Sun 05-May-13 10:39:03

I can understand why people prioritise family holiday as all members of family need a break in some families it is the only time they get together as often in low income families on minimum wage jobs one works evenings/ weekends to solve child care problem so often they do not get weekends together, this does not mean they do not prioritise their children but they have a different idea of what is best for their child or family

and it is not fair that say Dc1 gets a holiday but only because Dc2 can't then have one

also not everyone likes outward bound style things I would gladly let DD do it but personally i can think of very little I would hate more as a holiday

hope4455 Sun 05-May-13 10:41:48

I cannot believe the sweeping generalistion on this thread. I have always tried to pay for my children's school trips but unfortunatly some are not affordable.
MidniteScribbler u must have a perfect life - well done u

clam Sun 05-May-13 10:43:50

"You need to talk to the teacher and say if s/he want to take them on a £32 trip then s/he will need to pay for it."

hmm Seriously??

exoticfruits Sun 05-May-13 10:53:56

I expect it is serious- the way that people expect the teacher to pay for themselves on a school trip when they are working the entire time and taking all that responsibility and stress!!!

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 10:59:42

Perhaps suggesting that the teacher pay for it might be the wake-up call that particular teacher might need - after all, if they think that £32 is a suitable price to pay for one day trip then they obviously don't have a good grasp on reality and probably need a ridiculous suggestion to understand how ridiculous they are being.

I do sometimes wonder whether some schools and teachers fully understand the financial difficulties facing millions of families.

burberryqueen Sun 05-May-13 11:03:11

I have always tried to pay for my children's school trips but unfortunatly some are not affordable
exactly - how exactly is someone with twins on a low income and no child support fromm ex supposed to fund a ski trip to America that costs over £1000 per child? That has been the only trip on offer so far at secondary school...and we live in one of the poorest areas of the UK - so actually a handful of pupils went and had a fab time...imo the whole idea was to identify the 'naice' families.

badguider Sun 05-May-13 11:05:22

The price for the one day at an activity centre is a lot, BUT there's a huge difference between £50 and £230. I think £50 for a wide range of activities in a week is pretty good (£10 a day).

I know (am a guide leader) however that they could do a couple of hours at a climbing wall for about £8.50 per head and that's probably enough for a day with a picnic lunch and travel.
Then maybe a day at a WWT place, a zoo visit, swimming.. I reckon I could have them all doing really memorable stuff every day for five days for a total of about £30.

YoniOrNotYoni Sun 05-May-13 11:17:27

Do you know if that's the case with trips abroad at High School level too?
Yes it is. Teachers don't pay for school trips. They are either covered by the charges to parents or free places are offered by venues. Why do you ask? Do you think teachers should be paying for the privilege of spending time caring for your children instead of their own? Ffs. Talk about taking any opportunity to teacher bash! Most teachers enjoy the visits, but they are exhausting and stressful. They only happen because teachers volunteer their free time to organise and accompany them.

YoniOrNotYoni Sun 05-May-13 11:21:07

Sorry, got side tracked and ranty...
Op, yanbu, the teacher their clearly means well, but needs to consider cheaper options. Plenty of fun stuff (putting on a play, making a video or newspaper about school...) can be done for free in school while the others are away.

Mine have been to every residential going. Are they interested in any of the activities they learned now? That would be a big fat no.wink

musu Sun 05-May-13 11:27:11

I'd be surprised if all 16 not going is down to cost, particularly when they have had a long time to pay. A fair few may be down to children not wanting to go or parents not wanting them to go.

My dn had a residential trip at that age and the only way my SIL would allow her to go was if she (SIL) and the rest of the family went too (stayed at the same place as well). hmm

Fairenuff Sun 05-May-13 11:29:02

It's not just a question of cost though. It's a choice. If the children don't want to go or their parents don't want them to go, then that's their choice. No-one has to go.

Even if parents can afford it, they might prefer to spend the money on something else. It will depend not only on finances but also who wants to go where and when and who with, family or friends. All families will be different and they will vary year to year and child to child.

There should be alternative activities arranged for those who don't want to/can't go and these should be affordable and accessible to all.

So your teacher is right, imo, to make sure that those not going still have a fun, bonding, team building, physically and mentally challenging experience but it should also be either free for all or very low cost.

musu Sun 05-May-13 11:30:11

I wanted to go on the school ski trip. It was £450 in 1979. I didn't even dare ask my parents if I could as it just sounded like such a huge amount of money. Fortunately the education I had means I can afford to pay £1400 for ds to go on his school ski trip despite being a single parent without any support from ds's father. Ski trips are nice but not compulsory, not educational and there is no stigma attached to those children who don't go.

Fairenuff Sun 05-May-13 11:36:50

I work as a TA and refuse to go on residential trips. My work time is work and my home time is home.

On residentials I would have to work in an extra 12 hours a day - getting up at 6am, no meal breaks (eat with and supervise children at the same time), no evening time, late nights (sometimes up til midnight), disturbed sleep (nightmares, bedwetters, homesickness, falling out with friends). Basically I would be on duty 24 hours a day.

And I would not get paid for this.

As a TA I can turn down the offer but Teachers can't. They have to go and they make the best of it but they are exhausted by the end.

littleducks Sun 05-May-13 12:32:28

I didn't go on the year six residential, because I didn't really have any close friends going and didn't fancy it. I went away with Brownies and guides quite happily.

I don't think my kids will go as and stay overnight. The school has just changed to a closer venue where children can go just for the day as well. I think this would work better for them.

I don't have a close relationship with the school and don't trust them as much as I do her Brown Owl and others.

Hulababy Sun 05-May-13 13:09:32

Do people really think teachers should pay to go on these trips?!!!

Teachers give up their time to run these trips - on duty for several hours in addition to their normal working week. No extra pay given but 'at work' all day and into the evening and 'on call' all night. And that doesn't include the extra time spent in planning the trip, organising it and all the prep.

Mind you as some people think thy shouldn't exit full stop maybe that's what they'd prefer. For all teachers to have to pay and then for all trips to stop.

exoticfruits Sun 05-May-13 13:11:25

Some people think teachers are robots-they should live in a cupboard at school and not have a life-and then they would still complain. grin

clam Sun 05-May-13 13:12:37

"I do sometimes wonder whether some schools and teachers fully understand the financial difficulties facing millions of families"

Yeah, right, because teachers don't live in the real world with families of their own and a mortgage/rent to pay. Rolling in money, all of them. hmm

exoticfruits Sun 05-May-13 13:13:07

Every single time there is a thread like this someone thinks that the teacher should pay for the 'jolly'-clearly someone who has never gone away with a large group of someone else's children!

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 13:25:23

I have no doubt that teachers are not rolling in it - but honestly, someone who thinks that £32 for a day trip (without any consultation with the parents) is reasonable really has no idea of affordability.

That isn't to say that I think she should pay for the pupils - I made that clear in the rest of my post - but can you honestly, hand on heart, say that £32 (plus spending money I would imagine) for a day trip is a reasonable amount to ask parents to cough up?

YummyCalpol Sun 05-May-13 13:36:40

Midnitescribbler, what a completely vile post!

Of course people think about these things before they 'reproduce' but people's circumstances change. Some families have NO spare cash, ever. Regardless of whether they've had 10 days or 10 years so save for a trip!

My friend and her DH were very comfortably off when they 'reproduced' but due to her husband dying very suddenly finances have been extremely tight for them in recent years.

You might have a cushy life but not everyone has the same luck!

KatyDid02 Sun 05-May-13 13:39:15

We get told the cost a year before the trip is scheduled and can pay monthly in instalments.

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 13:39:28

I hadn't seen that post by Midnite - what a lot of cack. Ignore ignore ignore.

YoniOrNotYoni Sun 05-May-13 13:49:06

SirChenjin I dont think anyone here has said that £32 is reasonable for a day trip. What we have done though is answered your question and asked you some in return: why do you wonder if teachers pay for themselves on trips/residentials? Do you think they should?

infamouspoo Sun 05-May-13 13:49:17

load of cack midnite. When i started 'reproducing' I had never heard of 'residential trips'. They certainly never did such things when I was at school. One trip a year to Avebury or London or something. None in secondary school.
And people dont plan redundancies, disability, sickness, boiler breaking etc. sheesh

soverylucky Sun 05-May-13 13:51:38

So one teacher thinks that £32 for a day trip is not a big deal therefore the majority of teachers who are rolling in it haven't got a clue. Are we going to have the MN favourite line of "not living in the real world" banded about again.

JenaiMorris Sun 05-May-13 13:59:32

In the seven years ds spent at primary, I only heard of one child who didn't go on the Y6 residential. Obviously there could've been more, but it caused enough of a stir when that one didn't go (her mum wouldn't let her stay away from home) that I believe it was pretty much unique.

The school discreetly helped those who couldn't afford it, plus aunties, grandparents, friends chipped in.

It seems such a shame to miss out - I hope this year is a one off, OP.

lljkk Sun 05-May-13 14:26:01

If DD misbehaves I have promised to travel half way across England to collect her.

There is NO Way DS2 is going grin.

alpinemeadow Sun 05-May-13 14:31:07

Begonia bampot i'd be inclined to take that up with the school (the 'choose your own roommate popularity contest' thing) - suggest teacher allocates instead if it's causing upset. Dd's primary trip, the teacher allocated the rooms - not everyone got precisely what they wanted, but it was basically ok.
I like the way suggested by another poster - restorer? - of dcs writing down three names in 'secret' and teacher deciding on basis of that.
I think that's the way forward at secondary school as well - though think generally that doesn't happen - am i right?
residential trips can be great, but there are some dcs for whom it just isn't their thing -we're all diferent - and that's fine too.

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 14:31:08

Why do I wonder if teachers pay for themselves? I just do, it's been one of those things I've often wondered. Do I think they should? No I don't - please see my previous post.

I'm afraid I do think that schools often misjudge the financial implications that school trips have for parents though - as the OP shows. We have been asked for eye-watering amounts over the years throughout the DCs primary education. I don't know if it's different in England, but in Scotland it's not a voluntary contribution, so if you don't pay your child stays in school and joins another class - which happened one year when we were asked for £200 for a residential trip and £85 for ski lessons in the space of 3 months. They had ski lessons the previous year, so we felt that 2 years in a row was too much. DS was one of the very few who didn't go (because we couldn't afford it) and had to stay behind and do lessons with another class. He didn't enjoy the experience, and felt quite embarrassed, which was horrible as a parent.

High School is certainly much easier - trips are much more inclusive and there is more choice. It's obviously not done on a class-wide basis, so no need for children to feel they are the odd one out. Fortunately the trips and activities do seem to have been scaled back/downsized recently in the primary school, so I suspect there has probably been quite a few phone calls and letters from parents behind the scenes.

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 14:32:40

Stay behind from the ski lessons that is, we scraped the cost of the residential trip together

MamaMumra Sun 05-May-13 14:52:11

If you had spent just 5 minutes a week on self improvement, you would have learned some act and compassion by now.

MamaMumra Sun 05-May-13 14:52:59

Tact that is. And I forgot I add - how charming a statement.

YoniOrNotYoni Sun 05-May-13 15:26:03

<gets off high horse, salutes Chenjin for answering the question, goes back to marking>

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 15:39:42

Were you really on your high horse over something so innocuous Yoni? The simple fact of the matter was that I logged off MN last night after I asked the question then logged back on this morning and then didn't notice your subsequent question. If you go back upthread you will notice that Suffolk and Restorer already answered my question at 20.52 and I thanked them. At no point did I 'bash' any teacher.

Goodness me...what a fuss about nothing.

SirChenjin Sun 05-May-13 15:52:41

Sorry - that last sentence was very cheeky blush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cost is voluntary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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