to be furious that my daughter's school thinks educating her includes...

(159 Posts)

Taking YRs 7-11 off timetable for a day next month.....

sending them on a 10 mile walk..................

for which they will need to be sponsored by us..........


So my two daughters lose a day's school which my Yr 11 daughter, already stressed to the max by all her A* targets (thanks school), can ill afford and I'm supposed to pay actual cash for this?

Is it me or is this absolutely unreasonable?

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 18:26:54


They have to fund raise for these things.

Stop being so precious.

EduCated Mon 16-Sep-13 18:27:46

YAB a bit U. It's one day. Hell, she might even enjoy it.

MrsWolowitz Mon 16-Sep-13 18:27:50


Lighten up.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 18:28:04

It's one day.

My old school did a sponsored 10 mile walk every September.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Mon 16-Sep-13 18:28:37

Keep her off. What a crock of shit.

WorraLiberty Mon 16-Sep-13 18:29:03

She doesn't have to do it.

VanitasVanitatum Mon 16-Sep-13 18:29:41

Sounds like great exercise and probably good for her stress levels..

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:30:06

It's only 1 day and I think it teaches a life lesson.

In work I get taking off my job for training days.

I would ask if school uniform can be relaxed that day though

headlesslambrini Mon 16-Sep-13 18:30:18

It will probably be on the PSHE day when they would be off timetable anyway. They are asking for sponsorship so just give them a fiver each. If you are not happy with target grades then speak to the teachers

Why kick up such a fuss?

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Mon 16-Sep-13 18:30:34

YANBU. Raising money is all well and good but surely there's ways they could do it without wasting lesson time and making them walk so far (10 miles knackered me when I was 15 and I was in good shape).

I think yabu. You don't HAVE to sponsor her and it will probably do her good to have a day out in the open.

Sirzy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:31:56

YABU. It's one day and its for a good cause.

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 16-Sep-13 18:32:00

It's one day. And the collective responsiblity is great social education. They are all raising funds for something they all will ultimately benefit from.

BackforGood Mon 16-Sep-13 18:34:36

My ds's school does a walk every year. Raises a heck of a lot of dosh (think about it, if everyone only brought £1, that's £1000 easily in most schools). Good for them to see that money has to be 'earned' and there isn't an infinite supply. One day of fresh air and exercise isn't going to make a jot of difference to your dd's exams.

AnneUulmelmahay Mon 16-Sep-13 18:34:40

We had to pay £5 per brick to get new sch building 30 yrs ago. Well not we, the parents, I mean.

Plus ca change, or summat. Sigh.

Hulababy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:35:52

Wouldn't bother me at all.

Exercise will do them good generally. 10 miles isn't that far for a walk - different if they are expected to run it or have a tight deadline to complete it in. But for a fairly relaxed speed walk, with a break in between maybe, then I see no issue.

Sponsorship - assume that is voluntary. So if you don't want to sponsor them then don't. Or just give them a fixed amount and don't bother asking half the family and friends - we rarely, ever, do the latter.

Targets - see school if you feel these are too challenging and stressful for her.

AChickenCalledKorma Mon 16-Sep-13 18:37:26

If she's stressed to the max in September, a strenuous walk in the countryside with no guilt attached sounds like an ideal way to spend the day.

But I do agree that in an ideal world, new school buildings would not be paid for by extracting every last penny of sponsorship from parents. Not an ideal world, sadly.

NotYoMomma Mon 16-Sep-13 18:38:16

I can have two paid days off work to do charitable or community projects or raise funds.

welcome to the realworld

and surely they havent set her unattainable 'targets' they will be estimated results from prior performance? hmm

She walks three miles a day anyway. Given that she is taking her English and Maths GCSE in November and then mocks after that I think actual school is more important to her than a 'life experience' at this point.

I absolutely object to the idea that we should be paying towards this building. She goes to a state school. Education is free at the point of delivery and a sponsored anything is basically a levy on parents.

I cannot take my children out of school now except for 'exceptional' purposes. Why is it ok for school to decline to educate them in favour of a fundraising walk?

Sirzy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:40:56

There is more to education than sitting in lessons.

Taking part in such an event is educational.

NotYoMomma Mon 16-Sep-13 18:44:24

they may have already educated her though and it would be revision at that point?

do you put a lot of pressure on your dd? does she know how annoyed you are? a smile and encouragement and expression of faith in her to cope with 1 days walk might do wonders

Yes it will educate them as to how much dog poo there is along the river path they're walking along. It's not even an interesting river, basically it's a ditch at the point they stroll along. I imagine they'll also get an insight in to how many of their little pals try to sneak off. She's already been educated in exactly how crap I think this is.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:48:11

Do you think like this for sport days or end of year trip like theme parks.

She knows I know she can walk 10 miles. That's not the issue and no, we put no pressure on her. Quite the opposite. She puts a lot of pressure on herself.

SantanaLopez Mon 16-Sep-13 18:49:21

If she can't miss one day you've got much bigger problems.

Calm self.

No trips to theme parks here and sports day only goes up to Yr 9. It was a day off timetable working as a team and trying to excel. That's fine, as is the 2 weeks off timetable she's had at the end of the summer term to work on costume for the school play. Again she's been excelling at a skill. This on the other hand is the wrong time of year, the wrong activity and for the wrong purpose.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 16-Sep-13 18:53:21

Well I agree with you on the state education / levy on parents point. The expectation that parents fund fundamental things like school buildings basically gives advantaged schools in advantaged areas even more privileges. What about children in deprived areas whose parents have no money to donate? Do they sit in the open air?

But i don't think the walk itself is that bad - it shouldn't take a day though? 3 hours max surely?

HesterShaw Mon 16-Sep-13 18:54:07

A 10 mile walk would do the majority of teenagers good particularly if it's raining.

Bet no one will moan at the resulting improved facilities.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:05

it's not a levy on parents, though, is it, as no parent is actually obliged to sponsor anyone. Your DD doesn't have to partake and you don't have to sponsor her.

I have no idea what her academic aspirations are but given the competition for uni places these days, extracurricular stuff like this is all to the good.

TidyDancer Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:14

If I didn't recognise your name, I'd think this was a wind up.

It's one day. There is no harm in this whatsoever. If you don't want to sponsor her, don't.

Bowlersarm Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:30

It's you!


It's one day. Lovely healthy way to spend a day.

sparklekitty Mon 16-Sep-13 18:58:51

Probably would have been ok if the building schools for the future hasn't been scrapped.

I guess the AIBU answer depends on how you voted really

The school have said they do all have to take part and are offering a £15 voucher for the child who raises the most.

I note your views but I maintain IANBU! grin

Sparkle - I voted Labour.

Goldmandra Mon 16-Sep-13 19:01:37

Taking part in such an event is educational.

I think it would be fair to question how taking part in this event is educational.

I would be asking how my child was going to benefit from this activity. What are the learning targets?

If it isn't acceptable for them to have a day off school to have a family day out, however educational, they need to justify how it is acceptable for the school to do this.

If my DD already walked three miles a day and didn't want to participate and the school couldn't tell me what she would be learning, I would allow her to stay home and revise.

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 19:02:43

If your dd is "stressed to the max" by her GCSEs already then you really need to talk to the school about it. And start thinking of some strategies for her- the pressure gets much worse and the year goes on,

And the people saying 10 miles is too far- really??????? For healthy teenagers?

Don't like th idea of the sponsorship being for a school building, though. A well chosen charity would be better. But apart from that, I think a sponsored walk is a good idea.

MmmmWhiteWine Mon 16-Sep-13 19:05:52

YABU. It's one day, doing a fun activity for the benefit of the school and its pupils. Is your DD really likely to be adversely affected by missing a single day's normal timetable?

redexpat Mon 16-Sep-13 19:05:57

So are you more pissed off at her missing a day so close to exams, or pissed off that education is free at the point of delivery and parents shouldn't have to pay for school buildings? I don't think YABU for the latter, although it teaches them about having to contribute before they can benefit from something. Would you be less pissed off if it wasn't so close to her exams?

HavantGuard Mon 16-Sep-13 19:07:23

One day? I can't see the issue.

hippo123 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:08:18

How can raising funds for a new school building be for the wrong purpose? Or is it as your dd is in year 11 she won't benefit, therefore your not supporting it? Yabu. A day off will do your dd good, sounds like she's under a lot of unnessary pressure.

Runningchick123 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:08:49

Especially as the school are offering prizes to the child who raises the most sponsor money.
I'd be tempted to keep her off school for the day and take her to a spa to de-stress.

Thanks curlew - yes am working on the stress aspect.

I don't think 10 miles is too far for any teenager to walk, of course not - but in the context of a school day I am questioning what the point of it is - except to raise money for something I shouldn't have to pay for!

Goldmandra - that is exactly the point that aggravates me. I will be having that day off work anyway as dd3 has a training day. Dd1 and dd2 are off the previous day for a training day. If it's an educational experience free for all I could take them to London, to the V&A where they could all have a great time drawing things. But of course I don't get to do that do I?

kali110 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:09:27

Think yabu.
If you don't want to sponsor her then fine, but this will do her the world of good.
Your dd sounds like me.i was stressed to the max with exams. I put so much pressure on myself (and still do). Air, exercise and being with her pals will be a nice well deserved break!

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 19:09:41

And at my dd's school,bother a allowed to go home after they get back so she'll have a nice long revision evening.

hippo - we will benefit as dd1 is likely to stay on for 6th form then there's dd2 and dd3 in a few years. I don't think the school should have to fundraise to replace it's own buildings but if they're going to yes we will benefit. It's the fact that this fundraising is effectively being bought with a days education that is one of my grounds for objection. Seems like a massive double standard - I'm not allowed to make that choice for my child - and yes a spa day could be a good idea grin

maddy68 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:14:29

Tbh I think it's a great thing for them to do, they get to chat to teachers on the way round in an informal setting. My school also does a sponsored walk and I feel I get to know more about the kids on that day than I do the rest of the year. It's about team building and exercise as well as raising funds. I love it -- even if I am far too unfit --

ThePinkOcelot Mon 16-Sep-13 19:15:27

YABU! You are talking about 1 day, hardly going to make a huge dent in their schooling is it?!

complexnumber Mon 16-Sep-13 19:17:18

Personally I see 'education' being more than GCSE grades.

Schools are communities. Anything that can be done to encourage pupils to engage in this community and to contribute to the wider social benefit is a good thing in my view. Even if this means making sacrifices (sometimes financial)

If we don't do this, then schools are merely reduced to exam factories.

K8Middleton Mon 16-Sep-13 19:19:38

Yanbu. This is not an optional activity and it is for a purpose that should be provided by the state.

The financial incentive for raising the most cash is outrageous. I hate sponsored crap but enforced sponsored crap that marks out the less well off and rewards the privileged is abhorrent.

Don't the school have to spend a minimum number of days educating pupils? I bet ofsted would have something to say about this (not that I'm suggesting you involve them).

NotYoMomma Mon 16-Sep-13 19:21:53

you need to address your dd's stress and anxiety levels asap

speaking as someone with an anxiety disorder

your 'education in how shit you think it is' will NOT Be helping

I honestly have no ambitions for my dd's GCSE grades. I don't give two hoots whether she gets the A*s or not. I just want her all in one piece at the end of the year. What does gall though is that the school place a lot of emphasis on this and then turn the playing field over when it suits their pockets -which they shouldn't have to be responsible for anyway.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:25:39

Tbh I do think its a rubbish idea.

A school dance with ticket prices around £5 per person would have the same effect of raising money and actually fun for the children. This also could be done on a Friday evening.

itsametaphordaddy Mon 16-Sep-13 19:25:50

I used to work at a school that got a new build. Unforeseen circumstances meant they overspent by tens of thousands. We were left without paper, no photocopier, no pens etc. Teachers ended up buying them for their classes. Wish that school had the common sense to do a sponsored walk.

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Sep-13 19:25:53

If you want a new school building they can always allow themselves to be taken over by some weird religious academy chain with pots of cash. Would that suit you better?

Bowlersarm Mon 16-Sep-13 19:26:33

I note your views but I maintain IANBU!

I like your style OP grin

itsametaphordaddy Mon 16-Sep-13 19:27:27

Mcnewpants. Would you expect the teachers to give up their Friday night to supervise the dance? We do that enough for residentials, clubs, Xmas parties etc

TheLightPassenger Mon 16-Sep-13 19:29:25

agree completely with k8. yanbu. 10 mile walk - fine. for a good charitable cause - fine. for school buildings that our taxes/vat ought to be paying for - not fine. prize for raising most sponsor money - a bit dodgy.

Notyo - firstly my tongue was somewhat in my cheek in that post and secondly, yes of course I am aware of that but as I'm sure you understand I can't wave a maternal wand and make it better. Going on past experience with the school the teachers who are losing lesson time in this week will tell the class to cover x,y and z before the next lesson. This isn't a 'day off'. The work will still have to be done but at home - meanwhile she spends school time raising money.

HopeS01 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:30:04

YA*N*BU, this kind of activity should be optional!

ukatlast Mon 16-Sep-13 19:30:59

YABa bit U my son's school does this once a year - half the money raised goes to charity and half to the school.
It is much better to get this out of the way with a single event rather than be constantly doing fundraising during the year. That schools should have to raise funds as State schools is a whole other issue but I prefer that my child gets resources than goes without.
Physical fitness is part of the curriculum surely? They get the rest of the day off after they have finished as well which is a good motivator.
If she would rather be revising for exams, you could give her a 'mental health' day I suppose.

SirChenjin Mon 16-Sep-13 19:32:02


I'm sure that if the parents and the school put their collective heads together they will be able to come up with a way of raising funds which does not involved children missing a day of their education. If I'm not allowed to take the DCs out of school because it's disruptive and neglects their educational progress then it works the other way round afaic.

ukatlast Mon 16-Sep-13 19:32:57

YANBU re 'new school building' being the target - that is not for parents to pay for. It would take far too many sponsored walks I feel. Interactive whiteboards and new lockers are more appropriate uses.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Mon 16-Sep-13 19:33:44


The activity has no purpose or merit other than to raise money. Given the view of the present government that even to miss one day if school there has to be exceptional circumstances I cannot see how Mr Gove would approve of such a thing.

If she wanted to do it I would let her. If not I'd keep her home.

I would feel just as annoyed as you do.

vj32 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:33:46

I agree its lame and badly thought through.

If they need to raise money for a school building they should get the kids to arrange events to fundraise. It could even be related to the contents of the new building. Then the group managing it do get an educational experience.

No way would any school I've worked at take all kids off timetable for a sponsored walk to get the school funds. But then they were both city schools, so despite being about to fall down they didn't have a load of rich parents who they could just ask to pay via 'sponsorship'.

SirChenjin Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:47

Our primary school raised funds for a new gym hall over many months, with lots of different activities (none of which involved taking the children out of school). It's perfectly possible.

NotYoMomma Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:50

I see a lot of myself in your dd (although mine hit in later life) which is why I posted.

I know my mum and dh tried loads to help but often it adds to the stress especially if you let your feeling rage (I can only advise keep it on MN for the time being)

I would totally recommend breathing exercises and meditation. (seriously not taking Mick) as it really helped me take 30 minutes, calm down and then crack on. I got a lot more done in tge end once I reigned it in.

Is it optional? what work will they be missing? is it coursework already set or revision, or New topics?

ihearsounds Mon 16-Sep-13 19:38:02

She needs to talk to the school about the stress. She shouldn't be stressing this much, even with the imminent mocks. A day off from school will do her good. She can walk and have a laugh with her mates at the same time. She gets to relax, and have her mind on something else... Don't see the problem myself.

As for the school building. I could be like when ours was designed 15 years ago. Plans were revised when the LA decided to go ahead with the build. Obviousy things had gone up over the years. But someone from the LA in their infinite wisdom decided that the 10 years between the first plan and the go ahead, the price hadn't increased that much so awarded less than was needed.... So a lot of frantic fundraising followed to get the build completed. Never mind the ongoing fund raising 4 years later to actually get the equipment in rooms that they were built for lol.

This is not a regular thing btw. This is a one off, they've never done this before.

topicsactiveimon Mon 16-Sep-13 19:39:44

I do find the near-universal YABU amusing. If you'd asked to take DD out for a day at the Natural History Museum, you would have been raked over the coals by at least 50% of posters. But to walk 10 miles along a muddy ditch for questionable goal... that's a valid reason for a day off lessons. grin

That said, the muddy ditch walk won't do her any harm.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:41:44

Could get in parental help with the disco along with teachers who do want to help.

The teachers will be using the nee school for a lot longer than the current pupils.

Indeed topics grin

Remotecontrolduck Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:47

She shouldn't be this stressed poor thing, it's going to get much worse so try help her out with that

YANBU though, I don't think it's a very good idea. You're right, they're putting pressure on you to give money you might not have, to pay for a new building. Are they really taking ALL of 7-11 on this walk? That's going to take a hell of a lot of supervision isn't it. Not everyone's going to be a fast walker either.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 16-Sep-13 19:50:48


I think it's good to let children know tht there schools and education cost a lot of money, and I think it's a good thing o get them involved in it.

Flibbedyjibbet Mon 16-Sep-13 19:56:05

Eeh you sound like a right laugh. Bet you don't get invited on many 10 mile walks!

CMOTDibbler Mon 16-Sep-13 19:59:55

Ds's school has a compulsory sponsored walk every year for everyone 7-18. On a bank holiday. Yrs 9 and up don't need a parent, but the rest do, and its 3 miles for age 11 and under and 9 miles for older.
Compulsory for teachers too - and you sign in and out at each end.

Its nice actually as a relaxed chance to chat with people, the children enjoy it, and its an event for the whole school which is unusual

cansu Mon 16-Sep-13 20:07:17

tbh you sound massively OTT. Why would you worry about this? I think you should look at the bigger picture. yes the state should pay for the new building but given that they will not, you should consider whether the new building will benefit the children and the community. if so then I dont think one day off doing a sponsored walk is a bad thing.

I'm not worried, I'm furious grin

judgejudithjudy Mon 16-Sep-13 20:18:16

seriously, furious over one day?! just count us all lucky we live in the country & have access to "free education"! yabvu & rather precious. i suggest you demand a selection of teachers stay behind to educate your dc lol. or maybe keep dc home & home school for the day?! or i suggest you start a petition or even write to your mp as it really is a serious issue biscuit

pixiepotter Mon 16-Sep-13 20:19:13

It will do them good to get out in the fresh air and have some exercise.Just don't contribute if that is what is bothering you.

Goldmandra Mon 16-Sep-13 20:21:57

I'm not worried, I'm furious

I'd be irritated by the double standards.

stillenacht Mon 16-Sep-13 20:23:42


Trust me its not the school who make up A* targets is the Family Fischer Trust (grrr). Her teachers are prob thinking "crap how am I going to get her an A*". FFT, always good for over inflated nonsensical targets.

comeonpilgrim Mon 16-Sep-13 20:35:20

Yanbu. I find this quite shocking.
If a school in a deprived area needs a new building then I guess it's just tough if parents don't have the cash. Education in England is being badly mismanaged.

Also this is a stupid time of year to do it.

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 20:39:41

If the objection is to the sponsored walk being for new school buildings, then I agree. However, I think the idea of a sponsored walk is excellent. It is profoundly depressing when schools do n't provide any non academic opportunities and experiences for kids.

LtEveDallas Mon 16-Sep-13 20:40:39

Yep, it's the double standards that would piss me off too. I'd be asking the school if they considered this day off an 'exceptional circumstance'

(and then put a letter in to get DD another day off, for a vague 'charity event')

UniS Mon 16-Sep-13 20:40:57

Lots of secondary’s school do a sponsored walk early in the school year. Its good chance for eth new students to see teachers ( and older pupils) in a different setting and role. The local school here do their walk in their tutor groups, so the kids are NOT in their normal subject / year/ friendship groups, but working with a set of youngsters from all years and their registering tutor.

My own school didn't manage who we walked with but as we used a circular route there was rivalry over number of laps and the sixth form manned ( faintly) themed check points . It was on the sponsored walk that I learnt the Greek alphabet, also how to count to ten in a variety of languages.

Turniptwirl Mon 16-Sep-13 20:43:48


The school is being more unreasonable to make them do gcse exams in November than to have then do a nice days walk!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 16-Sep-13 20:52:08

If you really don't agree with it then keep them off.
Otherwise as others have suggested find the positives.
They are learning about working for the better good of the community.
Have you checked whether there is a project to accompany the fund raising and if it covers certain objectives/ outcomes in PHSE e.g.

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 20:55:00

So. Are people saying that because the rules are getting stricter about taking term time holidays, schools should never do any non academic activities with the children? No trips, no plays, no visitors? No matches in school time? All day every day head down at lessons?

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 20:58:25

Furious about one day off lessons?!


soontobeburns Mon 16-Sep-13 21:00:25

I think YANBU but only because if I was told I had to do a 10 mile walk in my GCSE year I would of told them to gp fuck themselves and not gone in.

Ffs I could barely walk a mile let alone 10 and im sure there are children in your DDs school who cant either. So humiliating for the children involved who arent as fit sad

TheCraicDealer Mon 16-Sep-13 21:03:08

Another one who had an annual sponsored walk at school, but ours was usually just before the GCSE/A level students went off on study leave. Thankfully this woman wasn't about during the walk or our parents would have actually had something to complain about.

I honestly don't think anyone in my school was worse off after missing a day of school even that close to exams- messing about with their mates, hitting each other with sticks, eating undercooked hotdogs and finding a way to skive off early. It's a bit of fun, a day off and a change of scenery. Give the minimum in sponsorship and wave her off in a pair of wellies and thick socks. It won't be that bad!

TheBuskersDog Mon 16-Sep-13 21:07:00

When I hear parents talking about their children (usually girls) getting stressed about getting A/A*s I really see the positives of my son's laissez-faire attitude to his GCSEs.

Based on his excellent KS2 SATs he apparently should have been able to get A/A* in any subject, well luckily he didn't feel under pressure to live up to those expectations. Yes it drove me mad that he coasted along doing the bare minimum and left homework until the last minute, but he has never felt stressed or not good enough. He got a decent set of results, not all As but he got As in the subjects he is now doing for A level - the subjects he is naturally strongest at.

OP, it wouldn't even have crossed my mind to be bothered about them missing a day of lessons, and my son would rather do a 10 mile walk with his mates than schoolwork any day.

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 21:07:11

"I think YANBU but only because if I was told I had to do a 10 mile walk in my GCSE year I would of told them to gp fuck themselves and not gone in.

Ffs I could barely walk a mile let alone 10 and im sure there are children in your DDs school who cant either. So humiliating for the children involved who arent as fit "

Do you apply the same logic to PE? Art?

A healthy teenager should be able to walk 10 miles no problem. And there is no need for a non- healthy teen to be humiliated- they just don't do it!

ForTheLoveOfSocks Mon 16-Sep-13 21:12:05

I used to have to do a sponsored walk every fucking year.

It wasn't educational, believe me. Those who are saying its good for them, and what a good learning experience are talking out of there arses. You've obviously never trekked up Tandle Hill every bleeding year for five years <outs self>

I would have much rather given the money out of my own pocket and spend the day in school. The next day everyone was always knackered, including the teachers.

It's just more money grabbing IMO. If the true costs of education are not being met then the answer isn't tappin parents up at every opportunity. School uniforms are another way schools extort money from parents. When I left high school, the yr 7 intake parents had to buy pe shirts and shorts with the school logo on. I mean as if parents don't have enough to cough up angry

GetStuffezd Mon 16-Sep-13 21:15:03

An irrelevant post but this is the best name on MN ever, in the history of best names on MN. Ever. On MN. The best.

soontobeburns Mon 16-Sep-13 21:17:52

Curlew yes also PE. I did netball etc but running etc no way.

Trying to run around a 500m track 5 minutes after everyone else is done and passing out at the finish line, is something I wouldnt wish on anyone.

Sweetsweep Mon 16-Sep-13 21:24:14

YANBU.I didnt send my kids to school to go on a walk. They get to do that, oh wait, when they are not in school.

Sweetsweep Mon 16-Sep-13 21:26:09

You are not having much luck with schools this term are you op!?

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Mon 16-Sep-13 21:28:28

Getstuffezd, gawsh, I don't know how to respond to that. blush I can't take all the praise. I must admit it only happened by chance when my spell checking quill's charm started wearing off... grin

Viviennemary Mon 16-Sep-13 21:34:09

If she doesn't want to walk let her be off school. I don't see why kids should be forced on these hikes if they don't want to go.

GetStuffezd Mon 16-Sep-13 21:36:17

It was rather arse kissy of me, I admit, but the true geekery was just so appealing!

NoComet Mon 16-Sep-13 21:43:36

YABU about the walk and the day off.
YAN, necessarily, BU about the sponsor money. We have very few relatives and my DDad pathologically disapproves of sponsored things, so it's me paying every sodding time.

I confess I quite often 'loose' sponsor forms.

The dds don't mind doing the walk. It's me that's outraged and this thread has helped me pin down why - it is the hypocrisy and the income generating combined. I can't withdraw them from lessons to make money for me, nevermind do something fun and educational. How is it ok for the school to do so?

Worse things happen at sea though grin

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 22:15:01

So, does that mean that the school isn't allowed to do anything fun with the kids? Just work?

Well ideally I'd like them to be fed gruel...........grin

They do fun stuff - not that much comes to mind except for the end of term production but I'm sure it's there.

Just to out myself though - if you know York you'll know that a ten mile trek by the Foss in October to Strensall and back isn't exactly fun city......

morethanpotatoprints Mon 16-Sep-13 22:26:58


You sound like your knickers are untwisted again now grin
I see where you are coming from now.
I must admit to not missing the hypocrisy of schools/system, amongst other things. School run springs to mind.
Your dds stress worries me a bit because they have only just gone back. Past experience with ds's though, I can remember them being the same at start of y11. They soon calmed down and into the flow of stuff.

5Foot5 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:30:17

Trying to run around a 500m track 5 minutes after everyone else is done and passing out at the finish line, is something I wouldnt wish on anyone.

Trying to do some sums on this and I am a bit sceptical. 500m is just over 1/4 mile isn't it? Surely even at a normal walking pace you could cover this distance in about 5 minutes. (I say this as a not especially fit 50 something but I am pretty sure I could walk that distance in 5 minutes) So if you were still going 5 minutes after everyone else had finished then either they ran at the speed of light or you set off about 2 minutes after everyone else confused

Morethan - it worries me too. She has been a bit better this week i think, giving credit to your theory.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 16-Sep-13 22:57:22

It is a stressful time for them, you help all you can and hope its enough.
I don't envy you, both mine weren't particularly conscientious, one being really laid back, so I resigned to not pushing, they did ok grin Have it all to go through with dd yet, dunno how that will be grin

Nanny0gg Mon 16-Sep-13 23:06:44

Actually OP, I completely agree with you.


Goldmandra Mon 16-Sep-13 23:24:14

So. Are people saying that because the rules are getting stricter about taking term time holidays, schools should never do any non academic activities with the children? No trips, no plays, no visitors? No matches in school time? All day every day head down at lessons?

No. People are say that children are in school to be educated and it is considered to be very important that they are not taken out of school for a day by the parents except for something exceptional.

Therefore the school should not feel free to remove all the children from lessons for the sole purpose of raising money for a building project unless they can show that there are learning targets and how they are to be met.

If they want the children to raise money in school time they should make it part of their educational activities. This is possible through getting them to plan and organise their own fundraising activities, making and selling products perhaps. This is far preferable to asking them to go begging from family and friends for money to go for a walk.

Trips, plays, visitors have educational value for the children. Why shouldn't fundraising?

Thank you Goldmandra - nicely expressed.

Morethan - one of my friends has a very laid back child. She said to me 'oh you've got nothing to worry about' I just laughed - if only!

curlew Mon 16-Sep-13 23:50:47

Well, judging by the people on here who say that it's too far for the poor little petals, I think a 10 mile walk would be more educational than a lot of other things hey do!

I do agree about fundraising for school buildings, though. Dd's is always for the school's chosen charity of the year. This year, it's a local one that supports homeless young people. I think pushing yourself physically while raising money to help children in the same town as you who aren't blessed with your many advantages seems an excellent learning experience, don't you?

mummymeister Mon 16-Sep-13 23:56:29

charge the school £40 a session or whatever the fines are in your local area for taking them out of school on a non essential non exceptional absence. if as a parent you asked to take them out to do a sponsored walk for a charity one Thursday they would fine you. its just a tad hypocritical really isn't it. I get really fed up of enforced fund raising. charity days, non uniform days, sell numbers for the numbers club, raffle tickets etc with the expectation that all kids will achieve a certain target of X number of tickets sold or Y pounds raised. lots of kids cant do this and just makes them feel inadequate. personally I would find a 10 mile shuffle torture. this could have educational value but it wont. its all about the money.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Mon 16-Sep-13 23:58:14

Stop moaning! YABU

Goldmandra Tue 17-Sep-13 00:07:40

* I think pushing yourself physically while raising money to help children in the same town as you who aren't blessed with your many advantages seems an excellent learning experience, don't you?*

It depends how much the pupils learn about what they are doing and why.

Learning that walking ten miles when you're ill equipped and unfit is exhausting, painful and unpleasant isn't particularly useful.

Ehhn Tue 17-Sep-13 00:14:36

Slightly off topic but to deal with exam stress - get your daughter to print of the syllabus for each exam with each exam board. It is basically a tick list of what they need to know. Then she can methodically tick off each thing she learns/revises. It may also be worth getting her to decide on a reasonable achievement target NOT Based on time (ie not "I will do 2/3/4 hours per night") but target driven (ie I will learn respiration this week and be able to answer an exam style question at the end). This way, revision hours don't drag on but instead in weeks when she finds stuff easy she can finish quickly.

I have tutored for 7 years and I get stressed girls coming to me all the time. They usually need to feel in control and this is one way of marshalling all they need to know.

topicsactiveimon Tue 17-Sep-13 00:26:12

mummymeister is a genius. Send the school a bill for an unauthorised day of missed lessons. Offer to donate a portion to the school buildings fund.

demi43 Tue 17-Sep-13 00:27:07

Think a ten mile walk is more beneficial than doing GCSE maths in November! Teach in a sixth form & we see the disadvantages of doing maths early- students getting a grade lower than they're capable of etc

Blont Tue 17-Sep-13 04:53:28

1. Who set the targets and what are the consequences if the targets are not met?

2. A day off school should clear, rather than cloud, the head. I suspect the reason why the day off school is bad is related to the pressure, not the day off school itself.

3. Why do long-distance walks always come with obligatory charidee attachments? 'Nathan and Tabitha walk backwards up the Himalayas wearing gas masks! There will be a special talent show concert at the summit where we will burst a penguin stuffed full of charidee cash! Please give generously! Hopefully we will raise mucho spondulicko! YAY! AMAZEBALLS!'. Always accompanied by the same gloss of quirky-fake-cheer. Yes, yes, OK, it's laudable, but it's also... I dunno why it's so annoying, but it is. Stash away a small sum and give that to charity fairly regularly and less of the bloody jazz hands razzmatazz.

I wonder if DD1's exam stress is rubbing off on you a bit, love? You must feel a bit helpless...

She will be fine, of course. Actually, ethics aside, there's something to be said for taking a day out of the study schedule for a very long (if rather grim) walk. It will de stress her a bit and allow some of the stuff she's been cramming to percolate through...

olidusUrsus Tue 17-Sep-13 06:41:38

Completely agree with you OP, it's utter bullshit. YANBU. Inwardly laughing cackling madly at the refusal to acknowledge some proper meaty issues here, replaced with "well she shouldn't be so stressed about her GCSEs, my kids aren't stressed about their GCSEs" grin

olidusUrsus Tue 17-Sep-13 06:43:27

And yes! Do what mummymeister said! I think suggesting a 10% donation of the bill would be fair. Please, please write that email grin

exoticfruits Tue 17-Sep-13 07:06:41

I would have thought that a 10 mile walk was very good for relieving stress.

ZiaMaria Tue 17-Sep-13 07:36:12

I used to have to do a sponsored walk every fucking year.

Me too. Same 15km route every time. Learnt bugger all of course, save that you usually get wet in the autumn. My brother always sponsored me 1/15th of a penny per km (and I returned the favour). YOu had to have at least one sponsor you see.

The only benefit your DD might get is that it is good to get out in the open air for a day. However, given these 'sponsored walks' do not involve anything educations (such as using a compass), I'd be questioning the school as to what the learning outcomes are supposed to be.

youbethemummylion Tue 17-Sep-13 07:42:39

We did one every year and our school had excellent exam results so I cant see how it damaged our education. Its one day! School is about more than just sitting at a desk learning.

manicinsomniac Tue 17-Sep-13 07:44:14

I think it sounds like a great idea, it's early in the school year and it's one day. Yes, for the children who walk regularly the educational benefit is reduced, but it's certainly there in principle. With many teenagers you'd think they were allergic to walking.

I'm shocked by those who say it's too far (I know that's not the OP). When I was in Y10 our school took us off timetable to do the sponsored Keswick to Barrow walk which is 40 miles! We didn't even feel the first 10-15 miles and I was by no means a sporty kid. No teenager (barring those with certain, but definitely not all, illnesses and disabilities) should find 10 miles taxing at all.

I definitely remmeber that 40 mile walk a lot more than all the days spent in lessons - it was a very valuable life experience. School is not just classroom learning.

exoticfruits Tue 17-Sep-13 07:44:28

People have such a narrow view of education.

JuliaScurr Tue 17-Sep-13 07:48:35

don't we pay council tax to build schools?

catsmother Tue 17-Sep-13 07:51:43

No-one (I think) has commented on another aspect of this - the £15 reward for the child who raises the most money. Now, it's stuff like that which really makes my hackles rise as this reward will be in direct relation to whichever child a) knows lots of people b) knows generous sponsors and/or a combination of both. On the day, assuming no accidents or illness, all the children will be making the same effort by completing a 10 mile walk - yet this reward has nothing to do with their effort and everything to do with who they know. Quite clearly, that reward will be unachievable for kids with small social circles and/or less well off / less generous family and friends. I just find it kind of ironic that potentially the child with well off parents who's making no greater physical effort than anyone else then gets rewarded for being in a fortunate position in the first place. If the school has £15 to give away - and it's not based on effort or achievement - which all kids arguably stand a chance at - then you'd think they could devise a way of getting that money to a less fortunate pupil.

Sorry to go off topic but when I read of kids being rewarded for sponsorship it always bugs me.

Lazyjaney Tue 17-Sep-13 07:54:30

There go the A*.......


I have already said that I honestly do not give a stuff about the A*s.
One day won't make any difference to dds EXCEPT that dd1 will inevitably be given more work to do at home because they're 'missing' the lesson time.

Dds don't want me to make a fuss (spoilsports). Perhaps I could station myself half way round witha blackboard for them to do a quick bit of algebra on.......grin

Catsmother has an excellent point about the sponsorship prize.

Incidentally this is the school which when your child starts asks for £5 for the school fund, saying 'we'll never ask you for money again' <<hollow laugh>> I don't mind the £5 but they could spare us the myth.

whatever5 Tue 17-Sep-13 09:16:13

I wouldn't mind my daughter doing it but if your daughter is fit anyway and also stressed with all the academic work/exams this year it's obviously not a good time for her. I would suggest that she doesn't go to school that day and revises for her GCSEs instead if she would be happier doing that. l

I think that it would be better to do this kind of thing at the end of the school year after exams have finished.

olidusUrsus Tue 17-Sep-13 13:15:37

What is the educational aspect of walking along side a ditch of water for 10 miles I have missed?

I agree it would be great if they were taught how to actively de-stress, but I don't think a sponsored 10 mile walk with your mates is the way to do it. They'll have fun yeah, but de-stress?

Would be ace if they could get a therapist/art-/drama-therapist into the school for a session to learn proper de-stressing techniques though.

SirChenjin Tue 17-Sep-13 13:38:21

Good point oilidus

theodorakisses Tue 17-Sep-13 14:47:02

Oh golly, not a whole day off school! Think of the affect this will have on their education. Call the village elders, summon the army, in years to come the universities will be empty because a bunch of kids had a day off to do something worthy.

specialsubject Tue 17-Sep-13 14:50:54

it teaches the lesson to ask to be sponsored for doing something that most people would do anyway, i.e. exercise.

sponsored helping in a care home? Sponsored litter pick? Sponsored sorting out garden for someone who can't? Sponsored doing something else useful?

funny these never come up.

mummymeister Tue 17-Sep-13 15:24:05

well said specialsubject. if they want to take a day out doing something to raise money why don't they also do something that supports their local community. hadn't even thought of that. now hoping that my DC's school suggest a sponsored walk so that I can counter it with this!! agree with posters who think giving a reward to the kid with the richest family and friends oops sorry that should read the kid who raises the most sponsorship money is terribly wrong. OP you say "will need to be sponsored" have they actually said she cant put in a sheet with nothing on it?

mumeeee Tue 17-Sep-13 15:24:49

YABU it"s one day off timetable and a 10 mile walk. EXercise actually de stresses you.

mummymeister Tue 17-Sep-13 16:20:46

it might de stress you mumeee but it would have completely the opposite effect on me. it also assumes that you aren't fat, asthmatic and out of condition (all 3 of which I am) 10 mile runs, cross country and the like was just another reason for me to feel crap about myself as a teenager. many will be in my shoes I would think.

Ireallymustbemad Tue 17-Sep-13 16:28:26

Back to the OP - YANBU to be not too keen on the idea, YABU to waste so much energy being 'furious' about it.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 17-Sep-13 16:47:29

YANBU imo such an activity should be voluntary and done after school or at weekend, raising money for the school is not part of the curriculum. I have no problem with it being done but not in school time. Like others have said, if you wanted to fund raise for a charity outside school would she be allowed a day out to do a walk or other event? nope wrong on many levels for me at this stage of education. younger ok but not when exam pressure is looming. hope she is getting some support in learning good revision / studying techniques it made all the difference for my DS with AS levels as it hit him hard how difficult they were compared to GCSE and he went into a bit of a stressy meltdown.... once he had the techniques he relaxed a bit and it changed his outlook a lot. good luck.

curlew Tue 17-Sep-13 16:56:59

I am soooo glad that both my childrens' schools seem to have a slightly broader interpretation of "education" than many on here. Still not broad enough, obviously, but at leas broader than some!

SunshineMMum Tue 17-Sep-13 16:58:57


Buggedoff Tue 17-Sep-13 17:24:06

NL, you are one of my favourite posters on MN. I never disagree with you, but I'm afraid YAB a teensy bit U. Sorry.

I hope your children enjoy their day of hiking. Even if they personally do not manage to raise any cash, they will have a great day with their friends. They will be out in the fresh air. They can moan together about their blisters and come home with the satisfaction that they have accomplished something.

SirChenjin Tue 17-Sep-13 17:37:16

Yep, kids tend to have a great time whenever they get together with their friends - but I wonder if the school would be quite so enthusiastic about them all getting together and announcing that they were doing a sponsored walk in aid of the local hospice or whatever, and so would be taking the day off school just before their exams - or would the school take a less than enthusiastic view of their plans?

I'm guessing the latter.

mumeeee Tue 17-Sep-13 18:29:58

mummymeister I don't mean that all teenagers should be made to. go on long walks especially if there is a good reason not to, I was talking in general. The OP didn't say her DD was unable to do the walk and said she was stressed. with het year 11 work. I was just saying that doing this walk might helo her be less stressed

I have to say I am little bit confused the idea that one 10 mile trek will reduce her stress levels. Not really that simple tbh. If an adult asked for help with work related stress on here yes regular exercise would be suggested to help but not as a cure all. She does swim regulalrly and am encouraging her to do more btw.

Adviceisfree Tue 17-Sep-13 19:10:08

Educationally speaking, it will be covered under Citizenship so is actually educational!!!!

Just suck it up and let them learn the value of their contribution to society.

Although, i guess if your Yr 11 will not reap the rewards next year I can see why she would be stressed!

SirChenjin Tue 17-Sep-13 19:28:52

They could still make a contribution to society in another way that doesn't involve a day away from school though

StickEmUp Tue 17-Sep-13 19:39:56

YANBU. This sounds like total bollocks to me. The school I mean.
Education is meant to be state provided not building school buildings on the sweat of former pupils.

Update.....letter today notes that Year 11 have exams in November and says that 'several parents' have voiced concerns (think most of Year 11 parents have written in saying they will not give permission) and therefore it's postponed till the end of June. Hurrah grin

Tinlegs Thu 26-Sep-13 19:28:45

This is not a "day off" as, presumably, the whole school is going. She will not be missing lessons (as she would on a term time holiday) as no lessons will be taking place.

We do a whole school walk every year (in June) and the kids, parents, community etc love it. Fund raising is not compulsory but what is raised is very welcome.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Thu 26-Sep-13 19:39:34

Wahey! grin End of June will be nicer weather too so win win!

Yes it's a much better plan. Kind of chuffed that I wasn't the only parent reacting badly. I hadn't even got round to complaining to the school yet. Only vented on here grin

PeppiNephrine Thu 26-Sep-13 19:49:30

If shes that stressed surely an enforced day off with a nice walk is a good thing?
As for 5£ and you think they've a cheek asking for more...ha! Try giving 200€ per child as a voluntary contribution and still having to pay for books, copies, arts supplies etc.....

cinnamontoast Thu 26-Sep-13 21:13:17

Totally with you on this, northernlurker. My DS's school sends them off on a 10-mile walk every year to raise money for the school. It was hell for my Aspergery, rather slow, non-sporty DS, who would frankly have preferred just about any other method of raising money. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for their zero-tolerance attitude to parents taking children out of school in term time. One rule for them, another for us ...

Latara Thu 26-Sep-13 22:14:10

YANBU. The govt should be paying for new school buildings!

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