to think that School (trip) type holidays are unjustifiable if parents can't take their own kids out of School.

(45 Posts)
morchoxplz Sat 15-Mar-14 20:57:46

Firstly no sour grapes here. My DH is a teacher so we can never go away in term time anyway.
I can't believe School ski trips/sight seeing tours/outward bound trips are still happening in term time.
It's mostly only the wealthier families who can afford to send their kids anyway. In addition to that the kids left behnat School have cover supervisor teachers as 'sir' is on the ski trip.
I have no problem with these trips happening in the holidays but they are mostly in term time.

morchoxplz Sat 15-Mar-14 20:58:47

*behind at School

Herecomesthesciencebint Sat 15-Mar-14 21:00:48

Really schools do that? Ski trips in term time that only some parents can afford to send kids on? That's awful.

MidniteScribbler Sat 15-Mar-14 21:01:07

At our school, excursions are just one day and are related to what is currently being studied in the classroom. Years 3 and 6 have a three and four day camp respectively which all students attend and also are curriculum based. Any ski trips or overseas trips happen in the holidays.

kim147 Sat 15-Mar-14 21:01:43

Interesting - I look at this from a primary perspective. If the whole class is going on a school trip, then everyone is in the same boat so no class learning is lost.

Now - as has happened, if only some children are going, then the others aren't learning much as they've been left behind - or they are learning and the ones on the trip are missing out.

In secondary - I can see it might be disruptive if you have half your maths class away on a skiing trip - but the school would say it's good for them. But a family holiday skiing isn't if they miss school. confused

phantomnamechanger Sat 15-Mar-14 21:01:56

At DDs school the educational trips eg trip to belgian battlefields, or sightseeing in PAris, are in school time. The ski trips/cruises etc are not.

Outdoor activity type "holidays" can be very very educational indeed, they foster team building and independence, resourcefulness, problem solving, as well as giving kids the chance to try new activities.

Silkyandmoonface Sat 15-Mar-14 21:03:58

Same here. All children attend educational residentials. All the secondary schools in our area that run skiing holiday type trips do so in half terms or easter holidays and staff give up their own time.
I cannot imagine parents/governors etc in our area standing for the situation you describe in you OP.

chicaguapa Sat 15-Mar-14 21:05:41

At DD's secondary school these kinds of trips happen in the holidays, (when presumably the teachers have given up their own holidays to take them).

Coldlightofday Sat 15-Mar-14 21:06:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shebird Sat 15-Mar-14 21:09:06

I recently posted something similar, nothing against school trips but wondered how it might be viewed by parents as a bit hypocritical. Even if you would prefer you child to stay behind and catch up on maths instead of spending 3 days rolling in mud and climbing trees there is no point as 'sir' is also climbing trees.

Corabell Sat 15-Mar-14 21:10:33

HT are pretty unlikely to approve those type of trips in term time ( give or take 1 or 2 days) - at my school they always, always happen during holidays. One exception is this which occur in the final week of the summer term which coincides with activites week anyway.

Believe it or not teachers prefer to have whole classes sat in front of them anyway as its a massive disruption for learning and teaching during term for their own classes if they were to leave to run a trip.

Having run and participated in numerous excursions I am still laughing at the word holidays being used in association with school excursion.

LittleMissCrankyPants Sat 15-Mar-14 21:10:56

My sons (secondary school) is in school time, 5 days to another country.

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Mar-14 21:11:48

At my DC's senior school the trips are all relevant to their studies

So for example if you're not studying French, you don't get invited on a trip to France.

If you haven't taken History, you don't get invited on the trip to Auswitch

PansOnFire Sat 15-Mar-14 21:14:24

YABU, all school trips have to have an educational value to be granted and of course that includes the sight seeing ones. Going away as part of the school is a valuable experience for children and can teach them skills that they wouldn't learn whilst on a family beach holiday. It's not always the wealthiest children who can go, there are funds to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds etc to ensure that they don't miss out and schools are expected to be inclusive.

School trips are part of the extended curriculum which schools are expected to provide, although no teacher can be forced to attend it is in most job descriptions to support the extended curriculum, and tbh most teachers want to help to provide these opportunities. I do not want a debate about teachers' holidays but I'm sure that most people wouldn't spend their holiday weeks away from their families and choose to carry on working, which is what would happen if trips and visits were to happen for teachers during school holidays.

I think the main reason for it is because if school ran their trips and visits during the holidays then that would take up every opportunity that families would have to have a holiday together. At the moment, the main complaint is that family holidays are valuable and have been made impossible by not allowing children to be taken out of school during term time. If schools then chose to take classes away during the holidays then when do children spend time with their families?

I see your point but it's not a simple case of schools taking liberties.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 15-Mar-14 21:26:27

YANBU. In my experience school trips add very little compared to the disruption they cause and their cost.

I dont agree that going away with the school is automatically a valuable experience. A few people will claim that their child benefited hugely but for the vast majority it is all a bit 'meh'.

School funds may help the very poorest to attend but they arent available for the squeezed middle. A school skiing trip or a French/German trip may well mean that the family dont go on holiday that year.

GreenShadow Sat 15-Mar-14 21:29:44

Where we live, trips, including educational ones, only happen during the holidays.

Calloh Sat 15-Mar-14 21:41:47

Our primary school does a skiing trip for those who want to go from Y5 and Y6. It happens in term time once every two years.

I hadn't thought about this in relation to the difficult of going for a normal family holiday in term time and whether it's disruptive. I assume the HT/school doesn't find it so otherwise they would stop it. And one week every two years at a time that the school chooses is a bit different from pupils in and out many weeks over the year. Going in term time makes if more affordable.

I do think there is a value in going away independently of your parents and I hope it carries on.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 15-Mar-14 21:51:44

Our primary school does a skiing trip for those who want to go from Y5 and Y6.

Isnt that can afford to go not want to go?

morchoxplz Sat 15-Mar-14 22:25:37

No problem with kids going independently of their parenting it should be in the holidays.

Calloh Sat 15-Mar-14 22:26:17

Yes, it is for those who can afford to go and want to go . Although I don't know if there is help available for those who want to go but really can't afford it.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 15-Mar-14 22:39:46

State school Calloh?

In my opinion state schools should only offer trips which are affordable for all.

Of course someone will come on and say something about expensive trips being good for teaching the poorer kids that life isnt fair (like they needed that type of lesson).

mummymeister Sat 15-Mar-14 22:53:03

3 DC's in state school. all the trips - all of them - are in term time. 1 week outward bound over £800 each! language trips with only 30 places for 120 kids so the others are just left behind - over £400 for this one plus you can only go if you can offer an exchange. 2 skiing trips both over £1000 each and again in term time with a limited number of places. so even if you can afford it, you might not get picked. this is just another reason why I find the no holidays in term time so obnoxious. Each of these trips takes teachers out and those left behind are left with cover only. 2 out of the 3 schools are now offering trips to India. not just the cost but the jabs the equipment etc. very unfair on those kids who cannot afford them. the only option for poor families is that they can spread the cost out more, no grants/funds available they just don't go. how is that enriching to them then?

Calloh Sat 15-Mar-14 22:57:13

It is state school Worry.

And I totally agree with ypu that it is ridiculous to say that any child needs an education on the unfairness of life through not being able to afford to go on a school trip.

I hadn't thought much before on how it would make children feel whose parents can't afford to send them. (We're a long way off getting to that age yet).

Maybe the children going in holidays would make it less obvious as to who's going and who is not - take-up is not massive - but that would then increase price. It also makes skiing more affordable as only one child had to be paid for as opposed to the whole family.

I don't know what the most fair, all-inclusive way would be to do it but I'm not sure either that just stopping the trips all together would be the best way.

mummymeister Sat 15-Mar-14 23:01:43

Fairest way is to offer all trips to all eligible pupils (so if it is to france then those doing gcse French for example) and to either price them so that parents can afford them or subsidise them so that they can. senior schools make a big fuss about the trips abroad - waving the coach off, newsletter info on the trips, presentations about the trips in assembly, hardly low key. and really really rubbish on those kids who cant go and never go.

dayshiftdoris Sat 15-Mar-14 23:12:32

Our primary school offers a residential in term time... They are unable to take the whole year group.

My son wouldn't had managed on it so didnt go when it was offered.

I was very unhappy this year when I discovered his class teacher goes on this trip... Not her year group or her class - she just 'likes' to go angryangryangry

We got him through it but a great deal of input was needed... It needs a re-think

honeythewitch Sat 15-Mar-14 23:14:52

It seems ludicrous that schools put so much effort into making sure the pupils dont exclude each other and then take only the richest ones on a trip.

cashmiriana Sat 15-Mar-14 23:17:52

We are immensely lucky that DD1's school owns its own holiday accommodation (former farm) in a very beautiful part of the country.

All children in Year 8 are given the opportunity to go for 4 days during the summer term - it takes a few weeks for them all to go, so 1 bus load of children is absent at any one time throughout the term.

It is also used by other groups during term time for e.g. geography and science field trips, plus other curriculum linked activities.

As far as I am aware all overseas trips are during school holidays, and as we're in a low wage area, they tend to be of the 3 nights in France type trip. I'm not aware of anything like ski trips, but that could be because a) DD1 wouldn't enjoy it and b) she knows we wouldn't be able to afford it.

There is however a big trip in Year 12/13 to somewhere absolutely amazing which she would love to do - it's to a school in a developing country which is effectively twinned with our high school. It would require a lot of saving/ fundraising though. And it is definitely in holiday time.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 15-Mar-14 23:55:55

Calloh, my DCs are all teens so we have been through this all too many times. I am grown cynical. Why is a skiing trip in any way a necessity? A nice to have maybe but nothing more than that.

Spinaroo Sun 16-Mar-14 00:19:27

School trips are designed to be educational. Every time we organise a trip, from half day to a week away we have be clear which curricular or wider achievement box it ticks. Moreover, they are organised in such a way as to cause minimal disruption.

When a teacher goes for a week, why should it be outwith term time?? School trips can certainly be enjoyable for staff but also a huge responsibility to care for other people's children. Nothing like sitting in A&E with a fourteen year old whose parents are a thousand miles away to make you realise that! And every school will have staff who choose to go and staff who choose not to- but that doesn't mean a class should lose out teacher may family commitments etc.- I assume that your child's teacher kindly stepped in dayshiftdoris.

Also- this is perhaps the only chance some of these children may get to experience such a trip. Families who may not be able to afford to take adults and 2/3 kids on a trip like this may opt to let child go with school, knowing next kid can do it when they are at that stage.

So, yes, I think YABU.

dayshiftdoris Sun 16-Mar-14 00:39:03

Bit irrelevant the reasons my sons teacher went - the point was the trip as a whole was very disruptive and only open to a selection of the year group.

It's wrong

ravenAK Sun 16-Mar-14 05:55:52

Ours (secondary) are almost invariably in holidays, with teachers giving up their time.

I'm running one at Easter which involves us leaving two days before end of term - it's the only time I've ever known this happen, & it's because of logistics to do with the destination we're going to.

It's a bit of a ball-ache actually; I've spent the night doing my KS4 planning & I've had to factor in two days of work that a cover supervisor can reasonably deliver. I've got three classes heading into exams who could do with me teaching them for those lessons.

Also, we do do the occasional Friday-Saturday in the UK for theatre trips & the like. They usually run once year 11 have left so that we can deploy staff to teach those left in school with minimal disruption.

The argument about paying for school jollies & students from less well off homes being unable to go is a bugger.

All I can say is that we have a system whereby Pupil Premium money heavily subsidises places, & there's always a flexible payment system in place. It's by no means a perfect set up, but the only time I can recall someone actually being refused a place is when they'd already had several trips subsidised & the parents had invariably failed to make the payments they'd agreed to.

One argument in favour would be: say one of my own dc is desperate to go skiing. I certainly won't be booking a family skiing holiday - can't afford it, & don't fancy it anyway. I'd much rather save up for the dc in question to experience it via a school trip.

Or alternatively just tell him/her no chance, better things to spend my hard-earned on. IME teenagers are quite stoical about that sort of thing.

...& finally, the 'no authorised holidays' thing certainly isn't something teachers asked for! But I'd agree with you that it doesn't sit well with extended jaunts out of school in term-time that take out a substantial proportion of a year group plus their teachers.

RuddyDuck Sun 16-Mar-14 06:04:15

Atmy dc's school, ski trips and other recreational trips are always in school holidays. Educational trips are sometimes in term time.

I don't agree with family holidays being taken in term time but can see why families would be pissed off if refused a holiday in term time and then school runs a leisure trip in term time. If that was my dcs school I would be writing to the governors.

ravenAK Sun 16-Mar-14 06:35:33

But it's a government policy, not a school decision, that leads to the pissed-offness over being told a family holiday is unauthorised. HTs are following rules they've had imposed on them; I don't think many teachers could give a chuff either way, tbh, beyond the fact that pissed-off parents is something we'd sooner avoid.

I'm struggling to think of a trip that I've heard of that's both in term time & purely a jolly, though. Closest we get is year 11's Alton Towers jaunt in July, & that's after they've left on study leave & sat their exams, so hardly disrupting their Gradgrinding.

lastnightIwenttoManderley Sun 16-Mar-14 06:36:04

DH is a teacher and it drives me mad that ALL of the trips are in holiday time.

Yes, I acknowledge it's disruptive to the rest of the school but if it's an educational trip then why not in term tine? For the past four years DH has been on trips during the Easter and May holidays, some of the only time we're able to go away together. Probably more annoying as I have family in a part of the world which is deeply unpleasant to visit in August so Easter is the time we're trying to visit!

Also, at his school the trips are planned and then they find the teachers to go, if they ask and you refuse they get incredibly shitty and so DH who is looking for promotion sort of has his hands tied!

Slight tangent to OP but another perspective.

winklewoman Sun 16-Mar-14 07:07:44

At DGS's school, the ski trip was in school time. Infuriating as under new regime we cannot take DGCs skiing ourselves, which we would much prefer to do.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Mar-14 07:21:52

"In addition to that the kids left behnat School have cover supervisor teachers as 'sir' is on the ski trip."

I have only known that happen if it is a trip for the year group.

RedFocus Sun 16-Mar-14 08:26:12

My daughter is off to Barcelona in a couple of months for a week with school. It's the only holiday she will be going on this year because we can't afford to go anywhere in the holidays and I refuse to pull the kids out at term time. My son will do PGL this year for a long weekend so he's not missing out either. I don't really mind not going away as my dh books 2 weeks off and we do all the London touristy stuff and go to beach as we live down south. Much cheaper and I don't have to put the animals in kennels or get a house sitter.
I think my daughter will be going skiing next year with school and my son will go to Barcelona so they still get to go abroad.

GertTheFlirt Sun 16-Mar-14 09:10:07

All our school trips are in the holidays with teachers giving up their holiday.

diddl Sun 16-Mar-14 09:19:04

We're in Germany & it's only all class trips here, in term time and always in Germany.

SamandCat Sun 16-Mar-14 09:36:25

YANBU.My DS1's A level class went on a trip to CERN, which they could only arrange at the last minute as another school pulled out.We had 4 days to pay £500 2 weeks before xmas and I just couldn't afford it.Poor DS was the only one who didn't go

WooWooOwl Sun 16-Mar-14 10:23:38

YABU.

School is about more than academic classroom learning, and any trips schools offer have an educational aspect that is either linked to the curriculum or is providing a learning opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have.

Parents choosing to take their children out of school not only disrupts the classroom deliberately, but it quiet often have no educational value whatsoever. I know parents like to trot out the argument that being in an airport and being exposed to different currency and language is educational, but that only works if parents put the effort in to engage their children with those things. Not all parents do, and so no at all holidays have educational value in the same way that school trips do.

All this crap about teachers strikes and school trips being unfair because of parents not being authorised to take their dc out of school is a very weak argument IMO.

soverylucky Sun 16-Mar-14 11:12:47

Any trip at our school that is not connected to the curriculum eg ski trips, take place in the holidays. Educational trips are in term time. Pupil premium is used to fund some places. This is no different to 25 years ago when I was at school - in fact it is better now because there was no pupil premium then - when if you couldn't pay then you couldn't go. I didn't go as we couldn't afford it. Didn't think about it tbh.

cory Sun 16-Mar-14 11:17:54

Round here school trips tend to have a definite educational value and usually (at secondary school) only be taken by the children who have a specific interest in the topic or need it for their GCSE's. Both my dc went on the history trip to the Belgian trenches because both are interested in modern history, and it also added an extra layer of understanding to the work they were doing in English literature.

Dd went on the drama trip (theatrical performance in London) but ds didn't.

Because the trips were known and planned in advance and involved large groups of children the teachers were able to plan their teaching around them and make sure nobody missed out on learning they should be doing.

That is different from one child being absent here and one there.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Mar-14 11:47:39

All residential and holidays with the school happen in term time here.
I have never known them during school holidays, nobody would go.
Surely its better for school activities to happen during school time.
Holidays are for spending with your parents.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 16-Mar-14 12:18:36

I know parents like to trot out the argument that being in an airport and being exposed to different currency and language is educational, but that only works if parents put the effort in to engage their children with those things

Exactly, and while some parents undoubtably do this, the reality - as any teacher will tell you - is that the majority simply don't

They'll agree to anything in pursuit of authorised absence, but then the "homework" they've asked for gets returned creased from being left in the bottom of a case, with perhaps a few sentences scrawled on it for appearances' sake. Then the excuses start: "She was ill" "He didn't understand the work needed" "He was in the kids club and that was just as educational" "Well it is a holiday and he didn't want to work" and so on without end ...

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