The school is constantly mithering me for money

(160 Posts)
colditz Tue 21-May-13 00:42:22

Money for shitty ineffective swimming lessons that, in 6 years, have not taught my son to even float. Money for mandatory trips a a factory, or a cricket field. Money for dressing up charity events. I am sick of them asking me for money and then pressuring my children when I can't pay!

Where do I stand legally with this? Do I have to keep paying for everything they are asking me to pay for?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 25-May-13 23:41:37

colditz

At the top of the page is your inbox can you please check it,doing so will save you about £14 per week.

A few years ago I offered a local school free use of a company bus and driver ( all correct LA required checks as its a school bus that does LA runs) for swimming lessons and school trips on the condition that they stopped charging parents for trips to free places weirdly they refused as they wished to use a different company who charged loads.

JulesJules Sat 25-May-13 18:53:03

We had an email from school recently which said

Can all parents who have not yet paid the voluntary contribution for xxx please do so as soon as possible

grin

Our builder told me that his son goes on a skiing trip next February to Canada with an additional night in NYC before. It costs £1140. I was like blush

seeker Sat 25-May-13 15:02:11

My mil tells the children off for "mithering" her!

ggirl Sat 25-May-13 14:20:52

I love the word mithering

MrsFruitcake Sat 25-May-13 14:12:16

DD's school have a £30 'voluntary' donation system which is payable at the start of the school term in September. It isn't really voluntary after all, as if you don't get the money to them in the first 2 weeks or so, they send letters home asking if there's a reason why you can't pay it which is very wrong IMHO and worse than asking for it in the first place.

She's been to Marwell Zoo this year so far and that's it. hmm

colditz Sat 25-May-13 13:01:07

We already have free school meals, and the school know this. There is a high proportion of children with fsm in our school. Maybe this is why the mither for money so much, maybe a lot of parents can't afford to pay so just don't.

Fairyliz Fri 24-May-13 22:36:31

Op if you are on Income Support surely you can apply for free school meals? If you get free meals the school will also get pupil premium. At the school where I work some of this money goes into a hardship fund to pay for the families who are struggling.
I would go and have a word with the office.

musicalfamily Fri 24-May-13 21:55:45

Ours is probably one of the worst ones, supporting a large number of charity and any business/money making initiative going, it's a constant stream of things!

I have now a deal with the (older) children that if it is a charity they really want to support or the latest frame/craft/DVD/peg/doll/bun they want to buy, then they can use their own pocket money. After all it is nothing to do with education but the same as going to buy something from a stall/store.

They are perfectly happy with this approach. School trips/books/anything educational or even PTA fundraising I am happy to fund, but buy-a-bracelet/necklace/fill this tub with coins for charity x and all the rest that we get all the time, then it's the kids' choice.

We do support our own charities and do a lot for the community so it's not the case of being stingy, I just refuse to get told which charity I should support via my children and doing so in such a way that I feel morally obliged to do so - frankly I think it should be banned.

The school that my DCs attend are buggers for sending out demands for £3 for this visiting author, £4 for that drum workshop, £1 for the charity day, please send cakes for the sale, etc ... all with f-all notice.

The school where I teach has a list in the newsletter of all the planned things for the next term, with estimated prices, so there are no shocks. One major trip per year for each year group. One mufti day per term max.

Mine are going on a fabulous historical day that will involve a coach, entry and costumes. It is well worth it. We've had a nightmare paring down the cost and tried hard to get it down to £20, but just could not get a coach for the price, even with PTA subsidy.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 24-May-13 21:44:09

I dont think that these trips and other requests for money are the preserve of schools in leafy suburbs. My DCs' primary school with close to 30% FSM entitlement was just the same.

primarymonkeyhanger Fri 24-May-13 21:28:34

Wow I don't know where you guys are sending you kids but at my inner city primary the kids get 30mins of swimming free every week for 2 years! Trips are a max of £10 (usually about £6) and we generally do 2 a year.£1 for the very rare disco or mufti. We have a 20p tuck shop once a week which classes take it in turns to run to contribute to own class trips etc. Oh and usually a summer fair but all things to buy cheap and cheerful. I have never worked at a school where parents were expected to donate for craft lessons or buy their kids framed art/xmas cards. Probably because the parents wouldn't buy them!

tapdancingmum Fri 24-May-13 21:07:37

When my DD1 did swimming it was free but by the time my DD2 came to do it they asked for £30 for the coach. I was a bit hmm but paid it as all her friends were going. At the end of the half term they 'chose' the ones who hadn't done as well as expected and asked for another £30 for her to do another 6 weeks. I did query this as she was up to grade 5 in her private swimming lessons at the time grin. I was told it was a 'mistake' and she didn't need to go - I wonder how many other children were 'mistakes' but their parents coughed up for it.

My DD2 was also asked for £2.50 to take part in a dance thing but didn't want to so I didn't send the money in. She was told that she wasn't allowed to miss it and had to take part. They are still waiting for the money as I refused to pay.

Secondary school doesn't seem too bad but just had an email informing us of a 2 day French/Art trip for £285.00 shock. Well, they won't be going on that then..... But as previous people have said when you get to secondary nobody realises that you haven't gone as out of a year of 180 only about 30 can go anyway.

BusStopWanker Fri 24-May-13 17:36:26

But swimming is part of the curriculam isn't it? Therefore they should already have funding for it? DD1 started to swim with the school in year 3, they go for about 4 weeks a term. We've never been asked to fund it.

girliefriend Fri 24-May-13 17:29:51

I am really shock at how much money some of youi are having to pay to schools.

My dds school is in quite a mixed area, with quite high levels of deprivation so I think costs are kept to an absolute minimum.

Swimming lessons costs £2 a lesson which is only for 1 term a year, discos etc normally £2, school trip voluntary donation, mufti day 50p!!!

slimyak Fri 24-May-13 14:06:22

We've just moved house and changed schools. Old school used to heavily subsidise trips etc but they requested a payment, new school tells you the full cost of the trip and asks for a contribution towards this. I would say the new school has a slightly more affluent catchment so are banking on parents paying the full amount and therefore probably get more % contribution overall. All cash/payments are dealt with by school office so not even your kids need to know if you've paid the full wack or just sent in the signed consent form.
In both cases none uniform days are a voluntary contribution - suggested £1

From the rest of the thread I think we're getting a good deal. So far we haven't had any big costly trips or swimming lessons. I'm sure this will change as we progress from First to Middle School. I'll just give High school a signed cheque book!

kiddiwinkles Fri 24-May-13 14:00:19

My Foster child gets asked 2-3 times a week for money for cakes/toys being sold in school time,( we therefore do not get a choice in what they purchase!) we get moaned at by the teachers if we do not provide money for this, ( this is in addition to general costs for school lunch) Most of the time I do not need the extra toys, food/drinks provided for her.

Bunbaker Fri 24-May-13 13:25:31

At DD's school I have had to shell out £2 this academic year. DD won't go on any trips and they have had only two non uniform days - one for Children in Need and one for Comic Relief. And that is it.

They very rarely have non uniform days at DD's school as the head teacher doesn't care for them, plus it makes them more special when they do have them.

JenaiMorris Fri 24-May-13 13:06:18

£3 for mufti!

It should be £1, tops.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Fri 24-May-13 13:04:36

It's all to do with peer pressure and children being a captive audience. Primary can and do take massive advantage of that and I think it's terribly wrong.

I said no to coughing up eye watering over-inflated fee for (unheard ofconfused) 'visiting author' selling books. But my word aren't you made to feel like a rubbish mum for it?sad

And it's all very well them dreaming up theme days and assuring us that we don't have to buy anything for it, but I invariably do have to buy things and spend ages trying to sort it out.

Even if it comes from charity shops it all massively adds up esp if you have two or three dc to kit out. I don't see why it has to be fancy dress at every turn. They should be able to teach creatively and imaginatively without it all the time.

xylem8 Fri 24-May-13 12:51:29

the charity things annoy oe most. Charitable giving is about personal conscience and generosity .what is ordering kids to bring in £3 for a non uniform day for lifeboats teaching kids

JenaiMorris Fri 24-May-13 11:33:19

So far I've found secondary to be less of a pita with these things than primary. There are some big expensive trips but only a tiny minority go on them (40 out of 1,500 pupils go skiing each year).

I think we've had to shell out £75 in total this year, which is a fair whack but the bulk of that is for one trip that a lot have chosen not to go on anyway (about 50%). And there is lots and lots of notice.

With primary there seemed to be a constant drip drip of requests for £5 here, £5 there.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 24-May-13 11:26:48

Take today.

Yet another non school uniform day. I presume it's for charity,haven't actually been told.I asked the dc what it was for- blank.

If it is.What is it teaching them? As far as I can see it all it says is charity= mum dipping in her purse again so I get to wear my own clothes.Utterly pointless.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 24-May-13 11:03:13

I also think they need to think about ways of contributing to charity other than financially.

I rem helping at nursing homes in Y6, collecting milk bottle tops etc.Surely charity shouldn't always be fun events but actually thinking of others too.Such activities could be part of RE,lord knows they seem to spend enough time praying and worshiping at my dc's school.

Crap money making schemes with crap products also need to be limited.

Trips and swimming(within reason)I don't have so much of problem with although the term I had to cough up for 3 x camp residential near enough in one go still smarts.

JenaiMorris Fri 24-May-13 10:54:33

I absolutely agree that it's the administration of these trips rather than the fact that schools run them that's the issue here.

There's a document posted on ds's school's parent portal listing all the trips for the year, so from September you have a good idea of the kind of money you're likely to be asked for.

Most of the trips seem to happen in terms 5 and 6 so that gives lots of notice. Additionally, they're often trips that run every year so we all know that there's a £150 trip to Ypres in Y9, or back in primary we knew years ahead that there's always a big residential in Y6.

Having said that of course if you can't afford to put £15 p/m aside per child, then all the planning in the world isn't going to help. I'm not sure what the answer is there.

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