Primary charging for attending school nativity..

(57 Posts)
user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:32:27

I might be unreasonable, but I'm feeling aggrieved that school are charging for attending the school nativites this year..there are 3 different ones for different year groups. Apparently reception and nursery parents were charged last year.
We also had to take the children back for evening performances last year, were asked if we'd agree, but this year it's automatically assumed we will, and pay too.

So I've had to buy two costumes, will have to pay £4 for two tickets to attend 2 different plays, and take children back so they can perform again for the later show..bearing in mind, we have to drive, 15 mins each journey too..

I'm just annoyed, we give to all sorts at the school, time, money for book fair, cakes, bottles for tombola, PTA time etc etc....and now to pay for tickets to see our own children too...I'm just really annoyed about it..

mrz Fri 25-Nov-16 08:40:45

Our neighbouring primaries all charge ...we don't and we provide all costumes

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:55:22

Old nursery provided costumes too...so angels were white sheeting, with tinsel belts and tinsel headbands..v cute...not our local school unfortunately. Maybe I'm irrationally irritated by this, but I'm really annoyed ..

CambridgeReject Fri 25-Nov-16 08:59:39

Why are they charging?. Sounds very unfair to make parents pay.

NapQueen Fri 25-Nov-16 09:06:15

Gosh that sounds bad!

Our school provides all costumes (re use them every year), no charges.

Mind; our school charges for as little as possible overall.

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 09:06:52

No reason given for charging..I rang to ask if we were charged last year, office said yes ( I can't remember being charged) and when I complained, she said she thought the money raised would go back to the classes? But we raise money all year round via the PTA

catkind Fri 25-Nov-16 09:19:27

I wonder if it's more controlling numbers that's the issue - if parents have to pay, they'll only ask for tickets that they'll actually use? People get upset if they're not allowed a third ticket and then there are lots of empty seats.

Our school don't charge but take a bucket collection at the end for school drama funds. It feels more inclusive because people can give what they can afford. No idea if the takings amount to £2 a head though.

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 09:22:14

The school, already restrict tickets to two per family, I should have said, which is understandable. ( capacity in the hall ) , after that you have had to wait to request more, but never pay before. There was also a raffle last year, as I'm sure I bought tickets. ( think I might have brought chocolates to put in it too..)

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 09:25:08

It's annoying to think this is the start of every performance having to be paid for...and I know I'm slightly overreacting...but it's all just extra unnecessary expense at this time of year, and it making me reluctant to carry on with the PTA, over such a petty thing..( not that I hold the PTA responsible, but that I'm not inclined to help out because of the charge)

longdiling Fri 25-Nov-16 09:28:32

I feel your pain. Watching my two kids in their three concerts has just set me back £18. At least next year they'll be in the same concert!

MiaowTheCat Fri 25-Nov-16 10:07:11

We get charged - fine about that, but there's no guarantee I can get an extra ticket to be able to bring the sibling along so I can actually GO myself (it's timed when DH is still at work - early teatimeish). Won't know that until nearer the time - so I could well have paid for the privilege of sitting in the car outside for the teatime performance with another child sat on a tablet!

That bit really fucked me off.

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:50:12

Friend has same problem as you MiaowTheCat...been told her "spare" ticket will have to be used for the child from previous performance, she has to bring, as husband still at work...

(Also fed up with Roald Dahl day costume, CINeed costume, Party costume, wear blue tshirt for sports day, Halloween costumes, and probably other various costume days throughout the day they think will be fun...)

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:51:49

... when she would like to bring her mum...and only has to go to the evening performance as the same school has a trip parents need to attend with nursery child

MaybeDoctor Fri 25-Nov-16 11:06:46

I'm an ex-teacher and it is really tricky to please everyone around this issue.

Schools don't have to do a nativity, or any Christmas performance at all. I taught at a school that had previously not done one at all, just a Christmas songs/carols assembly that parents could attend if they wished. Christmas performances are a lot of work to organise, but generally schools put them on because children, parents and the school community enjoy them.

Evening performances - yes, a bit of a pain - but they have a nice atmosphere and it makes it much easier for working parents to attend.

Selling the tickets - I don't think £2 is too steep and the link between what you buy/what you get back is much clearer than with, say, a bottle tombola. They probably do need the funds, as budgets are tighter these days and funds for the nice extras are in shorter supply.

Costume - it has always been traditional for parents to provide some of the costume? Nurseries can probably keep a set of costumes, but they have lower numbers and smaller/cheaper costumes.

I suggest speaking to your HT once all the dust has settled and ask if you can cut down on some of the other special days/costume events. I do think some of these can become a bit meaningless e.g. my school once took part in Strip for Shelter, where pupils come in football strip to support people who are badly housed. Firstly, not everyone likes football or has a football strip (expensive), and secondly this was at a school where some of the pupils were badly housed themselves sad. I don't think many of them understood it and it was all a bit pointless.

MaybeDoctor Fri 25-Nov-16 11:10:42

What does make a difference is giving parents a year planner or at least a term calendar with all dates given well in advance. So if you know that 'blue teeshirt day' will be in June, at least you have plenty of time to find/buy/search for one.

user1480061930 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:28:10

MaybeDoctor good point about the planner...we used to be text on the Tuesday that we need a coloured t shirt for the Thursday, at least they now show at least a week in advance on the newsletter..
And I understand about all the rehearsals for the productions...and all the hard work that goes into it...
And fund raising, I'm on the PTA and we work very hard to raise funds, organise Christmas and summer fairs, along with the teachers, and pay for lots of books, photographs, rewards, toys, etc etc for the school..so I do realise it's difficult...and as I said, maybe this is me overreacting to this little thing..

MiaowTheCat Fri 25-Nov-16 11:28:23

Our school aren't bad at advance notice for dress up days at least - I know now that between now and Christmas there's one more themed day and one Christmas jumper one (not that I bought the jumpers in the sales after last Christmas in preparation!).

Preschool though take "planning from the kids' interests" to extremes - texts on Friday saying "we've noticed loads of the kids are into Paw Patrol - dress up as a Paw Patrol dog week next week" etc!

catkind Fri 25-Nov-16 12:24:13

Our school do provide costumes (2 form entry, sometimes 4 years in a production, everyone dresses up as something). They have a load of different coloured tunic things (pillowcases?? not sure if that would be big enough, but that sort of simple shape) and accessorise for specific parts - think the kids make the accessories. It's actually really effective because they all look the same, rather than have 30 different versions of dressing gown and teatowel as we used to do. A few specific items for major parts, which again roll out in different guises for productions, class assemblies etc.
Perhaps your school could recruit some sewing volunteers and buy some cheap fabric or sheets and invest their £2s for future years' productions?

catkind Fri 25-Nov-16 12:24:34

4 classes in a production that is.

dairymilkmonster Fri 25-Nov-16 13:50:41

I don't think the £2 sounds that unreasonable, but i guess it depends on the socioeconomics of the catchment area. i remember buying school play tickets for my parents throughout school (1987-2000). everything costs and schools have so little money.
Evening performances - double edged sword, logistically vexing but great for those of us whose work means we miss everything that happens at 2pm.
Nothing is perfect - we are lucky with dressing up days (1 per year, my ds friends school had 5 last year) but less so with the endless charity cake stall (provide cake then pay for my child to eat it, at least is supposidly a good cause).

2014newme Fri 25-Nov-16 13:56:11

I have never had to provide a costume in 7 years of nativity plays.
We don't pay to attend
But our Pta raises £25k per year which is a lot

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 25-Nov-16 14:00:22

I am clearly in the minority here then as I really can't see the issue?!

Rattusn Fri 25-Nov-16 14:44:28

Our school doesn't charge, and provides costumes, but we are in a very deprived area.

I don't see an issue with charging personally, as long as it is an amount that is affordable to parents. Schools have very tight budgets, and the extra money can be used to buy vital resources for the children.

Witchend Fri 25-Nov-16 14:51:44

They might officially restrict it to 2 seats, but do they actually monitor that one? We've always been restricted to two seats and there's always a few families that come with both sets of grandparents, three aunts, two older teen very bored cousins and Uncle Tom Cobbley and All.
They usually make sure one of them is first in line and take up the whole front row and watch it through ipads.

Hersetta427 Fri 25-Nov-16 15:10:26

We are definitely not in a deprived area and our school does not charge and provides every single costume.

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