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to think the school is using me as a cash cow?

(43 Posts)
whyohwhywhy Mon 29-Nov-10 14:59:41

DD started reception in September and ever since she started there have been umpteenth little notes in her school bag asking for cash and other contributions. There was the 'wear and tear' fund, requests for alcohol or cakes for the cake stall, requests for cash to help modernise one of the classrooms and most recently I had a letter telling me I had to provide a full fairy costume for dd for the school play.

Fair enough I thought. I understand schools are in dire straits and they need parents to help out. However it was only when I mentioned in the playground how I was having difficulty getting hold of a fairy costume that I was met with stunned glances from the other parents. Apparently they do not have to provide a costume, the school is providing it for them. I then casually asked if they had been asked for money for the 'wear and tear' fund etc and again silence. Further investigation reveals that it is only I and two other parents who have been asked for these things...

So, it seems like the school is administering its own sort of social selection policies, asking the parents who they perceive to be 'well off' to contribute while those they deem to be less well off do not receive the requests for cash etc. Surely this is not right? It is not for the school to make value judgements surely?

Disclaimer: I am not rich, DH and I do OK, but we both work really hard for our money and have very little spare casem

whyohwhywhy Mon 29-Nov-10 15:00:38

that should be spare cash, sorry.

hatsybatsy Mon 29-Nov-10 15:02:36

not odd for the school to ask for these things but v odd to only ask a few parents?

any requests should be made to everyone or no one at all IMO - can you have a chat to the Head to understand this a bit better?

Louii Mon 29-Nov-10 15:02:51

Seriously, the cheek of them, I would go in and complain, they are bound to know that parents talk to each other, how odd!

fayc84 Mon 29-Nov-10 15:03:13

That is shocking. Fair enough parents get asked to help out when various things come up at school but surely everyone gets asked and those who can or who want to will, it is not up to the school to decide certain parents can be tapped for cash.

StealthPolarBear Mon 29-Nov-10 15:03:19

shock that is bad!

narkypuffin Mon 29-Nov-10 15:03:22

Seriously? Not on. Are you and the other parents the only ones with children not on free school meals?

Jins Mon 29-Nov-10 15:03:37

That is dreadful

staranise Mon 29-Nov-10 15:03:46

That sounds very very strange - our school asks for a lot as well but all the notes go to all the parents. It is then up to the parents whether or not they choose to contribute. It's obviously not up the teacher to make a judgement whether or not a particular family can afford more than another. TBH, it soudns so strange that I'd question that it's really the case - is it possible that the other parents you asked are just not receiving the notes for some reason?

If it is true, I'd raise it with the headmaster.

Sarsaparilllla Mon 29-Nov-10 15:07:37

I do think that's odd just to pick and choose who they ask, I would most definitely have a word with your daughters teacher or even the head to find out what's going on

Frazzledmumwithsmudgedmascara Mon 29-Nov-10 15:08:22

I would be fuming; not at being asked for the money necessarily but because the school had decided to do it's own selection process about which parents should pay for things.

I would refuse to pay another penny until all parents are treated the same!

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Mon 29-Nov-10 15:36:11

good lord that is really really shocking! i would go to the Head straight away and if they deny, say you are going to contact the LEA or the papers! how very dare they!!

scogliera Mon 29-Nov-10 15:38:57

That's outrageous. I would first find out from the school whether this is really the case and, if it is, I would create a real stink about it.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Mon 29-Nov-10 15:41:22

I doubt it's the case, it's more likely that others don't look through their childrens bags for notes wink

FanjolinaJolie Mon 29-Nov-10 15:43:30

Well this sounds seriously out of order.

whyohwhywhy Mon 29-Nov-10 15:46:26

ah yes, I see your point Laurie about other parents not checking for notes in their dc's bags. However, odd that costumes are being provided for all but 3 children in the school play?

Should have said that the school is in a not very well off area, there are lots of children receiving free school meals, so I guess its 'obvious' to the teacher those children who are 'better off' than others.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 29-Nov-10 15:49:53

I haven't heard of schools being selective. I was under the impression that they tap everyone for money.

Before you kick off, take Lauries point into account, that maybe all thes notes are languishing in the bottom of kids school bags or desks at school, so the parents haven't seen them.

At one point I had 3 DC at primary and would often only get one note home, even though all 3 received the same bits of paper.

If it is true then it's outrageous.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Mon 29-Nov-10 15:51:53

If all the children in the class apart from 3 are receiving free school meals then it makes sense to only send notes to those not receiving free school meals - maybe it's policy?. That would be a very high percentage of the class to receive free school meals though.

eviscerateyourmemory Mon 29-Nov-10 15:55:57

It is more likely that notes have been lost rather than a deliberate attempt to only ask the parents who are perceived as being better off.
If they are specifically targetting people like this then that is not acceptable IMO.

pastaplease Mon 29-Nov-10 15:56:04

Segmenting potential donors is standard fundraising practice. However, it's a waste of time when the donors are in a position to actually meet and discuss the various requests they have or have not received!

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 29-Nov-10 15:57:53

Message withdrawn

PatriciaHolm Mon 29-Nov-10 15:58:14

I think it's highly unlikely they are doing this. It's far more likely that the other parents aren't reading book bag notes, or their children don't bring them home, or bin them automatically. As chair of the PTA I know for certain that every bookbag gets a newsletter/application form for disco/etc, but we also have a number of parents who come ask the office for another one!

annie987 Mon 29-Nov-10 16:02:40

I agree that they probably don't look in bags for notes or they ignore any such requests.
Re costumes - my school is only asking a few for costumes this year - we have built up a bank of costumes over the years but each different Chrismtas play has different numbers of different characters so this year for e.g. this year we are only asking the parents of angels to provide costumes as we have everything else.

wotnochocs Mon 29-Nov-10 16:14:33

Why would they not send the note to everyone (even if they don't think they'll contribute) that would make no sense.I 'edit out' lots of requests for money, raffle prizes etc and wouldn't be able to tell you whether we'd been asked or not.
WRT the fairy costume, the whole class aren't going to be fairies are they?maybe the school had shepherds outfits etc.They probably looked stunned because they assumed that every little girl had a fairy outfit.

whyohwhywhy Mon 29-Nov-10 16:19:00

wotnotchocs, why would 'every girl have a fairy outfit'? My dd doesn't, she's never had a need to be a fairy before hmm.

will settle it tmwr by having a quiet word with dd's teacher. I'm happy to contribute where and when I can but I think all parents regardless of income should have the opportunity too as well. If it is the case that the school are being selective in who they tap for cash I'd feel very patronised if I was one of the parents they deliberately omitted to ask.

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