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To compalin to school about costs of dressing up days?

(108 Posts)
NaughtyBetty Tue 05-Mar-13 16:51:50

DD is in year 3 and so far this year they have had 6 dressing up days, that's 1 a month & if the children don't dress up they need to go in in school uniform. It's not always as simple as cutting up a sheet or buying bits from a charity shop, it usually works out as about £10 a 'dress up'.

We are really struggling financially and DD gets FSM, final straw was today when she is expected to pay £12 for a school trip.

I wonder what they have done with their pupil premium for FSM children? AIBU to complain, it's just getting really expensive!

TomArchersSausage Tue 05-Mar-13 20:44:29

I have a trusty box of facepaints I had it for ages.

The thing I feel though is that badgering paerents to 'just' keep coming up with x,y and z all the time is just adding quite un-necessarily to their list of things to manage.

Regardless of the cost involved (and that's far from irrelevant either) keeping on at them to have dc dressed up when they may have a big enough problem getting dc to school washed, dressed, lunch and breakfast sorted, siblings and often a job to go to as well is expecting too much too often.

nailak Tue 05-Mar-13 21:09:51

what do you spend ten pounds on op?

I never have or expect to pay any money for a dress up day.
If you dont have right clothes then whats wrong with mask of cereal box?

and you dont have a sheet or tin foil?

flumperoo Tue 05-Mar-13 21:26:18

One a month seems OTT. They're usually just as much of a pain for teachers as well though (presuming they're dressing up too) and something the school does to tick a box - 'We're a creative, money-raising-for-charity-school' type of thing, so complaining might not make much difference. Maybe you could get a big group of parents complaining?

dikkertjedap Tue 05-Mar-13 21:37:04

So much for school uniforms -- I find it all really hypocritical.

Sorry for your dd OP, must be awkward for her as well. Maybe next time when she has to dress up, post on MN as soon as you know the theme to see how it can be done as cheaply as possible.

BirdyArms Tue 05-Mar-13 21:43:53

I agree that many is OTT - I would complain and see if you can get some other parents to as well.

My children's school has banned dressing up days altogether because some families cannot afford them which I think is going too far the other way. Children do love them and you don't have to spend a lot, I'm sure most people could do world book day from stuff they already have.

The head has told me before that the children are very disruptive on days that they dress up so I think this is the real reason.

NaughtyBetty Tue 05-Mar-13 21:56:57

nailak - you can't use a cereal box to make a Victorian/neon costume, or tin foil to make anything other than a Roman shield in our case. our double white sheets are way too big for DD to be wrapped up in, plus I wouldn't want them trampled all over the floor.

I could have sent DD in in normal clothes and an animal mask made out of a cereal packet but she wouldn't have been able to/wanted to wear a mask on her face all day long.

So yes it does get expensive, even just buying a few bits and bobs gets expensive.

NaughtyBetty Tue 05-Mar-13 21:58:13

I think a couple a year would be fine.

Viviennemary Tue 05-Mar-13 22:14:08

YANBU to complain. But could the costumes not be a bit cheaper. But one a month is too many. I might think about keeping them off school as a protest and write a letter to the Head and the LA saying why I was doing this. But I probably wouldn't have the nerve and just go on being furious.

MidniteScribbler Tue 05-Mar-13 22:18:22

YANBU. As a teacher, I hate them. I've managed to get the ones at our school down to just two a year (1 costume day, 1 plain clothes day). It's disruptive in the classroom, and if parents want fancy dress, then they can do that on their own time. I also have put my foot down and refuse to wear any form of fancy dress myself. I'm a professional educator, not a children's cartoon character.

nailak Tue 05-Mar-13 22:48:11

i dont expect my kids to wear their costumes all day long! lol

I googled simple easy victorian costumes and came up with this

"Victorian girls wore their hair long and often tied back the top section with white ribbons. Add long black tights or even knee-length white cotton bloomers for an authentic finish. A crocheted shawl could be worn for warmth."

there must be more ideas out there! lol that dont involve buying much!

neon costume u could have just bought neon paint for a pound and made bracelets out of strips of cardboard or fabric.

roman costume, u said it, sword and shield and helmet made from carboard box and tinfoil......

but yanbu seems to be too many, maybe the next time post for ideas before spending money.

It does if you don't possess a crochet shawl, bloomers or dark tights. DD has short hair too.

nailak Tue 05-Mar-13 23:04:00

ffs, it doesnt have to be an exact crochet shawl, use a net curtain or make a paper doily or use a scarf, look around your house and see what you DO have rather then keep going on about what you dont.

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 23:06:56

I love a challenge and have no budget for fancy dress so I am so SO tempted to say YABU, and that actually a sheet can make ANY fancy dress.

But I love this sort of shit.

Therefore I begrudgingly agree that YANBU. Especially if you're either not especially creative or crafty... I acknowledge that these are essential ingredients to actually not minding if everyday was dress up day.

GOOGLE is your friend though, google 'how to make an angel outfit from a sheet' or 'how to fake a victorian costume for no cost'... and follow your nose. It DOES take effort though, and it's effort that people could better spend elsewhere.

I don't agree with fining children for not taking part, and I would not pay the fine.

I think it is me, and people like me WABU as I really REALLY enjoy these events. Pointless creativity is my forté, how can I say YABU when that is the case? smile

I know. I am just not very creative and I don't tend to see the potential of stuff I already have, to me it is just a lot of effort that I could do without. From the collective groaning I have heard from a lot of other parents recently I don't think I'm alone in this.

MidniteScribbler Tue 05-Mar-13 23:15:26

I think it is me, and people like me WABU as I really REALLY enjoy these events.

Then do them on your own time. Have a fancy dress up party. Invite your children's friends and go crazy. I'm all for a bit of fun and a good theme too, but school time is learning time, and these events do little but frustrate parents, cause angst among students who can't fully participate for various reasons, and distracts from the actual learning going on in classrooms.

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 23:17:46

There's nothing wrong with that whoknows there's nothing wrong with not being excited by bits of fabric, sticks and a glue gun... even though I am massively creative (though fairly unskilled) and LOVE upcycling 'things', I also dislike the trend of smugness amongst hobby-crafters as though we should ALL do it, and find it such fun!


Though I also agree with those who love this that it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive.

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 23:21:13

Midnitescribbler ffs calm down! I WOULD and DO do it in my own time. I only do it for school because it's requested, and I happen to like it.

Read the post, I am saying that the OP INBU, even though I like it.

You're shooting the person who laps it up rather than the one who doles it out.

I disagree that it distracts from learning though, on Victorian Day, the pupils retain a LOT of information through role play. It is valid.

I agree that too many days like this are unfair and added pressure on both children and parents.

Lay off!

nailak Wed 06-Mar-13 00:09:24

I disagree it distracts from learning too. learning is supposed to be fun. reading is supposed to be fun, about the characters, the imagination and so on, a day dedicated to this is not distracting from learning.

whoknows do your kids enjoy it? is it really that much effort to google something and do it? you may not be creative and imaginative, but the school may be wanting your kids to be? a love of learning and a thirst for learning comes from imagination and creativity, even scientists etc find these useful?

sparkle9 Wed 06-Mar-13 00:18:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

differentnameforthis Wed 06-Mar-13 01:00:54

We have themes at our school too, but we don't expect all kids to dress up. We ask for a gold coin donation ($1 or $2) per time.

One year it book characters & dd wore casual clothes, with her own wings & a frilly skirt & told everyone she was Tinkerbell!

It is also pretty relaxed here, if the kids can't/don't want to dress up, but want a day out of uniform, as long as they pay the donation, they can wear what they like to casual/dress up days!

I certainly wouldn't buy anything for a casual day/dress up day!

MidniteScribbler Wed 06-Mar-13 01:13:58

aldiwhore, I'm not having a go at you, but I am quite sensitive about this. Parents wanting to make costumes and have their kids dress up is something that actually caused problems at our school. Part of the reason behind it also was that we have some massively competitive parents, who aren't short of money, so they were spending a fortune to try and have the "best" costume. We then have the complete opposite end of the scale with students who are from very low socioeconomic backgrounds, or parents who are not interested in their education, and it became quite the social divide.

Whilst some opportunities can be tied to learning, the majority of them are not. Wear your favourite football team colours, pink day and St Patricks day for example are some that have fortunately been wiped out here. You can have plenty of fun in the classroom without expecting parents to have to try and organise costumes for a day that is not tied to learning. If they're going to spend time doing something for school, then please read with your children or supervise their homework, not try and create an alien mask out of tin foil that is better than the one that every other student has.

I also put a stop to "Sorry Day" when someone tried to have the bright idea of everyone dressing up in aboriginal clothing. Ummm no. Not everything needs to be an opportunity to play dress ups. We are able to have plenty of fun an educational activities tied to the day without offending the local indigenous population.

The students are allowed to wear plain clothes on sports days in their house team colours (red, blue, green and yellow, so pretty easy for parents, and we keep some coloured zinc and hair ribbons around for those who arrive without anything), and we have one plain clothes day for charity per year. The only one I really support is when we travel to a historical site (Grade 1, 3 and overnight for grade 6) when they all get to dress up in period costume (and yes, even boring old me does too) and spend the day taking part in a traditional school classroom and households. Now that is a valuable learning opportunity. The costumes are supplied by site and returned at the end of the day.

For Book Week each class gets to vote on their favourite book, and we tie our lessons in to that book and then we do have a lunchtime fancy dress parade on the Friday, but costumes are made in class during the week and tied to other learning activities (usually just masks for the little ones, the older ones get a bit more creative). Parents aren't required to then have to spend money or do any extra work, and it avoids the competitive parents, because the kids all have the same materials and make the costumes themselves, which is far more valuable than having a parent putting it together for them.

differentnameforthis Wed 06-Mar-13 01:24:23

animal of choice - well ok this doesn't fit the captain hook theme

Except didn't Hook have a parrot? Ergo, stick a stuffed bird toy on his shoulder, job done! smile

differentnameforthis Wed 06-Mar-13 01:34:10

favourite character from a Roald Dahl book (because I just have one of those lying around!), plus £1 to pay for the privilege of having to buy new clothes (£12 in total as couldn't beg borrow or steal from anyone)

Twits - scruffy hair, scruffy/stained clothes. DONE. Free!

Nailak one of my DCs enjoys making stuff, the other isn't very interested at all and won't help with his costume. Generic ones aren't so bad but Book Day is quite specific and the DCs won't let me fob them off with a character that I think is easy to create, therefore it does tend to end up having to root round charity shops etc, I am not spending my weekends dragging the DCs round charity shops so it has to be squeezed into the week alongside work, my studying, their homework and activities etc. I agree that imagination is important even though I am a scientist but there are better ways than this.

kitbit Wed 06-Mar-13 07:00:47

It's money but it's also time. We both work long hours and juggle childcare by working flexibly where we can. Can't change that - got to pay the mortgage. The last costume day was done with 3 DAYS NOTICE. It was on the Friday and we were told on Tuesday. Even if I had the money there was no time to order anything, and I had no bloody time to make anything. Managed to borrow some bits and stayed up till 2am to make the rest. Then pay £2 for the privelege.

Thankyou, school, just what I needed angry.

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