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To only pay some of this "voluntary contribution"?

(29 Posts)
sunshineandhappy Wed 24-Apr-13 07:37:33

Dd is in year 13, only 3 more weeks until her A levels start. Yesterday I receive a letter from school informing me that a guest speaker has been booked for this Thursday.
He will be giving a 4 hour compulsory tutorial, meaning the children will be missing other lessons, and staying behind for an hour and a half.
The sentence in the letter which has upset me is this ' should you feel able to make a contribution towards the visit, I would be grateful to receive a donation of £18.50'
AIBU to send a cheque for £10, stating that is all I can afford at such short notice?
Is school BU to ask for so much?

Lovelygoldboots Wed 24-Apr-13 07:42:21

There will be plenty of parents that will not contribute at all. It's a lot of money at short notice, three hours wages for many people. Yanbu.

Hissy Wed 24-Apr-13 07:43:06

It's voluntary. Short notice like that asking for £18.50? No. Teach them a lesson not to spend YOUR money without the respect of actually asking you first.

Sirzy Wed 24-Apr-13 07:44:59

School are not being unreasonable as presumably they are trying to cover the costs or a proportion of.

If you genuinely can't afford it then you wouldn't be unreasonable to just pay what you can afford

CaffeDoppio Wed 24-Apr-13 07:45:06

Blimey - £18.50 at short notice could be a real problem for lots of people. And for others it could be something they just can't do. I think it's a bit cheeky of school actually. YWNBU to offer to pay what you can - I'd guess that many won't even do that.

Pozzled Wed 24-Apr-13 07:45:47

Yanbu at all to send £10, or even just £5. It actually reads to me as though they're not expecting everyone to contribute at all. The wordingof 'should you feel able to...' is making it your choice IMO. The school must be aware that it's a lot to ask of some families, but there are others who could pay that without blinking, so it makes sense for them to recoup as much of the cost as they can.

jaywall Wed 24-Apr-13 07:46:18

How many kids would be attending this? For £18.50 a head do they get a buffet and freebies ?

Who is it and what are they talking about? I probably wouldn't send a penny for something like this.

Rainbowinthesky Wed 24-Apr-13 07:47:32

If it's a struggle send nothing.

ihearsounds Wed 24-Apr-13 07:50:16

Blimey, £18.50 to sit and be bored listening to some person waffling on..

nicelyneurotic Wed 24-Apr-13 07:54:45

Four hours? Can the children concentrate for that long? One hour is my limit before I start nodding off!

What is the special tutorial about? I wouldn't contribute unless I knew exactly what the benefit of this tutorial is.

Pozzled Wed 24-Apr-13 08:00:40

A four hour tutorial will almost certainly not be sitting around for four hours- it will involve fun activities, pair and group work, loads of interaction, frequent change of pace to sustain concentration. There are loads of companies and individuals who specialise in this sort of thing and do it really well.

FoundAChopinLizt Wed 24-Apr-13 08:02:54

I hope the school will film it and re-enact it next year, at no cost.

VinegarDrinker Wed 24-Apr-13 08:08:39

For me it would totally depend on who it was and whether I thought it would be worthwhile. If so, and I could afford it, I would pay the whole amount (but maybe write on the slip that more notice would be good in future).

If you can't afford it then pay nothing. It's voluntary.

sunshineandhappy Wed 24-Apr-13 09:19:06

Thank you all, I don't feel so bad now. I'm thinking of sending a letter with my cheque pointing out that such activities would be better received if there were some consultation with parents, and maybe even to be done earlier in the year. Surely now is revision time, not time to be introducing a whole lot of new information.

Theas18 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:34:04

Blimey! find out what it's about before you get snippy. No wonder we get post saying " school doesn't do anything interesting".

My guesss would be it's about efficient revising, coping with stress or similar and yes, its unlikely to be 4hrs sat being talked at.

Send the money or don't it's up to you

Bejeena Wed 24-Apr-13 09:49:17

Aside from the money I have to ask, so close to exams when they should be conentrating on revision what benefit is this tutorial going to give her for her upcoming exams? If it will help then good, but sounds to me like it is just cutting out of half a days revision time to me.

Jenny70 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:50:49

How many kids are doing this tutorial??

If it's 30 (which is probably less than the whole year group) that is £555 pounds!! How much does this guy cost?

I'd be asking for a breakdown of the costs etc, presumably if it's held at the school there is no venue cost, catering must be £50 if they put on snacks (and that's IF). Materials maybe another £50 (being generous). And the person's fee - that is the question really... can you google him and see if he has a fee structure on his website (probably not, but might give you some answers).

If he only charges £200 to hold a workshop, then are they assuming only 11 people will contribute (in which case, they'd get more if everyone paid slightly less).

Seems odd to me to have such an expensive (and presumably valuable/eminant) speaker at such short notice.

Nerfmother Wed 24-Apr-13 09:53:50

Well I haven't paid voluntary school fund to dds school but I have paid trip , I would just email saying you can't cover it this time , does he have to go?

LessMissAbs Wed 24-Apr-13 09:59:05

So many business and sports stars do school visits for free. If the school is asking for payment for this, it must be a business that specialises in this sort of activity that is providing it. In which case, it should have been organised well enough in advance that what is being provided and what is being paid for should have been consulted upon so that the majority who are being asked to pay for it are happy.

Its the school's job to educate your child, not provide business opportunities for private education providers. Unless its directly related to the exams, I would pull her out of it and encourage her to concentrate on exam preparation.

It really sounds quite odd. A 4 hour tutorial requires a lot of concentration and unless directly benefitting towards exam preparation, could be negative.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 24-Apr-13 10:02:34

who is this speaker and what is the benefit to the children's education?

Is it something you would pay to have your child see because it will help them in their a levels?

I normally pay the full whack, but tbh, I would consider not paying anything at all in this case.

Have they told you what the benefits of this speaker are?

Thingiebob Wed 24-Apr-13 10:05:44

Is this a private school?

If not, then no, I would NOT be making a voluntary contribution to a speaker booked by the school and attendance being compulsory.

Absolutely not.

sunshineandhappy Wed 24-Apr-13 10:05:53

It isnt exam preparation, it is new information about the function of the brain, and psychological disorders. It includes the group watching the dissection of a sheep brain. I'm failing to see the relevance, at this time in the school year, and am really cross with the lack of consultation, and the cost.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 24-Apr-13 10:09:18

What's that got to do with anything of any benefit to them?

Is this speaker a friend of the head or something? hmm

I wouldn't pay.

It's really stupid and without any benefit to the children at all.

And can they actually make the children stay behind? I would be saying no to that for a start.

LtEveDallas Wed 24-Apr-13 10:23:22

I don't really get the angst. It's a voluntary contribution, it's your choice.

If you can afford the £18.50, and think it's worth it, then pay it. If you can't, don't.

If the school/office had been shitty with you at all then I would understand your ire, but it seems they haven't, so don't worry about it. Just pay what you can (or not!) smile

mnistooaddictive Wed 24-Apr-13 10:26:55

I think that is reasonable. What is he talking about that us important enough to cancel lessons at this time of year? As a teacher I would be furious if my lesson at this time of year!

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