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to think that there should be more notice for school trip money?

(23 Posts)
Moominlandmidwinter Tue 14-May-13 18:39:12

My second AIBU in a week. Think I'm turning into a moaning minny. Am also in a foul mood today due to lack of money, so I probably ABU, but wanted to moan anyway.

About six weeks ago, DD1 came home with a letter about YR6 residential, was going to cost £163, they wanted £63 deposit within a week. Balance of £100 due 10th May. Scraped deposit together, but surely a week is very short notice! I'm on SMP, so money is very tight. Then, they moved balance due date forward a week. I know it's not compulsory that she goes, but everyone else is going! It's also apparently the follow-up to YR5 residential.

Next, DD has presented me with a letter about another school trip, costing £20, going next week! Apparently, the letter has been in the bottom of her bag for a week (scrunched up, so I didn't notice it!), but that's still just 2 weeks notice.

IABU to think that perhaps they could give more notice? It would help for budgeting purposes!

Fuckwittery Tue 14-May-13 18:40:09

could you ask the school to pay in stage payments?

olibeansmummy Tue 14-May-13 18:45:59

Yanbu they do a year 5 residential at our school and parents can pay over the while year if they want. Plus £20 is ridiculous fur a day trip!

Hardhaton Tue 14-May-13 18:50:38

My ds residential yr 6 trip was £305!
Which had to be paid in one go.

Moominlandmidwinter Tue 14-May-13 18:51:59

I guess that I could have paid in installments, but it was more the fact they needed residential deposit with a week's notice, and 2 week's notice for this £20. I'm having a tight month, but have had to dig deep!

maillotjaune Tue 14-May-13 18:57:52

I often wonder about this - our school has done the same Y5 and Y6 residentials for years and although they give a couple of months' notice I do winder why they don't announce a rough date / price in September so that people who need to budget or save can do that. I guess you can ask but if it's your first child you might not know what's coming up.

Scholes34 Tue 14-May-13 19:06:39

I hit the roof when we had six days' notice to pay £50 for a primary school trip. The head apologised and the school then went on to produce an itinerary for the whole year with expected trips and approximate costs. We also asked the secondary school to do the same, and they obliged. It especially helps with budgetting when you have a number of children, and makes the school look twice at what they're asking parents to fork out for.

Moominlandmidwinter Tue 14-May-13 19:15:03

£305!!! Wow!

I must be a bit naive, as I thought that as there had been a residential in Yr5, there wouldn't be one in Yr6! DD2 is at a different primary school, and they do PGL in Yr 6 (next year). Am going to start putting money aside now, so that I will be prepared! However, that school are generally very good for giving plenty of notice for such things.

BackforGood Tue 14-May-13 19:20:01

I don't think YABU.
I think it's a bit much to ask parents to pay out for 2 residentials in 2 years (and I'd have thought there would be several with siblings in those Yr groups). Any expensive trip should have a fair bit of notice, and also the opportunity to pay in installments.
dd's school have a residential in Yr6, but it's been tradition for so many years, everyone knows it's coming, but even then you get a meeting about it at the end of Yr5 and are issued with a payment card so you can send in what you want, when you want.
It's seems not to have been thought through, that they are putting on an expensive, £20 trip at the same time as the residential too!

Jestrin Tue 14-May-13 19:21:05

I think they should have given you plenty of notice.

Our DS's school constantly wants money for things but we hit the roof and set off a snotty email about a booklet we got outlining several trips (to choose one) ranging from £50 (going to local outdoor camp) to nearly £400 going to France. All of them amounted to jollies rather than cultural experiences and we told school so. Those children not going have activities at school which DS thankfully wanted to do as they included stuff he is interested in.

MerylStrop Tue 14-May-13 19:23:59

and get other people to complain
the School should be better able to plan stuff like this.
Not many people can find £183 extra from one pay packet, not any more

Moominlandmidwinter Tue 14-May-13 19:24:24

Scholes34- that's a really good idea. I might suggest this! We have 3 DDs at school, and it would definitely help.

DontMeanToBeRudeBut Tue 14-May-13 19:29:24

That isn't on, YANBU. It's very rare for schools to not plan trips well in advance so there is absolutely no reason why they can't give parents adequate notice and, for more expensive trips, put payment plans in place. I would write in saying that these short-notice demands have put you in a difficult financial position and making suggestions for improvement.

NoWayPedro Tue 14-May-13 19:41:31

in the last couple of weeks i've seen:

- Parents being given short notice to find significant sums of cash for trips (don't get me started in how much trips cost)
- £9 for ingredients for a pizza
- teacher requesting a specific pair of brown shoes be bought for some drama/fancy dress type day

WTF, I mean really. When are some of them going to get some common sense. I know it's a tough job but guess what, so is everyone else' and so is being a parent who needs to budget.

I say this because my sister should has to budget and when I see what goes on with my nephews its really sad. They haven't had a family holiday for years and the cost of one recent school trips would have been a significant contribution to that.


phantomnamechanger Tue 14-May-13 19:41:39

Thats ridiculous OP, given that these residential centres need to be booked a year in advance, they are totally BU not giving more notice - my DC primary school does do residentials in both Y5 & Y6 - but we have almost a year to pay! at about £35-40 a month

In Y6 the trip was end of October but we started paying in the January when they were still in Y5 - I think it was 9 installments. even then , they had a record no. of kids NOT able to go this year

as for day trips costing £50 - WTH? ours are usually about £7-13 depending what the activity is - each class does one trip a year, plus the panto (about £10)

DD is secondary and has not been on any of the available weekend jollies for £200 etc but has had a couple of trips to London theatre/art gallery/ at about £25 each - and these are cultural/course based, relevant.
a Y10 friend recently went to CHINA for a week, and the 6th form did a med cruise taking in jerusalem and egypt shock mine won't be going on anything like that, and money is only part of the reason

Binkyridesagain Tue 14-May-13 19:47:18

£320 residential trip, we could pay either 6 instalments, 2 or lump sum. Payment from nov - may. They also asked for various contribution for Xmas activities and a £20 day trip in January. Year 6 has been very expensive

fairylightsinthespring Tue 14-May-13 19:51:55

wrt to the cost of trips, it is obviously down to the actual running costs. I am taking a trip to London from Herts later in the year and the coaches, for a 100 people is £650. Entry to the place we are going to is another £6 so that makes £12.50 per person (roughly). we always add on a tiny bit to cover photocopying charges relating to the trip etc and contingency but that gets refunded if not needed, so we are charging £15 for the trip. Schools do not profit from these things and if they weren't offered the school would be damned for limiting opportunities. We give as much notice as poss but some things, such as theatre trips may not be booked until close to the time if a member of staff notices that something is on locally. OP, I would be very surprised, if you talk to the school, if they wouldn't give you some time to find the money. We put tight deadlines on letters or you sometimes NEVER get it in and checking off who has paid and who hasn't is incredibly time consuming.

SoggySummer Tue 14-May-13 20:02:33

YADNBU!!! I can empathise with you soo much. I was on the verge of starting a thread too because the past 3 weeks have been nothing but one letter after another from school asking for money for trips.

My DD is in year 9 and just chosen her GCSE options and she has chosen 3 foreign languages (Spanish, German and French). We are still awaiting confirmation she can do all 3 as they said there may be problems timetabling it.

Anyway along with 3 foreign languages come the overseas trips which I kind of anticipated, so much so I put away £25£35 the past couple of months just to help cushion any costs when they come over the next 2 years.

But no silly me - 3 letters in 3 weeks for 3 trips. 1 joint language/History trip to Germany (DD also doing GCSE History) £500, next March but £100 non returnable deposit wanted this week, the remaining £400 to be paid by Xmas.
Last week: 7 day trip to France July 2014 £800. £200 deposit wanted this week. The rest paid in 3 instalments of July, Dec and March.
The week before that: 5 day trip to Spain some time next year £700. £150 non returnable deposit wanted last week, the rest to be paid in similar instalments as the French trip.

So in a space of 3 weeks the school have wanted £450 out of me for deposits and want a total of £2000 by next March.

Obviously DD wont be doing all 3 trips but being that the GCSE course is 2 years long or 18 months prior to final exams - could they have not spread the trips some more. I do appreciate they take a lot of pre planning but these costs in 10 months are just too much for us. DO many people have £450 just sitting there for stuff like this???

The short notice of deposits means we can only put her on one trip as we do not tend to have a spare £450 in any one month in our house. She is going in the Germany one because it covers 2 subjects and is the cheapest.

Lets not forget all the other trips as well. There is a science one this term - day trip costing £20 and a classics trip to an ampitheatre for another £10.

DH says if we have a spare £2000 by next summer we could all go away as a family and have a damn good family holiday for that amount and I tend to agree.

mummytime Wed 15-May-13 07:55:49

My DCs primary tells us in October what that years residential trip is; then gives us an installment plan, they also give us an idea of what trips are planned for each term and the cost of those. If we were charged £20 it would be at least 1 trip, all cooking ingredients and maybe some other one off cost.
In secondary, there is one residential in year 8, and they tell you the summer before about the cost, and you start paying. GCSE ones are usually included in the course booklet, and there are few totally compulsory (and even the Geography one is only about £50, and includes the cinema one evening). There are a few others, of varying cost, but not everyone can/wants/can afford to go. Really expensive ones often involve fundraising.

flanbase Wed 15-May-13 08:00:22

They should give you proper notice. To ask for this sum of money at such short notice is't right at all. They should have a plan for the year and know in advance what will need to paid for and should pass this information onto the parents so that they can budget and also have a say in what they're paying for

halcyondays Wed 15-May-13 16:35:49

Yanbu, they should give you a bit more notice.

SprinkleLiberally Wed 15-May-13 16:58:13

Yes but Soggy, you just say no to most of those trips.

10 months notice is fine. They all go in July because the timetable is freer making staffing possible and weather is better.

Pilgit Wed 15-May-13 18:30:59

my old primary ran a savings scheme for the trip that you could start paying into as soon s you were in the juniors. the final cost wouldn't of course be known until they actually reached year 6 but by then the balance would be small. it takes organisation but surly this would be a good way to spread the cost for more primary schools?

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