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To think that £350 is an excessive amount to pay for yr6 school trip ?

(142 Posts)
Lousylo66 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:07:25

Ds1 is in yr 6. Going through his school bag I have just found details of their school trip at the end of summer term next year. Apparently they will stay in a chateau in northern France for 3 nights. Sounds great, lots of activities, visits etc but just don' t think we can afford it. They are asking for a deposit by 11 October and then
5 x £60 monthly payments after that, but then you have to factor in spending money and everything else so it's probably considerably more expensive. I do know that several kids didn't go on it last year and felt thoroughly left out before and after the event - seemingly lots of class time devoted to it in preparation. Nothing else is laid on for the unfortunate ones who can't go, just same old school routine.
Ok ,maybe it's our fault that we sent our kids to a school in a nice affluent area but what's wrong with a good old PGL holiday where they can try activities they've never done before. Just wondered if anyone had any advice, am in two minds to take kids out of school camping on the days the trips in progress. Sorry for the rant.

TiredDog Sun 29-Sep-13 22:55:17

Scholes has it spot on. I wouldn't drive for two days to have 3 days break. It's uneconomical in time alone

Pachacuti Sun 29-Sep-13 22:58:02

It does seem utterly ridiculous. There's a limit to how much French they'll actually be exposed to on that kind of trip, and they'll spend a huge amount of time travelling.

ravenAK Sun 29-Sep-13 23:02:12

I agree with you Scholes.

However, it's a lot easier to 'sell' a jaunt to France than a residential 10 miles up the road - & often not much of a price differential once you start looking at activity-based holidays.

Scholes34 Sun 29-Sep-13 23:03:11

And if your child doesn't have a passport already, that's another major expense.

Scholes34 Sun 29-Sep-13 23:06:30

Our primary used to travel 300 miles to one of the best PGL sites, and then switched for DC3 to one about 40 miles away. The staff said facilities were enjoyed just as much and the shorter journey was much more preferable. DC3 enjoyed his year 6 residential just as much as DC1 and DC2.

ItsDecisionTime Mon 30-Sep-13 00:12:20

Seems expensive to me. My DD attends a private school and their Year 8 French exchange is costing £150 for 5 days. True, the accommodation costs are covered but I wouldn't expect them to be more than £100 if they were sleeping in a dorm or caravan anyway. Must be covering the accompanying teachers costs in that.

FirstStopCafe Mon 30-Sep-13 05:02:49

OP I'm glad your son seems unfazed. Although you feel bad about him being unable to go, he may really not mind too much. I was unable to go on the week long residential school trip when I was in yr 6 as we couldn't afford it. Only 5 of us remained behind but I really was fine about it. I understood.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 30-Sep-13 07:29:53

RavenAK - my comments about the different issues were not meant to say that children with those issues couldnt go on residential trips but might be perfectly legitimate reasons why a child or teen might not want to go on a trip but also might not want to share the reason with the school. We have experience of this as DD has IBD and finds that the bathroom facilities are just another stress she can do without.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 30-Sep-13 09:16:26

I think we are lucky that teachers are prepared to organise and supervise trips that our children can get so much benefit from.

I don't think there's any need to offer trips abroad at primary school, it seems pointless when there are so many places in the UK that offer brilliant trips with a much smaller amount of travel time. But when they get to secondary, they provide a chance for children to go abroad even if their family couldn't afford a foreign trip for all of them.

What annoys me is that at our school, children on FSMs can get the trip for free or at a significantly reduced price, yet those of us on a similar income level get offered nothing. I think the pupil premium is divisive and is incredibly unfair on children from families who earn only fractionally more than FSM families. It is not the poorest children that miss out IME.

EnglishRose1320 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:15:10

Worry sigh- last school I worked at was very aware that issues like the ones you mentioned could put parents and children off but wanted to encourage children to feel confident enough to go- so staying at an adventure place that was only 20mins away meant that everyone could come and those that didn't want to or couldn't stay overnight just came each day instead.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 30-Sep-13 12:09:59

EnglishRose1320 - I think that is an excellent compromise.

cornflakegirl Mon 30-Sep-13 12:59:28

Google "charging school activities" and read the DoE advice - there are actually really strict rules about what can be charged for (rather than requested as a voluntary contribution) if an activity takes place wholly or mainly in school time.

chicaguapa Mon 30-Sep-13 13:09:23

YANBU. I resent it too. We also live in an affluent area and find that the price of school trips and the expectation that everyone can afford them is one of the downsides. The other being the expectation that mum is at home all day and available at the whim of the school to ferry DC around/ change plans at the drop of the hat. hmm

Schools are not very good at looking outside at the bigger picture unfortunately. They get so excited and caught up in the fantastic school trip they are dreaming up for the DC (and there's little doubt that they'll really enjoy it) that they forget the cost comes out of family budgets that they might otherwise spend on the whole family. But I know they mean well and have the DC's interests at heart, which is what we want from them really.

In our case, DH had to go into the school and tell them that we just couldn't afford DD's Y6 trip as we were going through some financial issues at the time. They were very supportive and arranged a payment schedule. But the fact was that we resented being forced to go in and have that conversation with them. Schools are meant to educate, not be privvy to our financial problems because they've asked us to pay £355 for a trip (having paid £270 for a Y5 trip too).

Retroformica Mon 30-Sep-13 13:09:39

Our trips tend to cost 140

yummumto3girls Mon 30-Sep-13 13:15:25

I agree £350 for only 3 days is too much. Our yr 6 was about £250 for 5 days with full on activities every day. Why do schools have to go overboard!!

Jenny70 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:47:17

We live in an affluent area, our kids are going on a 5 day residential to a forest camp in Sussex... costing about the £300 for the 5 days. I guess when I factored in coach hire, subsiding teachers, accom, food and activities I thought it was an OK price - not a bargain, but almost reasonable. guess I was pleased it wasn't a week in the Bahamas or something completely over the top.

There are 2 students not going (each for their own reasons) and they will be stuck in with Year 5 for the week apparently. I feel sorry that they will miss all the fun, as well as the post trip reminiscences & in-jokes etc.

cuteboots Mon 30-Sep-13 13:50:29

I think next year when hes in year 6 my son will be asked for about £350 for a weeks visit to some outdoor centre in wales. Im already dreading it as even though I work full time there is no spare cash each month . I think they should consult parents loads more in advance before they even plan trips like this ; 0 (

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