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To wish schools would give more notice when asking for money?

(34 Posts)
schoolofconfusion Thu 16-Mar-17 11:11:41

Letter home for an amazing trip last night. Large chunk of deposit got to in within ten days. A hundred pounds might not be a lot to some people but mid month it is a lot to us! It makes me sad as actually with a bit more notice dd could go. This follows the previous school offering the trip of a lifetime with a £250 deposit 5days before Christmas with another £250 due first day back after Christmas.sad I suspect aibu but it makes me sad she will again miss out.

Leeds2 Thu 16-Mar-17 11:20:14

Do you think you could ask if you could pay some of the deposit, and the rest when you have it? School might be willing to accommodate you as long as it is all paid by the time the trip takes place.

schoolofconfusion Thu 16-Mar-17 11:24:24

That's what I'm going to ask. Old school said no to this suggestion but will try again here.

If it was a limited number trip or a jolly holiday I would just tell dd no again but actually it is in her best subject and with being a small school no limit to numbers.

Same with smaller amounts though. I sometimes it is just a tenner for two days time. Surely for a lot of families on low income £10 is a lot!

Thisrabbitthatrabbit Thu 16-Mar-17 11:28:42

I don't think you are being unreasonable. At the beginning of each month I budget everything out. I would be in the exact same situation as you if my DS was at school. They should be flexible if you ask.

QueenLaBeefah Thu 16-Mar-17 11:30:12

I completely agree. Very unfair on families on tight budgets.

IamFriedSpam Thu 16-Mar-17 11:30:34

YANBU. It does seem like there could be more notice for things like this, unless the school are getting last minute deals - in which case they could perhaps inform you at the beginning of the year that this is likely to be the case.

Trifleorbust Thu 16-Mar-17 11:30:41

I think that is a bit excessive. I would expect at least a month to be allowed so that people were able to budget for £100 out of their wages. Some people obviously can't afford £100 no matter how much time you give them, but most people with 4-6 weeks notice could make adjustments for something special.

Tunnocksmallow Thu 16-Mar-17 11:31:35

YANBU. This really annoys me. Some schools assume that parents can just lay their hands on a lump sum for a deposit.

Last week my daughter came home with a letter for a science trip asking for a 'voluntary contribution' of £15, to be paid the next day! It never is a voluntary contribution, because they word it in such a way that makes you feel guilty for even contemplating not sending the money. Luckily, her father had just paid CSA so I could pay it, but it's the expectation that in less than 24 hours, families can magic money up.

Are there any local charities that will pay an amount towards a school trip? Here, where I live we have such a charity, who will provide help for low income families.

steppemum Thu 16-Mar-17 11:33:42

I would reply. Say dd really wants to go, and that you can pay for her to go if you can spread the payments over xx weeks/months.

Then ask if in future you could have more notice of large amounts, eg not middle of the month, not just before Christmas. Suggest a reasonable time line, eg any amount over £50 should have minimum 6 weeks time line, or options to pay in stages.

Most schools will accommodate this, they may even accommodate you paying in stages that continue after the trip has happened. They may even have a hardship fund and give you a gift out of it.

Schools don't always realise that their time lines and amounts are unreasonable, whether it is for money or dress up days or whatever. Keep pointing it out and suggesting a policy on amounts over time.

We asked our school to send out an overview of which trips happened when after several expensive ones came close together. It hadn't even occurred to the head that we didn't KNOW that these trips always happened every year to these places, and that we might want to select which one we sent ds on.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 16-Mar-17 11:38:55

I am thinking your child goes to my child's school!!

Are you in Cambridge?

Chocolatecake12 Thu 16-Mar-17 11:40:10

This annoys me so much and ive been in that situation.
I really think that at the beginning of year 7 they should give out a list of possible holidays your child could go on. Subject to change of course.
This would give you the chance to save up for trips, decide which ones you are prepared to send your child on and which ones they can miss.

steppemum Thu 16-Mar-17 11:45:56

exactly chocolate! Why is it so hard to understnd that parents need to plan! Especially if you have more than one child.

FarAwayHills Thu 16-Mar-17 11:49:47

YANBU I would definitely raise this with the school OP and also mention the Christmas trip. I don't believe that schools plan such trips at the last minute it is more likely to be the result of a lack of consideration and poor administration. We are told in September about any upcoming expensive trips and have the opportunity to pay in installments. Your school are totally being U and I'm sure you are not the only parent finding it tough to come up with money at short notice.

wigglesrock Thu 16-Mar-17 12:08:28

Oh this is one of my big gripes. I agree with you, some of the notice given is ridiculous. Last year I had three kids at primary it came to a head I think before Christmas, there were bits & pieces here & there and I think when I added it up it was about £55. We are on a tight budget, not as tight as others but tight enough to miss £55 in Dec. I went to the school & told them I thought it was ridiculous, who did they think attended the school & maybe they could have a rethink re notice. It was different this year - there was much more notice.

Dahlietta Thu 16-Mar-17 12:21:22

Having planned quite a lot of school trips in my time, I suspect I have been guilty of the short notice thing, but it's often a problem of the travel companies/finance office hoops to jump through. In my old school, we had to get the dates reserved with the travel company and then get it cleared through the school's Finance Office, which would usually take at least a week. The travel company wouldn't hold the dates for longer than a few weeks usually and you could risk losing the flights if you couldn't provide numbers by that deadline. I do see though that it is a huge pain in the arse for parents. We did on the other hand always try to be accommodating about actual payment - if we knew a pupil was committed to going, but needed to extend the deadline for actual payment, that was usually fine. I would say it is definitely worth asking about that if you are keen for her to go.

MrsMozart Thu 16-Mar-17 12:28:46

I remember those days. It was a pain and whilst we all know we can't do everything, it's frustrating when a little more notice would mean we could do some of it.

1nsanityscatching Thu 16-Mar-17 12:29:35

We have to send in a form reserving a place and then the deposit is required usually four to six weeks later. Much easier way to budget then. Could you suggest a similar policy to the school?

LeSquigh Thu 16-Mar-17 12:34:59

YANBU. My school does this all the time. I have complained but it makes no difference. I cannot lay my hands on £100 just like that.

steppemum Thu 16-Mar-17 12:41:11

Dahlietta - but the way round this is so simple.
Send a letter out in Sept saying that the history/french department is planning a trip to Rome/Paris in January. Expected cost is in the region of £300. This letter is for information only so that parents can budget and save for the trip.
You could even have an expression of interest form, so you could have an idea of how many would be interested.

In year 6, there were 3 trips that cost £250 each. When the first one came up, we had no idea that there were 2 more to come, as we didn't know anyone in year 6 last year. School were puzzled at our lack of knowledge, as if everyone should have been aware that year 6 did these 3 trips.
In response to our request, every Sept there is a list that goes out to all parents - year 3 residential to XX cost about YY, same for year 4/5/6 so parents can see, and budget and plan.

At secondary all our important letters are via email anyway, so it doesn't even require a photo copy.

Sobeyondthehills Thu 16-Mar-17 12:43:17

I put twenty quid a month in a tin for uniforms and school stuff. DS is only in reception, and we can't afford to budget anymore, but hopefully by the time he is going off to more expensive places, we will have a bit of a fund going. if he stops growing

SumAndSubstance Thu 16-Mar-17 12:45:17

steppemum I agree that is a good plan. In my personal defence, the expensive trip we ran was every year, so parents did know that it was coming up and we did also try to flag up other trips which may be offered. I'm not convinced that everybody did give this sort of notice though...

halcyondays Thu 16-Mar-17 12:47:21

It would be helpful if they gave an indication of the approximate costs of trips at the start of the year so you can plan for it. And asking for a deposit of £100 at very short notice is a bit much.

schoolofconfusion Thu 16-Mar-17 12:47:23

1nsanity that seems a great idea I will suggest that.

Can I just add I won't name names and I hope I don't upset the people who messaged me but a couple of people have messaged with kind offers to lend the money which I won't accept obviously. I'm not offended in the slightest as as usual Mumsnetters are bloody amazing but I just wanted to say I have been on Mumsnet a long long time since the miles for Maude times (reregistered after the hacking situation) and have seen a lot of begging posts and don't want people on here to think that my post intention was a begging one as it definitely wasn't.

But thank you so much for your kindness.

I will have a chat with school and as they are going on the channel tunnel it shouldn't be as much of an issue as flights and it needs changing for all families not just us.

schoolofconfusion Thu 16-Mar-17 13:03:53

Steppemum great idea too. My dd went on the residential in year seven at her old school. We had heard about it on year six taster dates and meetings and the previous year it was on social media so it gave us time to react.

Rumtopf Thu 16-Mar-17 13:11:19

allthebestnamesareused not in a small village just south of Cambridge are you? As we've had a similar request last week! Teachers speak to students about skiing trip next Feb, cost of almost £1000, first large deposit due 10days later, second large deposit due by May half-term and final payment the week before Christmas. Honesty, I have no idea who plans these things or what planet they're from! We've only just finished paying for this year's enrichment week of almost a thousand pounds! Literally, at the beginning of the month.
Then there'll be the Battlefields Trip to pay for in September, plus the school bus payment which has gone up yet again, and then in November we'll have to begin paying for whichever enrichment week activity our dd chooses to go on in May 2018. That's not including any other specific course trips she has to go on either.

We are by no means struggling, but we budget and when things are sprung on us at the last moment sometimes we have to say no. If we had an email at the beginning of the school year outlining the potential trips we could go through and easily say yes you can go on x,y and z but not b and then put money aside accordingly.

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