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Bronze DofE £250 through school

(138 Posts)
Allgoodfun Thu 12-Oct-17 12:16:09

DC has brought home the information to do bronze DofE, which school have offered for many years. However this year the price has suddenly rocketed from roughly £30 to £250. On top of that would be all the kit needed for the expedition - waterproofs, boots, sleeping bag etc.
Firstly, is this the normal cost now?
Secondly and more importantly to me, AIBU to think it's ruining the point of the DofE, instead of being open to everyone and so worth having on your CV, is it going to be yet another case of those who can afford it do and those who can't don't so meaningless to future employers/ universities etc?
Regular but nc incase it's only our school charging this amount

MargoLovebutter Thu 12-Oct-17 12:19:36

Can you ask the school why it costs this much? To buy the place from DofE isn't that much, about £20 I think, so what is it the school is having to do that costs £230 per child doing it?

shouldnthavesaid Thu 12-Oct-17 12:33:15

That's crazy - I never did DofE in the end (did plain Outward Bound instead) but we were told to fundraise for kit , costs or ask around. It was seen as part of the challenge, to organzie your own kit and food etc and to work as a team tinmake sure everything was taken . I presume the £250 means the school provides everything, seems daft.

If you want a cheaper option Scouts or Girlguiding offer DofE as well , alongside a lot of similar stuff. Prices were often a tenth of that as onus was placed on us to do fund-raising rather than rely on mum and dad.

Allgoodfun Thu 12-Oct-17 12:36:31

It looks like they've brought in a company to run it for them, rather than teachers running it.
We would have encouraged dc do it at the lower price but, although we could afford it at this price, do feel that it will lose it's worth on a CV.

MargoLovebutter Thu 12-Oct-17 12:37:36

I borrowed pretty much all kit for my DCs, apart from the walking boots, so don't let the kit put you off. At Bronze they should only be out for two days and one night in normal kind of countryside, so they don't need the same kind of kit they would do at Gold.

Allgoodfun Thu 12-Oct-17 12:37:43

The school aren't providing anything, you still have to provide kit on top of that price

MargoLovebutter Thu 12-Oct-17 12:40:22

If the school aren't providing anything, what is the £250 for? Have you asked?

RatherBeRiding Thu 12-Oct-17 12:40:37

Is there any way it could be done not through school? My son did Silver & Gold with a group of friends but not through school, as their school didn't offer it beyond Bronze. I can't remember it costing very much. I have a feeling it was organised by the local authority.

As for all the kit - you should be able to source most if not all of the kit via places like ebay.

It really is worth doing especially if they keep going through the stages. My son was told by various Universities and his now employer that they value it on a CV.

Allgoodfun Thu 12-Oct-17 12:40:56

shouldnt what is the Outward Bound? I've not heard of that

newpup Thu 12-Oct-17 12:41:24

At my DD's independent school it costs about the same. I was shocked when I found out a friends state school only charged £50!

It is because the school pay a company to come in and run it for them. One of my DDs was ill on the final expedition with a stomach bug and we had to go and pick her up in the middle of the night. Then we had to pay another £230 pounds for her to redo it the following year! shock

FlaviaAlbia Thu 12-Oct-17 12:41:28

Join an explorer scout group intstead and do the equivalent awards there? There's 3 awards, up to the Queen's Scout award which is equivalent to DOE gold and is more challenging and more fun in my experience.

newpup Thu 12-Oct-17 12:42:44

I was also amazed how many girls dropped out half way through! not at that price unless your leg has dropped off!

Allgoodfun Thu 12-Oct-17 12:44:15

Will be asking that at the meeting next week Margo.
Rather, what worries me is that it will stop being valued if it becomes something only those who can afford it will do, seems a massive commitment for nothing if that happens. Although from the replies so far it does sound like it's just our school rather than a general price rise

londonmummy1966 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:44:19

My DDs school are in a similar position. In the past DofE was organised by staff and was not that expensive. Then last year they brought in an external company to run the expedition side of it and that has lead to a similar racking up of the costs.

I decided that my dds would not do it, partly because it is so expensive and partly because it is now becoming just a box to tick on the university form. I went to the presentation and the teacher explained that they had structured it to minimise the amount of time the participants spent - ie do clubs at school to cover the skill/fitness and volunteer at lunchtime in the school library. It seemed so against the spirit of the award.

2014newme Thu 12-Oct-17 12:44:40

Do national citizens service instead is £50

MargoLovebutter Thu 12-Oct-17 12:47:16

A company can't run the whole DofE, it can only do the expedition. Skills, volunteering and activity sections are all done by the child themselves. That sounds very high at £250 per child for a Bronze expedition. This is basically a two day walk with a rucksack in local countryside. What are the company doing for that? If 30 kids are doing the DofE, that's £7,500 in their pockets!

VeraGrant Thu 12-Oct-17 12:47:19

That’s around the price our school is asking for. Absolutely everything included apart from walking boots though, and we can pay in several instalments. Also there are concessions for those in need of them. No one would be left out if their parents couldn’t afford it.

No outside provider but because well over 150 kids are doing it, they do need extra teaching staff who can’t all do it for free.

janinlondon Thu 12-Oct-17 12:49:04

Our school has told the kids not to put DofE or prefect positions or music or dance grades on their PS for UCAS....just to offer another perspective.

neddle Thu 12-Oct-17 12:49:38

Same for us. I was really keen for dd to do it as I'm involved with Guides (we don't offer it anymore).
Cost £230 due to outside company running it. We couldn't afford it so she didn't do it (and grumbled a lot each weekend her friends were doing it).

MargoLovebutter Thu 12-Oct-17 12:49:48

Blimey Vera - that means the company will rake in £37,000.00 for taking students out for a walk!!!!!!

PutTheBunnyBackInTheBox Thu 12-Oct-17 12:50:06

DS did his bronze last year. I had to pay £100 up front for registration etc and each expedition after that cost £50. I also had to buy the kit and the rucksack alone was £50! DD is eligible this year but I really can't afford it again, even with her using DS's rucksack. I've just received the email requesting payment for the school fund which is £140 for the two of them shock so I really haven't got the money sad

Thingywhatsit Thu 12-Oct-17 12:52:05

That's ridiculous and completely against the ethos of dofe. It should be accessible to everyone regardless of income. I'm pretty annoyed that you are being asked for £250! I couldn't afford that for my ds.

My ds does it through his cadet unit. Cadets costs me £11 per month in subs and dofe costs me only the £18 (?) registration fee. All equipment apart from boots is provided. I don't have to buy anything. They also put on skill and physical activities (occasional extra cost i.e. 6 months of weekly Indoor Climbing will cost me £40/£50)

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Oct-17 12:52:23

We all know that teacher wsorkloads are being increased and increased. If staff now feel that they have no time to run DoE awards then that's fair enough I think.

My year at school had no DoE offered as teachers were in dispute with the government and working their contracted hours only. It was a shame but you can't demand that people give up yet more of their free time to educate your child.

purpleprincess24 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:52:36

If they want to do it fine but I don't think it really adds anything to their CV / ucas application, unless they've taken it all the way to Gold.

Both my DC were told to take it out of their ucas statement as so many applicants had at least a bronze, it wasn't worth the extra words that could be used for something else.

I was actually surprised at how little extra curricular was considered relevant, my DS was told that they were only interested in maths, further maths and more maths.

Crescend0 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:53:26

I just can't imagine what they're charging the £250 for? Could you just ring the school and ask? The whole point of DofE is that you organise tryout own voluntary work, your own out of school sport and other activity and plan / bring all your own kit and food for two one-night expeditions.
Maybe the school are providing the required activities in that price?

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