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Primary school leaving party

(106 Posts)
YorkshirePuddingsGreatestFan Fri 29-Dec-17 07:55:50

Planning this has been a horrible experience. I'm a single parent with a single salary coming in and I just can't afford to spend a fortune on it.

There was already a row as people wanted to spend £75+ per child on the party with suggestions of a formal evening do at a local castle and hiring a funfair etc. The people wanting to spend more are all couples with dual salary coming in and have said they can afford this so this is what they want to spend.

Several people including me said it was a ridiculous amount to spend and pushed for £25 max and offered cheap alternatives. We can have a local hall for free and do the usual party games and disco with pizzas and snacky food from a takeaway nearby. This wasn't special enough and too boring for their children. Or we could go to a local trampoline/bowling etc venue with one activity and the usual burger and chips type meal. The people who wanted to spend more slated this idea as their children go to local trampoline/bowling places regularly so it's not special or different enough for their children.

It was left that the various options would be explored and a final plan drawn up around the £25 a head mark. I was called pathetic and accused of spoiling things by those who can afford it as apparently I'm not willing to compromise. Not quite sure how I can compromise when personal finances mean I just can't justify spending £75+ on a children's party.

My job is seasonal and goes seriously mental in December. I've put long hours in at work so I've not been on Facebook much and hadn't noticed posts in the group. It wasn't until I noticed a demand for money yesterday that I realised the final plans have been drawn up.

A themed bus has been booked which is different and more expensive to the one that was originally suggested. This will take them to a venue an hours drive away where they can choose a leisure activitie and have some food. The people who can't afford to spend more will then leave while the children who can afford it will stay and do further activities. The cost is £35 a head.

AIBU in feeling annoyed by this? It's going to cost me more than I agreed to pay, I don't see the point in travelling all that way just to do trampolining or bowling when they can do that within a few miles of home and I'm really really narked by the two tier system with an extended party for those who can afford to pay more.

user1498927651 Fri 29-Dec-17 09:11:44

YANBU. Our primary had a day out at an adventure park for less than £10 per child (transport may have been a bit extra), and a party in the classroom followed by games on the sports field.

End of primary celebrations should be accessible for all children, which means planned to be affordable for all families, and the class covering the cost of any children whose parents still can't pay.

Aworldofmyown Fri 29-Dec-17 09:14:15

Also our year 6 leavers have to raise money for their party. Doing jobs for friends and family. Having bake sales at school etc etc

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 29-Dec-17 09:16:25


So they all go off in the decorated bus , for a hour drive. The ones who are going to the activities go on to do that.....
And the others? Do they hang around on the bus?
Or go home? (Does the bus take them back or d they need to make other arrangements)

Sounds mean beyond belief angry

Our school Yr 6 did fundraising and Mini Enterprise which the pupils organised and raised money fr an end of term trip ( disco was in the school)

YorkshirePuddingsGreatestFan Fri 29-Dec-17 09:21:01

Just to answer the questions:

Yes it's for 11 year olds and it's in July next year.

The school don't organise any of this. They do a leaving assembly on the last day. This is all left up to the parents to organise. I'm not sure if the head is aware of anything that has happened.

The PTA refused to put any funding into it. They said they didn't feel it was an appropriate use of funds spending it on a party organised by parents and would rather spend money on things that benefit children in school. That's fair enough and I agree with them to be honest.

It's £35 for transport one way, an activity and some food. It's a leisure complex with bowling/trampolines/laser quest/roller skating etc all under one roof. They'll be split up while they do their activity of choice, then be together for food. The ones who can afford it will stay and do further activities after the food.

There's still the cost of a leaving hoody that has been suggested to consider too. They have permission from the head to wear them instead of school jumpers in the last term. I don't know how much that will cost yet but feel obliged to buy one otherwise you run the risk of your child being singled out because they haven't got a hoody.

I'd prefer it if they went somewhere local with one activity that they all did together. It's cheaper, easier for the parents to get to and it cuts out the two tier thing.

StrawBasket Fri 29-Dec-17 09:23:11

The party should be on the school ground, that's the whole point - regardless of your income-! When people want to treat their children, they have enough term breaks, weekends, birthdays to do so. It's a shame to do something not related to the school that way, and that's even before talking finance.

NapQueen Fri 29-Dec-17 09:24:33

I like the idea of a leaving hoodie, especially if it has evryones names listed on the back - sentimental and something lovely to reminisce over in years to come.

Why not just ask the school if you can book their hall for after school one day, maybe hire one of those portable ice rinks, a candy floss machine and some disco music?

SparkleFizz Fri 29-Dec-17 09:24:36


Surely a primary school leaving party should be priced so that as many children as possible can afford to attend? I’d have thought it’s more about them having fun with their friends, not about doing fancy “special” expensive activities.

HamishBamish Fri 29-Dec-17 09:25:48

It’s very unfair to have a 2 tier party. I’m not sure if I would say anything at this stage though. I also wouldn’t involve the school. It’s really not their remit to comment on something which has been organised outside school.

MiaowTheCat Fri 29-Dec-17 09:25:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soimpressed Fri 29-Dec-17 09:26:03

In previous years our school had started to go towards a type of prom - travelling in limos and pressure to couple up. It was ridiculous and caused all sorts of stress for the parents and the kids. Thankfully by the time DD left someone spoke up and said they didn't want it and all but one parent supported her. We had a picnic in the park with games straight after school and then a disco and barbecue in a local hall in the evening. It was perfect.

SimonBridges Fri 29-Dec-17 09:38:49

Utter madness.
Most of them will still be at school together the following year anyway.

So wrong to have a two tear do.

Aworldofmyown Fri 29-Dec-17 09:40:20

We have hoodies - they are lovely and still worn!! Ours have the childs surname on the back then all the kids first names printed inside the year number.

AuntLydia Fri 29-Dec-17 09:48:01

What absolutely horrible people with awful priorities. I really feel for you op. Roll on secondary school when you won't have to have anything to do with them hey?

user1498927651 Fri 29-Dec-17 09:48:07

We had hoodies, but not until the end of the school year. Most primary kids would only be wearing a jumper at the start of the summer term anyway. I think it is fairer to wait so that kids don't stand out for not having one.

Witchend Fri 29-Dec-17 09:59:26

I think it sounds really horrible-ours have a special disco with BBQ which costs about £5 a head. I'm glad it's no bigger.

I believe a couple of years above dd1 a few parents started getting posh transport for the disco, but the school requested that stopped.

The only issue I had was this price included an "official photographer" in dd1's year. Who was a parent. Photos went: Photographer's dd with friend A forwards,
Photographer's dd with friend A walking away looking backwards,
Photographer's dd with friend B forwards,
Photographer's dd with friend B walking away looking backwards,
Photographer's dd with friend A and B forwards,
Photographer's dd with friend A and B walking away looking backwards,
Silly picture of Photographer's dd with friend A and B.
Photographer's dd with friend C forwards...
Out of 500 photographs 446 contained that same child. Yes, I was sad enough to count up. Tbf 5 of them were a group photo, so all were in it. Although guess who was centre front "cutting" the celebration cake. grin

However I can see where it has come from. There's such a big gap between what Op wanted and what they wanted that they weren't going to get a solution that they both liked, and the £35 is far closer to Op's idea than theirs. I suspect they're no happier.

With the bus, I don't think it costs much more to go further, so it makes sense in a lot of ways to choose somewhere further to get more use out of it.
By having a multi-activity area, it's then giving the children the option to choose trampolining if that's what they like, or if they go trampolining regularly there's different things etc.

I think the badly thought out bit is the "stay for further activities if you can afford it". But I guess it depends slightly on how many are likely to choose to stay-or want to. I'm sure two of mine would have had enough by that point. If over half are leaving, and not a huge amount is made that others are staying then it wouldn't be much of an issue.

And in a lot of ways it's good that they're being upfront, so you can prepare your dd. Much worse is if a group of parents got together and decided they were staying on or going on to "something better" and make a big thing about it on the day.

RedHelenB Fri 29-Dec-17 10:01:45

Hoodies make more sense for end of secondary when they have finished growing. As to the party I can see both viewpoints and the party bus sounds fun. But the whole point is that as many of the year get to go as possible.

Candlelight234 Fri 29-Dec-17 10:08:02

The two tier party is a particularly nasty idea, it will be quite upsetting I imagine for those who have to leave.
When my DS left primary school they did a hoody for the final term, cost to parents £7 I think the pta put some cash towards it. The party was about £20 and was a limo, hire of a hall & dj and buffet done at cost price by a parent who had a sandwich shop.
£75 is an outrageous sum imo.

SciFiFan2015 Fri 29-Dec-17 11:17:26

Do you have any information about the cost of the school day you could link the Facebook group to? It shows that we need to find ways to include everyone not create barriers (in this case a two tier solution).
Our primary had been getting grander and grander ideas about leaving. Thankfully a forward thinking group of parents stripped all the bullshit out of it. Now P7s get piped out of school (nothing like the swirl o' bagpipes!) to a water fight. Bit of lunch and then a party at a local hall. We even use the same theme year after year so that we can reuse the decorations!!!
We have a leavers hoody but we try and get sponsorship to bring the cost down. Every child can have one this year for £10 each.
Your situation. Sounds horrible. Good luck

Stompythedinosaur Fri 29-Dec-17 11:32:45

That sounds horrible and I hate the two tier thing.

If the plans go ahead could you arrange to pick up your dc and maybe a friend or two for a sleepover so they are going on to something fun (but free) rather than their fun ending while others are still doing nice things?

LoniceraJaponica Fri 29-Dec-17 11:38:13

I would just not go along with all the expensive stuff. If enough parents said no way wouldn't the cost of the bus have to be spread among those that were going? So maybe it would be £50 each instead of £35?

You need to agree a maximum budget and stick to it. Don't be guilt tripped or coerced into anything more expensive. If enough parents did this the expensive party is only going to happen for a few children. Then it wouldn't be a leavers party.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 29-Dec-17 11:45:34


When DD1 left primary the PTA organised a whole school disco that the y6s could use as their leaving celebration too.

When DD2 left 6 years later they (or rather 3 parents really) fundraised during the year. The school then organised spending of the money in discussion with the children. They did a camp out at school with an inflatable disco tent or something and a BBQ.

I think what the parents are planning is divisive and overly expensive and unnecessary. It runs the risk of spoiling the last few weeks of term for some of the children.

PersianCatLady Fri 29-Dec-17 11:53:10

£75, really??

I8toys Fri 29-Dec-17 12:40:45

Its in July!! The school needs to step in and stop this madness now. Excluding those that cannot afford it is the most horrible thing I've heard.

NotYetMadeYourMindUp Fri 29-Dec-17 12:43:03

Sounds fucking bonkers. Since when was a formal evening do appropriate for 11 year olds?

Allthetuppences Fri 29-Dec-17 12:52:54

Our pta put on a bbq the food funded by a year 6 cake sale at the local rugby club for free, just had to buy drinks and snacks. It went on later than I thought appropriate but it was so inoffensive as to get a visit from the two year 6 teachers and TA's for about an hour.
Extremely cheap and the year 6's felt very much the centre of attention. Only boycotted by those parents who didn't want to supervise their (or a few) children.

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