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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.

OP’s posts: |
Toomanycats99 Fri 29-Dec-17 20:16:08

@flowery - the hall for ours was booked in September! Although to be fair we haven't done anything else yet!

flowery Fri 29-Dec-17 18:53:49

This is completely not on my radar at all, and DS1 is in year 6.

It is still December isn’t it? As in, seven months before they leave?

TSSDNCOP Fri 29-Dec-17 18:45:18

I see this coming. In fact, it’s already started. I’ve withdrawn completely. It’s so grabby and tasteless.

teaandakitkat Fri 29-Dec-17 18:25:03

I would reply to the facebook group saying how disappointed you are that some children will be unable to attend the whole event because of the cost. I'm certain other parents will agree and hopefully some others will comment backing you up. I know I would. And maybe if people actually point out the unfairness they might think again.
Suggest the event just ends after the first activity and food. Is there somewhere they could go on to, a room in the school maybe, just for drinks and crisps and a movie if they feel it isn't long enough?
You don't want to criticise then not have an alternative suggestion, that will just piss people off.
As for the cost, they wanted £75, you wanted £25, it's ended up at £35 (sort of). You probably can't argue with that. At least you've got plenty notice to save up.

BakedBeans47 Fri 29-Dec-17 18:11:36


our primary school leavers dance is paid for by the PTA, held in the school hall, and doesn’t cost a penny. There’s a band, photo booth, food and drink, cakes and it is all free. All the parents need to buy is something for their child to wear.

Bobbybobbins Fri 29-Dec-17 18:11:26

Wow our year 13 leavers prom is only £40 a head and that involves a 3 course meal! That is a vast amount of money that these parents are considering spending!

IncyWincyGrownUp Fri 29-Dec-17 18:10:14

Y6 organise their own disco here. They plan, shop, print tickets and so on. They love taking ownership of it.

I’d not even engage with a £35 per head day out. That’s for the parental egos, not the children.

HolyShet Fri 29-Dec-17 18:07:40

After years of discos (which ended up with stupid £££ spent on outfits and limos for some but not others hmm) they sacked that off and had day trip to local seaside town, a mess about on the beach, lunch at Nandos and bowling & roller skating. School rather than competitive parents organised this for £22 per head.

The kids said it was amazing.

All that is really important to them at that point is to be together. So two tier half the class not able to go stuff will fall flat. YANBU

islandchatter Fri 29-Dec-17 18:06:17

I am a Y6 teacher and we ask the children what they want to do to celebrate leaving primary school. They come up with 4-6 suggestions and we then give them a few days to discuss it and then get together to vote. I think the children get 2 votes each and we have a child-led discussion first about they they think certain ideas are good/not so good.
Some years have gone for disco-prom type event in the school hall - with a theme and mocktails. Others have done a day at the beach/laser quest/bowling/bbq/ bouncy castle day type things.
We aim to keep the total cost at £10 and ask the PTA to support if necessary to ensure that all children are able to come.
My favourites, although a bit more work for me, are the ones that take place on a school day and mean that everyone is included.
All children have a say and we simply let the parents know what has been decided.
Only one complaint in the past 6 years I have been at this school when one parent had bought the 'prom' dress in the January sales and kids voted to go to the beach instead - but is was sorted quickly and everyone was happy!

TabbyTigger Fri 29-Dec-17 17:57:20

YANBU this is ridiculous and really quite selfish of the other parents. My DCs’ primary just had an end of year disco in the school hall at no cost, and could buy drinks, food, and printed out photos when there. They managed to keep it cheap by just getting previous students/older siblings to be the “DJ” and “photographer”. DS18 and his friends formed a makeshift “band” to perform at DD13’s Y6 leavers disco.

ElfOneself Fri 29-Dec-17 17:52:15

I would imagine my school would suggest to the organising parents that its better for all children to be included and the price is excluding some.
If that didn't work an alternative on a different date would be held on the school grounds for all children.

ElfOneself Fri 29-Dec-17 17:49:05

Ludicrous. My primary it was all the slightly more affluent parents who were organising it (they are the ones who had the time), they were so mindful of wanting it to be the kind of thing everyone could go to, a few other parents put in expensive suggestions they all got shot down with a limit of a tenner a head so that all could go. Its about saying goodbye and the more that can attend the better, £75 is frankly bonkers, so is £35 (plus the inevitable outfit).
Do talk to the school.

Urubu Fri 29-Dec-17 17:37:28

What can the school do, though? It is organized and paid for by parents, out of school grounds, yes all leavers are invited but is that enough to give the school any authority over it? Just wondering...

ForalltheSaints Fri 29-Dec-17 16:55:43

Have nothing more to do with it, other than contacting the Head and the Chair of Governors to point out how bad this is and suggesting that the school has nothing to do with it. They should not even support the wearing of a hoody.

If you are content with being quoted, perhaps contact with local press or radio would be a good thing- the school would certainly withdraw all support if they thought there was bad publicity.

Think how far £75 could go towards education for someone in a developing country. Perhaps some fundraising for a charity instead of the narcissistic event would be better.

As for proms, if I were education secretary, they would not be allowed on any school premises.

newmumwithquestions Fri 29-Dec-17 15:11:03

Mine are too young for this but £25 sounds more than enough to come up with something. £75 is bonkers.

BarbarianMum Fri 29-Dec-17 14:37:41

shock Ours had a disco with pizza (£3 a head) and the option of a meal in the local Chinese restaurant (£10 plus drinks). Some of the girls might have done the dress/hsir/nails thing but the boys all wore their usual jeans and t shirts.

billybagpuss Fri 29-Dec-17 14:37:18

You have to get in touch with the school, its all very well them leaving it up to the parents but when you have a 2 tier system that will alienate half the year in the schools name they have to know and have the opportunity to regulate it.

Lucylululu Fri 29-Dec-17 14:29:52

I didn't even know they did leaving activities. Never heard of them. But if you are going to have this activity then I can see why it would need to be a bit flexible to suit everyone. If you can't/dont want to spend more it isn't really fair that nobody can spend more either. Its not fair that some children will get to do the second part and some won't but then its also not fair to dictate what other parents can and can't pay for for their own children. It's sad that some children will feel left out but also i understand why the other parents would want to make it special for their children and not just any old thing they do regularly. So I think you are being unreasonable but also this whole event is unreasonable and of course problems like this will arise!

cathf Fri 29-Dec-17 14:03:25

Never heard of anything remotely like this here. Is it a regional thing?
Our Y6s (only 9 pupils admittedly) have a sleepover and takeaway in the school hall on the Thursday, then usual end of term stuff on the Friday. This year, the educational two-night trip away is on the Mon and Tue of the last week, but I will assume the sleepover will go ahead. Cost to parents: £0 but still special for the children.

StrawBasket Fri 29-Dec-17 13:54:46

I still think there's nothing better than a party on school grounds, but it should not be funded by the PTA, money should go to things helping the kids.

It does seem that parents who come up with a 2 part outing were trying to include everybody, and give the choice to parents to spend more or less. It's not that bad on that ground. The whole event is not great at all, it's the sort of places where kids organise birthday parties, so nothing special for the children.

It's not too late to change the plans!

elliejjtiny Fri 29-Dec-17 13:47:25

This is ridiculous. My ds1 is in year 7 and this is what they did. They went to the cinema together using money they had raised themselves in teams. Each team was given £5 and they had a competition to make the most money. 1 team made and sold crafts, another team did a beat the goalie thing and another team bought a load of ice pops and sold them. All in the playground at home time. They raised enough to give the pta back their £20, half money raised to charity and the other half for their cinema trip. Then they had the leavers barbeque. All children from school, parents and siblings invited. Year 6's got a burger or hotdog free, everyone else paid. I think it was £1.50 for a burger or hotdog and then you could buy sweets, drinks, ice lollies, crisps etc if you wanted. They had a water fight on the last day of term and the usual shirt signing and leavers service. Total cost to me was less than £10 although I could have made it less by not bringing my non year 6 dc . We live in an area where probably none of the parents could have afforded an event costing them £75 and many of them would have struggled with a £25 event to be honest.

Mycarsmellsoflavender Fri 29-Dec-17 13:29:18

And parents are included too. With free wine!

Mycarsmellsoflavender Fri 29-Dec-17 13:27:36

Ours is free, on school grounds, with food and drink funded by the PTA. Even £25 sounds exorbitant to me for primary school.

HermionesRightHook Fri 29-Dec-17 13:26:30

That is awful. I would be completely ashamed to be one of the parents who went along with this horrible divisive plan.

I second the suggestion further up about planning a second part to the party yourself for free if you can; invite a few of DD's friends to a free trip somewhere nice and grown up afterwards (fun free museum near by or a fake-champagne and nibbles party in a park - lemonade out of pound shop plastic champagne glasses?) then a sleepover.

That way they're leaving for a better special event not just going home while everyone else has fun.

Mumwiferealist2003 Fri 29-Dec-17 13:25:42

I think you should query what's happened. Why should a select few change what had been agreed? An elitist element to it is wrong too. Will make those not staying feel bad and in turn guilt the parents.
I know of a school where the parents are wanting a party bus to drive from school and around for an hour then back to school where the do is going to be. There has been talk of photo booths, sweet carts, leavers hoodies and other stuff. Half the kids aren't bothered, a lot don't know what a prom is because that's what it's being called and none of them are getting a choice what they do. They are leaving primary. What is wrong with a disco in will, some crisps and stuff in bowls and some party games? Let them have fun, not stress the parents out who can't afford the extravagance but end up having to so their kids don't miss out and let them be kids!

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