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To think school shouldn’t be charging for this?

(367 Posts)
Indella Mon 09-Dec-19 17:34:46

Our school has a habit of expecting parental contributions for everything possible but the latest 2 things we’ve had letters about I don’t think falls under what a school can charge for.

The first one is my child has now started the compulsory school swimming lessons. These are part of the curriculum and so can’t be charged for. However parents have to pay £3 per child, per week for the transport to the swimming lessons. Is this not the school’s responsibility to fund as the swimming lessons are compulsory?

The second one is an “art and crafts day”. Letter says children will be spending the day, still in school, doing Christmas themed arts and crafts. They have asked for £12 per child for the materials. This is being held at school, in school hours and is instead of the normal lessons. I legally have to send my child to school so it’s compulsory. Letter doesn’t say voluntary contribution so I assume again we have no choice but to pay but surely the school can do arts and crafts with the children that don’t cost so much. 28 children in the class so £336 of art supplies! Sounds like they are using parents to re-stock supplies for the year.

I know they are not huge amounts but add that to the fact we paid £3 each entry to the school Christmas fair (including having to pay for the accompanying parent) and £10 each for tickets to watch the Christmas performance. Plus the never ending non-uniform days it’s really starting to add up and it feels like the school are simply using parental contributions to fund what should be covered by the school.

AIBU to think these things shouldn’t be charged for?

PrettyPurse Mon 09-Dec-19 17:38:58

Good grief, they are asking for a lot of "voluntary" contributions.

Excitablemuch Mon 09-Dec-19 17:39:01

They shouldn’t be charging no. They SHOULD have been given enough funding by the govt to educate children adequately. They have not been.

Highfivemum Mon 09-Dec-19 17:39:09

I think you have hit the nail on the head. They are funding an underfunded educational system. The swimming is something I have always had to pay for as the lessons are free but they have to get there and that isn’t in the school budget. With regard to the Christmas that is excessive for a crafts day.
I do feel sorry for schools they are tying to juggle limited funds. I think though it is unfair near Christmas to ask to pay that much for a craft day in sch hours. Hi in and have a chat with them.

absolutelyknackeredcow Mon 09-Dec-19 17:39:44

Schools are really stretched but £10 for the school play?!!
Is it in a very affluent area?

NeedAnExpert Mon 09-Dec-19 17:41:11

I legally have to send my child to school so it’s compulsory.

It isn’t and you don’t, actually. But homeschooling would no doubt cost you a shitload more in other ways. wink

NailsNeedDoing Mon 09-Dec-19 17:41:13

Yanbu, and if you can’t afford it then talk to the school and don’t pay. But if you can afford it, or even if you could a smaller contribution, then I think you should.

Coaches are incredibly expensive, and while it would be great if the school had the money to pay for it, they just don’t. If they pay for one thing like that, then something else has to be cut.

Unless parents genuinely can’t afford it, then I think they should pay. Children cost money, and it’s your children that benefit from learning to swim and doing craft days.

tunnocksreturns2019 Mon 09-Dec-19 17:41:28

Goodness. We’ve paid for none of these things. YANBU

OneForMeToo Mon 09-Dec-19 17:42:34

We get asked £5.50 for each swimming lesson for transport. It’s bonkers it works out actually cheaper to enrol on the councils swimming lessons which then give the children free entry anytime.

We have had so many donations lately I’ve frankly given up every week has been a pound for this/a bottle/a bag of sweeties etc

myself2020 Mon 09-Dec-19 17:42:47

I think the contributions to transport for swimming makes sense - coaches are expensive and school has to do the lessons. otherwise they would have to reduce tbe numbers of TAs or similar
the art thing however- our school does these days, but its usually junk modelling, requesting cereal boxes, yogurt pots etc (and tape)

Swirls1111 Mon 09-Dec-19 17:42:49

Teachers often buy these resources now due to cuts. I guess it’s inevitable that schools will start requesting more contributions from parents

Cyberworrier Mon 09-Dec-19 17:42:49

They shouldn’t be charging for these things, but I doubt they are happily going down this route. It’s probably a choice of fundraising for a years art supplies...or no painting for the rest of the year. Charging for transportation to swimming... or making some cuts elsewhere. I imagine if parents can’t afford these charges (FSM recipients perhaps?) the school will suck it up. But if no one pays, the school will have to stop doing things it can’t afford, like schools up and down the country 🤷‍♀️ Bear all this in mind on Thursday.

ShannonShouts Mon 09-Dec-19 17:44:46

YANBU, £10 to watch the play is way too far! It’s free here, we just have to contribute with costumes

Indella Mon 09-Dec-19 17:44:57

To add I understand the schools are underfunded and they are trying to make up funds because of this. At the same time I think parents paying them doesn’t solve the problem but simply masks how underfunded they are.

exLtEveDallas Mon 09-Dec-19 17:45:34

The Gov pays for the hire of the pool but not for the instructors, life guards or transport. The coach that takes our children to the swimming pool (a 4 mile journey) cost £150 every week. Thats £1000 per half term. There is no way we can fund that. Don’t blame the school, blame the Gov.

eeyore228 Mon 09-Dec-19 17:45:44

We pay for the upkeep of our school swimming pool, without we would need a coach. The coach I think is a reasonable cost that the school can’t possibly subsidise. The art supplies however are a bit much and I wouldn’t be happy either.

DragonMamma Mon 09-Dec-19 17:45:46

£10 for a Christmas concert? Bloody hell. Ours was a quid a ticket for primary and £3 for secondary.

I do understand the coach contribution - our school doesn’t charge but I know they can be expensive.

£12 for Christmas crafts is taking the absolute piss though. What on earth are they making?!

Indella Mon 09-Dec-19 17:47:05

Also to add yes it’s in an ‘affluent’ area so it seems most parents don’t question these fees but it’s really adding up for us with 2 at the same school. Plus the swimming lessons are in my opinion close enough to walk and I don’t understand why they don’t do that if they can’t afford a coach.

Bobbybobbins Mon 09-Dec-19 17:47:09

I think paying for the coach for swimming is reasonable but YANBU over the other contributions

AppleKatie Mon 09-Dec-19 17:47:40

Trouble is if they don’t mask a generation of children won’t be properly educated so....

Neither you nor the school are unreasonable. The system is broken.

christmassymcchristmas Mon 09-Dec-19 17:47:47

Our school plays are free, we don't contribute costumes or anything! I have just sent in chocolates that I then have to buy back via a chocolate raffle though grin

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 09-Dec-19 17:48:33

I think the “joke” is that in affluent areas schools wouldn’t dream of charging parents so much. We’re in one and it’s a pound here and there. Parents actually are generous with Christmas/ summer fairs but it’s always up to you what you pay, the “voluntary-involuntary” payments are always low.

Whattodoabout Mon 09-Dec-19 17:48:54

They should be given adequate funding from the government to avoid this. The only way we will see change is if the Tories don’t get in for another five years.

flouncyfanny Mon 09-Dec-19 17:49:25

for £12 i'd expect them to knock up a fairly decent christmas jumper!

with bells on! fgrin

Mushypeasandchipstogo Mon 09-Dec-19 17:52:52

They shouldn’t charge for the school play but the swimming contribution seems fine.

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