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School trips cost toooooo much!

(43 Posts)
ZipadiSuzy Mon 15-Sep-08 14:35:40

I am soooo upset my ds1 12yo has a letter from school about a trip to France, he hasn't even given it me, because he knows I will say 'no' as we can't afford it. I wish schools wouldn't put pressure on parents like this. Trip is £420 then he will need a passport, clothes etc so talking of at least £500, then next year its a skiing trip that is £800 - this is all at a normal comprehensive school!!!!!!

sad for my ds

I know its all charachter building, and not everyone can go, and probably some of his friends won't be going, but to not actually pass the letter on to us is so sad.

ZipadiSuzy Mon 15-Sep-08 14:40:31

Sorry probably thread on wrong heading, but am I that unreasonable to think that shcools should expect parents to pay for expensive school trips?

forevercleaning Mon 15-Sep-08 14:43:18

YANBU - some of them are dreadfully expensive and not sure where they think families are going to find this kind of money. And if they do, it may well be sacrificing the family holiday for it.

My DD is always brining home letters for various trips, you will find they probaly do all sorts of day trips etc which he can join in on, and also i doubt you are the only family who will not be going on this trip.

sitdownpleasegeorge Mon 15-Sep-08 14:43:37

Oh that is sad that he didn't want to pass on the letter to you because he knows the family funds can't stretch to it.

I don't know what is normal for a secondary school, we are still in the realms of contributing £10 each for short trips to fairly local venues.

Perhaps you could encourage him to hand future trip notifications over by offering a consolation prize of a much cheaper treat at the same time as the trip.

charlotte121 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:45:49

Yup they are extortionate and push those children from lower income families out. I went to a private school and everyone was loaded but my mum is a widow so we wernt. All my friends went on a trip to mexico but it was £1800 and my mum could afford it so i didnt go.... felt so unfair at the time. I know one girl who was desperate to go on the trip did some fund raising in order to go and that was pretty sucessful. Is there any way he could wash the neighbours cars, or do some odd jobs like weeding for his grandparents?

trumpetgirl Mon 15-Sep-08 14:46:16

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.
However, if he hasn't asked, maybe he doesn't want to go.
There was a skiing trip in the school hols when I was at school. 1 of my friends went, but I had no desire to go at all. I wanted to stay home and go shopping with my friends!

ZipadiSuzy Mon 15-Sep-08 14:46:37

We sacrificed 1 holiday in year 6, but I have 5yo twins, they need a seaside holiday once a year, and we only usually go in the caravan anyway, not like pushing the boat out.

ZipadiSuzy Mon 15-Sep-08 14:47:44

He does want to go, it was a conversation I heard him have with a friend, how I found out.

hifi Mon 15-Sep-08 14:55:07

they are expensive. my nephew goes to a very ordinary comp, the sking trips are always over then gets down to the badly behaved ones arnt allowed to go.

forevercleaning Mon 15-Sep-08 14:57:26

Right, If he wants to go, maybe you could write a letter to the school, explaining the situation. Say DS has arrived home and didnt give you the letter because he knew it was not affordable. Exaplin that you have other children and need a family holiday, and finances cannot stretch to both. Ask if there is any funding for children who cannot afford the whole cost. You can only ask, and see what happens, explain you are in a sad situation as you overheared him talking to a friend about how much he would like to go.

I know with the ordinary school outings, if parents couldnt afford it, then it was supplemented by the school funds.Not sure if they do it with these foreign trips though.

beanieb Mon 15-Sep-08 14:58:31

I didn't go on any school trips as a kid, plenty of us were too poor to do so. It may be upsetting for your child but he sounds like I was. Hiding the letter so as not to upset you. Bless him.

TheHolyGrail Mon 15-Sep-08 14:58:47

One saving - the school should be able to get a group passport for that sort of trip. The cost is quite low for that - a normal childs passport is now around £50 shock - have the forms somemwhere as need to do one - where is it blush???

HuwEdwards Mon 15-Sep-08 15:00:20

I recall when I was at secondary school they organised a ski trip which they then had to cancel as NO-ONE was able to go on it. This was however, in the dark ages.

I feel for you and your son.

anyfucker Mon 15-Sep-08 15:04:52

There is no way I would forego a family holiday to allow one member of the family to go on a school trip.

Some of them sound fantastic, what I would call a "holiday of a lifetime"

My sis paid for her dc to go Vegas, San Fran and the Grand Canyon (inc. helicopter trip). It meant the family had to give up their hols.

Her dc hated the trip, was "unwell" for most of it and spent much of the time in her room.


beanieb Mon 15-Sep-08 15:12:55

I can barely afford a holiday so heavens knows how I would afford school trips!

DanJARMouse Mon 15-Sep-08 15:18:21

I am dreading this stage.

3 children close in age.

No chance of any of them getting to go on a foreign trip.... unless we win the lottery between now and then!

cmotdibbler Mon 15-Sep-08 15:20:47

When I was at school, I wouldn't tell my parents about the trips I knew they couldn't afford. I knew that skiing was something that couldn't happen, so hey, that was life. It stood me in good stead later as I'd always thought about budgets, unlike some of my friends at uni whose parents had always found the money for things and then suddenly they had to sort themselves out.

Good on your son that he knows the value of money enough that he recognises that he shouldn't ask you for something you can't afford.

I do think that these trips are outrageous though - school trips should only be educational imo, and skiing, the grand canyon etc really aren't.

BitOfFun Mon 15-Sep-08 15:24:44

I used to not bother passing on the ski trip letters to my mum when I was at school...tbh, I think that your LO at least has been brought up with a sense of reality, which you can be proud of. I would raise it with some other parents and make a group approach to the head/governers about the unfairness and inappropriateness during such a difficult time of recession for families, and ask them to put their heads together for some ideas for trips which everyone can particpate in, whether that means school fund-raising, or just making them a lot less exotic. Good luck x

Rubyrubyruby Mon 15-Sep-08 15:29:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BitOfFun Mon 15-Sep-08 15:35:31

Ruby - I'm not sure that makes sense to me. Yes, some people who can afford it aren't interested, but it is still elitist and exclusionary (is that a word?) towards those that can't afford it. And the best part of £800 for a ski trip or the like is way out of reach of very many parents.

beanieb Mon 15-Sep-08 15:43:22

In my experience the people who went on the ski trips in my school were also the people who were picked for all the sports teams and who's parents were on the PTA. The poorer amongst us were discriminated on many levels beyond just the school trip!

wordgirl Mon 15-Sep-08 15:50:26

This is a timely thread. DS1 has just this minute given me a letter and asked if he can go on a school trip to Spain. It's very reasonable he said. Only £535 - for four days shock

forevercleaning Mon 15-Sep-08 15:59:17

ruby - those who cannot afford it could easily be those who are desperate to go, so that is where the unfairness of it all lies.

To not give a parent a letter about a trip is sad for those children, and sad for those parents who would dearly love to let their children go but do not have the funds to attend.

sarahsmummy Mon 15-Sep-08 16:03:54

I have a lot of sympathy with this position and as a governor of a secondary school I know that our governing body do have debates about trips and how to make them available to all. However, I've never felt it right to vote to veto a trip on the grounds of it being too expensive for some as this would end up with no-one having the opportunity. Older children, even from better-off families, do work or do some fundraising to pay for trips but at 12, obviously this isn't an option. Have you asked at the school if they know of any local charities who have funds for this sort of situation? I know there are several trusts locally that have small amounts of money to give away which are greatly under-subscribed as they're not very good at getting their message out - worth a try. Also, £500 for France??? - seems pretty steep to me!

KVC Mon 15-Sep-08 16:06:24

Message withdrawn

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