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to think schools should take the current financial situation into account when planning more costly demands?

(23 Posts)
Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 14:42:05

Total requested so far this week (for 2 kids): £153.

£60 of that I agreed to (music lessons) but the rest - aaarggh!

theatre trips, penny whistles for a folk experience (FFS), home made Christmas cards, harvest, 2 non-uniform days

when they have arts events they even get the kids to make shopping lists to give to us as they now don't even provide glue or tape!

Dh's money covers all food bills etc; my £50 per week caers allowance is supposed to cover things like this and it won't stretch.

I know we're a token income-limited (we're not poor) family in an affluent area but surely the majority are feeling it atm?

I can say no of course but ten ds2 will want to know why. Because I cant work as I am a carer will not make them feel good

emskaboo Wed 15-Oct-08 15:34:39

This has always wound me up too, ever since I was the child of an 'income limited' family and they handed out letters about bloody ski trips which we all knew were just junkets for teachers with NO educational bloody value.

southeastastra Wed 15-Oct-08 15:36:21

i have to save £800 for a trip for ds(15) but they've told us a year in advance!!

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 15:49:31

I could do £800 in a year- dh would do some extra hours etc (mind poor chap already has 2 jobs!), but ca is never going to be bendable yswim

Twiglett Wed 15-Oct-08 15:50:40

speak to the head

this is the kind of stuff that the SMT should be thinking about

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 21:41:46

It's embarassing though blush- hate being on benefits, even though it is this one. Know its silly but I've always been the earer when the shit has ht the fan and this time I can't find a solution, iyswim.

milou2 Wed 15-Oct-08 22:00:33

I think school should stick to the basics and not ask for money, it's not fair on families and is out of the blue. How would they like it if parents just demanded £5 here and £3 there from the school randomly. Tescos doesn't do that to their customers, doctors don't do it to theirs. I'm cross.

catsmother Wed 15-Oct-08 22:05:08

Peachy you shouldn't feel embarrassed .... benefits or not, I'm sure you're not the only family finding it tough. We're not on benefits but we are right up against the wall and TBH, when I got bills for £36 the other week (£20 for a nursery lunch club last July - which was invoiced in Oct - and I'd forgotten about, plus £16 for a not very good school photo) I could have wept as the only money I have is for food.

Obviously, I had to pay the lunch club as I'd used the service but I sent the photo back - and felt awful doing it.

I find it really hard to believe there are people who can hand over £75 for 1 child, let alone £150 for 2, without thinking (though obviously some people are lucky enough to be able to).

witcheseve Wed 15-Oct-08 22:05:32

I've managed the usual trips so far. Last year spent £350 on a Germany trip, £800 on a Skiing trip. Just drew the line when they asked for £4,250 for a month long Equador experience. This is secondary school though, just warning of what's ahead. Four thousand smackers ha ha.

Did start a thread over the latter but still fancy a rant.

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 22:07:06

I think it would be OK if they'd send a letter home with a calendar suggesting events they know will happen- most of these are planned well in advance. I could put a bit back then, and I think the eripatetic stuff does help; but so much at once!

KatieDD Wed 15-Oct-08 22:09:47

It's so hard for everybody though, I work with finance so have seen this coming for 3 years but most people are utterly gob smacked by the whole situation.
Also most of the parents at our school are 5-10 years older than us so have mortgages of £1.50 and therefore disposable income coming out of their ears, how do we say no to ours ?
Am dreading senior school, but ski ing will not be an option.

Simplysally Wed 15-Oct-08 22:10:35

So far dd's school isn't too bad (they have waiting lists for music lessons - I have no idea where dd is on the list) but they do have these awful book sales every so often and the school trips cost around £5 a pop. They recently sent out a letter advertising a lunchtime theatre club which sounded good until I saw the line about £6 a week. For 45 minutes! That letter went straight in the bin.

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 22:11:16

Hopefully be secondary DH and I will both be working, but because of ds1's sn I can't find a cm atm to let me complete the last year of my traning (just doen a degree, need a pGCE). DH will be off to Uni next September too (He's been told by the GP to find a different job so needs to retrain) so it's likely to get tighter but will get better.... eventually... it just seems everyone else is coing so well- I have to skp the PTA meetin next week becuase its a do at a 4 star hotel blush unless dh can lend me the money. I hate to ask. He works 2 jobs as it is!.

I saw the Ecuador thread; was shock!. At least my sn duo can't do those things anyway!

Elasticwoman Wed 15-Oct-08 22:19:55

What made me absolutely mad was the decision by our dds' school to change the uniform, so that I had to spend c£250 on new uniform for dds, in yrs 8 and 9. I complained to the school and they said they had consulted parents via a newsletter (which I didn't receive) and proceeded after getting 35 replies - from parents of a school with more than 1600 pupils!

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 22:27:12

Ours has a bizarre policy of a new uniform in juniors for boys only hmm- thoght that was unfair.

Thy've chaged aspects of our unifor but it hasn't been publicised (its a supplier thing rather than school) so kids dont seem to care. Well if its not a piece of molten dayglo plastic named a go-go they don't, rellay (or is that just my lot?)

Elasticwoman Wed 15-Oct-08 22:31:39

BTW Peachy, it might be worth your investigating whether the fees for the music lessons could be waived in your case. Ring up the county/local authority music service if they provide the lessons. Tell them you are a carer.

These music lessons used to be free, and when the charges were introduced, it was supposed to be only for parents who could afford it.

Peachy Wed 15-Oct-08 22:49:36

Its a contribution required for participation; tbh I think its ceap (less per term than friends back home pay a week) but- its the all at once, you know? no chance to budget. I don't mind budgeting and n 2 weeks will have no problem, just got caught with mot / etc this month on top of normal things.

Some of te trips are in January- by then (as we dont hav credit cards) no doubt we'll be in a better place than most people (n draded post-Christmas bills), but I suppose the school has to pay in advance. I supose I could ask about that? not sure school knows sit tbh; they obv know ds1 is sn but maybe not about ds3

Reallytired Wed 15-Oct-08 23:56:52

The amounts your school is charging is excessive. Being on benefits is irrelevent. A state school should be paid through taxes.

Peachy you do know that the school can not legally deny your child a school trip because you can't pay. You need to go the head and explain your financial situation.

Peachy Thu 16-Oct-08 00:02:17

I didn't know that, no. I will remember now though- tanks smile

for me being on benefits makes me feel like i'm a 2nd class citizen atm which does affect my confidence. silly really, nobody asks to be on carers do they?

1dilemma Thu 16-Oct-08 00:09:54

If your CA is supposed to cover this you could drop the music and you'd nearly have the money in a fortnight
or pay a bit over a longer period and save a bit each week to cover the other expenses.
Will they keep this up all term? ours doesn't a flurry of stuff then nothing.
What's with the homemade Christmas cards aren't they made at home or has the school sent you detailed instructions with diagrams?!!

Peachy Thu 16-Oct-08 00:15:21

the card- your kid designs then you pay to have them. now if they were made at home... (used to run kids cardmakinng classes lol)

only a flurry so reluctant to drop musiic as in 2 weeks will be ok but once you drop it you're out for ever (waiting list). ds2 (the nt one) seems to miss out on so much anyway (no friends around etc) I hate denying things like that.

Think I might chat to school see if they can just hold off a fortnight? tey'd probably understand I suppose

1dilemma Thu 16-Oct-08 00:22:16

If you only need a few weeks to pay I'm sure it will be no probs, they'll just be pleased to get the money.

Or could you send in the amount for each activity one week at a time? our school has asked for separate payments for each activity for each child.

Seems like a licence to pay by installments to me!!

ICantFindAFreeNickName Thu 16-Oct-08 00:30:18

Peachy please talk to the school. There are certain thing such as trips that you can't be excluded from if you can't afford to pay. As for things like Music lessons, dinners etc, our school would let you pay later or in installments provided you did not have a bad reputation for not paying previously. Most schools understand that some families are struggling.
As for things like the homemade cards etc, lots of parents do not buy them (especially the more well off ones). If you used to run card making classes why not say to your children, that you can make much exciting special cards at home.

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