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FREE school trips and holidays/parents on benefits!

(186 Posts)
graceM Wed 11-Feb-15 18:12:34

Tonight I've had a letter home from my son's secondary school letting us know that there is a trip to France coming up in July before they break up for summer. It's for four days and it costs £672, well I've just read at bottom of the page that the trip will be either free of charge or reduced accordingly for parents who claim benefits, ie income support, job seekers, housing benefit etc etc, well I'm absolutely furious to say the least!

I know that not everyone can afford to send their children on expensive school trips/holidays etc, neither can I really but I'm willing to scrimp and save to ensure my son gets to go. So why the hell should other parents get it free? If you can't afford for your child to go then they don't go simple, I know it's sad but that's just the way it is. Not happy!

GratefulHead Wed 11-Feb-15 18:17:30

Is it a required trip?

What about those children who never get to go anywhere?

If you can't afford it then don't send your child, simples.

Id love to know where this school is though as nowhere in our area does this. Children who cannot afford to go simply don't go....end of. There is no funding to support them.

ScrambledEggAndToast Wed 11-Feb-15 18:19:47

I agree OP. When I was at primary school my mum was on benefits. She managed to scrimp and save for one residential trip each for me and my sister but the other one in year six we weren't able to go on because she couldn't afford it. We were disappointed but that's life.

GratefulHead Wed 11-Feb-15 18:21:24

The nearest our Primary school got to doing anything like this was funding one of twins when they did their Y6 residential, it came out of school funds so that the parents only had to fund one place.

BrianButterfield Wed 11-Feb-15 18:24:26

Schools get a pupil premium, i.e. extra money, for pupils in the groups you've mentioned. They can use it for whatever they want as a way of raising achievement. It may be that your school has budgeted some of the PP money for this purpose. If you will really struggle to pay you can ask the school if there are any ways they can help - you don't know unless you ask.

SoonToBeSix Wed 11-Feb-15 18:24:44

The school gets approx £900 a year pupil premium money for children whose parents are on benefits. It's not coming out if general school funds or your pocket.
It may be some children's only chance to go abroad. Maybe just be grateful you are not bringing up your dc on benefits.

SoonToBeSix Wed 11-Feb-15 18:25:19

X post.

graceM Wed 11-Feb-15 18:25:32

We live in Troutbeck, South Lakeland and from what I can gather from a few of the other schools, it is common practice for trips to be subsided.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:26:15

Children who are entitled to FSM (ie children from the very bottom income bracket families) get something called Pupil Premium funding which goes directly to the school. The school then have to show that they are using it to reduce the gap in attainment between children who get FSM and children who don't. One thing that has been shown to help is by contributing to the cost of school trips that these children may otherwise miss out on.

What's your problem with that?

GratefulHead Wed 11-Feb-15 18:28:25

I am in Essex and it isn't common practice round here, I speak as someone on benefits too. I didn't get any reductions for my child's Y6 residential. It was £350 per pupil and that's what I paid for DS. No reductions here.

But yes I had forgotten about pupil premium which is about giving chances and opportunities to students who might otherwise miss out. Schools can choose how they use our area it goes into other things.

graceM Wed 11-Feb-15 18:28:59

Well I'm a sham whilst do works full time. We don't seriously struggle but nor are we wealthy, and I can afford to send my son on the trip as she has accepted overtime at work and I've decided to cut down on the few luxuries we have in order to pay for it.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:29:23

If it bothers you that much you could always swap your life for a life on benefits in rented accommodation and get the subsidised trips.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:30:35

Lucky for you that you can cut luxuries out to make a trip possible.

If you already struggle to pay for essentials then you don't have that option.

tethersend Wed 11-Feb-15 18:31:48


Giving children the opportunity to broaden their horizons, learn from new experiences and bond with their peers.

What a bunch of cunts.

darlingfascistbullyboy Wed 11-Feb-15 18:32:00

"Well I'm a sham whilst do works full time."

If it winds you up so much why don't you divorce you husband (assuming you are married) and start rolling in the cash apparently chucked at single parents?

Have you heard of the pupil premium?

Oswin Wed 11-Feb-15 18:32:09

The thing is while you may have to scrimp and save for a while for the trip, most people on benefits are already scrimping and saving on a daily basis. There's nothing left over.

GratefulHead Wed 11-Feb-15 18:33:48

tethersend grin

OllyBJolly Wed 11-Feb-15 18:33:50

If it bothers you that much you could always swap your life for a life on benefits in rented accommodation and get the subsidised trips.

This. I think it's fantastic there is support to enable kids to go who would not otherwise get that opportunity.

graceM Wed 11-Feb-15 18:35:10

My problem is that this school trip to France isn't educational as such, it is a fun adventure holiday. So I fail to see how a child who's parents are on benefits would necessarily benefit, educationally speaking that is.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:36:34

Presumably you are aware that education is one of the best routes out of poverty? And that by investing in children it is hoped that the cycle of inter generational poverty can be broken?

So enabling children from poor families to participate fully in school life and educational opportunities is something that should have long term benefits.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:38:25

Seeing another country, possibly for the first time, is educational. Of course it is.

Why are you bothering to cut down on luxuries to pay for it if you can't see the value of the trip for any child? Or is it just poor children that won't benefit?

LeftyLoony Wed 11-Feb-15 18:39:08

you want my kids to miss out just because they're disabled? Any benefits we have are related to their disabilities.

You want them to miss out on something through no fault of their own?
We got a discount, it wasn't free. We still scraped and struggled because it was educationally necessary.

NormHonal Wed 11-Feb-15 18:39:28

I'm going to go against the grain, based on my personal experience of receiving a subsidised place as a child (around 15yo).

My (otherwise-lovely) parents both found the price of the trip (around £300 IIRC, this was many years ago) too steep, but also failed to see the "value" of this type of school trip to my life experience and education, having never travelled themselves. I was never given the opportunity to do anything extra-curricular.

One of the teachers decided I was going to go, by hook or by crook, and phoned my parents to offer me a place on the trip for £100. I have no idea where the funding came from, but probably the PTA. We weren't on benefits or FSM but my parents didn't earn much. He persuaded them to let me go along. This was all kept secret from other pupils and parents.

The effect of the trip on me was profound, and changed my world view entirely. I went on to do related studies at university.

To their credit, my parents took this all on board and my DDad took on extra work to help fund another similar trip for me a couple of years later, and also similar for my younger sibling.

I guess my point is that this probably isn't as simple as "bloody benefits scroungers", the money most likely is coming from the pupil premium or PTA funds. I'm extremely grateful that the teacher fought my corner and that I got that opportunity, which absolutely was a life-changer for me.

PrincessSmartipants Wed 11-Feb-15 18:40:50

Exactly NormHonal.

Look at the big picture graceM.

MissBeehiving Wed 11-Feb-15 18:47:35

As part of the "Friends" of the school that my kids go to we raise money for equipment and school trips. It seems utterly reasonable that some of that cash goes towards the cost of funding school trips for kids that wouldn't be able to go because of financial reasons. I wouldn't have a problem if it all went on that tbh. Why should those children be excluded from those activities? It's totally unfair.

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