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How many school trips is normal?

(30 Posts)
FreddoBaggyMac Tue 28-Jun-11 20:41:32

I have two DCs in KS1 and I'm finding the amount of school trips they go on a bit of a shocker... they've both been on one 'big' trip per term costing approx £14, £9 and £19 per child, and the older one has been on a couple of smaller trips in addition to these (£5 and £10). This means I've paid a total of over £100 in school trip costs for my two children this school year... is this normal? (I have two younger DCs not at school yet and am feeling rather scared!!)

In the olden days when I was at school it was only one trip a year (... and we still had change left over for 't bag of sweets and loaf of Hovis grin)

Have things changed this much everywhere or is the DC's school a little OTT??

LawrieMarlow Tue 28-Jun-11 20:43:14

DS and DD's school tends to have one biggish trip a year, generally in the summer term. They do things in our village that don't cost money as well.

hockeyforjockeys Tue 28-Jun-11 20:45:28

We do approx one trip a half term, but we try and keep them under £4, and several have been free (London though so we have free public transport). We only have one coach trip a year that bumps it up to £11

Tiggles Tue 28-Jun-11 20:46:05

DS2 who is in nursery (attached to school so goes with reception on trips) 2 this year £11 and £14.

DS1 who is in year 4 has had loads, this term alone had science trip, music trip, outward bound day (optional), biology trip, history trip. then for each one they were allowed up to £5 spending money on top...

MrsDaffodill Tue 28-Jun-11 20:46:40

Loads, but also London so usually free.

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 28-Jun-11 20:46:45

That sounds much more in line with what I thought Lawrie. The trouble is most parents in my DCs school seem to think this number of trips is the norm...

HarrietJones Tue 28-Jun-11 20:46:47

Dds school has lots of little trips (1/2/3£) and residentials in years 5&6.

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 28-Jun-11 20:49:09

there seems a big discrepancy then, I suppose it depends on what's normal in the school and area. I really don't want to be a party pooper about it but am finding the thought of £200 plus a year on trips (when all DCs are at school) a bit hard to swallow - we could have a family weekend away for that. I'd much rather they did more free things...

hockeyforjockeys Tue 28-Jun-11 20:51:14

A lot of it comes down to how much schools think parents can afford. We know a lot have very tight budgets which is why we are only allowed one coach trip a year, and we have to give plenty of notice.

FreddoBaggyMac Tue 28-Jun-11 20:55:54

unfortunately hockey I think I may be a parent of four on a tight budget in an affluent school! oh well, at least I know where I stand smile

UniS Tue 28-Jun-11 21:20:30

DS in year R - 4 or 5 trips- all but one of them in walking distance so they walked. All have been to NT properties or local businesses( farms/ workshops). NO cost to parents for any of these trips.
There was a theatre trip he didn't go on, IIRC cost was price of ticket.

Elibean Tue 28-Jun-11 21:51:56

Wow, OP, thats a lot of money for school trips per year.

We have a lot of trips at dds' school - but they are often free, and rarely cost more than £4-6. They are subsidised by a local charity, which obviously helps hugely.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 29-Jun-11 10:32:36

Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks it's a lot of money! I suppose there's not really much I can do about it so long as most other parents at the school think its acceptable though sad

Elibean Wed 29-Jun-11 11:26:59

I suppose not - though you could mention it to the School Manager, or possibly a Parent Governor. It would be good for them to know some parents find it a lot, and actually there may be more - sometimes it takes one person to voice it!

Scholes34 Wed 29-Jun-11 11:57:13

Definitely make your feelings known to the Head. We had a trip for £50 in Year 5 with less than one week's notice to pay, so we raised this with the Head. The trip still went ahead, but we were given longer to pay, and more thought is now given to trips, with a timetable for each coming year distributed at the start of the year.

But do brace yourself for secondary school - this year we've had trips offered costing £500, £400, £800, but the £1,500 one was cancelled due to lack of interest (I wonder why). However, in primary school it seems to be expected that everyone will go on the trip, whereas this isn't necessarily the case in secondary school.

rabbitstew Wed 29-Jun-11 12:24:55

I think your school catchment is probably in quite a wealthy area, FreddoBaggyMac... otherwise the school governors would already have had a lot of complaints about cost/requests for assistance.

JellyBelly10 Wed 29-Jun-11 12:38:55

Until my children went to school I didn't even know where my cheque book was, I just never used it. Now, thanks to school trips and dinner money etc I get through cheque-books like there's no tomorrow! This academic year my DS in Y1 had a coach trip to a farm in October, a coach trip to Christmas pantomine, a couple of (free) trips to library, local wildlife walk etc and today is on his third coach trip of the year to a museum. So it does get pretty expensive. The school always call it a 'voluntary donation' hmm!
I'm not looking forward to the year when I'll have one in Y4 and one in Y6, that's two residential trips and will come to several hundred pound!!

Chocolatebrowniesandicecream Wed 29-Jun-11 18:24:51

It's considered good practice to take them on an educational trip every term as they get so much out of them. My school encourages us teachers to do a trip every half-term, but being in a poorer area most are free trips or very little, and only one is big. I think you should mention it - it only takes one parent's comments to get the school re-thinking its policies. After all, we are in a recession and there are loads of cheaper trips or fantastic workshops that can visit the school instead of a trip. You could say that you don't want to be named to the other teachers, or write anonymously.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 30-Jun-11 14:04:41

Thanks everyone. I think you are right and I should mention it, particularly as I now know there are at least a few other parents at the school who agree with me. I will have a think about the best way to approach it.
NOT even going to contemplate £1,500 trips in secondary school shock grin

fenellaf Sun 10-Jul-11 18:24:32

Did you know that payments for primary school trips are supposed to be voluntary contributions? It is illegal to charge a compulsory fee for a school trip if it is done during school hours and is linked to the curriculum, although the parents can be asked to make voluntary contributions.
If you can't afford to pay, don't pay. Your children can still go.

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 18:27:40

However, if a lot of people don't pay, the trip will be cancelled.
I'd raise it with the school as a matter of policy that any trip over a certain amount needs to have at least a half term's warning to give parents time to budget.

fenellaf Sun 10-Jul-11 18:35:38

That's true, the trip could be cancelled. I have been teaching 6 years and a trip has never been cancelled due to parents not paying. You normally get 1 or 2, but the vast majority still pay. Perhaps if more people refused to pay, the school would think twice about the amount of trips it goes on. I would love to take my class out every term, but it's not financially viable for a a lot of parents, so we have the main trip in the summer term, (£14.00), and in the spring term I get a workshop in which costs £3.50 a child. This means that the children still get experiences, but they don't cost and arm and a leg.

yearningforthesun Sun 10-Jul-11 18:42:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swash Sun 10-Jul-11 19:12:51

My dd's school has a non-affluent intake. We have one trip per term, which is free or £3-4 for bus-fare etc. OTOH I quite like the simplicity of it all - but am also envious of dd's friends who do far more exciting and pricey trips to farms etc.

BusterGut Sun 10-Jul-11 19:31:40

I've just costed a trip for 60 Y2s for 'Wicked' ..... it works out at £30 per head!! I have a funny feeling that idea's just been landed on by a big wooden house!

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