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School Trips -how much is too much?

(39 Posts)
shebird Wed 01-May-13 16:54:56

We has received a letter for the school this week asking for £50 for DDs school trip which is a day at an activity centre. I'm assuming a fair share of the cost is transport and insurance. I am so annoyed that the school expects parents to cough up such a large amount for a trip within weeks at short notice. They are also doing swimming this term which is quite expensive and they have been on 3 other school trips this year. I just really want to say no but I am worried about embarrassing my DD. I am just so fed up of going along with everything the school expects and really dont want to spend this much and an expensive day out I cannot affordangry Has anyone out there just said no?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 01-May-13 16:59:29

That is very expensive for a day trip, although it sounds like a good experience it seems a large amont to expect parents to find. If I couldn't afford it I would simply state that to the school.

Presumably it is a voluntary contribution?

Don't be embarrassed, huge numbers of families are struggling more and more to meet essential bills without £50 day trips on top!

shebird Wed 01-May-13 17:06:45

Yes contribution is voluntary. I just think it is too much for one day out. At the very least parents should be forewarned that this trip was happening.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 01-May-13 17:13:17

Tell the school. Copy your letter to the governors. Do not be embarrassed! Say 'in current economic climate, £50 is too high IMO. I can afford £20 which I enclose. In future i think the school needs to give greater consideration to affordability of trips as many households are on limited budgets.'

That is what I would say in your position.

Sparklingbrook Wed 01-May-13 17:27:50

We had this at Primary School, it was relentless with swimming, music lessons and trips. It has eased off now DS2 (11) is at Middle School.

I did say no to paying for the music lessons. A different instrument every term. Cello, violin, flute, cornet......

Incidentally DS2 (13) is off to Boulogne for the day from school for £60 which seems good value.

breatheslowly Wed 01-May-13 17:41:35

Schools really need to plan trips at the beginning of the year and send out a letter stating "these are the planned trips, this is the cost and this is when we will be asking for the money". This would also prompt the school to think "actually we are asking yr 3 parents for over £100 this year, that is way too much". I find it difficult to imagine that many families have £50 to spare at short notice. No to mention those with 2 or 3 children. It really adds up.

PandaG Wed 01-May-13 17:48:56

£165 for a 2 day end of school residential for my DD in y6 - yes various outdoor activities, but is less than an hour away from home and imo very expensive! We've let DD go, but she has had to contribute towards the cost!

Sparklingbrook Wed 01-May-13 17:50:08

£1200 Geography field trip to Morocco anyone? DS1 is not going, but you get a year to pay.

shebird Wed 01-May-13 19:33:52

I understand this is a small amount relative to residential trips and senior school trips abroad but parents are informed of these trips well in advance and can plan accordingly. Not only is £50 a lot for one day out it is a lot if unexpected expenditure with short notice.

Sparklingbrook Wed 01-May-13 19:41:16

Oh no I didn't mean that shebird, and YY at the senior schools you do get lots of notice which is really good.

When at Primary I did feel like I had permanently got my cheque book out. sad

Sparklingbrook Wed 01-May-13 19:42:15

Or using the faff that is payments 4 schools.

shebird Wed 01-May-13 20:20:21

sparklingbrook my chequebook is fed upsmile Do all schools do these trips? Is it part of the national curriculum?

insanityscratching Wed 01-May-13 20:23:15

Dd's y5 residential is £120 for 5 days at an activity centre so £50 for one day seems extortionate to me.

shebird Wed 01-May-13 21:11:35

That is good value insanity especially if it includes meals. Have done some research and found that I can get 2 day outdoor activity course for DD in half term for £35 so a bit hmm

insanityscratching Wed 01-May-13 21:18:20

Yes all meals and equipment hire we only need to provide wellies. They are staying here

shebird Wed 01-May-13 21:23:43

Looks great but shame it is too far away for us. There is actually a local outdoor centre which they could walk to but for some reason they are travelling 30miles away to another one. Think I need to have a word with the school but I just hate being the moany one.

Hulababy Wed 01-May-13 21:23:59

A 3 night PGL residential is costing us just over £300 for 11y DD. It will be 4 full days there though as they leave early and get back late.

Not cheap though. However, I do know that DD is going to have a fantastic time. She did a PGL weekend with Brownies a couple of years ago and loved it, so this will be just a bonus on top!

Hulababy Wed 01-May-13 21:27:22

However, that said, I work in an INFANT school, so up to Y2. We are only allowed to ask parents for up to £29.30 per year, per child, towards enrichment stuff - so trips out, groups visiting us, etc. It does make it very limiting.

We are planning a trip to a farm, about 45 min drive a way with an amazing adventure playground, etc. for our Y2s. But it is going to cost £11 per child, to be paid in two installments if parents wish. Most of the cost is the coach travel; this would be the same even if we stayed within the city. We are currently hoping parents don't complain. WE know the childrne will have a great time and the cost is justified, and we have reduced what we have done the rest of the year to allow for this fun end of infant school trip - just hope the parents agree now.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 01-May-13 21:27:48

They definitely should have given you more notice, and possibly the option of paying in a couple of instalments.

shebird Wed 01-May-13 21:34:31

No option of instalments or apologies for short notice just a 'your contribution is voluntary but if you do not pay the money comes from school resources' etc. I am tempted to take them up on the voluntary contribution bit in protest at extortionate cost and short notice.

breatheslowly Thu 02-May-13 20:02:18

Hulababy- I didn't know there were restrictions on what schools can ask for. Do you know if there are restrictions for other age groups?

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 20:37:54

we have just been asked for £10 for my daughter's reception trip. most of which will be the coach I expect. That is fine to me as it is the only trip this year other than a free one they walked to. I must admit I do worry what we will have to come in the future, I honestly don't know how people stump up some of this money, especially at short notice. I think it would be good like someone said if they issued at the start of the year what (ish) the trip or trips would be for that academic year and a rough idea of cost boundaries so say £10-15 for a trip to whatever in spring term second half. would give people a chance to put the money aside, leaves the school some leeway with changing the trip, the date etc.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 02-May-13 21:44:35

I dont think there are general restrictions, possibly just that some schools do. As a governor the only guide from County I have seen is that the cost must not exceed the actual cost and cannot include an amount to pay for those that dont.

We tend to have something once a term and a residential once a year so parents should know what to expect roughy.

Hulababy Fri 03-May-13 07:05:20

Breathe slowly - I don't think nationally there is and I have no idea how this amount came to be in my school or why.
It actually does seem very low at times, especially when trying to organise enrichment stuff. We're only an infant school but even so. Coach fares are so high it is very restrictive.

jellybeans Fri 03-May-13 21:30:36

I just stumped up hundreds for my twins residential trip! Every time we get a letter for a trip I sigh as it's two times everything in one go!

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