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The school is constantly mithering me for money

(160 Posts)
colditz Tue 21-May-13 00:42:22

Money for shitty ineffective swimming lessons that, in 6 years, have not taught my son to even float. Money for mandatory trips a a factory, or a cricket field. Money for dressing up charity events. I am sick of them asking me for money and then pressuring my children when I can't pay!

Where do I stand legally with this? Do I have to keep paying for everything they are asking me to pay for?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 16:46:33

Re Xmas cards etc it's emotional blackmail,they make them in school and no parent wants to be the meany with a kid going home without.Last year they came so late they were useless,school couldn't give a stuff as they still got their cash.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 16:47:27

Re dressing up you're forced to pay it as who wants their kid standing out?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 16:49:24

Oh and "how dare you" see I just did too.hmm

Nobody has the right to say what other families can/can't afford.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 17:18:58

"Charity should be kept out of schools"


Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 17:41:43

I think it's good to support a charity in school but I think they need to limit the events or go 50/50 on school fund raising.

Parents don't have bottomless pits of spare cash these days.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 17:42:24

And enough already with themed mufty days.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 17:44:45

So how much are you talking about? A mufti day a term? £6 a term?

seeker Wed 22-May-13 17:45:18

Sorry, £6 a year?

sunshine401 Wed 22-May-13 17:47:06

My school for my children both high school and primary are not bad when it comes to money.
Primary school swimming lessons are free.
Charity events are normally no school uniform and optional contribution or a bring in for fate/raffle again it is always optional.
I personal always give some money the amount will often differ depending on personal circumstances of the time but I know a few parents who don't donate and their children can still go in non school uniform.
Trips differ but they are never in the hundreds for primary school. Local ones were always free. Non-local would cost anything up to about £75.
My DD in high school has been on a couple of trips (France and London) neither of them to bad and the option of installments was available.
I have never been asked for money for anything else to do with school.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 17:52:19

Not got a problem with mufty day but I do with themed as it can cost money on top of 2 or 3x trips each,camp,books from visiting author,Xmas cards,class photos,family photos,cake sales,buying the cakes you make,swimming,Xmas fair,summer fair,special school meal.......

I draw the line at Scholastic book sales,my dc know I'll just bark I can get them cheaper on Amazon.grin

Some of the above I don't have a problem with but on mass I've used up an entire cheque book.shock Don't want to add it up.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 17:52:59


milkybarsrus Wed 22-May-13 17:54:51

I put £5 in the envelope for a 'voluntary' contribution for a recent school trip which was £10, whilst dh was out of work (thankfully only out of work a month), but then was asked for the other £5 by the teacher! I was annoyed and embarrased as I literally couldn't afford it and thought that 'contributing' £5 was better than nothing. I was made to feel guilty as I had it explained to me that if everyone did what I did then the trip wouldn't go ahead. I couldn't justify the extra money at the time, but when dh was back at work a month later I gave the £5. I feel sorry for other parents who hit hard times and are made to feel as I did.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 17:58:35

Did you put a note explaining in the envelope, or did you go and talking to anyone?

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 22-May-13 18:01:45

Thankfully out of primary now but looking back at all the Easter bonnets, cake sales, residential trips etc etc etc. Do my DCs remember any of this? No. I dont think they are unique in this.

Do former pupils remember the day that a Viking came to school and had a sword fight with the deputy head? Yes they do (because they stop DH in the street to tell him about it!).

What did it cost? Nothing

The lack of planning and notice to parents makes it very hard for us to help. Many parents will know people who can come into the school for nothing or next door to it.

Many parents will know of places which would welcome school trips. I know of some very good Roman Baths under the A1M if anyone is interested.

twilight3 Wed 22-May-13 18:09:16

So, are schools obliged to offer swimming lessons? In that case, shouldn't the school budget pay for them? Next year I'm going to have to pay £40 pounds per child for 10 half-hour lessons, no transport as they walk to the pool.
What happens if I don't, given that this is not a "voluntary contribution" for a trip but an essential part of the curriculum? Is it not like asking parents to pay for, let's say, books? PE equipment? Am I misunderstanding something?

Smudging Wed 22-May-13 18:16:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 18:23:09

Our swimming lessons are good value and love the trips and camps although not the cost of it.

Think World Book Day and Red Nose Day are worth doing however all the other add ons,not so sure.

Think like everybody they should do a per head budget and stick to it.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 22-May-13 18:29:09

Im always surprised at the amount of people moaning about costs of trips etc at school. Do people really think children dont cost anything?

Teachers cant win, if they didnt run trips or anything fun then parents would moan. Given the exta work involved in running trips its not like they do it to just get out of lessons.

Education is free and open to all, something we are very lucky to have. Yes its funded by taxed but given there are very few net contributors to the system its not too much to ask for a few top ups now and again to enhance things for the children.

glam71 Wed 22-May-13 18:30:12

Fortunately swimming is free but dc only went once as cancelled due to rain grr.
This year 1 dc had 2 trips for £25 and £18 plus another £5 for some people to come in and teach. Also another £25 for a writer's day. Other dc £18 for a trip.
So much for a free education.

glam71 Wed 22-May-13 18:31:53

o and if you don't send in the voluntary contribution they send you reminders or ring you up to ask for it.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Wed 22-May-13 18:34:02

Happy I take it from your name you have 1 child,if you x it by 2,3 or 4,on a lower income I suspect you wouldn't be so blasé.

Lets not forget an education happens outside of school too,parents need money for valuable things like cubs,books,art materials etc.

Parents don't have a bottomless pit of cash,they just don't.

Phoebe47 Wed 22-May-13 18:45:20

Colditz - Mrs. X is wrong. The school cannot stop any child going on a trip because they haven't paid. Obviously the school wants everyone to pay but they need to be realistic and accept that a percentage of parents will not have the means to do so. The children of these parents must still be allowed to go.

Rooble Wed 22-May-13 18:51:04

It's really difficult. We make a £15 annual "voluntary" contribution, though the letter that requests it makes clear that if there ends up being insufficient money in the pot then trips/visits etc will not be able to go ahead. Where there have been trips eg to a mosque that involve a bus fare, I believe that the families who've opted not to make the voluntary contribution have been given the opportunity to contribute the £1.40 it costs for a child to make a return bus journey.
However, every letter that goes out requesting money has a message in it about times being difficult and please go to the head for a confidential chat if you find it difficult to meet the costs. She's really good at juggling funds/making things possible etc. But I guess often the only way for her to find out people are finding it difficult to make ends meet is for them to TELL her, and that's easier said than done.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Wed 22-May-13 18:55:22

Agree with Blueskies. It def does all add up esp for larger familieshmm

The assumption we have endless cash, not to mention spare time to sort fancy dress out starts to grate.

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 22-May-13 18:58:09

Colditz - they can't exclude your child from a curriculum related school trip if you can't pay. If it's a 'treat' trip then they can.

You can ask for a breakdown of the costs if you feel that you need to.

I would send what you can afford with a note saying as much.

I'm always a bit hmm about paying for swimming lessons at school - they are a curriculum requirement, the contribution is voluntary and your child cannot be excluded for not paying. Our school allocate budget to pay for compulsory swimming.

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