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School residential trip.....I really am going to struggle with the cost.

(27 Posts)
GratefuHead Sun 19-Jan-14 15:10:35

This is turning into a nightmare, our Primary school always do a residential trip in Y6, this year the cost has gone up by over £100. I have been contributing to the cost and have £50 to pay this soon as I can afford it. This will leave me with a further £250 still to pay.

Had a letter from school on Friday to say that the full cost has to be paid by the end of April. To be honest I feel like crying as there is just no way I can do it by then. To be honest I didn't realize it would have to be paid so soon....and feel like an idiot for not realizing it.

At present all I can think about is the rest of his class going off and having a great time without him. He will have to go to school and into the other Y6 class for a week while his class are away (they would go the following week).

I know that £350 is great value for what is being offered but I really am struggling at the moment. I am on benefits as DS is disabled...he will go with a 1-1 and the other good thing is that my sister is a TA in the school and is going too. DS has really wavered about going but is now really keen....don't know what to do. It would be so good for him to live out of a suitcase for a week, it will do wonders for his sense of independence and self esteem in managing five days away without Mum.

I know this is reality, that sometimes parents cannot afford trips etc....for example if they were going skiing then I have no doubt there would be many not going. In this case though even other parents on benefits I have spoken to have a relative who can pay for the trip. I just don't have that option apart from going begging to DS's Dad who might or might not have the money. Likely answer is NOT...

Chocotrekkie Sun 19-Jan-14 15:13:41

Speak to the school asap - they have funds to help out with children who can't afford trips. I assume you are claiming free school meals ??

elportodelgato Sun 19-Jan-14 15:14:42

I would talk to the school. Our school has funds to ensure that all kids can go in the residential in yr 5 regardless of income. In fact it is one of the key things which the PTA raises funds for throughout the year, I am sure they will be able to make up the difference

2kidsintow Sun 19-Jan-14 15:17:12

Our school itself doesn't have funds to supplement those who need it, but the county itself has a system. If you are in receipt of particular benefits then you don't have to pay the bulk of the cost of the trip. On one trip that costs nearly £200, for example, parents on income support only have to pay the portion that covers the transport costs.

Go and talk to the school. Or phone the County/borough first to ask if they have any blanket policy that can help you.

LadyGreenTea Sun 19-Jan-14 15:17:52

Please go and see your Headteacher and explain your situation, plenty of families are struggling at the moment and the school may have a contingencies fund for just such circumstances. The Head should be sympathetic and may either offer a contribution from school or maybe more time for you to save up for it. The centre running the course might offer discounts, have you or the school looked into that? (PGL offers twin discounts). Hth.

GratefuHead Sun 19-Jan-14 15:18:49

Yes DS gets FSM....but refuses to eat them so I make a packed lunch. I do claim for them though so the school still gets the Pupil Premium.

Will go in and talk to wouldn't be so bad but my old banger car needs taxing this month and an MOT next month. Could always sell the car and just go for buses and walking to school, it'd be a bit of a hassle (DS is autistic)but it might be doable. Have been considering that.

Lilliana Sun 19-Jan-14 15:26:03

Definitely talk to the school. Also our town has a charity that supports local people and one of the things that will help with is funding school trips for those that can't afford it. Not sure if you have anything similar but the school should know about it and point you in their direction if they can't help.

Hope you get something sorted without having to resort to selling he car

asandwichshort Sun 19-Jan-14 15:27:28

Our school contributes to trips for children on Free school meals out of the pupil premium - if you are eligible for them check with headteacher tomorrow. Also we are happy to allow people to have a payment plan that goes on after the event to ensure no child misses out. Make an appointment with the head and ask for help in some form or another. Is your sister aware you have this problem? Maybe she can ask on your behalf?

scaevola Sun 19-Jan-14 15:29:08

Talk to the school.

There should be funds (theirs, or possibly PTA) to assist the who have difficulty in paying. And no good school would leave out a pupil if a whole year group is going. And if you can pay in full and just need a bit more time, it would be incredibly shabby not to help.

Littlefish Sun 19-Jan-14 15:30:42

Definitely go and see the head. At the school where I work, children eligible for pupil premium only pay 1/3 of the cost of school trips. obviously each school decides for itself how to spend the pupil premium, but it's definitely worth finding out more.

If the trip is during school time, then it is part of the curriculum. As such, my understanding is that payment can be requested as a voluntary contribution, but children cannot be refused a place if that contribution is not made.

asandwichshort Sun 19-Jan-14 15:38:55

I think all schools have to publish what they use their pupil premium for - check the website and see what it says regarding residential trips.

intheround Sun 19-Jan-14 15:46:18

At our school the PTA pays 50% of the cost for all children who receive free school lunches.
It used to be 100% but one year there were 9 children so they had to change the rules
Def worth speaking to the head. The school wouldn't want to see children missing out, as they get so much out of the trip.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 19-Jan-14 15:51:23

I was in the same situation when ds1 went on a £350 residential trip last year. I spoke to school who let me spread payments over a longer period. We're not entitled to FSM, but had we been he would only have had to pay £35. This wasn't advertised but the Finance Officer told me straight away when I asked for help.

KentKate Sun 19-Jan-14 16:15:20

If you get certain benefits you can get residential trips free. Many headteachers are ignorant of these rules and even those that aren't are often reluctant to advertise the information Look at this from the DfE - pdf doc p8.

HedgeHogGroup Sun 19-Jan-14 19:56:29

As a HT I would much rather know this info. They will be able to pay for part (all) of the cost or set up a payment plan. No one wants a child to not go on a trip because of £££.
Go in, speak to the HT in confidence & I guarantee it will be sorted xxx

Zingy123 Sun 19-Jan-14 20:09:05

Ous school go to a councul run venue and those on FSM pay nothing towards the trip. It has just cost me £140 for DD.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sun 19-Jan-14 20:12:31

No child on pupil premium in our school would miss out on a trip for this reason. You must speak to someone.

lljkk Sun 19-Jan-14 20:14:28

Please go ask, most schools have a fund to help people who would really struggle (the Friends will set aside money for this kind of thing, perhaps).

Also, groups like Brownies or scouts often have reduced subs or camping price reductions or spare uniform specifically for low income families. Worth knowing about.

pancakesfortea Sun 19-Jan-14 20:17:29

£350 is a lot for a primary school trip. Our year 4, 3 day/2 night trip in May is £55, and we were invited to start putting down £5 a time back in July. No one has much money round here so I guess they plan for that.

I really hope the school can help you.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 19-Jan-14 20:19:05

Definitely go in and see the Head. Explain you were unaware that it all had to be paid by April (if it is the schools fault for not explaining properly they need to sort that. If it is your fault, lesson learnt) and is there anyway the school can cover the cost and you pay the school back at the rate you were planning too, and then make sure you do.

SanityClause Sun 19-Jan-14 20:19:13

Speak to the school. There may well be a fund to help with payments. Also, if you think you can pay, but not by the deadline, they may well be able to wait until you can afford to pay. Some of the costs may have to be paid by the school in April, but it could be that they don't actually need 100% of e money by April, just most of it.

capercaillie Sun 19-Jan-14 20:20:40

Also see if your local councillor has a discretionary fund - mine told me that if I had any DofE participants who we're struggling, then I should tell them as they could probably help. Also the school could approach local rotary or lions club on your behalf.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 19-Jan-14 20:21:54

please go and speak to the school. They should be able to help and will most definitely WANT to help.

hamptonedge Sun 19-Jan-14 20:22:44

Speak to the school, if your child is entitled to FSmeals then they will get Pupil Premium for him, they can pay the cost of the school trip out of that, that is what it is for! We don't expect any child in receipt of FSM to pay for trips in our school.

MidniteScribbler Sun 19-Jan-14 21:41:57

Please go and speak to the school. They can't help if they don't know. We would never allow a child to be left behind on a trip, and parents often offer to do something around the school to help in exchange. For example, one parent painted some of the play equipment one weekend (we paid for paint), another cleaned out a particularly troublesome corner of a garden and replanted it (we paid for plants and materials). It works well for us, and no one misses out. The trips are important, and I've even paid out of my own pocket to ensure students can come.

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