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So, school trips again…££££

(18 Posts)
TheRealMaryMillington Tue 11-Nov-14 16:41:58

DS is in Year 5

Last year, his class had a residential - two nights, adventurous activities - in the next village - cost £135. They walked there. We thought that was a bit steep but they had a great time.

Today a letter arrives for this year's residential next May. Two nights, adventurous activities, about an hour's coach journey away. £235. DS will want to go and we can - sort of - afford it, as there is time to put money aside. We will have to go without something or other else but hey ho - it will probably come off the family holiday budget, such as it is.

Is it me or is that a lot of money for 2 nights, for a 9/10 year old?

But WIBU to email the Head and voice my surprise that it costs so much? The school is in a reasonably affluent area but has a proper mix of people of vastly different means. At least one of DS's friends will almost certainly not be able to afford to go and another mum has confided to me that will be a struggle. At least 2 other kids won't go as they hate outward-boundiness in all forms. The school prides itself on inclusiveness in all forms - surely term time trips at this level of cost are economically excluding. And surely the point of a residential is that all or as many of the class as possible get to go away together.

Sorry, essay. AIBU?

Leeds2 Tue 11-Nov-14 17:04:38

I am out of touch with how much primary school residentials cost, but £235 for three days/two nights does seem a lot to me and I can understand that many families may not be able to afford it.

EllaJayne123 Tue 11-Nov-14 17:11:18

My neice went for a week residential at an activity centre, in wales (from London) by coach last year and cost £300 so that does sound steep to me! In her class they did offer to help those parents they knew could not afford it, perhaps if they spoke to the school? can be excluding for some children and is allot but I don't know what an email would solve unless you are stating you can't afford it and could they help .

OddBoots Tue 11-Nov-14 17:14:33

It sounds a lot but as the school aren't allowed to profit from it then it must be what these things cost. My DC's school stopped doing overnight trips as they were more than parents would pay - we were very disappointed but I can understand why they did it.

Notbythehaironmychinnychinchin Tue 11-Nov-14 17:23:08

DC' s primary usually have a foreign trip every year in year 6 yes it's an affluent suburb but people are still tightening their belts. Anyway, for the first time in memory not enough parents said yes so it was cancelled. You might find many other parents agree with you.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 11-Nov-14 17:30:36

That's an awful lot for two nights.

Ds did a full week outdoor education centre for around £300

A sports week in Jersey is £550 including flight.

InMySpareTime Tue 11-Nov-14 17:34:10

DD's 2 night school residential is £253, it all depends on the time of year they go (DD's school chose peak season)
They seem to think we're made of money.

DontCallMeBaby Tue 11-Nov-14 17:36:35

DD's school does a four-night residential that costs £350. On the one hand, it's subsidised by the PTA, so that's not the full cost - it could well be the £470 which would make it the same cost per night as the OP's. On the other, it's in Year 6 and there has been nothing even approaching that cost to date. We've known it's coming all the way through school, and there is a hardship fund to help out if parents can't afford it - again it's an affluent area but the school knows full well that doesn't mean every family can afford every expense.

So I don't think a slightly pricier trip is unreasonable, but multiple trips, that the school springs on you, with no option if you can't afford it - really not on.

overmydeadbody Tue 11-Nov-14 17:37:37

That's what I have paid for the last two years for two night residentials.

Now ds is in secondary, he has a 4 might residential adventure activity week for £200, so the primary trips were certainly more expensive!

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 11-Nov-14 17:53:48

My reason for emailing is that if parents keep scraping the money together (because as we all know to get hardship funds you really need to be FSM, and as many a thread on here attests, lots of people on salaries way about that threshold are struggling at the moment) that the costs might continue to escalate unchecked.

It's clear that slightly less flash/pricey versions of similar trips are available - they went on one last year for just over half the price of this one. It seems really at odds with the schools purported inclusive ethos.

There is a YR 6 UK residential to same place (which has sometimes been PTA subsidised) and a week abroad (I think 10's too young to go abroad without parents but that's another issue), so that is 3 years in a row. We have 3 kids in the school so that would cost us £4500 total if they all went to everything.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 11-Nov-14 18:34:23

Our 4 night residential is £149 this year - we've chosen carefully to avoid travel costs. Luckily we have a top venue for this only a few miles from school so we decided we might as well go for it. At least the children get straight on with activities rather than parents paying for lots of travel.

Greenfizzywater Tue 11-Nov-14 19:29:49

Do they need higher staff ratios for primary than secondary?

Thatssofunny Tue 11-Nov-14 19:49:14

Our Year 6 residential is a week long. It's about 3 hours from us by coach and costs approx. £250 (we get out of the big city into one of the most rural locations possible). Year 6 are the only year group going on residential, though.
When asking for money from parents, I try really hard to ask for as little as possible...blush

Seeline Wed 12-Nov-14 09:07:58

Our Y6s are the only year to have a residential. They go to the IoW for 5 days. Including coaches, ferries and entry to all the activities etc, as well as staying in a hotel, we are paying about £300. The school for once has given us 6 months to pay the cost, and we can pay off little amounts when ever we want through Parentpay. Yours seems incredibly expensive.

ArcheryAnnie Wed 12-Nov-14 09:21:10

My DS went on a Y6 activity trip - 5days/4 nights - which would have cost £450+ if we'd paid for it. I could see that price being reasonable because it was jam-packed with activities including ones that would have been expensive to put on, like rib rides, and there were two long coach journeys. However, the demographics of the school were such that nobody could have afforded that, so the school trust subsidised it and parents were only asked to pay £75. (You didn't have to ask for a discount - nobody was charged the full price.)

The more I think of my kid's old primary, the more I appreciate it. <3<3<3

sunnydaylucy Wed 12-Nov-14 09:31:11

Our primary has a residential which includes yr5/6 children so in theory they can go twice. 4nights away, water sports/hiking type of thing. £260 inc coach journey of about an hour. We can pay in instalments over 6 months.
Now theatre trips...don't get me started on how expensive these seem (not even in London!)

Bunnyjo Wed 12-Nov-14 09:35:03

DD's village school organised a 6 day (5 night trip) to France and Belgium for the Year 6 children last June - to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1. The school commemorates the death of 9 soldiers from the village each year during Armistice Day; with a thinking skills day and a church service around the 11th hour to take in the 2 minute silence.

Anyhow, back to the point. The school trip went to Ypres, Essex Farm and Tyne Cot and they managed to find a tombstone of one of the 'village 9' and laid a wreath at his grave.

The whole trip came in at less than £200! DD will be in Year 6 in 2018 and I hope they do something similar that year to mark the end of WW1.

So, yes; £235 for 2 nights sounds exorbitant to me!

shebird Wed 12-Nov-14 11:12:48

It is often the transport and insurance that bump up the cost of these trips. Our PTA contribute towards the cost of our Y5 & Y6 residentials which helps to keep the cost down. They still cost about £200-£300 depending on duration but we can pay in monthly installments.

However, I do wish that schools would consider the total cost of trips and activities throughout the school year, particularly in years that have got a residential trip. It is difficult to save and budget for bigger trips if there are letters every week looking for money for other trips, in school swimming lessons, workshops and endless charity days.

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