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Compulsory school trip £480 WWYD?

(16 Posts)
PettsWoodParadise Tue 23-Jun-15 23:08:58

Ok. DD is in Y5 in an Independent school. I got a letter from school about a trip to France in last term of Y6. Cost £480 which I don't have to hand and DD isn't bothered about going. Form just had a slip to confirm payment of deposit had been submitted by parentpay but no opt out. I let school know DD wouldn't be going and we could discuss options for that week closer to time. School have replied saying it is part of the curriculum and no one has ever not gone unless unwell and want to arrange a meeting to discuss.

DD isn't bothered about going. She is not anti-social she has had holidays away from us in the past. Today the class were asked what they were most looking forward to about the trip that is 11 months away and DD was asked pointedly by the teacher and she told her she wasn't going. Am I being paranoid that they are putting pressure on her? I feel like I am being hauled into the teacher's office for being naughty. Yes I could sell the car, value about £2.5k to pay for the trip so we are not destitute and if DD wanted to go I'd probably be more worried about finding the money rather being annoyed at the school.

Am I being unreasonable in finding the trip is 'compulsory' a major PITA? Any tips on what to say when I am with the Junior School Head? I suddenly seem 10 years old again and wondering how to handle it. I know they don't have a fund for school trip support and I wouldn't expect it anyway so I do think the focus will be on why DD isn't going and putting pressure on going. If I could just avoid the whole conversation I would but that won't resolve the issue.

Luckyfellow Tue 23-Jun-15 23:12:50

Yanbu. I wouldn't be keen on paying for this if my DD wasn't even interested in going. You should just explain your reasoning. It's a lot of money. Your DD doesn't want to go. Try not to get angry or defensive.

meditrina Tue 23-Jun-15 23:18:16

Is year 6 a time when lots of the pupils leave?

Because a leavers' trip is a very common thing (both sectors), and if in term time pupils are expected to go. And as it's a private school it can bill it as an extra.

A year is plenty of notice for most people, and finding £40pcm isn't usually an issue for fee-paying parents. If you have reduced fees, ask the bursar if the cost of the trip can be covered. Also worth asking PTA.

EeyoresTail Tue 23-Jun-15 23:18:46

I thought if a school trip occurs outside of school hours they need your permission. If they need your permission then it can't be compulsory surely! I'm not looking forward to this coming up for my DD in 4 years time.

Zettina Tue 23-Jun-15 23:22:21

Surely it's not actually compulsory? As in, if you can't/won't pay for it, and your DD doesn't want to go, they can't, legally, compel it?

I would just say, "We aren't able to pay for it at the moment, DD isn't keen on going, so she won't be." What could they do?

PettsWoodParadise Tue 23-Jun-15 23:30:32

Thanks for the replies. It is during term time. I don't expect a school trip to be free but when we moved DD to the school we knew we wouldn't be able to afford the frills. It was our choice and upto now has been the right one with us making the decisions about the compromises. I am currently using savings to top up the fees for juniors and no bursaries available before senior school which, if she were to stay, would make it affordable if they grant one. We budget to the hilt with second hand clothes and no holidays and old cars so finding more money is a real problem and I would do it if DD wanted to go.

WanderWomble Tue 23-Jun-15 23:37:08

I'd tell them where to go. They have no legal right to force your child to go on this trip. The worst they might do is put pressure on her (and you) during school hours.

Have they told you why they're so keen for her to go?

balletgirlmum Tue 23-Jun-15 23:44:15

Ha ha to the thought that finding an extra £40 a month isn't an issue for fee paying parents. They obviously havnt seen my overdraft.

At ds's school however there are compulsory trips but we know about them when they enter the school. Yes legally they need your permission but they could say you are breaking the terms & conditions & ask you to leave.

This doesn't help your immediate situation though. If this was not made clear when you entered the school I would write a letter stating that your child will not be going on the trip & you wish to hear no more about the matter.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 23-Jun-15 23:47:04

I know they used to have some of the girls miss out the very last term if they passed local grammar tests so my cynical side suspects this trip was set for last term rather than earlier to encourage the girls to want to stay for trip. So I suspect they may be thinking my lack of funds And my daughter's disinclination to go is lack of commitment but that is only a guess. As one poster wisely says I shouldn't get too defensive. Breathes deeply.

ReallyTired Tue 23-Jun-15 23:49:46

Maybe the junior school head wants to help you. Lots of private school parents struggle with school fees and £480 would be too high. There might be funds that are not generally known for cases of real hardship.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 23-Jun-15 23:55:41

Thanks ReallyTired there is that chance but all evidence so far is that it doesn't exist. Even so I don't think funds should be spent on trips but on keeping the girls at the school. I would accept help for school fees but something doesn't seem quite right about accepting help for a trip that DD doesn't even want to go on.

mummytime Wed 24-Jun-15 06:40:49

A friend of mine had a DD at an independent, a lot of their school trips were compulsory. In her DDs case she went on the first one and had such a bad time she has refused to go on any trip where she stays without the family again (and she's now 16).
They may put the utmost pressure on you, but if you don't want her to go they can't make you.

meditrina Wed 24-Jun-15 07:06:26

You may well find that, as it's the leavers' trip, she does want to go on it as it gets nearer. Especially as she'll be the odd one out (you may as well keep her at home that week, as the whole year group and all its staff won't be there).

This isn't a 'frill' it's a compulsory trip, one which has been running year after year, from the sound of it. It sounds as if there have been no others that are compulsory, so the school hasn't been making regular large demands.

Trips are in the final term, because of the typical private school exam/offers timings in the spring term, not for 'keep em in' motives.

beeashby Wed 24-Jun-15 14:53:33

Could it be possible that the trip is compulsory because it substantially improves their French? I remember being made to go on residential trips with families in secondary school for this reason.

LIZS Wed 24-Jun-15 15:39:55

That is pretty expensive for that type of trip. Dc did similar in year 6 & 7 for about half that cost. By all means negotiate but in both dc cases there were a few who stayed behind and spent time with another class or helping with activities for younger children such as sports day.

jo164 Wed 24-Jun-15 19:05:12

My children are in a private junior school and there is a trip to France every other year for years 5 and 6. Most children do go, but it is in no way compulsory and this year 4 chose not to go for a variety of reasons. They are allowed to spend time doing other educational visits with family during that week if they like, or spend time with another year group helping out. A school cannot force you to send your child away on a trip overnight!

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