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Urgent Advice regarding nursery trip

(26 Posts)
Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 11:47:14

Hi all,
My dd has just started at the nursery of a pre prep and there is a trip a day before school finishes for summer next week. It is an hour and a half a way and I would rather not sent her as she is new to the school and as doing a half summer term was more about settling her in, I'm not sure she needs to go at this stage especially as it's been spring upon me and my dd has no idea about this trip as their topic work has been about something completely different

I spoke to the nursery leader and she said we'd have to pay for the trip even if dd doesn't attend. I then spoke to the deputy head of prep who said it was compulsory part of the curriculum, I told her I'm not sure if it is as its on the last couple of days of the summer so I don't think there's any follow up work regarding this. It is a farm park trip. We have lovely local farms parks don't see why they have to go on a long coach trip.

Anyway I haven't signed a permission slip and nowhere does it say I have to pay. I have requested to see any policies about visits.

What are your views, can they force me to pay for a trip despite me not agreeing to it or signing a permission slip. I'm having a lost list of doubts with this school about the hidden compulsory charges. When I spoke the deputy principal she was almost rude telling me I had to pay as the school accounts for all parents paying which sounds crazy at nursery age. Just want to know what you think!

DonkeyOaty Thu 02-Jul-15 11:56:08

What does your contract say about compulsory curriculum?

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 12:16:59

Hi I've had a look through all the paperwork and curriculum policies as well as the educational visit policy which I've just received, and nowhere does it mention anything about having to pay

The early years curriculum doesn't mention anything specific about trips

VikingVolva Thu 02-Jul-15 12:23:34

If your aim is to settle her, won't that be furthered by her having a day out with her classmates?

I've heard of 'one for fun' trips out at the ends of the summer term, so it's not an unusual thing to do. And it is about group experience and enjoyment, not curriculum.

PotteringAlong Thu 02-Jul-15 12:24:12

If it's a compulsary part of the curriculum they can't force you to pay and dd could go (if you wanted her too) even without payment. You doth have to pay for her to not go, but you would have to pay for her nursery session (if you pay) if you chose not to send her.

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 12:38:46

Thanks that's what I thought
Yes I want her settling in but not forced in a completely different situation and a situation I am not happy with so early on from her starting. They didn't mention anything about compulsory trips

The principal said it was a part of the curriculum which I am challenging, I don't have an issue with fun trips just the timing I am not happy with. She doesn't know any of the children's names yet

Apart from refusing to pay them what else can I do. I am going to show them their policies that I've been able to access. Can they just make up these rules but not give this imformation to parents beforehand?
I just don't want to have these battles with the school in the future as their policies are so vague And also makes me question the ethos of the school for telling parents they have to pay

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 12:39:49

With regards to fees I've paid this half term's in advance so that's not an issue

AndNowItsSeven Thu 02-Jul-15 12:42:32

I don't understand why you won't let your dd go on the trip. Is there a reason why she would not have a fun day?

redskybynight Thu 02-Jul-15 12:49:57

How can nursery (non-compulsory) have a compulsory curriculum!!!?

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:01:15

The point is I should have a choice in the matter, that's the point. I don't need to justify it to you I'm just asking if a school can force you to pay for a trip you don't want your child to attend it's not about debating whether or not I should send her or not!

toofytrub Thu 02-Jul-15 14:02:59

Rather than not sign the paperwork, I'd send a letter back in stating that as discussed you do not give permission for your dd to go and you do not expect to be charged anything as a result of the trip (you don't want them to spring a surprise 'extra supervisory charge' or something on you that they claim was because your dd needed supervising in school when her normal staff were on the trip - because it could bugger up their ratios if things are tight and she has to go into a different age room for example.) I'd also put that nowhere on any of the documentation that they have provided to you nor on the website (make sure you screenshot it before you send your note in as proof - even better then if they make changes because it shows that they should have had it up previously but didn't) have they said anything about compulsory curriculum or trips so again you feel that it is very unfair of them to claim that it is compulsory without any notice. Will make them more wary about things in the future so only something you can really use once probably!

When my dc were at nursery if I didn't want them to go in for a day because we were away or family were visiting or whatever, then I used to just tell them that I wouldn't be seeing them on xxxday and that would be fine. They appreciated the heads up because of staffing ratios, very occasionally I might see if it was possible to swap the day but I knew (and they knew I knew) that it was a bit cheeky to ask but I always paid for the day even if not used. I would have complained about paying for a trip that I didn't go on though. I guess they have costed it on the basis of your dd going which means that they will have to suck it up instead. And we could roll up at whatever time we liked - it wasn't like school where you ahve to be there by 9 and if not - then you're late.

Anyhow - what I'm trying to get to is - are you able to take your dd out of nursery whenever you want as it's not compulsory for her to be there or are there conditions that they impose that you have to treat it like school and be there all the time that they dictate for example? Is it attached to a private school or a state school?

The other thing you need to ask yourself is if you really want your dd to be there if they are showing you so little regard this early in your relationship with them...

tethersend Thu 02-Jul-15 14:12:34

Since this is a private school, I don't think any of the rules about voluntary contributions towards curriculum trips etc. apply.

It all boils down to what is in the contract.

Would going with them be an option?

Millymollymama Thu 02-Jul-15 14:12:49

I think its a bit mean to criticise the poster in that way. My children went on nursery trips too and I would never have pulled them out.

I expect their costings anticipated everyone going. If it is compulsory you should only pay for the transport, not the education because you have already paid for that. It is difficult to know how valuable it is, educationally, but if it has been planned for nursery children I am sure it would be appropriate and learning is very broad in a nursery class, so I am sure you can ask for the learning objectives for the day and the risk assessment if you don't know what the objectives are or have concerns. Usually at private schools, everyone goes and people don't argue over a few £ for a trip! I think you are maybe at the wrong school. Schoos don't give you every tiny bit of information about the curriculum and I cannot see what there is to object to either. I think you are being picky and a bit difficult.

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:07:05

Thanks everyone
I have been given the original letter that gives you a deadline to send the permission slip by the 22nd June. The letter itself just says 'June 2015'. I was told about this trip on June 24. Surely by then they would have worked out who was going and who wasn't before telling me about the trip. So I do not buy that they had expected us to go when we only enrolled a few weeks before the deadline of replying!

The money here obviously isn't an issue. It's a matter of principle and I am paying my dd to go to a school that takes on parent views on board and makes their policies clear. I wouldn't give away a fiver in the same manner, it's just not on.

I feel I am being conned and that is why the school may not be right for us. If I can't trust the people running it so early on then I'm sure we will have bigger issues down the line. To imply that people who are sending their kids to private school are happy to flush "a few quid" down the toilet is quite absurd really! I know people far wealthier than us that wouldn't just throw their money away!

Anyway I am looking at making a complain due to lack of transparency

Thanks for you advice toofytrub I am taking screenshots and am prepared to take dd out.

AuntieStella Thu 02-Jul-15 16:11:14

One thing to check is whether it was published in the school calendar (actual slips only arriving nearer the time being pretty standard).

Moving to a nursery for only 6 weeks or so is very hard though. Is it really going to be right for her to miss out on a trip with the others?

meditrina Thu 02-Jul-15 16:13:01

Check the T&Cs carefully. If you don't give notice at the right time, you will be liable for a term's fees in lieu.

Pontipine15 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:49:45

I know my dd and she wouldn't be affected, she doesn't even know there's a trip and the day after the trip they break up and will be having a sea side themed day and after summer I'm sure they'll have other things to do

Yes I will be losing a term's fees which I'm fine with as I'd rather save ££££ over the long term.

I did see on the school website calendar that it says 'nursery trip' but I don't see why that should make a difference really.

I just feel really let down. The permission slip gives a deadline of 22nd June but I was told about the trip on the 24th and only today given the paperwork. I feel I don't trust the school and it's made a few blunders already which I was happy to overlook but this is something I can't back down over I'm afraid. I can see us having issues later on where they make up rules that are definitely not stated in any terms and conditions of the policies If anything it clearly states the school should provide parents with an itinary And payment and cancellation information, something which we haven't been given

Mopmay Thu 02-Jul-15 23:20:27

I suspect private schools can do what they like? Mine loved nursery trips away like this - really builds confidence. Can you go as a helper?

AndNowItsSeven Fri 03-Jul-15 00:41:15

There is no need to be so rude and defensive op. I did not say it wasn't your choice not to send your dd on the trip.
Your post was confusing as to the reason you did not want your dd to attend. I thought maybe if your dd was shy/ anxious for example you could as a pp has since suggest go along as a helper.

dixiechick1975 Fri 03-Jul-15 10:11:24

Dd's private school does a fun trip for the little ones at the end of term this sounds similar. If you are this unhappy now then it may well not be a good fit school for you. Dd's school is small and family like. A lot of things are just the way it is done and have been done for years. We get letters to pay for trips and they way they are worded is not do you want x to go but we are going to y please pay £10 by Friday. I like that we are all on same side not us v them like some threads on here eg hols are sensibly authorised no fines. If you are at the stage of policies and complaints it is obviously not working. Fwiw I know terms and finds at dd's school are weighed to them as you would expect as they are a business. A full day out would really help your dd feel part of the class if she is staying there in September.

dixiechick1975 Fri 03-Jul-15 10:12:07

Terms and conditions

Dollydewdrop21 Fri 03-Jul-15 17:40:53

Hi Pontipine. I am a Head of a private nursery school. We always do a 'fun' trip at the end of the school year. When calculating the cost of the trip per child we add the cost of the coach to the price per entry per child as well as adult helpers and then divide it by the amount of children in the year group going on a trip. Often these outings need to be booked and paid for a few months in advance. In the consent letter I always state that if your child is not coming on the trip to kindly pay x amount and explain why.
We go on 2 outings every term but only 1 big outing that needs a coach as it can be very expensive!

I cant really work out why you dont want your dd to go on the trip? How old is your dd? From my experience I suggest that your dd would benefit from the trip. A shared group experience may help her to bond with the teachers and if you go along as a helper it is an opportunity for you to get to know the teachers and other mums better. I know you are upset but please take time to think before removing dd from the school. Will you be removing her because you are upset or because the school is not right for dd? It might be difficult for dd to be removed and then settled somewhere else again. In my opinion we should always look at what is best for the child - most things can be resolved and kindness goes a long way. I would suggest meeting with the Head and politley mentioning your concerns, I am sure it can easily be resolved. Good luck and please keep us updated.

Millymollymama Fri 03-Jul-15 22:12:55

The op had a letter 2 days late about this trip. How can that be a deal breaker with a nursery school ? It appears to be arguing for the sake of it, especially after just a few weeks. No school takes on parental views to this extent. You would never get agreement to anything! I think op you do need to consider whether a few days notice and your views are worth arguing about. No school will do exactly what you want!

DancingDinosaur Fri 03-Jul-15 22:21:29

Do you have any other doubts about the school op, aside from this?

tobysmum77 Sun 05-Jul-15 13:10:23

my experience of private nursery is we've never been charged for trips. They keep them cheap by taking the children somewhere local (and free to get in!) on the bus.

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