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Cost of school trips/activities: do you restrict what they can do?

(73 Posts)
OrmIrian Fri 19-Jun-09 11:50:37

DS#1 had a camping 'get to know you' trip when he first started Yr7 (£60). He went to a rugby match (£15). Enrichment week camping trip (£90). Trip to see Stomp in September (£32). £60 a term drum lessons. And now a week in Germany (£200 just before Christmas <gulp>).

These are all things I want him to do. And I think the German trip is essential (and good value). But it all adds up. And more worryingly DD is starting in secondary school in just over a year so it will be all that doubled. We can afford it now but X 2 (and then X 3 in a few years time) is going to be a bit of a struggle.

How do you deal with this? Should we be restricting him a little in preparation knowing that he may not be able to do all these things when his sister starts Yr 7?

PestoMonster Fri 19-Jun-09 12:07:14

I would do them whilst you can. If you can't afford them at a later date, then fair enough to cut back.

bruffin Fri 19-Jun-09 13:21:59

We have the same when DD starts in September. DS is year 8 and found the trips have tailed off a bit this year. Thankfully he isn't interested in languages so not that bothered about the residential trips to Germany or France, although he did do a german market trip in Yr7.

Have you looked on the school website to see what trips are on offer for the older dc's.

bruffin Fri 19-Jun-09 13:23:20

sorry rogue apostraphe blush dcs not dc's

bellavita Fri 19-Jun-09 13:28:18

Thankfully, we have not had much to pay out for

£15 day trip to Manchester - geog
£15 day trip to Helmsley - history
£36 for two trips last week of term - just because it is the last week - a theme park and an aquariam.

DS did come to us last christmas and asked if he could go on the skiing/snowboarding trip in the Feb half term at a cost of £1300. We said no as it was nothing to do with his school work.

However, any trips that we think he would benefit from in the future then we would do our best to fund them and let him go.

brimfull Fri 19-Jun-09 13:28:51

yes we restrict

some of the trips on offer are megabucks .DD has done loads of them but we drew the line at £900 for 5 days in NY shock and a special conference in usa for £3000...ffs.Head even phoned to ask if dd could go.I larfed.

Some kids go on all ,my dcs are fine with the fact that our pockets may not stretch as far as some.

ds only on yr 1 so nothing yet

OrmIrian Fri 19-Jun-09 13:30:07

No. I haven't dared bruffin!There is always something during enrichment week although some of the activities are free or virtually so.

DS's trip will include the Christmas markets - which explains the time of year.

OrmIrian Fri 19-Jun-09 13:32:00

shock at 3000!

Well DS wouldn't even bother to ask us for that one hmm One of the schools here arranged a skiing trip. Just under 1000 - because they were going to the US instead of Europe - didn't see the point of that at all.

Libra Fri 19-Jun-09 13:44:19

Yes we have restricted.
At secondary age they need to start understanding basic family economics.

We have done the trip to Germany, but not the one to India (!). Will probably agree to the exchange to Denmark in sixth year.

mumoverseas Fri 19-Jun-09 16:44:06

It does get a bit stupid doesn't it.
DD has done a few recently, Holland last year at around £250, PGL weekend in UK at easter around £150 and a ski trip next easter at around £550 which I thought wasn't too bad.

DS is on a D of E silver trip in Cyprus at the moment that cost approx £1,600 shock Couldn't really afford it/justify it but felt pressurised as its the last trip before he leaves school to go to sixth form college and I wanted him to complete the D of E award and the school weren't running an affordable trip

cat64 Fri 19-Jun-09 17:02:21

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sarah293 Fri 19-Jun-09 17:05:13

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BonsoirAnna Fri 19-Jun-09 17:05:28

Can you find out what is likely to be on offer going forward right through the school, and budget for the trips that you think are really worthwhile - with you and your children making the decisions jointly?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 19-Jun-09 17:08:08

DD is not going on any residentials this year or next - which we explained in advance and she was fine about. She had three brilliant residentials in primary school and now we have to pay for DD2 and DD3 to have the same. Her turn will come again in Year 9 or 10 if there is something she really wants to do - at that point she will know which modern foreign language she wants to do at GCSE so a trip to that country will be more meaningful IMO.

sarah293 Fri 19-Jun-09 17:10:07

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aGalChangedHerName Fri 19-Jun-09 17:12:28

I send mine to whatever we can afford regardless of what it's for (educational or leisure)

We have done without ourselves and will do so for ds2 and the dd's too.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 19-Jun-09 17:13:00

DD1 is very keen on German at the moment and will probably take it for GCSE I should think (although that is thinking ahead a bit as she is only Y7).

scienceteacher Fri 19-Jun-09 18:04:50

Mine do all the visits that are directly related to the curriculum. This includes language visits, and history and geography visits abroad.

I was keen for DS1 to go on a rugby tour to Ireland last year, but he was the one that didn't want to go.

Mine also do piano lessons.

scienceteacher Fri 19-Jun-09 18:08:13

I would imagine that if a trip is several thousand pounds, the students would be expected to raise the money themselves.

For example, World Challenge is about £2500 - £3000, and the clear expectation of the programme is that fundraising at least 2/3 of it is part of the challenge.

BodenGroupie Fri 19-Jun-09 20:54:11

Mine are at two different secondary schools with seemingly different policies.

Grammar school - frequent theatre trips (DD1 doing drama GCSE and letters always imply they're essential), quite a few holiday type trips, skiing, city breaks etc. She's just done a history trip to WW1 battlefields which was a reasonable price and something she's very interested in. We agreed to pay for most of a trip to New York/Washington this year to make up for the fact that DD2 had a couple of years at private school and DD1 hasn't complained once, plus she works really hard. Have been paying for it over eighteen months so it's just about manageable (although we haven't been able to have a family holiday for a couple of years sad).

Comp - very few little trips, just the odd fiver here and there for groups visiting the school. They also do a New York trip but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. DD2 wants to do the Auschwitz trip next year.

My friend in Sweden says schools can't charge for trips - they are paid for by the school as it would be discriminatory! In one year her son went to Auschwitz and France, gratis.

snorkle Fri 19-Jun-09 22:26:54

Hmm yes, I guess I would have to restrict a bit if they were wanting to do any of the really expensive things or too many of the quite expensive ongoing ones. Luckily neither my two have actually wanted to go on any of very expensive trips (skiing + Australia exchange spring to mind) & so far we've managed the rest.

Regular costs are £15/term sailing (2 terms only) + £15/term CCF (more than worth it in terms of the really cheap holiday courses they can then do). Expensive 1 offs have been French exchange ~£250 & Orchestra trip to Spain ~£270. Seem to get about one a year of these (between the 2 of them, so about one every other year each). Paid for a term of singing lessons for dd too, but she chose to stop which was lucky as they were quite pricey.

mumeeee Fri 19-Jun-09 23:27:23

We did restrict when DD's were at secondary school. They went on most day trips but were only allowed one residential trip a year.

fembear Fri 19-Jun-09 23:52:45

Just to be contrary, I wish DD's old school had done more expensive trips. There was a getting-to-know-you in Y7 and a German trip during GCSE but that was about it. Our kids were never given the opportunity to turn down the likes of Cyprus, New York or ski-ing.

sarah293 Sat 20-Jun-09 08:32:07

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96787465 Sat 20-Jun-09 08:42:08

just a thought but my sister has twins so from when they started high school she set up a direct debit for £50 a month into a seperate account,

that paid for most of there school trips and when it had been building for a while the school announced a skiing trip so both boys got to do that as well.

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