My feed

to access all these features


16 children not going on year 6 residential

203 replies

Restorer · 04/05/2013 11:12

Out of a year group of 40ish.

School doesn't know "reasons" for them not going, but it's likely IMO that most is down to cost. Some will be because they/their parents didn't want to be away from home.

The yr6 teacher, who will be at school with the 16, is planning activities for the week. She feels sad that these children are missing out on "experiences" and wants to do something everyday for the week. So far has arranged for them to go swimming at the local comp (free) a day at an outdoor activity centre (£32 each, plus transport) bowling (£5?)and a session at the local Wildlife Trust reserve (£4.50 plus transport)

The parents haven't been told anything about this yet, but AIBU to think that if you'd had to say no to residential because of the (£230) cost, you'd be annoyed/upset at the request for money for all these activities while the others were away?

The teacher means well and I support entirely the desire to provide experiences and fun for these children who are missing out, but I don't think she has any idea just how much £50 is to some families.

If you agree, do you have any ideas for ways to provide fun and experiences more cheaply?

OP posts:
Restorer · 04/05/2013 13:40

Oh I don't agree with that at all Orange. It's like saying what's point of trying abseiling, canoeing, archery or to speak French, if they're never going to do it again. It's about the experience.

Also, just because a child is poor now, doesn't mean he always will be, that's what education's for! If he loves skiing maybe that will provide the motivation to work hard, get a god job and be able to afford it as an adult.

OP posts:
eminemmerdale · 04/05/2013 13:45

dd's school have asked for over £30 this week for different activites. We have had to say, look even though we are working, we cannot do it this time (terrible months recently :( ) they are not 'voluntary' anymore - that is a joke. Last time money was asked for, the children who were late paying were named all over the whiteboard (including us) that was awful.

ivykaty44 · 04/05/2013 13:48

£230 for a residential in year 6 Shock

My dd is in year 9 and went on a residential in year 6 and year 7 at new school and both residentials didn't cost £230 put together!

This year dd is going on a trip abroad for history and it will cost £230.

YummyCalpol · 04/05/2013 13:48

emimemerdale, that's disgusting! I hope you complained to the school about the names on the board!!

eminemmerdale · 04/05/2013 13:52

I didn't actually Blush. I was so mortified I rushed to the office with my last tenner :( But, this is why we told her straight up this time that we simply wouldn't be paying and if necessary, would keep dd off school those days. The trouble is, it's a very middle class professional school and hardly anyone doesn't pay, so I think they just believe people have forgotten. Her teacher was astounded when dh told her our circumstances and they have waived it 'this time' :(

Fairenuff · 04/05/2013 13:53

So he would have missed out on a "ski experience" ... and? If you can't afford to go ski-ing as a family, what's the point in him learning to ski?

Don't follow your logic there at all? Should he not do anything that we can't all do as a family then?

SwishSwoshSwoosh · 04/05/2013 14:02

Our family would not have been able to afford trips at that sort of level, it is a considerable sum. Many people are budgeting like crazy and just don't have spare.

Even a fiver a week is quite a bit really, if you haven't got it.

dayshiftdoris · 04/05/2013 14:07

I think the 'credit crunch' has hit hard but I don't think its a new thing... This the first time we've qualified for FSM but only just earned over the threshold since my son started school.

In every setting we've been in in the last 3 years there has been a letter out because of a 'large number' of parents not paying their school dinner money or childcare bills and at one school I was told I was the ONLY parent paying in advance and one half term I was the ONLY parent who paid at all!
This was a school that attracted middle class, professional parents with 'decent' jobs.

I dont think anyone can make distinctions anymore... lots of families are struggling... I am on less money than I dare think about but I saved for it and planned for it so I am 'ok' at the moment yet my status as a FSM family would be considered poverty Hmm

dayshiftdoris · 04/05/2013 14:13

Sorry and meant to say that money is not the only reason a child might not go on a trip... mine didnt go (that £230 in Y4) as his needs would have out-stripped provision... I am sure they and I could have figured something out but it was cheaper for me to take him on holiday!

Restorer · 04/05/2013 14:17

Ah yes, dayshift, there are three groups of non-payers. Families who genuinely struggle, families who are disorganised/forgetful, but do pay when reminded often enough and those that are able to pay, but think they can get away without paying.

We have 3 1-2-1 TA's going to support children who need it. The travel company provide their spaces free.

OP posts:
WorrySighWorrySigh · 04/05/2013 14:18

I would guess that many parents struggle to afford school trips, I know we have. It is all very well to say that there may be funds for parents in genuine need but how many parents want to discuss their personal financial business in the school office?

HollyBerryBush · 04/05/2013 14:22

I don't agree that a child shouldnt experience something because the whole family can't.

I'm quite happy to cancel the prospect of a family holiday to send my DS2 on school trips abroad. Broaden his horizons and show him different cultures. I could never afford for 5 of us to bugger off to China for a fortnight, but I don't understand why he shouldnt go.

I know I am probably spectacularly missing the point but the whole object of parenting is to work to give your child opportunities you never had.

kylesmybaby · 04/05/2013 14:23

we had a meeting about the year 6 trip (beginning october) when they went into year 5. you were able to pay money in throughout the whole of year 5. every year 6 child went. i remember there were kids that had never been away from parents and the school worked with them during year 5 as they thought it was so important for them to experience it.
ours (in Tregoyd, wales) worked our cheap as no one wants to go in october lol.

jamdonut · 04/05/2013 14:24

Yesterday we gave letters out for a trip to a nearby place of historical interest, that fits in with our term's topic.

We have asked for £4 towards the cost of coaches. Immediate reaction from several children was "My mum hasn't got £4".

Now, whilst I acknowledge that every penny counts,for some people,( as it does for me with my own children bringing home letters from school for this and that - TA pay,and Tesco's, is not great.) I do think sometimes people's priorities are skewed. I would (and have) move heaven and earth to make sure my child was not left out.

Some people take the "voluntary " donation to mean they shouldn't bother. Of course it is not truly voluntary, but schools are not allowed to say it is not. If you tell the school it is difficult to pay, ways round will usually be found.

Confusingly, some people think the trips are optional,(obviously not residential ones)and will say "He/she doesn't want to go". These are the people whose children are suddenly ill on the day,and don't come to school. I think it is sad that parents pander to this.The trips are as much part of their education as sitting in a classroom is.

We have to literally chase parents with forms in the playground ,sometimes, because if people don't pay it is a very real possibility that the trips will get cancelled.

Next we'll get people complaining that their children don't do anything exciting at school.

You can't have it every way.

whitewineintherain · 04/05/2013 14:37

At our middle school, we have a no uniform activity week, where most of the pupils go on a residential with their year groups and the children who stay behind can choose what activities they want to do at school, including circus skills, decorating white masks and t-shirts, swimming, an afternoon of games on the field, watching a film, baking biscuits/cakes, orienteering/treasure hunt around the school grounds and we're having a few talks from various people such as a local Romany gypsy, someone from a local animal rescue center and the local emergency services (fire,police,paramedic and lifeboat). We're lucky that non off this costs very much, there is a £5 charge per child for the week and the children really enjoy it. Non of the activities are mandatory but of course are encouraged to join in as much as possible so a few (normally the yr8's) will spend half the week sat on the field reading or talking with a T.A.

dayshiftdoris · 04/05/2013 14:37


There are £4 trips and then there are £400 trips... there in lies the difference.

My son's school charged £15 for a day out at an interactive museum about 50miles away which costs about £18 (without adding travel) to get in - as a parent I felt that was fantastic value for money and happily paid (tho it was handed back as we get FSM!).

Yet my friend got a a letter from a different school asking for £7.50 for a geography field trip about 9 miles away! This is just the coach cost as they are going a rock formation - one google search revealed that the same geological interest can be found in our home town... Most of the parents haven't paid.

It has to be value for money and useful to the children!

LatteLady · 04/05/2013 14:42

We have a no child left behind policy, if the parents cannot afford it, we pay. This has happened in every school where I have been a governor (seven in over 20 years). We have old pupils who went on trips who now send us money to be used for this, which choked me up when I saw the first letter come in with a cheque.

At one of my schools we had governors whose company policy was to match fundraising... this meant that we could do a whole school trip for every single child for free so we knew that they would get at least one trip out during the Summer holidays.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii · 04/05/2013 14:52

My DD didnt much like school residentials so she didn't go. It was nothing to do with cash. I don't think it's a problem. If there is a biggish group not going.

KirjavaTheCat · 04/05/2013 14:56

At our school, the kids who didn't go on residentials (there were many of us) went on something called an Activity Week. We basically did music days, kayaking at the local outdoor activity place (which was incredibly cheap at the time so the school paid for it), sports days, arts and crafts sessions. Most of which was held within school grounds, we all had a week-long timetable and we were never bored. It was completely free!

I think the teacher's plans are too elaborate, and that she could quite easily provide loads of entertainment for a lot cheaper. £35 for one day is a massive amount for parents on a budget!!

jacks365 · 04/05/2013 14:57

I have always moved heaven and earth to ensure my children didn't miss out but there have been times in the past were every penny would be accounted for and then school would send home a letter requesting money within 2 days ( think they thought if they gave more notice parents would forget).

Two years ago i had a sports trip abroad for one child a geography trip abroad for another so had to realistically let the third go sking so that was £2000 to find.

DeWe · 04/05/2013 14:59

Our school pays for any child who can't afford to go. They positively push the trip, any child who doesn't return the form is likely to have an enthusiastic teacher (to parents) making sure that they are very sure that there isn't a reason that can be sorted to encourage them to go.

They still have children who choose not to go. Not huge numbers, but about 6-10 most years. Could be a bit of a domino effect when one says they don't want to go, others who are wobbly may be more inclined to stay behind.

If there are 16, then it's possible: A isn't going because she doesn't like being away at nights, B and C aren't going because they're friends with A and don't want to go without them.
D decided not to go because they thought it would be fun being one of the ones left behind (actual reason why one in dd1's class stayed) and persuaded E and F that they'd like to do that too because she painted a glorious picture of it
and G and H are in a dance show in the evening that they'd rather do, and J wanted to stay to watch them...

dayshiftdoris · 04/05/2013 15:52


'No Child Left Behind'

Lot of choice there then!

Whilst it is great to offer residentials the pressure placed on children and parents is bad enough without 'No child left behind'...

It's not always about money...

MerylStrop · 04/05/2013 16:11

16/44 is a pretty big "No" vote, whatever the reasons. Maybe it would be good for the school to consult a bit with parents about this when planning the next one.

If I couldn't afford the residential I would be frankly fucking heartbroken to have to tell my kid I also couldn't afford the activities arranged for that week. Good on the teacher for trying to find a more affordable alternative, and make it fun, but £32 for one day is bit steep. One or two trips at £5 each would be doable for most people with notice and presumably the school could cover for those who that would really struggle.

Remotecontrolduck · 04/05/2013 16:18

DD didn't go on hers about 9 years ago, it was £250 which we could have afforded, but she would rather have stuck pins in her eyes Grin. She wasn't the only, some kids really don't enjoy stuff like that.

The cost of trips is ridiculous unfortunately, especially if they're happening more than a one-off and there's one every year.

There were ski trips yearly in her state comprehensive, at about £700 a time. No idea why the school thought that was ok!

Remotecontrolduck · 04/05/2013 16:23

I have to say though if 16/40 aren't going, something has gone wrong. It was far less than 16 out of DDs year of about 80!

Is it the trip that's wrong? Is the place they are going a bit rubbish? Activities not very good or worth the money? Or is it the fact it's just too expensive for most parents?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.