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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:
willyoulistentome · 04/05/2013 23:29

My son is meant to go on a y6 residential in November. Sea kayaking, canoeing, in sodding November. It will be freezing. He has AS and he doesn't want to go. He did a two night residential last autumn and came home in pjs, not having cleaned his teeth or washed for 3 days. The AS means he is bad at self care. He was in a rowdy room and missed out on loads of sleep. He absolutely exhausted when he came home. We had the a weekend of emotional meltdowns. I don't want him to go away in November. He will hate it. We will suffer the consequences of him being stressed for a week and I will have to pay £250 for this. HT is making all the right noises about 'supporting' him
But I just don't want him to go.

exoticfruits · 04/05/2013 23:29

I broke my wrist by falling over my back door step! I have been skiing over a dozen times and not injured anything!

exoticfruits · 04/05/2013 23:31

Outward Bound staff are fully qualified! It is their job!

morethanpotatoprints · 04/05/2013 23:34


Every year at any school my children have attended and there have been a few, a teacher and several children have come back with broken limbs. Just unlucky I guess Grin

Jbck · 05/05/2013 00:14

OP pm'd you earlier and meant to let you know.

MidniteScribbler · 05/05/2013 00:27

but do teachers have to pay to go on trips out of their own pockets or does the school pay?

Why should the teacher have to pay? They're only going because they have to be there to care for your children and are sacrificing time with their own families to provide the experience for other people's children. They don't get paid any extra for going away, even though it means being on duty 24 hours of the day.

clam · 05/05/2013 00:51

"do teachers have to pay to go on trips out of their own pockets or does the school pay"
You want teachers to give up a week of their time to supervise and care for your child 24 hours a day and PAY for the privilege? Yeah, right.

And no, the school doesn't pay either. Either the outward bound centre offers 'free' places for accompanying staff, or the cost is factored in to what the children pay collectively.

You don't like that? Fine, the trips don't happen.

Leavenheath · 05/05/2013 01:09

My overall feeling about this is that it's a huge shame for children who want to go on the Y6 trip, but are held back either by over-protective parents or financial difficulties. One of the main reasons this trip is part of our culture is because it gives children the necessary level of independence and detachment to start secondary school, when mum and dad won't be in the playground any longer and they'll have to learn more responsibility for looking after their possessions and ensuring they have the right equipment.

One of your problems OP might be the nature of the trip itself. There has been a trend in recent years towards activity centres and outward bound type trips and these don't suit all children. In years gone by, the Y6 trip tried to combine a range of academic and outdoor interests with pure fun and leisure pursuits; a trip to a historical building, fossil hunting to capture physical geography, a factory making something fun or beautiful to understand manufacturing and business. Plus lots of activities that were just for fun, but a good range to excite most children's interest and imagination e.g. funfairs, sporting contests, swimming, discos, basic orienteering.

Your costs seem very reasonable to me, but I'd do two things in future:

Look at going in the September before the serious SATs work has started. Several primary schools round here do it then because it's cheaper, the weather is often better and it is quite a nice bonding experience for the children's final year.

Consider a wider range of activities on the trip.

School trips provide children with some amazing memories and the Y6 trip especially has a huge significance in preparing children for secondary school.

Darkesteyes · 05/05/2013 01:12

jamdonut said this...

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

If its not voluntary why say it is. Seems like some schools have been taking some lessons from certain workfare providers who get jobsseeekers to do workfare in charity shops on threat of losing their benefits and the jobseeker has to wear a badge saying "Volunteer"
Better phone the Oxford Dictionary quick smart because the whole definition of the word "volunteer" seems to have changed.

Leavenheath · 05/05/2013 01:19

No, schools usually bend over backwards to help families in difficulty, but they recognise that there will always be some parents who take the piss and refuse to make a donation, despite having disposable income for parental luxuries. Schools take the entirely reasonable view that this parental fecklessness is not however the children's fault and so they will fund that child's place. If parents haven't had the courtesy to speak to the school to say they will be unable to make a contribution, schools might well chase them for the money, but none of that chasing should be communicated to the children themselves.

MidniteScribbler · 05/05/2013 01:31

It always astounds me that when people start reproducing, they don't consider that they may need to actually pay for things for that child in life. A pound a week put aside to pay for things like school trips will mean having the funds available when it comes time to pay. You can't just say 'oh we didn't know they go away in year 6' when not only is it standard, but you've been at school for five years already at that point and watched five years worth of year six students go away on camp. You don't think that it's going to happen when your child is in year six? "Oh they only gave us two weeks to pay." No, they gave you ten years to pay.

I get fed up with the "I can't afford it" brigade. Usually while they're standing there smoking a cigarette or texting on their brand new iphone. It's not that they can't afford it, it's that they don't prioritise their children's education. People who genuinely have issues with finances will quietly talk to the school, make arrangements to pay it off or offer to do some other work around the school to make up for it.

madbengal · 05/05/2013 01:49

DD went last year and it was £230 for her and we got a A4 list of clothes she had to bring we did get 6 months notice and installment sheet which made it more managable and it was for 4 days and she loved it. where was only 2 kids that didnt go and they were twins I think they just got put into another class

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker · 05/05/2013 02:09

My kid has played at an elite youth level in more than one sport and still goes on school trips. He hasn't been injured during them but has been injured during a PE lesson that required crutches and off sports for 4 weeks -- during a really important part of the season. I still think that getting these kids to do other stuff away from home and parents is important. Personal development is why we do extra curriculars, the achievement is the cherry on top, not the reason. Having to sit out and learn patience when injured is a big part of that.

I agree with exotic, driving to the activity be it an away camp or a music lesson is way more dangerous.

ravenAK · 05/05/2013 02:13

I think the teacher should be aware that the trip-refusers may be giving it a miss because of lack of money, so alternative activities need to be funded by the school. Ideally, the residential should be funded for those who can't afford it.

Also, too many exciting alternatives are liable to nobble the residential for next year. So - free swimming, fine, but otherwise, it should be activities within school.

& no, teachers don't pay to go on trips - I know things are grim, but so far we aren't expected to work from 6am-midnight or later AND & pay for the privilege. Teachers volunteer to give up our time. There is quite often arm-twisting involved.

Residential trips in school term mean several extra hours per day, unpaid. If over a weekend, we do all that & miss out on time with our own dc. If it's half-term, we often have to fund extra childcare for our own dc in order to go away with our students.

Speaking as an experienced teacher who enjoys & values residential trips, I've yet to go on one that didn't leave me exhausted & stressed. It's worth it, but it's work. Not a jolly.

sashh · 05/05/2013 06:25

You need to talk to the teacher and say if s/he want to take them on a £32 trip then s/he will need to pay for it.

Some of the Y6 here spend a night sleeping in the uni library. Loads of other things already suggested that would be cheaper / free.

Jinty64 · 05/05/2013 08:15

I think one of the difficulties is working out which parents can't afford it and which parents choose not to prioritise it. My friend has a bigger income than we do but enjoys nights out, I-phones on contract for them both (eye wateringly expensive), designer clothes, every conceivable gaming device, holidays and trips away etc. up to them as they are earning the money.

We have less income but spend it on a bigger house, music lessons and Tescos clothes and budget furiously for school trips. We would definitely be perceived to be the better off family. She would be the one to be offered help with trips so it is not always fair.

WorrySighWorrySigh · 05/05/2013 09:41

We dont prioritise school trips, we prioritise family holidays. These holidays have given us a fund of family jokes, shared memories and experiences which we wouldnt have if we had prioritised ski trips (or whatever) for one DC at a time.

If we had decided that we didnt want to send DCs on a school trip because of cost, we would be less than thrilled to find that the school had decided that the only alternative was to spend a lot of money in a different direction.

sarahtigh · 05/05/2013 10:39

I can understand why people prioritise family holiday as all members of family need a break in some families it is the only time they get together as often in low income families on minimum wage jobs one works evenings/ weekends to solve child care problem so often they do not get weekends together, this does not mean they do not prioritise their children but they have a different idea of what is best for their child or family

and it is not fair that say Dc1 gets a holiday but only because Dc2 can't then have one

also not everyone likes outward bound style things I would gladly let DD do it but personally i can think of very little I would hate more as a holiday

hope4455 · 05/05/2013 10:41

I cannot believe the sweeping generalistion on this thread. I have always tried to pay for my children's school trips but unfortunatly some are not affordable.
MidniteScribbler u must have a perfect life - well done u

clam · 05/05/2013 10:43

"You need to talk to the teacher and say if s/he want to take them on a £32 trip then s/he will need to pay for it."

Hmm Seriously??

exoticfruits · 05/05/2013 10:53

I expect it is serious- the way that people expect the teacher to pay for themselves on a school trip when they are working the entire time and taking all that responsibility and stress!!!

SirChenjin · 05/05/2013 10:59

Perhaps suggesting that the teacher pay for it might be the wake-up call that particular teacher might need - after all, if they think that £32 is a suitable price to pay for one day trip then they obviously don't have a good grasp on reality and probably need a ridiculous suggestion to understand how ridiculous they are being.

I do sometimes wonder whether some schools and teachers fully understand the financial difficulties facing millions of families.

burberryqueen · 05/05/2013 11:03

I have always tried to pay for my children's school trips but unfortunatly some are not affordable
exactly - how exactly is someone with twins on a low income and no child support fromm ex supposed to fund a ski trip to America that costs over £1000 per child? That has been the only trip on offer so far at secondary school...and we live in one of the poorest areas of the UK - so actually a handful of pupils went and had a fab time...imo the whole idea was to identify the 'naice' families.

badguider · 05/05/2013 11:05

The price for the one day at an activity centre is a lot, BUT there's a huge difference between £50 and £230. I think £50 for a wide range of activities in a week is pretty good (£10 a day).

I know (am a guide leader) however that they could do a couple of hours at a climbing wall for about £8.50 per head and that's probably enough for a day with a picnic lunch and travel.
Then maybe a day at a WWT place, a zoo visit, swimming.. I reckon I could have them all doing really memorable stuff every day for five days for a total of about £30.

YoniOrNotYoni · 05/05/2013 11:17

Do you know if that's the case with trips abroad at High School level too?
Yes it is. Teachers don't pay for school trips. They are either covered by the charges to parents or free places are offered by venues. Why do you ask? Do you think teachers should be paying for the privilege of spending time caring for your children instead of their own? Ffs. Talk about taking any opportunity to teacher bash! Most teachers enjoy the visits, but they are exhausting and stressful. They only happen because teachers volunteer their free time to organise and accompany them.

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