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been back at school four requests already started

179 replies

coffeeisnectar · 09/09/2015 18:27

Dd brought home a letter about swimming lessons (which run 30 mins past school finish time) and they are requesting 13.50 to cover "costs". Her old school also did swimming lessons and they were free despite having to mini bus the kids there. At this school it's a five minute walk. I'm not sure what's these costs are.

Went onto parent pay and found two items to be paid for. 12 for art and craft materials. And 195 for music tuition.

They have a three day residential in November costing another 175.

This is just your average state school. Dd is 9. Aibu to think it's taking the kids??

We are on benefits, the school effectively want three weeks income from me in the next month!!

OP posts:
MrsPear · 10/09/2015 14:29

£1 to buy a healthy snack when they visit Sainsburys - yr1 primary so learning about money etc

Flowerpower41 · 10/09/2015 15:48

The autumn term is always the most expensive I find. I always try to set aside c £40 minimum spare to cover additional costs for the first term of the year.

chelseabuns2013 · 10/09/2015 16:00

I don't mind paying but I do mind not ever being given a heads up on cost. Eg Music lesson at first no payment then £56 then owe £200 then nothing again. I must owe money but would prefer to pay in small chunks rather then random big bills.

beaucoupdemojo · 10/09/2015 16:14

School swimming lessons were awful for dd - half an hour each way of travelling for 25 mins in the pool. Total waste of time and didn't teach any child how to swim. The school only do it because they have to - we all know there wasnt enough time to be of any use.

I would want to know what the 'costs' are for.

I also think that asking for money to cover arts and crafts is a piss take. Fine to ask if anyone has materials they can donate but not on to imply you have no option but to pay - people on tight budgets cant afford to subsidise the school and all the time that parents cover this, the govt gets away with giving schools less and less.

Music lessons are optional extras and have always been pricey. You know this when you sign up to them so yabu about the cost.

vaticancameos · 10/09/2015 16:18

I've just received an over view for school trips and cost over the next academic year. There's nothing there unreasonably priced but I will struggle massively to pay for some of them.

A few years ago when I was on income support - so passport benefit - I could have better afforded them at full price. Working now mostly full time, I can't afford them at full price and yet as we are not entitled to FSM we are not eligible for them at half price.

End of last academic year there were quite a few trips and a residential. I lived on marshmallows that term while some people wouldn't pay for them out of principle because they were on benefits and shouldn't have to. Fine do that. But don't make a big smug song and dance out of it at scho pick up time.

InMySpareTime · 10/09/2015 16:18

So far this term:
180 for school dinners (one child is 4/5 packed lunches)
12 for art material costs
6 for a locker lock (only available via school)
650 for a Spanish trip
270 for a French trip
115 for Y7 residential
30 per sport for tuition, choice of 4 sports (I chose none).
It's great that the DCs get all these wonderful opportunities, but it's wiped out this year's holiday fund!
4 days in Wales off peak it is then...

LookAtAllThesePhucksIGive · 10/09/2015 16:21

I'm feeling a bit pissed off. Ds started high school last week and brought a letter home asking for any balances for the upcoming residential to be paid. They sent the letter in July when he went for a taster day and I forgot about it. It's for £130 for two days which we just don't have (and besides we scraped nearly £400 over the year so he could go on the pgl trip in May so I think he can manage to miss this one) He came home upset as the teacher told him he'd be one of only 3 in his form not going and what a shame etc etc... THEN my friend texts me saying what a shame it is and asking why he can't go so I'm honest and say lack of funds, he's already been on an expensive jaunt that year anyway blah blah blah... That's when she tells me her dd has had her whole trip and spends paid for by the school. Nice of her to try and make me feel bad and shitty when she's not had to contribute at all. I understand things are bad for her ( both her and her dh are signed off work with depression, her son has severe learning difficulties and they get a high level of dla as a result) but she gets a hand with dinners, uniforms, trips, etc. dh has been made redundant and can't find a new job, I work pt in a pub and our tcs have been stopped. We are running on empty and I'm scared. People guilt tripping me over a school trip need to back off.

coffeeisnectar · 10/09/2015 16:27

At least there's another school asking for 12 quid for arts materials. Mind you she's been in a week now and no masterpieces have been brought home, I may ask for a refund.

1200 to go to new York wins! How can they justify that? And quite clearly most families can't pay it. Very unfair.

OP posts:
TheRealAmyLee · 10/09/2015 17:18

Our school were beyond amazing when my DH fell ill and we suddenly had nothing.

I know the score with trips. They do 2 small trips (£20 max) per year and one residential (usually around £200) These costs are in my budget for school stuff. All residentials can be paid in installments of 5-6 payments as standard or more smaller ones on request.

Aside from this we just have bring in some money for charity non uniform days. They always publish the figures so based on school numbers average given is about 50p per child.

I have never paid for anything else. They offer music and after school clubs but my kids have not done these. They do other activities instead.

ilovechristmas123 · 10/09/2015 17:18

here we go,those on benefits get everything

well i never have

i have three and not once have i had swimming,trips,activities paid for, i have paid the same as everybody else

i did one year get a clothing allowance for £20 was suppose to be every other year and you had to supply receipts

so we dont all get everything paid,some of us pay the same as a working parent

TheRealAmyLee · 10/09/2015 17:19

Seems my kids school is awesome....

ilovechristmas123 · 10/09/2015 17:27

and i have just looked on my sons school website regarding PP

there are no figures but a huge list of things,i will put some up (not all)

Purchase of Rapid Reading scheme ?? used in Years 4 to 6

Purchase of Rapid Phonics scheme ?? used in Years 1 to 3

Specialised training courses ?? Hearing Impaired Training, PEIC-D, Learn to Move, Supporting EAL children

Booster Teacher for Year 6

Parent and Pupil Support Worker

Non class based SENCO and Inclusion Leader

SENCO training ?? (CAF 2 days, Early Help, Pupil Premium, Grow your own SENCO 2 days, Pupil Tracker)

Digital technology, spellcheckers, ipads

Grief Encounter

Contributions to provide breakfast club and taxi

Parenting workshops - Family SEAL, ASD, EAL

Mentor for CIN

unemployedbutbusy · 10/09/2015 17:46

For the record:
Musical instrument lessons are extra to the curriculum and are usually cheaper at school than out of it but the school has to pay the teacher and the school itself mustn't make a profit.
Residential trips can be charged for any out of hours learning and for the overnight element only and not for the teaching itself. Parents in receipt of some benefits are entitled to this free - check with the HT no one else. Usually schools end up out of pocket on all school trips.
Pupil Premium is paid for each child in the FSM register but does NOT have to be specifically used on that child as schools and the government recognise that it should be spent on narrowing the gap and that doesn't necessarily mean the poorest parents have the least able children.
In theory swimming should be free but consider that even a school pool has very high overheads and possibly a specialist teacher/lifeguard has to be brought in. Also adult ratios have to be higher. If going to a local pool there is a cost. Even walking costs more as adult/child ratio is higher out of school than in the classroom. Swimming cost however ARE voluntary - yes even the transport bit. Consequently schools are usually out of pocket.
TBH it's usually the parents who can afford to pay who don't not the struggling ones.

Loulou000 · 10/09/2015 17:49

The music and residential must surely be optional, so don't do them if you can't afford it. Am puzzled by the arts and crafts, though.

vaticancameos · 10/09/2015 18:00

I can promise I'm not benefit bashing. I was on income support for four years. But it's genuinely much harder working and earning at that threshold that makes me worse off. There should be a middle ground with school trips that makes them affordable for all.

unemployedbutbusy · 10/09/2015 18:01

Schools can charge for materials and equipment if they or you want the child to 'own' them. Eg baking ingredients if you bring cakes home! Arts and craft materials - I'd expect them to bring A masterpiece home!

Bunbaker · 10/09/2015 18:13

"It only gets worse once they get to secondary school sadly"

No it doesn't. DD is in year 11. She hasn't been on any residential trips because she doesn't want to go. She has had about two day trips out, and it will be three by the end of next week. They have about 2 non uniform days a year, and I reckon in the 4 years she has been at that school I have spent well under £100.

littleducks we are not all based in London. A day trip to London would cost us £££££.

InMySpareTime the Spanish and French trips are optional and so is the year 7 residential, so you can't complain about them.

State school that offer trips to New York or other continents are being ridiculous. DD's school offers a World Challenge trip every two years, but the students have to do their own fundraising.

KierkegaardGroupie · 10/09/2015 18:44

Just to make you feel the us....anything in primary in our area you pay extra for including art/ science. 45 minutes tagged on the end of the day.$20 for 1 hour. You are expected to buy a huge list of supplies every term to be shared by all kids in the class.

However if you can't afford it, just let them know, and they will just raise everyone else's contribution or they will stop doing the activity which you would probably feel fine about I imagine?

RaspberryOverload · 10/09/2015 19:03

At DD's school relevant trips are added to Parent pay in case your child is going, they don't have to be paid for.

Instrument lessons as opposed to lessons about music are an extra round here. They have lessons about music such as the history of, and other stuff, during Keystage 3, but that's it.

Having said that. the school has asked for £15 to cover this year's material for DT, including cookery. A bargin for us for DS, as when DD did that it cost far more to buy the ingredients each week. At least the school can bulk buy better than individual parents can.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler · 10/09/2015 19:05

I haven't had any requests so far this term - but DD has only had 3 half days of Reception and DS2 has only had 2 days of Year 10. I'm sure something will come along soon enough.....

OP, I definitely think the school should be able to help you with at least some of the costs. When DS2 was at primary school he had a week long residential in both Year 5 & Year 6. The cost was £120, but if you were eligible for FSM it was just a token payment of £1 (why bother with the £1? Confused).

They may also be able to either help with music lessons or allow you to pay in smaller chunks? I understand that music lessons are optional and many children won't have them but, if your DC is musical, it has to be worth asking. The cost comes from the independent music teacher needing to be paid for their work.

Primary schools shouldn't be charging for art & craft supplies IMHO. I would just say that you cannot afford that payment. They can't exclude your DC from art lessons surely? DS2 has been asked for a contribution towards materials for ICT at secondary school in Years 7-9 - but that was for more expensive stuff.

My main problem with schools asking for money all the time (and generally in lump sums) is how shit it makes parents feel for not being able to afford it all. I honestly think they should hand out a full (or as full as possible) list of upcoming costs well in advance. i.e. in June or July for the next academic year. That way parents can be prepared, budget as necessary or make a decision about which activities/trips they can manage. If you are having to say no to one trip, it might help to be able to say "we can't manage this trip but you can definitely go to/do X Y or Z later in the year".

AndNowItsSeven · 10/09/2015 19:09

Pupil premium money continues for six years after fsm entitlement ends. Therefore if you start work/ earn a higher wage your dc will still benefit.

Murfles · 10/09/2015 19:12

Here in scotland they dont have swimming in schools at all

Yes we do. We have 5 classes going once a week at the moment and there is no extra cost to parents as its part of the curriculum.

Sunshine111 · 10/09/2015 19:18

If you are in receipt of benefits then your daughter will receive additional funding from the government. These funds can be used to pay for residential visits and music lessons etc. I would go and see your daughter's class teacher or school secretary so that you can discuss your circumstances. BTW I am a teacher, work full-time and have two children and I wouldn't be able to afford to pay all of that in one go either. Usually schools will allow you to pay in installments. As other people have mentioned in previous posts your daughter should not miss out on these activities and the school can only ask for a voluntary contribution!

Murfles · 10/09/2015 19:19

I get really fed up with it too. We had the musical tuition letter but my dd wasnt interested anyway so that was money saved. Here in scotland they dont have swimming in schools at all so i cant comment on that. As for other things well it seems it is money for everything. However, i am a primary teacher and schools are stretched to the max here. I was given 2 glue sticks for 28 children in my class!!! Parents are not asked to provide this in my LEA which means it comes out of my pocket time and time again. Last session we didn't use any glue as i refused to pay for it. Its the same for pencils, rubbers, sharpeners, coloured pens.I was given a set of pencils and they are basically to last. I was given no sharpeners or rubbers. The parents aren't asked in my LEA so its the teacher that stumps up because she simply cannot do her job without them and it makes life easier. The whole thing is ridiculous and it stinks.

I have no idea what LA your school is under in Scotland but I've never known any of my Teaching staff to have to buy resources. Parents shouldn't need to pay as each school has its own budget for resources.

PatrickJaneIsRedJohn · 10/09/2015 19:22

wannabestressfree it annoys me when people state things as fact which are not correct.

Children of armed forces personell do not get PP. They get service pupil premium which is £300 a year.

Not the same as PP which is £1300 a year.

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