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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:
Jeanette41 · 10/09/2015 19:38

If you're on certain benefits, school trips should be covered by the Pupil Premium funding:

Loki17 · 10/09/2015 19:45

I've spent £40 on resources for my department this month alone. If I claim it back out of my budget I have less to spend on on things pupils need. I put in a bid to buy a class set of play texts but school couldn't fund it. I feel awful telling the kids they have to buy it themselves (it is for a GCSE course). The HT will pay for pp books and I make sure the kids know that.

tobysmum77 · 10/09/2015 19:52

Op please just tell them you can't afford it.

CookieMonsterIsOnADiet · 10/09/2015 20:12

Jeanette, schools can use for trips but many don't and it's not compulsory. Extra staff, special resources etc are likely to narrow the gap far more than a trip. Ofsted want proof it's had results, backed with data.

It's a voluntary optional extra, nobody has to go and schools will usually allow instalments if needed.

Loki, I know many teachers who buy their own resources and it's sad they have to. The children benefit greatly from their time and generosity whilst the same parents moan if they dare arrange a trip or ask for craft donations. It's standard at our high school, children make lots and bring everything home so a small donation isn't that much to ask of parents.

wannabestressfree · 10/09/2015 20:20

So pupil premium then..... Sorry I failed to mention the 'service' part we don't diferentiate on our data. A member of staff wouldn't know which child was which.
Just different levels....

PatrickJaneIsRedJohn · 10/09/2015 20:49

Yeah just a mere £1000 oh and the fact that SPP stops as soon as the parents leaves the forces but PP can continue for years after the parents circumstances change. Just those tiny differences.

hibbleddible · 10/09/2015 20:55

Op I think yabu.

The music tuition and residential are optional extras.

Swimming presumably costs the school a lot, which they cannot afford to cover.

I'm all for making contributions to school.

My dd's school surprisingly only asks for £5 per term for baking supplies.

PurpleSkyatthewateringhole · 10/09/2015 20:56

We already have a school trip at £30 for a yr 2, plus £25 for an after school club that only runs 6 weeks plus £10 for a lunch time club that also only runs 6 weeks. Ds has turned down the 'free stuff' including an offer to consider joining the school council. Said no the the £25 club though as it clashes with an extracurricular activity already in place.

BoomBoomsCousin · 10/09/2015 21:08

OP if your DD qualifies for PP then the school are obliged to pay for the residential trip if it is trip during school time and covering the curriculum. They should also be making sure you are aware of this.

They can not charge for swimming, not even if there is coach travel involved although they can ask for a voluntary contribution as they can for day trips. You should not feel pressured to pay these voluntary contributions. Part of the point of the PP money is to ensure PP students have access to an enriched education without pressuring the parents' budget. Please take advantage of it.

Check out the DoE's leaflet on charging for school activities:

multivac · 10/09/2015 21:17

"OP if your DD qualifies for PP then the school are obliged to pay for the residential trip if it is trip during school time and covering the curriculum"

That's not quite accurate. The school is not permitted to exclude any pupil from such a trip, on grounds of non-payment by parents. Our school used to run residential trips in Y5 and Y6, but has had to cut this back to just Y5 because it's no longer possible within the budget to cover the cost of those families that didn't pay - not all of which, by any means, qualified for PP.

School budgets are hideously tight, and getting tighter. This situation is only going to get harder over the next five years, and quite possibly beyond.

wannabestressfree · 10/09/2015 21:18

I mentioned the fact PP was still given for those whose parents had been in reciept of benefits and then Didn't need to claim anymore but thanks for also drawing attention to the bits I got right Grin
As I said we don't count their levels/ how much they put in . It's in one PP pot.

Mintyy · 10/09/2015 21:25

I'm sorry but it isn't as simple as saying those in receipt of benefits will have the school trip paid for them.

Some school trips will not go ahead if there isn't enough interest from paying parents to make up the numbers/top up the fees and fares. There are millions of families not in receipt of benefits who cannot afford to send their children on costly school trips.

ThatWasThat · 10/09/2015 21:31

Unless you are hard up, pay up. Otherwise the opportunities for all children, including your own, are limited.

Obviously, within reason. If the school is suggesting scuba diving in the Maldives with a ratio of 2 staff to 1 child, you might want to question their choices.

Saltedcaramel4 · 10/09/2015 21:55

The art and craft money will be voluntary.

Greengardenpixie · 10/09/2015 21:56

Sorry for my ignorance but what is PP?

BoomBoomsCousin · 10/09/2015 22:10

PP = Pupil Premium

Greengardenpixie · 10/09/2015 22:11

Thank you :) We dont have it here in Scotland.

CandOdad · 11/09/2015 07:32

No school should be asking for money for arts and crafts materials or really any items required to run the school day. What's next, money for exercise books and a contribution to an additional staff members wages?

multivac · 11/09/2015 07:57

"No school should be asking for money for arts and crafts materials or really any items required to run the school day"

I agree. Unfortunately, the government doesn't.

RooftopCat · 11/09/2015 08:02

Maybe the teachers are fed up paying for arts and craft materials themselves. In DD's school I get the impression teachers buy a load of stuff themselves.
Maybe the swimming costs are to pay for the 'childcare' element as you said it runs on after the official school day. Perhaps they need to pay staff that extra half hour.

BoomBoomsCousin · 11/09/2015 08:05

I think asking is fine so long as it's clear it's a voluntary contribution. But delivering the curriculum within budget is at the heart of the governors' and Head's responsibilities. Parents on low incomes should not be pressured into stretching their household budgets further if they are unable to do that. The school needs to look elsewhere.

multivac · 11/09/2015 08:49

"...delivering the curriculum within budget is at the heart of the governors' and Head's responsibilities... the school needs to look elsewhere"

Indeed. So what would you suggest, given the fact that the budget is shrinking every year whilst the demands upon it grow? Convert to an academy sponsored by a profit-making corporation, perhaps?


multivac · 11/09/2015 08:55

Sorry, BBC. You're entirely right in what you say, of course. It is so incredibly frustrating, though, as a parent and a governor, to be faced with these impossible sums, and see so clearly what the long-term plan is...

Smooshface · 11/09/2015 11:46

We have to pay for lessons at the school pool! but it is a tiny pool that needs maintaining. They get 3 lessons a week in the last half of summer term, so that's a lot of swimming!

You should talk to school if you are on benefits as you may get some discount or payment options rather than big lump sum at the beginning.

I am feeling the pinch after paying for all my dd out of school activities, but then I picked them so that's fair enough really.

roamer2 · 11/09/2015 12:52

our school lost 250k in its budget last year and 150k this year and expect more cuts to follow. No wonder they are asking for supplements for clubs arts etc

This is the "secure future" David Cameron was promising

you get what you vote for...

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