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Primary school leaving party

105 replies

YorkshirePuddingsGreatestFan · 29/12/2017 07:55

Planning this has been a horrible experience. I'm a single parent with a single salary coming in and I just can't afford to spend a fortune on it.

There was already a row as people wanted to spend £75+ per child on the party with suggestions of a formal evening do at a local castle and hiring a funfair etc. The people wanting to spend more are all couples with dual salary coming in and have said they can afford this so this is what they want to spend.

Several people including me said it was a ridiculous amount to spend and pushed for £25 max and offered cheap alternatives. We can have a local hall for free and do the usual party games and disco with pizzas and snacky food from a takeaway nearby. This wasn't special enough and too boring for their children. Or we could go to a local trampoline/bowling etc venue with one activity and the usual burger and chips type meal. The people who wanted to spend more slated this idea as their children go to local trampoline/bowling places regularly so it's not special or different enough for their children.

It was left that the various options would be explored and a final plan drawn up around the £25 a head mark. I was called pathetic and accused of spoiling things by those who can afford it as apparently I'm not willing to compromise. Not quite sure how I can compromise when personal finances mean I just can't justify spending £75+ on a children's party.

My job is seasonal and goes seriously mental in December. I've put long hours in at work so I've not been on Facebook much and hadn't noticed posts in the group. It wasn't until I noticed a demand for money yesterday that I realised the final plans have been drawn up.

A themed bus has been booked which is different and more expensive to the one that was originally suggested. This will take them to a venue an hours drive away where they can choose a leisure activitie and have some food. The people who can't afford to spend more will then leave while the children who can afford it will stay and do further activities. The cost is £35 a head.

AIBU in feeling annoyed by this? It's going to cost me more than I agreed to pay, I don't see the point in travelling all that way just to do trampolining or bowling when they can do that within a few miles of home and I'm really really narked by the two tier system with an extended party for those who can afford to pay more.

OP posts:
losingmymindiam · 29/12/2017 08:20

Seems ridiculous. Surely an end of primary celebration should include all of the year and be affordable for all otherwise what is the point?! I can understand the way you feel. To be honest I think the ending of primary school thing has gone a bit bonkers...

losingmymindiam · 29/12/2017 08:22


missyB1 · 29/12/2017 08:25

Ffs they are primary school kids! these “leaving celebrations” are getting out of hand! Honestly what a vile set of parents they must be to want to exclude children from poorer families from some of the party. I would be sickened by this.

notsohippychick · 29/12/2017 08:27

That’s awful!!!! What about the children who don’t go on to do the activities? How are they going to feel?

Our leaving party is in the local hall!!! By all accounts they have a lovely time!

You are not unreasonable to feel this way. I’d be livid!!

notsohippychick · 29/12/2017 08:28

missy my thoughts exactly. Horrible people!!!! Id be inclined to say that too.

UrsulaPandress · 29/12/2017 08:29

I organised a disco for 40 in a local hall with decorations, food and a gift for £7 a head.

When is this party?

FrancisCrawford · 29/12/2017 08:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Starlighter · 29/12/2017 08:32


Such selfish and unreasonable behaviour on their part. How dare they exclude children based on what their parents can afford?!

The party should include everyone and I think £25 per head is perfectly reasonable. If these parents want to spend more, then so be it, but it should include all the children.

What’s wrong with a hall party?!

Nectarines · 29/12/2017 08:33

Oh my goodness why on Earth do they need to spend that sort of money? I work in a large cluster of primary schools and they all just have a disco costing parents a couple of quid. They’re 11 years old.

You are surely not the only parent who will struggle to afford it.

I’m not sure what the solution it if they’re hell bent on this daft extravagance.

Iwanttobe8stoneagain · 29/12/2017 08:34

They are now having primary school leaving parties (won’t be long before it’s a prom)??? I can see both sides to this. If you are having a celebration it needs to be something equally exciting for all the kids. If some of the kids do the activity you suggest every week then it wouldn’t be as much fun for them. I actually think a good compromise has been reached. Unfortunate you are always going to have the haves and have nots. It’s likely the richer parents would have gone off and done something after anyway, but sounds like the majority of the day will be accessible to all.

Pengggwn · 29/12/2017 08:35

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chocolatecake12 · 29/12/2017 08:36

Absolutely ridiculous. You are not BU at all.
Would you consider your child not going and doing something special just you and them?
Were you the only parent who stated they wanted to only spend £25? Have you spoken to them about what they feel and what they’ll do?
I’m appalled that parents are willing to spend stupid amounts on an 11 year olds leaving party.
But I’m impressed that it’s being organised so early!

CheeseCrackersAndWine · 29/12/2017 08:36

People do this? When I left primary the school put on a ceilidh in the gym hall one evening and that was it... There is NO WAY I would be forking out £75 for my daughter to celebrate leaving primary school and we could afford it - to be honest, £25 is pretty generous in my opinion since it's for a total non occasion!!

TurquoiseDress · 29/12/2017 08:40

No you're not BU at all.

Things have certainly changed since I left primary school!

Surely the whole point is that all the children are together, taking photos, signing each other's shirts (am I showing my age??!!)

Or is it all Prom style madness nowadays? These kids are 11 aren't they?

clarrylove · 29/12/2017 08:40

That's crazy. Our school parents are generally pretty well off but last year we had a party in the school grounds with a bbq, done by one of the parents, a bouncy slide, mocktail bar and photo booth which the kids set up themselves, and water pistol fights. I think we paid £12.50 each which included a photo book and the kids had a riot. Although the PTA also donated £250 towards it. Can the PTA offer a subsidy for the event?

Jerseysilkvelour · 29/12/2017 08:43

I think it's a horrible plan. Purely because it excludes some kids whose parents can't afford the extra cost. Very inconsiderate of the other parents.

sussexman · 29/12/2017 08:44


Gazelda · 29/12/2017 08:45

I'd be sending a message on the FB group to say that you're saddened that a 2 tier event had been organised, which disadvantages a group of children whose parents don't have as much disposable income as others. There's no need to mention that you're a single parent, it's purely a financial discrimination.
I'd let my DS decide if he wants to go or not (although as the payment is now due, I presume you have missed the opt in date?).
I'd also be making sure the school are aware of this. Our HT would be beyond furious. I'm not sure if she can intervene but I'm sure she can make her feelings known and take steps to ensure it doesn't happen in future years.
I'm astounded that this has been organised and is being paid for so early in the school year (presuming you're Uk based).

AJPTaylor · 29/12/2017 08:45

At all of dds schools, it was a school disco.
At 1 middle school it became a thing for limos to arrive but 2 years later the Head wrote to parents asking them not to as it created a them and us atmosphere and much of the term was tainted by arguments about who was going with who.
In your situation its soo difficult cos you cant tell your dd she is not going to the school leavers thing. Is the school not doing a disco or something? Youngest dds current school do a campfire and camp on the school field.

Margaritaanyone89 · 29/12/2017 08:45

What awful people. 75 pounds is absurd and their behaviour towards you was out of line.

At least it's only 10 more then what you suggested and not near the 75 mark.

Is it 35 per head, for all activities included? Or 35 per head and other activities require extra cost?

sarahjconnor · 29/12/2017 08:45

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

k2p2k2tog · 29/12/2017 08:48

This is crazy. It is not part of the culture round here to have big events for kids leaving Primary School - other parts of Scotland do in for the proms with the limos and fake tan but not here.

My daughter left Primary last summer, the school arranged for the whole year to go bowling which we paaid £10 for, two games of bowling and a fast food meal. The parents decided to do another separate event and had a vote between a simple disco/buffet in a local hall, or a night out trampolining. Kids voted trampolining, cost another £10 ish and we organised transport etc ourselves.

It is hard not getting sucked into this lunacy but someone has to take a stand and shout to stop - lots of other parents will be thinking the same as you but will be too scared to speak up.


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Trampire · 29/12/2017 08:48

Omg. That's awful.

I'm currently in the middle of organising my second Leavers party. My dd left 2 years ago. To be frank there was a lot of arguments. Many wanted a full-on formal do with prom dresses and bow ties etc. Me and a few others said that if that happened our dcs simply wouldn't attend as they hated dresses/suits etc. So we decided on a wear what you want policy. It worked well, plenty wore prom dresses and plenty wore t-shirt and jeans etc.

We hired a community hall, decorated it ourselves and had a disco. It was £20 all in.

The biggest arguments were about transport. Some parents hired expensive limos (we hired a mini bus for £3 a head). In the end the limos didn't turn up and left the other kids stranded.

I know last year our primary school had no Leavers do because there were so many fights and arguments about it they all flounced.

OP, your schools plans sound awful. I can't believe there aren't others who aren't feeling the way you are. It's awful to have a 2 tier party and I reckon it will disintegrate before them.

BigGreenOlives · 29/12/2017 08:48

That is completely inappropriate. Surely the whole point of a end of school activity is to do something together to celebrate moving on? A show-off party is bonkers, accessible to all is the most important factor. We held a fundraising disco in the spring term to subsidise the cost of leavers’ sweatshirts to ensure they were a low enough price for all children to be able to have them.

KiteMarked · 29/12/2017 08:49

Horrible behaviour. Can you organise a private party for just your child's friends and forget the snobs party?

Why aren't they holding it at the school, anyway?! It should be about memories made there, surely.

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