My feed

to access all these features


school demanding £20 for books

116 replies

twentypounds · 16/10/2018 18:38

Is this reasonable - gcse study guides.

My niece is in year 10 and was told she had to bring in £20 for some books.

OP posts:
BlueBug45 · 16/10/2018 18:39

Had to? Do you have a copy of the request letter?

Whynotnowbaby · 16/10/2018 18:42

In my old school we used to strongly recommend that those sorts of books were bought as they were really useful but department budget didn’t stretch to it. Pupil premium funds were used to provide them for all PP pupils without question and if someone came and said they couldn’t afford them despite not being PP we would definitely help them out too - happened in the case of twins where they were struggling to get double everything. I don’t think schools can insist but we wouldn’t have recommended anything we didn’t feel made a difference to our pupils’ learning.

MyDcAreMarvel · 16/10/2018 18:42

That’s quite normal, yes.

Thisreallyisafarce · 16/10/2018 18:45

Well, she doesn't. She should not be asked to pay for resources to deliver her state-funded education.

Bombardier25966 · 16/10/2018 18:46

@Thisreallyisafarce Are you aware of all the government cuts?

In an ideal world the books would be provided at no cost, but we're far from that at present so the funds need to come from somewhere.

OP if you don't have the funds, speak to the school.

twentypounds · 16/10/2018 18:46

It left her a bit embarrassed as the teacher was cross when she hadn’t brought in the money and told her she had to.

OP posts:
Thisreallyisafarce · 16/10/2018 18:50


I am an English teacher. More than aware. It doesn't change the facts. She doesn't have to pay.

mrsm43s · 16/10/2018 18:55

I don't think she has to pay. But if she doesn't pay, then she won't have the books.

These are GCSE study guides - helpful, but not essential, they are a study aid, and won't be replacing what is taught in lessons. Most parents would prioritize getting them, though, as they are useful.

TeenagersandFurbabies · 16/10/2018 18:56

So far I have paid £9.00 for 3 science revision guides, £3.00 for a statistics revision guide, £37.00 for 6 English text books & 3 revision guides and £3.00 for a maths revision guide. She hasn't brought home letters for History or Sociology yet.

tiggerkid · 16/10/2018 18:58

Why do you have to bring £20? There are plenty of used books that people are selling from last year's GCSEs on Amazon, eBay and even Facebook. They can't have changed that much since last year? And even if they did, surely, if you can buy them cheaper elsewhere, you should be free to do so?

DeloresJaneUmbridge · 16/10/2018 19:01

You shouldn’t HAVE to no but if her family can afford it then it might be good to give it, schools are struggling so much now.

ilovesooty · 16/10/2018 19:03

I can't imagine she was told she had to buy them. I expect she was told that if she wanted those study guides they were only available if purchased. Schools are strapped for cash now. If they're wanted but funds are an issue the school will have support in place.

Thisreallyisafarce · 16/10/2018 19:07


That is privatisation by the back door. Schools have a responsibility to operate within their means. If that affects quality, so be it. Disadvantaging students whose parents cannot afford to subsidise their child's education is unacceptable.

twentypounds · 16/10/2018 19:13

She was definitely told she had to buy them.

OP posts:
BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou · 16/10/2018 19:13

I did my O levels well over 30 years ago and even then study guides weren’t provided by the school so I don’t think it’s privatisation by the back door.

DS has been given a list by his school...if we buy them all through the school it will be just under £30 but it would be almost £50 if we bought them ourselves from Waterstones or suchlike. When DD had study guides I donated them back to the school for the pastoral team to subtly hand to students who genuinely couldn’t afford them.... I will see if DSs school can do the same....

Anasnake · 16/10/2018 19:15

I had to buy my own study guides back in the late 80's so nothing new. Just paid £75 for 3 A level textbooks for my DS.

user139328237 · 16/10/2018 19:17

My sixth form bought 1 copy of the revision guide for one subject, photocopied it and still charged us to buy one of the photocopies.

Thisreallyisafarce · 16/10/2018 19:19


If those items are required for the lessons, not just recommended, then that is exactly what it is.

twentypounds · 16/10/2018 19:20

I wouldn’t expect the school to provide them for free but not to insist that they are bought if that makes sense.

OP posts:
NailsNeedDoing · 16/10/2018 19:22

On a global scale, our children are pretty lucky to get the education they do for free, so I don't think it's too much to expect parents to spend £20 on books for their own child to help in their exams.

If the £20 would cause genuine hardship and you want your child to have the books, then go in and talk to them. They won't be unreasonable and will probably help.

RedSkyLastNight · 16/10/2018 19:23

WE've been encouraged to buy the GCSE study guides, but it's certainly not compulsory. Is the school planning to use them in lessons (the only reason they would be essential)?

dottycat123 · 16/10/2018 19:25

The expectation at my dc school was that parents purchase the revision guides. ds 2 did his gcse's this year so first year of new grades. We have had an email asking for donations of pe kit and revision guides , I took all revision guides into school which are given to students if needed. Perhaps ask at school if they do similar or suggest it ?


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Caprisunorange · 16/10/2018 19:26

I find this so frustrating. I am a school governor & chair of finance committee. All I hear is that people can’t get xyz pay for anything. Meanwhile tens of thousands of pounds of unspent budget Sits in our management reports month after month after month and no one can explain why it hasn’t been spent.

I take all the “we can’t afford it” from schools at face value now because they’re so poor at financial management. Getting really fed up with it tbh, people would lose their jobs over such poor performance in my organisation.

Gileswithachainsaw · 16/10/2018 19:28

Find out what books they are. See if you can source cheaper?

Id not be handing over money with out checking I could get them cheaper or from a friend who doesn't need them any more. Apart from anything ekse there's Monday to return if they are faulty

Gileswithachainsaw · 16/10/2018 19:29

No way

Stupid phone

Please create an account

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