Gransnet forums


School trips

(37 Posts)
granjura Tue 01-Apr-14 18:17:59

could anyone tell me if school trips at your grand-kids school are free please- and detail. Thanks.

tanith Tue 01-Apr-14 18:22:08

Not normally free here granjura

Charleygirl Tue 01-Apr-14 18:52:06

I was not aware that they were free anywhere.

tiggypiro Tue 01-Apr-14 18:58:40

If I remember rightly schools could only ask for a voluntary contribution for a school trip. Of course the trips did not go ahead without a great many 'voluntary contributions'.

Iam64 Tue 01-Apr-14 19:21:37

Not free here either, and not at any schools I know, sadly. Some local schools have a fund for children living in poverty, but not many. So sad that children miss out on these jolly outings.

granjura Tue 01-Apr-14 20:08:57

Thanks all- I'd love to have more responses. I am having a 'discussion' in a local Forum here in Switzerland, and many expats fromm the UK assure me that all school trips in the UK are funded by the school. Now I've lived in the UK for 39 years, been a teacher, mum, governor and now granny for all that time- and I've never known a school trip to be free, unless kids could walk there and there was no entrance fee. So I'd love to know if my experience is unusual and just in Leicestershire. Thanks again.

granjura Tue 01-Apr-14 20:15:47

Mind you, grand-kids live in Surrey smile

rosequartz Tue 01-Apr-14 20:37:00

The only free school trip I have ever heard of was when DGD1 and her year 1 and reception class walked to the village shop and priced some of the goods and did some calculations. They also all got a bag of goodies each.

thatbags Tue 01-Apr-14 21:25:30

tiggypiro is right. Schools cannot actually "charge" for trips but they can set a "voluntary" contribution which, if enough parents pay, means the trip can go ahead. This arrangement was to cover the eventuality of some parents not being able to afford the contribution but their kids not being disadvantaged and losing out on the trip. The system seems to work well.

thatbags Tue 01-Apr-14 21:26:42

The arrangement does not cover extra-curricula trips such as ski-ing holidays. The cost of those must be covered by the parents.

Charleygirl Tue 01-Apr-14 21:31:14

It is definitely the same here in NW London thatbags.

dogsdinner Tue 01-Apr-14 21:53:03

Never seen voluntary on the leaflets. Latest weekend trip is over £100 and parents pay over the term weekly. Maybe there is help if you can't afford it but it is certainly kept quiet. This is for a 9yr old.

glammanana Tue 01-Apr-14 22:21:40

Granjura my eldest DGS is now 23 and my DD has always had to pay for school trips for him and his 5 siblings the only free ones where to local Beaches or Parks to do ground study work.At their senior school there is a bursary system where parents can apply for help if needed (not just for families on the poverty line but for families who can just about manage on their income) this can happen to families who have 1 or 6 children.I have always felt these trips are a vital part of their education my DGCs have always enjoyed them,if ever a parent feels they cannot afford a trip for their child they only have to contact the school secretary and they will be considered for funding which is done very discretly.

GillT57 Tue 01-Apr-14 22:25:18

Always had to pay, and our primary school, like most, had a hardship fund if anyone was unable to go. I think we used some of the profits from the school photos which I think was a good idea. This is for educational trips. Nobody is obliged to go on 'jollies' like ski trips.

Aka Tue 01-Apr-14 22:32:21

You do not have to pay for school trips.

Of course the school could not afford to run trips, holidays, etc if most parents didn't cough up. There were always a few who couldn't or wouldn't pay and these did go free, but on one occasion I know of, a school trip did get cancelled for lack of funding. The parents were up in arms and the Headteacher sent a letter home explaining the situation. Thereafter the situation never arose again.

nightowl Tue 01-Apr-14 23:29:06

Schools receive a pupil premium payment for all 'disadvantaged pupils' which can be used for school trips. This includes all children registered for free school meals. Children who are looked after by the local authority attract a payment of £1900 per year from this April. Some schools are very good at using this money creatively for the benefit of these pupils. Unfortunately some choose to put it in a pot and use it for things completely unrelated to to its intended use, such as building a new tennis court confused

thatbags Wed 02-Apr-14 07:14:25

The voluntary nature of payment for trips was always made clear in the letters sent home from my DDs' schools. Something to the effect of "if enough voluntary contributions are not forthcoming, the trip will be cancelled". It works exactly as aka says.

So when people say they "have to" or "had to" pay, what they mean is that they were asked for money and the real situation (which was outlined to school governing bodies a long time ago and which, so far as I know, has not changed) was not explained to them, i.e. that if enough didn't pay the trip couldn't happen.
The rule applies to all trips which can be counted as part of the curriculum, not to "extras".

Aka Wed 02-Apr-14 08:10:22

Nightowl I've never understood why such payments are not 'ring fenced' it goes against all logic.

thatbags Wed 02-Apr-14 08:23:53

I tend to agree but do feel that there might be some justification in the idea that a tennis court is as valuable to pupils' education as a trip to the local sea world or whatever.

GillT57 Wed 02-Apr-14 09:56:35

Yes thatbags, that is exactly how the letters are always worded, and we have had some trips cancelled due to lack of voluntary contributions. I think as parents we did all understand this wording. For the big trips at primary school such as the residential outward bound type trip at the end of year 6 there was an evening meeting in year 5 for parents to tell them all about it and it was made clear that every child was expected to go, and that lack of family funds would not stop any child from going. All parents had a payment book, and sent in money over the next school year to pay for it so not only did it not hurt too much financially, there was no difference between those who could write a cheque immediately and those who couldn't. A few children had their fees paid every year from the school fund, the only people who knew this were the bursar and the members of the governing body. It is always a great trip and heralds the end of primary school and the next stage of their education.

granjura Wed 02-Apr-14 14:14:53

Thank you all so much for your comments. When I used to run trips, be it week-end YHA or French/German exchanges abroad, etc- we had to total the cost then add about 10% for emergency fund- then divide by number of participants. If several refused to pay- it would have been just impossible- although we always had a discretionary fund for families in real difficulty. Our ski trip was run at half-term, so it was a bit different- and we always made sure we found the very best deal for the kids, and travelled by coach (a killer) to cut costs, and arranged hire for ski clothing and also a swap/sales day for second-hand stuff.

Mishap Wed 02-Apr-14 14:17:33

If they are part of the curriculum the school cannot charge as such, but only ask for voluntary contributions. But without those contributions the trips would probably cease - I speak as a school governor who knows exactly how tight budgets are.

Penstemmon Wed 02-Apr-14 15:05:50

Granjura my grandchildren are at school in Surrey too and they have to make a 'voluntary' donation to ensure trips take place! The PTA does subsidise the cost of coaches to keep the cost down. There is also a fund, Pupil Premium Grant which schools receive for childen on Free School Meals etc and schools can use that money to ensure those kids can join in activities that cost, e.g some after school sports clubs etc.

Penstemmon Wed 02-Apr-14 15:09:08

Sorry nightowl did not spot your post and have repeated it!
Must look more carefully!

It is difficult to mis-use PPG as OFSTED ask for details on how it hasbeen used and the impact it has unless all kids who 'attract' PPG are now tennis pros not sure how the school will justify that!!!

tanith Thu 03-Apr-14 11:25:39

I spoke to one of my daughters about this yesterday , her daughter qualifies for free school meals so I assume she could just 'not contribute'. but she says she always pays because she feels bad and sad if she couldn't. Even though she is robbing peter to pay paul sometimes. She also said that she has never been told that she could just 'not pay' and her child would still be included.