Sunday, 8 February 2015

School Trips - A Real Choice?

This week daughter's year is going on a school trip.  

She is not.

The trip is to London overnight to see a show; we weren't convinced about the level of supervision, not happy about the accommodation and the cost was quite extravagant for one child for one night (£180) given that we live in Manchester which has plenty of shows they could have gone to at a fraction of the cost ("The Lion King" is currently at The Palace).  The official year group residential is to Derbyshire in April and we were much happier about that trip and have signed her up for that one.

What we didn't anticipate was that we would be the only parents in the entire year not sending our daughter on the London trip.

She is a little upset.  

We are little upset.

I spoke to several other parents before we made a decision about the school trip, and others were not happy about the trip for various reasons, so I thought there would be several pupils not going, but it turns out that all have decided to send their children on the trip.

The problem is that the trip was offered to the entire year group (all 63 children) so there is immense pressure on parents to send their child based on the fear that their child will be the only one not attending. 

Now ours is.

13 comments:

Jen said...

Poor girl! You'd have thought the school would have said, look. Did you know she is the only one.

Working Mum said...

Jen - a teacher e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that daughter was upset in class when they were talking about the trip because she's the only one not going, that's when we found out.

K Ville said...

Hmmmmm difficult, TBH £180 if it is trains, show, meals and overnighter accomm and not on a shoestring isn't bad.

From the Midlands we take Brownies for about £45 and my Rangers were more at £80 (tube tickets more money and they eat more!) but neither included a show and we are used to pulling a tight ship. I think schools are a little less careful about penny pinching. I'm surprised if the supervision wouldn't be right, but I have seen school trips in London and Paris) that did make me wonder how they weren't losing some of them!!! But there aren't an abundance of kids going missing on school trips.

ADDY said...

I think that's a lot of money for one night for an 8-year-old and puts you under a lot of pressure. The other parents probably felt too timid to say no. Life seems to be so complicated these days - did you see the story about Mylene Klass and the parents who asked for birthday contributions to get their child a kindle? As you say, they could have done a theatre trip in Manchester for a fraction of the cost.

Working Mum said...

K Ville - I'm sure it does cost £180 (it's coach and a travel inn) but I think that's a lot of money for a one night trip for a 10 year old. Especially when the official residential is over £100 and there is also a sports trip. A trip with 62 pupils should have 9 members of staff, but it hasn't, and I know that the school has lost a 10 year old in London before so it does happen (I know of it happening with other schools, maybe my insider knowledge is a drawback!) Hence, my reservations.

Addy - that's terrible, contributions to a Kindle! Even another member of staff at the school has told me that they suggested a trip to the theatre in Manchester instead and to invite whole families which would be a more sociable trip for all concerned.

auntiegwen said...

My nephew was the only one not going on a London trip too, my SIL & BIL said no as they were just in a regular hotel and they were concerned re supervision of the children overnight. He had to go to school and be in a different year group lessons whilst trip was on. Not an easy decision to make is it?

ADDY said...

Me again - just in case you didn't see the Myleene Klass story.....
http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/feb/05/myleene-klass-birthday-gift-present-daughter-school-kindle

Working Mum said...

Addy - thanks, I looked it up after your comment - I agree with Myleene and the headmistress sounds like she needs to take a sabbatical!

Auntiegwen - that was one of my concerns, staying in a premier inn with members of the public - I know if anyone knocked on Izzy's door at night she'd open it. We haven't been told yet what she'll do for two days - we were told three weeks ago we'd be given a timetable for her, but still waiting......

Maggie May said...

My granddaughter did a full Brownie weekend for £100 and at the time we thought it was expensive! It was full board & activities though. £150 for the one night seems well over the top.
At least you made a stand and as your daughter goes to so many lovely places with you, then I'm sure she will quickly forget & not be damaged by it!

I know people who often don't send children to these things as they can't afford it and there is so much pressure on parents to pay for these ridiculously high priced activities. It doesn't seem fair.
Maggie x

Working Mum said...

Maggie - it's £180, not £150 and yes, she won't mind after next week because we are going to London with my parents (three of us are staying for three nights for £250 in a Best Western in Earl's Court - slightly better value!)

Sarah said...

Are they allowed to go if they don't have enough supervisors? I thought the rules were very strict about that sort of thing.

Working Mum said...

Sarah - a common misconception; there isn't actually a legal requirement for supervision of school trips. My union recommend one member of staff per eight pupils for residentials, with one extra member of staff for primary residentials in case of "fatigue" (if one member of staff is up all night with a sick pupil). Hence 62 pupils would require 9 staff.

Muddling Along said...

That's really hard - the cost of that, for us, would make it really hard to finance and we would tend to not go (especially if it was optional)

I can't believe all the other parents were really willing to sign up