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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 159
Can someone explain why my daughters schools asked for a "Voluntary donation" to cover the costs of a residential field trip ? I gave them a sum of money, not the total amount, and they have started chasing me for the balance due.

Can someone explain why they are asking for a "voluntary donation". Why not just state that "the cost of attending this event is *** ?" The school claimed that by law they had to use this particular terminology, they were not allowed to ask for a fee.

It was never explained to me what would happen if I didn't pay any money at all.....


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:55 pm 
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At our school the standard wording is something along the lines of "we won't stop your child going if you can't pay, but the trip can only go ahead if the majority of parents cough up". It does also say something like "please contribute what you can if you can't afford the full amount". The GS says it even for optional foreign trips - I suppose it has to but they'd be in trouble if people went on all the overseas school trips without paying. It's a tricky one, some trips are very expensive.

The GS also say to talk to them if there is a reason for not being able to contribute the full amount, so I guess the school wouldn't chase you if you had a quiet word in confidence. I think I saw a thread about this before but it may have been another website.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Our very own Herman started a thread about this.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=15656&hilit=voluntary+contributions


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
The problem is if most people dont pay up the trip will be cancelled. In our school they are actually asking for sponsorships at the moment to raise money for kids whose parents cant afford this. I understand our school does not chase those on free school meals and that may be the case with many schools. Ours certainly do chase up as I have been on some occassions where DD forgot to give me letters. Its really not a voluntary contribution in the grand scheme of things, its just that they cant word it any differently.

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:19 pm
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Remind the school that day trips CANNOT be charged for and all contribution are voluntary.
To chase you for money is unlawful and the school cannot prevent a child going on the trip if they do not pay.
Remind them many parents pay taxes and state schools are funded from those taxes.
Why should a parent pay twice? Often the middle class parents may pay 40% tax and yet are expected to pay again for trips.

Not to mention forced to pay for SATs revision books that were used as text books, so the school looks good.
This should be unlawful in state schools.

The school should not even ask for voluntary contributions. If a trip is of high educational value
the school should find funds. If it is not of much value eg Alton Towers, then why are they going on the trip?

I find these trips ridiculous. My children have to pay £7 for a trip in the same city.
What is wrong with a bus for £1?

Oh, the costs cover the teachers expenses as well. So children subsidise teachers on trips.

"Fancy a trip to the Eden project, Marj?" "Yes, we'll get the children to subsidise us!"

States schools should not charge for any day trips nor be allowed to ask for voluntary contributions or
force children to pay £1 (for charity) for not wearing a uniform. Either have uniforms every day or not at all.
These charity donations are "forced" and not cost effective as tax cannot be reclaimed by the schools.
CAF is a better form of charity giving.

The issue is parents do not complain as they fear their child should be victimised.

Oh, you go to to work, you earn money, you pay tax, you can pay for the trip."
"Oh, sorry, you don't work, you cannot even be bothered to work for minimum salary as it's not worth your time. We'll find the funds for little Johnny. Let the mugs that go to work and pay tax pay for the trip."
Is this the real world?
It's pathetic.

Why not just charge all parents for their children to attend state schools, if they are expected to pay for trips and even books?

Get rid of a teaching assistant and pay for the trips. In my day one teacher per 30 children. No assistants and no teacher training days and a better standard of education!

Schools must work within their means. If a school has not got funds, for every child, then children do not go on trips.
This is what state education is supposed to be about. FREE EDUCATION!


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
believe me , if I had to choose between paying an entrance fee and spending the time shepherding children to the toilet, retrieving worksheets, searching for lost bags, splitting up fights, searching for lost money, mopping up spilt drinks, searching for lost children, supervising the gift shop stampede, counting out money, searching for lost money, searching for lost gifts, walking up and down the coach with sick bags ( full and empty) I would cough up the money every time!


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
believe me , if I wanted to see an attraction and had to choose between paying an entrance fee and spending the time shepherding children to the toilet, retrieving worksheets from puddles, searching for lost bags, splitting up fights, searching for lost money, mopping up spilt drinks, searching for lost children, supervising the gift shop stampede, counting out money, searching for lost money, searching for lost gifts, walking up and down the coach with sick bags ( full and empty) I would cough up the money every time!


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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I sympathise, Yoyo...from the trips I've helped out on you see it all through a kind of blur as your eyes are constantly whizzing from side to side checking you have your allotted children and that they are not doing something they shouldn't....and don't get me started on needing a wee when you have a group of boys with you!


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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yoyo123 wrote:
believe me , if I wanted to see an attraction and had to choose between paying an entrance fee and spending the time shepherding children to the toilet, retrieving worksheets from puddles, searching for lost bags, splitting up fights, searching for lost money, mopping up spilt drinks, searching for lost children, supervising the gift shop stampede, counting out money, searching for lost money, searching for lost gifts, walking up and down the coach with sick bags ( full and empty) I would cough up the money every time!


:lol: :lol:

I have to say, I have found it annoying when I have had to pay for attractions where my children were already members, but they couldn't cope with using passes in combination with paying for a group. I understand that some of it is to cover transport costs, but ebven so..

Also, Boltblue I think most attractions don't charge for the adults when school parties visit - it is hardly a fun day out for the helpers.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:19 pm
Posts: 85
.....and does that include trips overseas? Aren't the children paying for teachers' flights, hotels, food etc.
When the children are asleep, don't the teachers have free time?

All these overseas trips and weekend trips are increasingly regular.
State schools should not be organising them during term time unless they are 100% free.

Then they preach to parents not to take children out of school during term time for holidays.
Double standards.

How can PGL and et al be any more educational than a family holiday to see the pyramids?
Activities may be fun, but are not "educational".
If they are, they should be free.


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