Just shows how different schools can be!!!
At ds's school, when he started in Y7 we were give a full list of all school trips regularly taken by every school year - all the way through to Sixth Form. All trips are optional and there is plenty (years!!
) of warning so parents can save up. There is absolutely no assumption that parents have bottomless pockets!
Trips can also be paid for by installments.
I think the difference comes from the fact that about half the children at ds's school receive some help with fees so lots of children are not rich or privileged. The ski trip is £900 or something but so is the ski trip run by the local Comp - we have just had a letter about the ski trip in December 2012.
We will have to pay exam entry fees (still a long way off
) but all textbooks are included in the fees. Lunches are not included but they are allowed to bring packed lunches. Uniform is very reasonable - ds's blazer was £29 - and lots of it can be bought from Tesco etc (standard dark trousers and white shirt, for example) or second hand.
Obviously you have to pay for instrument lessons but that is the case is every school, state or private.