Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask for my daughter's school-leavers' celebrations to be cheaper?

edited 26 April at 5:41PM in MoneySaving mums
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  • SamphiremSamphirem Forumite
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    I used to teach and would have spoken out against this. It's just wrong, especially for 11 year olds. When a school wishes to elevate an occasion, it should be done in such a way that no parental financial contribution is required. The parents' committee could easily organise a party with fun and games for the kids and a roving video photographer recording events and interviews with groups of friends. No parents should ever be made to feel inadequate because they lack finance. 
  • LajammyLajammy Forumite
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    Is the committee similar to the PTA? Do they do fundraising to contribute a portion of the spend for these types of events. They should at the very least have prepared parents by giving sufficient time for instalment payments to be made throughout the school year.  If everyone gets a t-shirt because they are wearing it to the event then you don't want your pupil to not have one. The yearbook could be digital, the spend for that is in the printing.  It is a big stage in their lives but the event is just one day and is very quickly forgotten about when the summer holidays begin.
  • sparklygrlsparklygrl Forumite
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    Ask to speak to the head of the parent committee and explain that it's too much. The PC should be prepared to help with the costs for those parents who cannot meet this, and there will be a reasonable number who will struggle with that amount. DO NOT under any circumstances allow yourself to feel shame that this is hard to meet. This is an unreasonable expense in the current climate.

    It may be too late to change the plans, but I would imagine that a party held in the school grounds would be far more cost effective and just as, if not more, pleasant than a trip.

  • GosportmumGosportmum Forumite
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    I think the PTA needs to get a reality check and the Head should put a stop to this astronomical financial ask.
    Year books will be put in a drawer and only see light of day when leaving home in 8+ years time. Leavers tshirts won't fit or be worn by end of summer holidays.
    I've been on infants/ Juniors PTA for last 8 years. Daughter's Yr 6 Leavers party 2021 - £5 parental contribution, £300 PTA contribution for 68 children for Festival for a Day themed event. This covered food, refreshments and entertainment for the day. Optional Leavers Sweatshirt (separate contribution). School produced a booklet for each child in which each child wrote a memory down and I think included a photo and that's already in a back of a drawer. 
    School tshirts/ shirts were written on on the last day.
    It would be nice to run a trip but there's no need for all the unnecessary and expensive 'fluff'.
  • orangerose1orangerose1 Forumite
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    The school’s got this wrong, most wouldn’t do this.At the very least schools are open to a parent having a quiet word and have funds to offer so that the pupil can attend. But all the trappings in this one are ridiculous, probably planned by a very young teacher .
    On a different note, as reassurance,in my experience, 
    your heart breaks when your child is disappointed but in the future the little loves don’t remember the situation at all, and  small children forget most things you worked your socks off for .
    One positive thing as well is that although upsetting at the time your child personally learns a valuable lesson for life which will stay with them I.e.that sometimes you have to do without.
  • Dizzybird_22Dizzybird_22 Forumite
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    My daughter is now in year 10, so it's been a while since she left primary. Though when she left, the parent committee organised an autograph book for each leaver which was funded by the committee. It also donated towards school trips and activities.  All this from money raised over the school year by sales and fetes. I guess this kind of fundraising has been curtailed by Covid restrictions,  but I feel £75 is too much for a parent to pay at the end of the year. They probably don't need year books and a top, as well as a trip. Her high school has arranged 'activities week',  with a selection of free activities,  but also some that the parent need to pay for (most cost around £20), at least you can choose.

     I'd have a word with your school office and voice your concerns.  I reckon you won't be the only one. 
  • Whirleybird_2Whirleybird_2 Forumite
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    Oh. My. Goodness!!! This is utterly ridiculous, and so completely out of touch with the pressures families are facing right now - the rise in NICs, energy costs almost doubling, fuel costs increasing by 25%, food bills increasing at 7%! This isn’t an issue of one parent struggling to find the money, there will be lots. It’s only a Primary School leaving event; who needs a trip, a t shirt, a year book? I’ve never heard such nonsense!
    OP, please raise it with the head teacher - there will be many other parents struggling to find the money for this nonsense, not just you. Paying by instalments isn’t a solution either, when you’re just about managing from one week to the next. The organisers of this need a good talking to.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    I think it is absolutely reasonable to raise concerns and to point out that they are going to cause difficulties for families on tight budgets and cause upset for children whose parents can't afford that level of cost.
     
    I think you would find that a lot of other parents were grateful to you for speaking out.

    It is an issue that the people who have the time and energy to volunteer for roles as governors / parents committees etc. tend to be those who are  better off - having the leisure to take on unpaid roles , and I suspect that the committee has perhaps failed to consider that for many people, £75 is a huge amount to spend.

    Have they broken down the cost? I imagine that with rising fuel costs etc. a trip (assuming it involves coach hire and entrance fees) will be more expensive than similar trips may have been in the past.

    Maybe suggest that a party - perhaps a picnic either at school or in the local park if there is one within walking distance, would be something that could be fun and affordable.  
    As others have said, suggesting that kids are allowed to sign each other's existing shirts on the last day of term might be n alternative to buying themed shirts. The year book is trickier - I agree that a web-based 'book' might work but there may well be some children who need not to appear online (for instance, children who have been adopted or are in foster care, or who have  or are at risk of abuse, so you would have to have rigorous arrangements to monitor what photos were being published and how the site was safeguarded, and that might be too much to manage (and risks having some children excluded) A paper book is less of an issue as it reaches a much smaller audience - maybe a 'leavers display' where they can be let loose of a big display board in the school hall would work better - they can put up photos and things which would otherwise go in the book, and can take pictures of the display for their own memories if they want (And it's something they can do themselves) depending on the size of the school it could be one board or one per class.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    Ask to speak to the head of the parent committee and explain that it's too much. The PC should be prepared to help with the costs for those parents who cannot meet this, and there will be a reasonable number who will struggle with that amount. DO NOT under any circumstances allow yourself to feel shame that this is hard to meet. This is an unreasonable expense in the current climate.

    It may be too late to change the plans, but I would imagine that a party held in the school grounds would be far more cost effective and just as, if not more, pleasant than a trip.

    It may also be worth writing to the committee - it depends massively on the committee, but it's not unusual with this kind of thing to have one or two people who are very forceful and run things - writing to the committee (maybe an e-mail to them all, if the addresses are available, if not, letter to the chair cc'd to the head teacher may carry more weight than having a word with the chair, particularly if the Chair is one of the people who was pushing this. 

    It may make it easier for any other committee members who had doubts but were overruled to step up, and it's more official.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Old_pennyOld_penny Forumite
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    The package should be reviewed, costs broken down and parents allowed to opt for which part(s) they would like to pay for.  It does look like a leaver's school outing has been planned as a fund raiser which is not fair, or moral, on both the children and their parents, especially for those whose parents who may struggle to pay.

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