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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  • BeclesBecles Forumite
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    A self appointed parent group did this at my daughters school. Some parents were keen to pay £50+ for an event, while others like me wanted something more affordable. 

    It's a church school, so we were offered the church hall for free. One parent was friends with someone who offered party entertainment at mates rates and someone else was friends with a nearby takeaway owner who offered to send in loads of pizza and chips at cost price. It would have worked out at about £10 each.

    One parent took over organising it as the church hall and cheap party stuff wasn't good enough for her child as he deserved the best. It ended up being a big leisure place an hour away from home where he liked to going to play laser quest, a sit down meal and a journey in a party bus linked to a film that hardly any of the children had watched so it was wasted on them. That all came in at around £70 plus petrol to drive an hour away to collect them afterwards.

    My daughter was the only one who didn't attend as she hates laser quest and I couldn't afford to pay for it. I would have found a way if it was something she really wanted to do, but I wasn't going to stretch myself to pay for a bus and laser quest that she wouldn't have appreciated.

    I do think it's gone way over the top for leaving primary school. At that age, they are more than happy with a disco and party games.
    Here I go again on my own....
  • SuperScrimper1SuperScrimper1 Forumite
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    I think £75 is an awful lot of money for many families at the moment. When my daughter left primary they did an Hawaiian themed party this allowed children to wear their own clothes (shorts and T-shirts...flowery dresses) and the committee bought each child a flower garland (cheap enough off of ebay about £1 each)They hired a scouts hall very cheaply but maybe the school would allow you to use theirs which will bring costs down ....made sandwiches ...crisps...a parent made squash punch called 'Tropical Paradise' ( I think it was strawberry, blackcurrant and orange mix :):)) and supermarket brand fizzy drink etc and a children's DJ..Easy games etc.wallpaper and a couple of blow up palm tree's bright table clothes ..I think the cost was £15 or £20  per child depending if they wanted a photo from a photo booth photography person who was there. If parents could not afford it there was plenty of opportunity to take a photo with their friends....they loved it ...it was special as it was a themed party (at no cost to parents because most children have summer wear anyway). I think the committee really thought about the children who would not be able to compete in some Prom style event ...this way all the children were happy and able to share a good day together. . I think maybe suggest something like this to the committee and I do not think it will be just you who can not afford £75 at the moment ...and if they refuse to listen perhaps all the parents that can not afford it or feel their money would be best used in other ways  could do a 'Party in the Park' or a Garden Party .
  • FitzmichaelFitzmichael Forumite
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    What on earth! I'm an 81 yr-old grandfather, and am stunned by this. Nothing like this occurred in my or my children's  schooldays, and I never heard my five 8-20 year-old g-children speak about it. I taught in Primary and Secondary schools here, and Secs in France and Africa, which also didn't find such things necessary. If the Min of Ed wants such things to be offered, they must be overseen by parents and the Head Teacher, who must control the cost and ensure that families who (they, surely, would know) have low incomes will be subsidised, one way or another. Finally, there must be a secret vote on the matter by parents and teachers.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    What on earth! I'm an 81 yr-old grandfather, and am stunned by this. Nothing like this occurred in my or my children's  schooldays, and I never heard my five 8-20 year-old g-children speak about it. I taught in Primary and Secondary schools here, and Secs in France and Africa, which also didn't find such things necessary. If the Min of Ed wants such things to be offered, they must be overseen by parents and the Head Teacher, who must control the cost and ensure that families who (they, surely, would know) have low incomes will be subsidised, one way or another. Finally, there must be a secret vote on the matter by parents and teachers.
    I don’t think proms and year books are anything to do with the Education Dept. More something that some parents are setting an expectation for. As far as I’m aware, they’re already overseen by the head and parents via the governors. As mentioned earlier, how representative the governors are may be open to debate. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • lynocat200lynocat200 Forumite
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    If this was leaving senior school then maybe but primary school??? (My 17 and 22 year old can barely remember some of the children from their primary school)  £75 seems excessive and I feel for you being put in that position to try and ensure your child doesn't miss out. Just the trip should be enough so I would mention it to the school as I'm sure you are not the only one being put in this position.  Good luck!
  • crmismcrmism Forumite
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    I've long had the impression that these events are more for the teachers' benefit than the pupils or their families and it looks like you're being overcharged. There should have been some consultation between the school and parents before anything was decided upon. I believe you have every justification in writing formally to the Head teacher (with a copy to the relevant Parent/Teacher Association) expressing your views and more or less telling them to reconsider a matter which was never discussed previously. It might just bring the school to its senses, as opposed to dictating terms that were never agreed.
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