Over the course of the year, we like to see every class undertake at least one ‘big’ trip (i.e. involving coach travel or public transport) or visit (e.g. a drama or curriculum group), which should not cost more than £15 per pupil. The total cost for trips, visits or special events across the academic year should be no more than £20 per pupil (other than for the Year 6 residential or activity week).
Each year, the children also visit the beach; a local free facility (e.g. the library, a museum, the town hall); and a place of worship linked to their learning. Local trips are covered by the permission slips returned at the beginning of the year, but parents will receive a letter informing them of the trip.
Any ‘big’ trip carries a cost for the transport (usually by coach) and sometimes for admission. Sometimes the cost of admission is free, so the contribution we ask for only covers the cost of transport, which is divided equally between the number of children in the year group. Unfortunately, the increased charge that coach companies make due to requirements to fit seatbelts etc, and the cost of road tax, fuel etc, means that prices have risen over recent years.
As we say in every letter that goes out for each trip, we can by law only ask for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the trip, but if enough contributions are not made, the trip will have to be cancelled. This would be a great pity as we truly believe every trip we plan will have great benefit to the children’s learning and understanding.
We are not insensitive to the fact that money is not always readily available for trips, and we strive to give parents at least two weeks warning that a trip is coming up. We also know that in the current economic climate, many families are having to tighten their belts with regard to spending. I would, however, stress that we never plan a trip unless we feel it is extremely important in supporting the children’s learning, and will have great impact and benefit to their studies.
Families who are registered as eligible for Free School Meals (as opposed to the Universal Free School Meals Offer in the infants) will receive a 25% reduction in the cost of a trip.