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Getting Help with Funding for School Trips

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 10 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Funding School Trips Child's Education

Putting your child through school is a necessity, and despite the UK claiming it has a ‘free’ education system in place, many parents find that the cost of education is soaring.Taking into account the cost of uniforms, books, travel expenses, food costs and the added contributions parents are asked to pay towards school trips, the cost of your child’s school education can run into the thousands.

A report from Citizens Advice revealed that 50 per cent of parents pay more than £10 per school day trip that their child attends, and for those who go on residential trips, this cost can reach as much as £200.

One issue pointed out by parents when it comes to financing school trips is that they are not given enough notice to budget and save in order to cover the costs.The report also showed that those families on low incomes didn’t know that they could actually be exempt from paying some, or all, of the cost of these trips.

The Real Deal

The rules surrounding the charges schools can apply for educational trips are hazy.Basically, schools are able to charge parents a fee for board and lodging for school residential trips, but they can’t charge for activities that take place during school hours – although they can ask for voluntary contributions.

This often makes those parents on low incomes feel obliged to make a contribution that they realistically can’t afford with many schools implying that the trip could be cancelled if there aren’t substantial contributions.The reality of the situation is that those parents who are entitled to free school meals are exempt from these charges.

However, leading charities often point out that children from low income families are often isolated or bullied at school as a result of their parents not being able to afford new uniforms or to pay for school trips.

For parents on low incomes, the main cause of concern is that their child could suffer academically as a result of not being able to attend the trips that are linked to the curriculum. It is often the case that schools exclude those children who can’t pay from the trip, despite the rules clearly stating that contributions should be voluntary.

Money, Money, Money

Parents whose children attend secondary schools face an average annual amount of £1,000 just to cover the ‘added extras’ of their child’s education. And primary schools aren’t much better, costing parents as much as £600 per year.

According to figures from national charity, One Parent Families|Gingerbread, lone parent families are five times more likely to have an income of less than £200 per week making it very difficult for them to budget to cover the cost of school trips.This means that families are forced to borrow extra money to cover these extra costs, adding to their already difficult financial circumstances.

Helping Hand

There is little help available to help cover the cost of school trips. However, some local authorities can help towards the cost of school uniforms. Some do offer grants for extra expenses, but these are usually reserved for those with ‘exceptional circumstances’.

One form of funding that has been successful in helping parents on low incomes with the costs associated with their child’s education in Horizon.This project is supported by Barclaycard and charities including One Parent Families|Gingerbread, Parent Line Plus, Citizens Advice and The Family Welfare Association. It is through the latter that parents are able to access grants to help support parents with costs associated with education.

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My granddaughter had bout home a form for a school trip cost 1,050 then she had to pay for her meals whilst on the six day trip plus spending money, yes this is a trip of a life time to New York, but her dad is a single dad and does not get any financial support and her mum does not contribute to her daughter and never has can he get any support to send her on the trip
Tress - 10-Jul-19 @ 10:01 PM
My daughter came home end off February with a letter £190 trip to minydon I have been on sick over a year had to leave my job and now on UC I'm a single mum and my daughter's school applied for funding but know it has to be paid by the 14th June i feel so bad as she missed out on her last trip and this one is her levers trip in year 6 is their any help please
Nicky - 26-May-19 @ 7:38 PM
My Daughter came home with a letter of a fantastic trip to China. She so wanted to go and said both her friends were going and feeling heartbroken I did not want to tell her that we couldn't possibly afford it. She was devastated and I just feel bad that now and opposition we found herself in I don't want my children to be held back or disadvantaged in any way. I I have three children and all will have trips in the future and I probably will have to say the same to them which is so sad and seems so unfair if there is any help out there I'll be very grateful to know about it thank you
Longlegs - 15-May-19 @ 12:52 PM
Hi my daughter is going to China next July with the mandarin excellence programme it's still 400 pound to pay and I only have that a month when I have paid my rent
Lealea - 8-May-19 @ 11:24 PM
I'm on unverle credit and a single parent i work and my son could not go on the easter school ski trip I just can not afford it he came home all excited telling me how everyone loved it and gave me a letter for next easter ski trip beginning me to let him go it's 899 pounds it broke my Hart to say I can't afford it to see his face drop and he said great now there going to pick on me again ..is there any help I can get towards paying and what don't help is they want 50 pounds to confirm a place a week today lts to short notice
Bug - 3-May-19 @ 4:42 PM
My son is soposed to be going on his resadentail soon as hes year six and i am on benifits and struggle to pay trips ect as it is for 4 kids can i gt help with his resadentail as he gets free meals
Nikki - 2-Apr-19 @ 11:55 AM
Hi my son is in year 8 and as a single mum who has always worked its a push to pay for anything let alone trips i really dont want him to miss out i pay for school meals and the school bus now im on unersal credits im reallystruggling is there anywhere get help towards his ski trip x
Clare - 23-Mar-19 @ 10:04 AM
Hi how do you get help with school trip if you are on aLow incomePlease x
Jenny - 19-Mar-19 @ 2:50 PM
My school has a camp to Cyprus and they need someone to fund them for the trip. I believe it is too much because the teachers don't want us to pay the price. Can someone help
Mo - 7-Mar-19 @ 6:26 PM
My daughter has just started her first year in comprehensive school.she brought a letter home for a school trip to go skiing abroad with year 7 (her year), and also years 8 & 9 cost totals £890. Plus I would have to pay for all ski wear plus spending money. I'm Un able to work due to also having a disabled toddler to care for,a 5 year old son and a newborn absolutly where child is going.theres no way I can afford it..can I get help to cover full cost I can't even afford a percentage of it.im in receipt of child tax credits,income support chhold tax credits.thankyou
gina - 15-Feb-19 @ 9:40 PM
My daughter is in years 8 and came home with a letter for a trip to Canada next year for £1500 letter states voluntary contribution, can i get any help with costs of this ??
Emzie1981 - 13-Feb-19 @ 9:16 AM
My son has a trip planned to Robin Wood . He is in year six and is so excited about it. I am on universal credits of£190 a month! Is there anywhere I can get help with the cost of this trip, the cost is £125.
Nosam - 14-Jan-19 @ 9:36 AM
I have been fighting depression,anxiety and PTSD for over 2 years.I have had to go off sick which means I am now on statutory sick pay. My daughter has just come home with a letter for a German trip £460. I feel dreadful that due to my illness I have let her down and she can't go.
Daisy972 - 4-Dec-18 @ 6:29 PM
Hello, my son has come home with a letter for a trip to nap house in Devon and the cost is £420. I'm a single parent of 3 on benefits with no help from anyone else. I also live with bipolar disorder. My son hasnt been on any of his big trips at school due to not being able to afford the payments. He is in year six and it is his last chance to attend a trip that I think is very important for his future. I have spoken to his school and they said they are in able to help with these costs. I feel bad asking but is there anyone that can please help with some advice on what i can do. Thank you.
Kelly - 22-Nov-18 @ 11:08 AM
Hello, I'm 14 and I'm my family are quite well off 8 go to a private school where I have a scholarship to help pay the tuition fees. Recently I was offered the chance to go to MIT which had been a life-long dream of mine. Sadly my parents simply cannot afford £1500 it costs. What could I do? Regards Nadav
Nadav l - 13-Nov-18 @ 10:37 PM
Hi there my name is Kay and I am 16 I am currently studying at college doing a animal care level 3 course because of this I have luckily been given the opportunity to travel to the Galápagos Islands this trip would enable me understand the type of conversation the islands perform as this is a field I one day hope to go into. Unfortunately like all great things this trip comes with a heavy price and that price is £3500 sadly for someone like me who lives on benefits this is a trip that may turn more into a dream than a reality. I’m not asking for a miracle but any help would be helpful and I would forever be grateful Thank you
Kay - 5-Nov-18 @ 8:57 AM
Daughter has come home with a trip to italy and it is £711 i am on benefits and it is for her GCSE what can i do
Katie - 12-Oct-18 @ 8:50 PM
Horizon finished in 2012 and I’m struggling to find anywhere I can get help. I am a full time working single mum of 3 young boys on a low income, I have no family support and my 9 year old son came home with a letter about the school trip for 2 days costing £185. I simply can’t afgird this but don’t want him to be the only child missing out as we live in a reasonable affluent area and every other child will be going. He’s just also had to miss the France trip with school as I didn’t have the £600 plus for that. Does anybody know where I could possibly get some help. I’ve asked my ex husband (who pays zero as he lives on benefits and works illegally cash in hand) he’s refused to pay a penny ??
Theboysmummy - 10-Oct-18 @ 2:50 PM
Hi my daughter has come home from school with a trip to Boureo costing £4000 I am a single parent and a carer for one of my other children. Are there any organisations out there that can help to way funding this?
Haley - 2-Oct-18 @ 7:51 AM
Hi , I'm trying to help my friends daughter with funding to new york with her dance group. Any help appreciated.Scotland
Shona - 10-Jun-18 @ 1:46 PM
Samtags - Your Question:
My daughter has come home with a school trip costing nearly £200. I am a carer for my husband and not entitled to benifits apart from carers allowance. We can't afford this trip. Is there were we can get help to pay for this

Our Response:
Talk to the school, they may have funds reserved for those who can't afford to pay. There may be local trusts or organisations that can help. Try an Internet search on "educational trip funds together with the name of your town or county".
GrantsExpert - 21-Mar-18 @ 2:05 PM
My daughterhas come home with a school trip costing nearly £200. I am a carer for my husbandand not entitledto benifitsapart from carers allowance. We can't affordthis trip. Is there were we can get help to pay for this
Samtags - 19-Mar-18 @ 9:18 PM
Chris - Your Question:
Hi,First of all thank you for your good works. I am a Parent governor in a school, London. There has been an issue of financial shortage of the School, and the School is unable to help some parents for school trips. I have been receiving complains from parents who are not happy with the School and these parents need financial help. therefore I am making more research to help parents and the school by proposing to organisation and foundations to assist in any form.Please can these parents get help and what is the procedure?Thank you, hoping to hear from you soon.

Our Response:
It's worth looking at local charities and organisations that can help out. If the trip is specifically related to a topic such as sport, arts etc, then try charities and funding organisations in that area.It's a bit time-consuming to have to do this every time a trip is organised but when school funding is suffering such harsh cut-backs as they are at present, you have to try pretty much anything. If it's within your school's remit, the school may be able to raise funds (maybe in association with a PTA etc) so that a "pot" is always available to help support educational trips. The Turn2Us grants search facility is sometimes useful and you could also try Family Action.
GrantsExpert - 25-Jul-17 @ 11:13 AM
Hi, First of all thank you for your good works. I am a Parent governor in a school, London. There has been an issue of financial shortage of the School, and the School isunable to help some parents for school trips. I have been receiving complains from parents who are not happy with the School and these parents need financial help. therefore i am making more research to help parents and the school by proposing to organisation and foundations to assist in any form. Please can these parents get help and what is the procedure? Thank you, hoping to hear from you soon.
Chris - 18-Jul-17 @ 6:08 AM
My 14 yr old twins are hopefully going to America with the school next year. Being a single parent on a low income having to pay £1450 for each child is going to be so difficult I really could do with some help as i don't want them to miss an opportunity of a lifetime because of my poor financial circumstances. I've spoken to the school but they are limited and as there are 2 I need to pay for I'm wondering where I can seek a bit of help?? Any advice much appreciated, Thank you
Kelly Parker - 14-Feb-17 @ 1:15 PM
Gingerdave38 - Your Question:
Hi there, I have a 9 year old daughter and am suffering financial hardship being on benefits due to being a carer for my disabled mother. I currently get free school meals and she has a educational residential trip later in the year costing £200. Can I get some financial assistance towards the cost of this?

Our Response:
You may be entitled to help. Firstly, try the school - they can often help with this kind of funding. Secondly, the Turn 2 Us website has a search facility thatmay come up with something for you.
GrantsExpert - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:30 PM
Diamonds - Your Question:
MorningI would like to know if the charity could assist my son to take part in a school trip to Spain? In March 2017, l am not able to fund this.Miss Green

Our Response:
We're not a charity unfortunately. This is a website with advice on how to apply for grants. Hopefully the advice in the above article will help signpost you in the right direction.
GrantsExpert - 8-Feb-17 @ 12:13 PM
Hi there, I have a 9 year old daughter and am suffering financial hardship being on benefits due to being a carer for my disabled mother. I currently get free school meals and she has a educational residential trip later in the year costing £200. Can i get some financial assistance towards the cost of this?
Gingerdave38 - 7-Feb-17 @ 9:27 PM
Morning I would like to know if the charity could assist my son to take part in a school trip to Spain? In March 2017, l am not able to fund this. Miss Green
Diamonds - 7-Feb-17 @ 8:34 AM
I have twins who are due to start school in september, i also have a 9 year old and 12 year old. My hasband works full time and we dont get any help. My question is, when the twins start school will i get any help with school trips because i will have to pay double. Im not expecting buy one get one free but a little help would be nice. People think because my partner works we can have luxuries but sadly once we pay all the bills, dinner money and feed and dress 6 people we have nothing. I tried to get a job but we couldnt aford child care for the twins because again i was double and we werent entitled to the 2 year funding because on paper my hasband makes to much money which in reality as i said it goes on running a house of 6.
Mj - 6-Jan-17 @ 1:34 PM
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