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Getting Help with Funding for School Trips

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 4 Dec 2018 | 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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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
Gracie - Your Question:
I have a sports tour coming up with my school and the cost is £485 pounds, I want to go so badly but my mum can't afford it. I want some help but don't want to tell the school about it as I'm worried my friends will find out and i'll be embarrassed. What can I i?

Our Response:
Your school will keep this completely anonymous. Trust us, there will be plenty of other people who have received help from the school for trips like this. Speak to your Sports teacher or form tutor in private about this, the'y be able to tell you/ or talk to you mum about the options/funding they have available.
GrantsExpert - 18-Nov-16 @ 2:35 PM
I have a sports tour coming up with my school and the cost is £485 pounds, I want to go so badly but my mum can't afford it. I want some help but don't want to tell the school about it as i'm worried my friends will find out and i'll be embarrassed. What can I i?
Gracie - 17-Nov-16 @ 8:13 PM
Soup - Your Question:
I have a school trip to Spain and the cost is quote high. Am I entitled to a discount or exemption? My family is already having financial problems with money.

Our Response:
First speak with your school. Most schools have arrangements for those who suffering financial hardship. If the trip is optional and not educational, there will be a lower chance of receiving funding.
GrantsExpert - 24-Oct-16 @ 2:04 PM
I have a school trip to Spain and the cost is quote high. Am I entitled to a discount or exemption? My family is already having financial problems with money.
Soup - 23-Oct-16 @ 7:48 AM
col - Your Question:
Im a single mother of 1 and work part time 18 hrs on min wage. I have a School trip coming up next yr which costs £250. Will I be entitled to a discount on that at all. Even though a year a way, will still be a struggle to find the amount. Thankyou x

Our Response:
Frist ask at the school. They will be able to tell you if they have any help available. Most schools have funding set aside for this kind of thing. They should also have an instalment system in place so you can pay a small amount each month until the trip.
GrantsExpert - 21-Oct-16 @ 10:18 AM
Im a single mother of 1 and work part time 18 hrs on min wage. I have a School trip coming up next yr which costs £250. Will i be entitled to a discount on that at all. Even though a year a way, will still be a struggle to find the amount. Thankyou x
col - 20-Oct-16 @ 9:22 AM
Working parents also struggling to pay for kids to go to school because we have to pay the full wack for everything !my entire wage goes on bus fare and school dinners ,I struggle every day to find the bus fare and I know parents who tell the school kids are sick because they can't afford to send them (it costs me £50 a week bus fare and £45 a week on dinners for 3 kids to go to college and high school) we don't count for a full grant for my daughter at uni because any debts we have and are paying off don't count when it comes to trying to claim for school help .my main grievance has got to be the bus companies,school kids are the profit for the bus companies and I feel my main stress is the expense of the school bus fare .
Nick - 28-Sep-16 @ 4:44 PM
I'm a single mum of 3 kids as my husband died of cancer 3 years ago. I don't work and recieve benefits. My eldest is in final year of primary school and due to go on a residential trip in February. I can't afford the deposit of £50 never mind the fee of 200. Is there any grants I can apply to for help. It heartbreaking that he might miss out
Jode - 21-Sep-16 @ 5:04 PM
Jo - Your Question:
I am a single mother of 3, my eldest is due to move to university halls of residence next week, I am in extreme financial hardship, due to stoppages of benefit, my two youngest have started the new school term and this last year's uniform is still fitting and of a satisfactory condition they are however in desperate need for shoes, my other concern at the moment is how is my son going to be able to get the basics he needs for his accommodation, and even more so how can I cover his cost of moving from home to uni, would be grateful if any advice could be offered, thankyou.

Our Response:
All students are expected to take out a student loan to cover their fees and accommodation. Many, also find part time jobs to supplement this. This means you should not have to fund any of his expenses. Children from low income families can sometimes get extra money on top of the loan. See here for more information
GrantsExpert - 16-Sep-16 @ 12:22 PM
I am a single mother of 3, my eldest is due to move to university halls of residence next week, I am in extreme financial hardship, due to stoppages of benefit, my two youngest have started the new school term and this last year's uniform is still fitting and of a satisfactory condition they are however in desperate need for shoes, my other concern at the moment is how is my son going to be able to get the basics he needs for his accommodation, and even more so how can I cover his cost of moving from home to uni, would be grateful if any advice could be offered, thankyou.
Jo - 15-Sep-16 @ 12:29 PM
Although not on a very low income, we still do not have enough extra money to pay for any of the trips organised by the secondary schools my children attend. There are many trips on offer - New York for a thousand pounds, Germany five hundred pounds etc. At primary school level the year 6 residential trip was also totally unaffordable for us. Why is there no funding from local authorities for poor working families?
lou - 29-Jun-16 @ 8:00 PM
I have taken on special guardianship of two children 9 and 7 who were under the care of their localauthority. I have just had some letter for a resident trip costing £200 for 9 yr old who said everyone is going. I have heard that I can get some kind of funding towards this because of their background.Is this correctsend if so how Many thanks M
M - 24-Jun-16 @ 11:52 PM
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