Paying for school trips is something that all parents have to budget for however, mums and dads in West Yorkshire were shocked when they received a letter about a forthcoming trip
The PE department at Horsforth School in Leeds, wrote to parents asking them to pay over £1,600 for a trip to Barbados – half board.
The seven-day sports adventure will apparently include activities such netball, football and a Catamaran trip.
It is open to those in years 8, 9 and 10 and details suggest it would also involve a ‘traditional evening entertainment’, an outing to a water park and half-board stay at the Butterfly Beach Hotel in the south of the island.
Outraged parents have taken to the schools social media page to express their anger at the cost.
Writing on Facebook one parent wrote: “I’m appalled and think it’s really unfair to put this pressure on parents of either finding that sort of money or saying no to their child.”
Another replied: “I think it’s far too much to expect people to fund and puts too much pressure on families.”
And another wrote: “I am appalled by it and will not even consider such a trip, much to the huge disappointment of my son.”
The debate has also lead people to voice their opinions via Twitter with one person saying: “#HorsforthSchool what educational value does this Barbados trip have again? I’m pretty sure you can play netball in London.”
Another said: “I wonder who is paying for teachers to go to Barbados with the rich kids of #HorsforthSchool #MoreBrassThanSense £1650 for school trip! Wow.”
The secondary school academy has said that the trip is non-compulsory.
A spokesperson for the school said: “The cost of the Barbados trip is high, but that is balanced by a much larger number of more affordable events, from residential exchanges and study visits to single day trips and school based events.
“We try to offer a range of extra-curricular activities for our students which vary in terms of destination, theme and cost.”
In 2012, a survey of 2,500 parents carried out by teaching union NASUWT, found more than one in ten parents said that they could not afford to allow their child to participate in an educational trip or visit in the last year because of the expense.
Commenting on Horsforth School General Secretary Chris Keates, said: “Educational visits can have important and educational benefits for pupils and can be a valuable part of the offer which schools make to their students’ learning and development.
“However, the NASUWT has in recent years become increasingly concerned about the growing costs for families associated with supporting their children’s education and the degree to which children’s access to educational opportunities is becoming dependent on parents’ ability to pay.
“Educational experiences that promote opportunity and achievement should be accessible to all and should not be determined by parents’ ability to pay.”