I have to admit that last weekend I gave way to emotional blackmail.
I am not proud of the fact but I just couldn’t bear seeing my 13-year-old daughter in floods of tears.
I just had to say yes ... to another bloody school trip.
I don’t know about you but during my school days the best my teachers could muster was a rugby sevens tournament in the Isle of Wight (where I got beaten up) and a Geography trip to the Lake District which had to be abandoned because our tents and campsite were flooded out.
So when did all these outings become such an important part of the school calendar?
It is tough enough paying for the likes of Christmas, birthdays and a family holiday once a year, let alone extra curricula activities and jollies to far flung parts of the world. And for some families I would guess near on impossible.
I have had no alternative but to be rather selective over the years with the choice of school trips, judging whether my kids would benefit from going. But I have noticed the pressure to get your kid on the list has now become more obvious.
My son, in his first year of A-levels, is off to the south coast for a ‘syllabus linked’ educational course.
All well and good but how could I refuse, particularly as the letter from the school said it was vital for his upcoming exams. No pressure there then.
Next is my little girl.
Excited because she wants to go on a trip to Germany with her friends.
Ok so what is the educational benefit?
Well, says the school letter, she will be able to speak German to the shopkeepers, see some lovel scenery in the Rhineland and spend a day at the country’s biggest theme park. Mmm.. very educational.
So what’s coming up? Well there will be the inevitable ski trips and who knows what else to look forward to paying for.
At around £300 a pop and rising, it is, and has been ,a real issue for my family.
The Bucks Herald has discovered through a freedom of information request exactly what some of the area’s schools have been charging for trips.
It will make for good reading next week when we publish the figures.
In the meantime I will continue to question the educational value of these excursions .
As for who pays for the teachers to go on the trips – well that is a discussion for another time.