Sian is worried about what people will think of her and her son on his school trip and wants some advice…
My son, who’s in Year 6, has a school trip to Llangrannog next month and I couldn’t afford for him to go. Thankfully the school has helped subsidise his place but he needs so many things for the trip like trainers and special waterproof clothes and I’m really struggling and don’t now what to do.
I’m really embarrassed as I’m sure that the other parents know that my son is going for free and I feel ashamed when I see them at the school gates. Worse though, I’m worried that if I don’t get him new stuff that he needs to take, he won’t be able to join in the activities and the other kids will laugh at him and he’ll get picked on.
Our FamilyPoint advice to Sian
I can fully appreciate the difficulties you are experiencing finding the funds, so that your son can go to Llangranog, and your feelings of embarrassment.
However, you are not alone, and many parents across Wales are in the same position. It is clear that your son is entitled to attend school trips and activities, like any other child, and he shouldn’t be discriminated against. So that your son is able to get the best possible chance to be included into school life and school activities, here are some ideas for you to consider:
Your school should have a charging policy which sets out the activities for which a charge can be made. This policy should include information about remissions, that is, when charges will not be made. You can request to see this policy.
Visit the Citizen Advice website, and scroll down to ‘What activities can the school charge for‘. Here you will also find a link to ‘Guidance for charging for school activities’ on the UK Government website.
If you are considering borrowing money, and you are in a financial position to make monthly payments, you can approach your local Credit Union. Smart Money Cymru is a good place to search locally. They cover Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Newport, and may be able to put you in touch with your local office. Otherwise have a look at Credit Union Wales.
If you wish to discuss further, you can also come through to the FamilyPoint Helpline, where we can take further information, and possibly locate more local information – you can contact us by phone – 0300 222 57 57, text – 07860 052 905 or instant message.
We are open Monday – Thursday 6pm – 10pm and Friday & Saturday 10am – 2pm.
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