Parents are being asked to fork out thousands of pounds to send their children on school trips – including skiing in Utah, scuba diving in Egypt and a visit to Disneyland.
In a single school year, trips worth thousands of pounds are on offer for children, in the interests of expanding their educational horizons.
Figures obtained through a Bucks Herald Freedom of Information request show that some schools even offer ‘once in a lifetime’ holidays, such as diving or skiing with costs of more than £1,000.
The most expensive time to be a pupil is Year 9, when GCSE choices are being considered.
Year 9 pupils at Aylesbury Grammar School are offered trips totalling £4,430, which include educational visits to French battlefields, an exchange visit to Malawi and a trip to Barcelona.
The school’s head Stephen Lehec said that it was unlikely that any child would take all of the trips, and that the school prides itself on offering a range of activities at all budgets.
He said: “This happens to be the year when traditionally there tends to be a bigger budget because of the skiing trip. We publish them a year in advance so that parents can plan ahead.
“With the skiing, even though it’s expensive, it’s a good way of sending your children on the experience of a lifetime if you are not going to go yourself.”
He added: “For some of the expensive trips funding support is given on a confidential basis. We also monitor what extra curricular activities every child does, and how that affects their performance.
“We try and provide something for everybody and our staff generally put themselves out to make sure there are a range of opportunities.”
Guy Anker, managing editor at MoneySavingExpert.com said: “Parents are facing huge financial pressures when it comes to paying for their kids.
“We know parents feel pestered into paying for an expedition they can ill-afford so it really is for schools and parents to work together to make sure school trips are affordable.”
TRIPS BY SCHOOL (November 2012-November 2013)
Leipzig, Yrs 10/11, literacy, £300; Rhineland ,Yr 8, languages, £270; Ypres, Yr8, history, £190; Somme, Yr 11, history, £180; Iceland, Yr9, geography, £780; Liffre, Yrs 10/11, exchange, £300; Normandy, Yr 7, history, £325.
AYLESBURY GRAMMAR SCHOOL:
Kingswood Grosvenor Hall, Kent, Yr 7, team building, £380; Normandy, Yrs 8/9, French, £380; Salou/ Barcelona, Yr 9, £550; Utah, Yrs 9/12, ski trip, £1,600; Malawi, Yrs 9/11, exchange, £1,900; Bourg en Bresse, Yrs 10/12, exchange, £300; Stuttgart, Yrs 10/12, exchange, £400; Sicily, Yrs 10 to 13, enrichment, £635; Lake District, Yr 10, fieldwork, £100; Belgium, Yr11, history, £115; Lake Garda, Yrs11 to 13, football tour, £600; Disneyland Paris, Yr 11, business studies, £360; Sheffield, Yr 11/12, tennis, £50.
PRINCES RISBOROUGH SCHOOL
France, Yr 11, French, £270; Lille, Yr 9, French, £165; Somerset, Yr 13, geography, £299; Norfolk, Yr 11, geography, £189; Paris, Yrs 10/11/13, art/French, £275; Yorkshire, Yr11, PE, £275.
Dorset, 6th form, geology, £120; London, Yrs 10 to 6th form, Olympics, £230; Berlin, Yr 11 and 6th form, history, £600; Dusseldorf, Yrs 9/10, German, £375; Dorset, Yrs 9/10, science, £190; Italy, Yrs 9 to 11, ski trip, £875.
Czech Republic, all years, fun, £800; Overstrand, Yr 10/11, geography, £210.
SIR HENRY FLOYD SCHOOL
Berlin, Yr10, history, £451; Snowdonia, Yr10, geography, £390; Krakow, Yr12, history, £445; Swanage, Yr12, geography, £220; Granada, Yrs10 to 13, Spanish, £525; Portsmouth, Yrs 9 to 13, dance competition, £60; Bangor, Yr12, biology, £330; Austria, Yrs7 to 10, ski trip, £750; Austria, Yrs 11 to 13, ski trip, £750; Egypt, Yrs8 to 13, scuba diving, £1,080; Cannock Chase, Yrs 12 to 13, World Challenge, free; Silk Route, Yrs 12 to 13, World Challenge, £3,545; Oxfordshire, Yr7, bushcraft, £160; Dorset, Yr8, beachcraft, £195; France and Belgium, Yr9, history, £248; Oxfordshire, Yr10, bushcraft, £160.
Vermont, Yrs 11 to 13, ski trip, £1402; Poland, Yr13, history, £59; Skern Lodge, Yr12, geography, £233; France, Yr8, French, £147.
AYLESBURY VALE ACADEMY
Germany, KS3, £280, languages; Italy, KS3, ski trip, £799.50; Barcelona, KS3, languages, £345.
AYLESBURY HIGH SCHOOL
Aberdyfi, Yr8, outward bound trip, £340; Germany, Yr9, languages trip, £320; CERN, Switzerland, Yr13, science, £150; Florence, Yr9, languages, £650; Forest of Dean, Yr11, training, £15; France, Yrs 10 and 12, exchange, £300; Germany, Yrs 10 and 12, exchange, £400; Iceland, Yr13, to view glaciers, £803; Auschwitz, all years, holocaust education, £525; Madrid, Yr9, languages, £425; Paris, Yr13, languages, £230; Oxford, Yr11, mock UN conference, £100; Paris, Yr12, art, £400; Picardy, Yr9, languages, £360; Devon, Yr12, geography, £225; Italy, Yrs 11, 12 and 13, ski trip, £865; Washington, Yr13, politics, £1,035
Paris, Yrs 10 and 11, languages, £440, Austra, all years, ski trip, £840; Sorrento, Yrs 9 to 13, geography, £625; Newquay, Yrs 9 to 11, watersports, £350; Paris, Yrs 10 and 11, languages, £440; Berlin, Yrs 10, 11 and 12, history, £570; Austria, all years, ski trip, £830; Spain, Yrs 10 and 11, languages, £560; New York, Yrs 12 and 13, business studies, £1,250; Newquay, Yrs 7 to 11, watersports, £325; Ypres and the Somme, Yrs 9 and 10, history, £200