I’ve just returned from a trip to Ypres with a small group of Y9 pupils. I wonder if anyone has found recently that it has become a bit more difficult getting pupils to come on trips out? I suppose until about a year ago I never really had any problem filling a coach to go on any day out or, for that matter, overnight or longer visits. Well, over the last academic year I’ve begun to notice that it’s getting more and more tricky to fill the number of places needed to keep the overall cost of the activity at a reasonable level. This year despite our usual ‘push’ we attracted only 26 pupils to take part in what I consider to be a really worthwhile investigation into the history of the Great War.
Maybe there are just so many different extra curricular activities on offer that the ‘market’ is now too crowded or perhaps the financial downturn is finally starting to force parents to think much more carefully about what to spend their hard earned cash on. Whatever the real explanation it means that now more than ever I need to be clear about the justification for taking time out of the school day and ensuring that what is on offer represents good value for money. Of course we always ensure that parents are invited to attend an evening meeting where they can get a more detailed picture of their son’s or daughter’s trip. But sometimes the content can be a little heavy on the admin and light on the educational justification or indeed the interesting details that their children are going to enjoy; result, parents are understandably puzzled and wonder if they’ve spent their hard earned cash wisely when on return from their trip little Henry or Henrietta, when asked what they’ve done, reply that the burger and chips on the ferry were very nice! So it’s probably wise to make sure that parents get a very detailed picture of exactly how the trip enriches the curriculum and why it is worth investing in.
My presentations to parents now are structured under four headings: