As some will remember, back in the Summer we undertook to use an amount of our school budget to support with the cost of trips and workshops. The intention was to allocate each child £20 for the year to effectively reduce the cost to families.
Whilst an unusual offer – we can only think of one other school doing similarly – our Governors wanted this to happen for reasons of equity, fairness and support to families in the current financial climate.
This offer had to be withdrawn in September, when the cost of living situation, expecially our utility bills, led to a freeze on non-essential spending and recruitment. At that point, we looked to be heading for a six figure budget deficit.
However, we have managed to bring the budget back under control. It has not been easy and has relied largely on the goodwill and prudence of staff, who have been operating on a shoe-string this term. Many have taken on extra unpaid duties and have covered colleagues to save us having to resort to supply staff at times.
At the most recent Governors’ meeting, it was unanimously decided to re-introduce this subsidy and this now has the approval of our finance team.
The upshot of this is that we are delighted to be able to resume our plans for this subsidy. There is, as of now, £20 per child allocated for educational trips in the Spring and Summer terms.
We are not sure whether we would be permitted to reimburse where a trip has already been paid for, or quite how we could do this – Y2 had a Victorian Day and Y6 visited the Galleries of Justice – but we will keep families in those year groups posted and act as fairly as we can.