20th October 2015
Seventy per cent of parents feel pressured into paying for school trips, with the average family spending £222 per child every year, a new study reveals.
For a typical family with two children, this means the annual cost would be nearly £450, the research by Nationwide Building Society found.
In London, parents spend even more at £338 per child, taking the cost for a typical family up to nearly £700 per year
Seven in ten parents admitted they felt compelled to send their kids on trips even when it was a struggle financially.
According to the survey, an average of £95 per child is for compulsory excursions, while in London this is higher at £118.
Parents of children aged 12-16 incur the highest costs, averaging around £279 per year.
The main reasons for sending children on trips despite financial pressures were:
Nearly three quarters of parents (72%) didn’t want their child to feel left out by not going.
Six in ten (60%) wanted their child to have the best education and experiences in life.
More than a quarter (27%) didn’t want to be seen as a bad parent by not sending them.
Around a quarter (24%) maintained they did not want to be perceived as struggling financially.
The top foreign destinations for school trips are France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Phil Smith, Nationwide’s head of current accounts, says: “As parents we always want the best for our children, but it appears many of us could be putting ourselves under significant financial pressure in the process.
“Often school excursions are day trips linked to the curriculum, but increasingly parents are being asked to fund overseas trips, which can cost hundreds of pounds at a time.
“Children often will come home excited about going away with their friends, instantly laying the foundations for a potential guilt trip for mum and dad if they are forced to miss out on the opportunity on grounds of affordability.”