Parents hit out at £1,850 cost of USA school holiday

Cash-strapped parents have slammed a week-long school trip to the USA that is costing £1,850.
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Golden Gate Bridge

Some pupils have been left heartbroken after being told they cannot go due to the cost, but Balshaw’s CE High School in Leyland is standing by its decision to organise the trip, which is available to 35 year seven pupils.

Mum Shelly Blundell, 43, of Wellfield Avenue, Leyland, whose 11-year-old daughter Eleanor attends the Church Road school, said: “My daughter brought this letter home full of hope, then when I had to turn her down she was upset.

“It’s an extortionate amount of money.

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“We shouldn’t be made to feel bad because of the amount of money.

“Eleanor even said she’d get a job and help to pay for it, she’s that keen to go. She’s only 11, she’s that desperate.”

The West Coast trip has been proposed by the school from May 24 to June 1, 2017.

It takes in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakenhurst, Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

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The school says in its letter to parents that the aim of it is to “not only encourage your child in their academic studies, but also to develop their social skills and understanding of different cultures as well as to enable them to experience environments outside their normal day to day lives.”

It says it appreciates it is “a major financial commitment”.

Another mum, who asked not to be named, said: “They’ve billed it as a cultural trip. Vegas is one of the places.

“I’m confused. How can that be a cultural trip? It’s a ridiculous price.”

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The school says payment for the trip could be spread out – with £250 non-refundable on acceptance followed by 15 monthly payments of £100 between September 2015 and December 2016 which is also non-refundable.

The school said it had no comment to make other than: “This has been launched and is running in the same as any other trip.”

Last week, a West Yorkshire school was criticised for asking parents to pay £1,650 for a sports trip to Barbados.

Parents of pupils at Horsforth School in Leeds called the trip “disgraceful”, “disgusting” and “appalling” on Facebook.

The school, an academy, said it was not a compulsory trip.