Parents across the south east ‘pressured’ into paying for school trips

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A new study has shown seven in ten parents feel ‘pressured’ into paying hundreds of pounds every year for school trips.

According to new research, parents are feeling pressured into sending their children on school trips even if they cannot really afford them.

The study was carried out by Nationwide Building Society, and showed families across the south east are spending around £188 on trips.

Seven in ten polled (71 per cent) admitted they felt compelled to send youngsters on trips, despite the average cost being £222 a year for every child.

For a typical family with two children, this means the annual cost would be nearly £450.

According to the national survey, which polled 2,000 parents of school-aged children, the average parent spends £222 a year on sending a child on trips, of which £95 is for compulsory excursions.

The total spend rises to £338 for parents living in London (£118 of which is for compulsory trips) and parents of those aged 12-16 incur the highest costs, averaging around £279 per year.

Seven in ten parents said they felt under pressure to send their children on excursions – even if they do not have the money to spare, while nearly three quarters (72 per cent) didn’t want their child to feel left out by not going.

Six in ten (60 per cent) wanted their child to have the best education and experiences in life.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) didn’t want to be seen as a bad parent by not sending them.

Around a quarter (24 per cent) maintained they did not want to be perceived as struggling financially.

Just under a quarter of children (23 per cent) have enjoyed residential breaks outside the UK, while more than four in ten have gone away in the UK for one or more nights.

France is by far the most popular foreign destination, accounting for half (50 per cent) of children’s trips abroad.

However, the poll also shows countries outside of Europe are popular, with one in 20 children having gone to the USA (5 per cent) and around one in 50 travelling to Central America (2 per cent).

The top five reasons why children attend voluntary school trips were (in order): languages, winter sports, geography, history and touring with a school sports club.

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