23% of parents ‘have had to make cutbacks to fund school trips’

The “bank of gran and grandad” is helping to fund some school trips, with nearly a quarter of parents saying they have had to make cutbacks to afford them, a survey has found.

Some 23% of parents surveyed for public sector insurer Zurich Municipal said they have had to go without and perhaps cut back on essentials to fund school trips.

Family members have also been giving a helping hand, with one in 10 (10%) parents surveyed saying grandparents had paid for their child’s school trip and 8% of parents saying their child’s aunt or uncle stepped in.

The research also indicated that one in eight (12%) children have taken part in fundraising activities themselves to help cover the costs of trips, and a further one in 10 have used their pocket money.

A fifth (20%) of financially pinched parents felt “embarrassed” about struggling to pay for trips for their children.

Despite cost concerns, more than a third (35%) of parents believed school trips are critical to their child’s education.

Tilden Watson, head of education at Zurich Municipal, said: “School trips bring a plethora of benefits to young lives, it’s heartbreaking to see so many could miss out due to cost.

“These trips can also expose some children to new places and experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily get to enjoy with their families so they really do offer a window to the world they otherwise wouldn’t see.”

OnePoll surveyed 1,000 parents of children aged five to 16 across the UK in May.

­­Some parents may be able to get help with school-related costs, such as for meals, transport and uniforms.

Citizens Advice has information on its website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/education/help-with-school-costs.

Parents can also contact their school directly to find out what help is available.