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Admin fee for trip

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by zcsaa44, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    I have had the cost of a trip queried by the reception team, they want me to charge students more to cover for if other students pull out. So the school does not have to foot the bill, as a contingency basically - which I guess makes sense.

    I have not done this for the trip I am organising as I know there is a chunk of contingency money left, I am now being told that the money is to cover admin. I am already feeling dubious about the school practice of essentially profiting from a trip but an admin fee seems more sketchy - mainly because I am completing nearly all the admin. Reception book a taxi and send out the trip letters, plus everyone is paid for their jobs.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    State school or private school?

    What age pupils are we talking about?

    What sort of trip is it? ie curriculum related? During the school day?

    What are parents told when notified the cost of the trip? Are they told it can go up after they have paid?
  3. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    Is a private school
    Trips I organise are for KS4 and KS5
    Is a trip for the subject, needed to complete the course
    Parents are just sent a letter with a cost and a selection of payment methods
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You could say that you should not really be feeling anything about the cost, since it is not you who is required to pay it, and it is the school who is at liberty to operate the business model they want.
    A parent, however, is quite entitled to query it on the basis you describe.
    I suppose if you felt strongly about it, you could hope that a parent objected in the same way.

    There is a case for expecting you to be pleased about the additional charge, since it is to profit your own workplace and therefore ease the work of either yourself or your colleagues. Most schools need to be opportunist with charging money these days to the extent that they can. Needs must.

    Different , of course, if the money is literally profiteering into the pockets of those in charge of the school, but that is not the case from your description.
    JohnJCazorla and annascience2012 like this.
  5. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    I will make sure any remaining money makes it to my department and then put it a request for textbooks so I suppose it goes back to the students. Was more the admin fee that I was told was required that threw me.
    DexterDexter and mothorchid like this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That clarification is important @zcsaa44 as in a state school you couldn't charge anything for the trip!

    But you are a private school so the government guidance on this doesn't apply to you and is irrelevant here.

    It's a straightforward contractual agreement between the school and the parents. Do you have a Bursar or school business manager? You could check it with them. I wouldn't rely on Reception in any type of school to be the source of all expertise on charging parents.
  7. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    In the past, I organised dozens of trips. We always had a small extra amount (usually less than a pound per person, and reached by rounding up the cost) This went into a trip fund run by my dept. If you did it correctly, then you might have about £20 extra or so each time, which then got used to fund students whose parents couldn't afford the trip, or to cover the shortfall if not every place sold.
    I was never unhappy about this as it was for the benefit of the students and the department - we culdn't afford to run trips at a loss and the less well off students could attend.
    However, these were not compulsory trips, but theatre visits etc. Compulsory trips might be different. I should say that we didn't charge exactly, but asked for a "voluntary donation of £XX to cover the costs".
  8. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith Occasional commenter

    Have always done similarly with trips, round up or include an extra 50p in the cost.

    The additional cash in the trip pot is always useful when it comes to helping those less able to pay to be able to attend. It's also a Godsend when the inevitable child forgets their packed lunch etc..
    mothorchid and agathamorse like this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We work out the cost of the trip and divide by slightly fewer children than will attend to cover such eventualities.
    Sometimes school profits, but not always.
  10. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    My issue came with the profit going to the company that owns the school and not benefiting the students, will just chase it up to make sure it makes it back into my department budget. Will ignore the idea it is a fee for the admin being done.
  11. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Have to say I thought teachers didn't have to collect money/chase up money owed for trips etc. any more. Certainly not in the schools I worked in before retirement.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well, "admin" is quite a broad term.
    If you consider that administering the trip requires paper and reprographics and book keeping, then those things themselves incur costs; it's not just the admin labour involved. which might be where you mind keeps arriving.
    Whilst these things may not amount to much cost wise, neither should they have to fall out of departmental capitation, since that introduces unfairness against departments who do not run trips.
    Personally I don't see anything wrong with it, or odd.

    If you have an issue with profit going to the company who run the school, you wont need to look far within the structure to see some much more substantial examples of this happening, underhand or otherwise

    But that's for another thread...
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    OP is in a Private school though. So no irksome rules like that there to get in the head's way!
  14. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Yes, true.
  15. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    At a previous private school we had to add 10% to all trips as a profit margin. It was very unpopular with parents when the cost of a trip was very obvious and we were clearly profiteering.
  16. Sharpie123

    Sharpie123 New commenter

    In recent years we always had an admin element (state comp). I think it may have been 2% of the trip cost. That covered the permission letters that had to be photocopied, typed, filed; phone calls; time spent chasing non payers by admin; checking health and safety records and organising medication/first aid box etc; booking coaches; paying invoices etc. Once you start breaking it down, a lot of time goes on trips. Teachers should not be doing these admin tasks (all jobs a non qualified person can do).

    I know there's an argument that 'what are admin there for' but with stringent budgets our admin people are already stretched and this allowed us to offer overtime if needed.

    I do think state schools need to be much more cost aware these days (I'm not saying it's right, it's just a fact).
  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I always did something similar. Costed the trip on a sensible but probably smaller number of students attending. This meant that fixed costs such as the coach was divided by a smaller number. If more students enrolled and the bus filled up then it gave us a little 'fat' to play with regarding getting a few of the more cash strapped kids on the trip. If I had a surplus once all bills were paid then the options were. Give everyone a small refund, carry it over to the next trip or put it in a more central fund so that colleagues could run trips. I normally went for option 2
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    In the early days of mobiles, my school purchased one to be taken on trips in case of emergency, and a line was added to each trip letter to say that 10p had been added to the trip cost towards the cost of the mobile. Unfortunately, it was only when a trip was a couple of hours late back that we discovered that nobody had responsibility for charging the mobile ahead of a trip. As we were stuck in traffic, it was a long while before it was possible to get a message to the school. I don't know if any parents demanded their 10p back!
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Sadly, unless the school tells parents that all the money goes into the costs of the trip, I don't think there is anything you can do about it. I doubt if you can insist that the excess funds go to your department, although it is worth trying. In the commercial world, when somebody sells you something, they are probably making a profit. I would imagine that many of the parents are involved in businesses that make money like this, so I doubt if they have cause to complain.

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