Wednesday, January 07, 2009

State Sponsored Highwaymen

Bloody schools!

Is there a week that can go by without us receiving some missive from that bloody place asking for money!?

Today it was swimming classes. Here is the letter:

" Due to changes in school financing, the school is now obliged to meet the cost of swimming transportation from its allocated budget. A lot of schools have abandoned their swimming programmes as too costly. At a Govenors meeting it was decided to continue to offer swimming but levy a charge to cover about half the cost of the coach hire, with the school meeting the other half. I must therefore request that swimmers bring £1.00 per week towards the cost of their swimming transport. Children should bring the money on a weekly basis...etc etc."

Hang on a second? The WHAT? A coach? Which is costing £2 per pupil? The swimming pool that the kids are going to is just too far away for them to walk, but the last time I looked the local bus company was not charging £1 each way for schoolkids to travel three stops. By this age (8-9) the kids should be able to travel on public transport and there are LOADS of buses passing the school. Get the little buggers on a bus and teach them how to act well in public. Then the school can pay the £1 and I won't be charged for the education I already get taxed to provide. And it might underline the schools supposed dedication to environmental issues as well!!

And you know what's worse? My daughter already swims perfectly fine, thank you. She swims better than I do!

I wonder what other financial obligations the school is going to threaten to abandon unless we cough up for the service? We already have to pay £3-8 per kid per school trip, or even if a theatre company is just coming to the school. At Christmas we have our contribution to the food is scheduled and timetabled (we were on sausage rolls - how healthy - this year. Bag of Kerry Katona Specials from Iceland!). There are an increasing number of ticketted 'discos' too.... and this is on top of the milk, the uniforms and all the other bollocks.

Bah humbug!


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I agree with you totally. Furthermore I have another point to add. I think its essential that children today have a friendly and good swim instructor to guide them along. So that they will take to the hobby with delight, rather than find it a useless skill. But then again, most kids always love swimming afterall.

Anonymous said...

oh! you're beginning to sound cranky Neil.

I would need to check with the Wife but I seem to remember it's a legal requirement for all children to have had swimming lessons before 10 or 11 yrs old.

Having paid myself for swimming lessons for years, for my two, it was rather annoying to have pay up front for school based lessons. Of course not everyone will pay and so its £2 not £1 to subsidize those impoverished families.

Its a shame Jamie Oliver's campaign didn't highlight the reason cheap food appear are partly due to the 'paying' parents subsidizing those who don't.

Not that I'm bitter being tax three times to support that very special part of society that specializes in destructive testing of local amenities or your property for that matter!

A very disgruntled financial backer to Mr Brown's idiotic fiscal vision ... or tax payer if you prefer!

Mark said...

Just to play devil's advocate -
If the local swimming pool is not within walking distance the school will need to hire a coach as although there may be a bus route past the school and swimming pool it will still need to fall within the timetable for the lesson.

I would doubt the school would be attempting to profit from the charges from parents.