School pays for all student trips to help families with cost of living
- Credit: Toftwood Junior School/Archant
Two Norfolk schools are paying for all of their children to go on school trips this summer term as a way to help families amid the cost of living crisis.
Toftwood Infant and Junior School are paying for all its pupils' school trips this year, from reception to year 5, after the executive headteacher of both schools, Joanna Pedlow, said she had seen a significant number of families coming forward looking for support.
The schools believe this will be a one-time offering, as they themselves are seeing an increase in costs, with rising energy and increases in expenses such as stationery, photocopying paper and other bills, mean it might be difficult to offer this in the future.
“We have seen an increase in parents asking for help,” Mrs Pedlow said.
"We are getting people free school meals, donations of clothes to give to a family, giving out food bank vouchers, we are trying to look at whatever we can to help families with the increasing costs.
“The children will not thrive if they are hungry, cold, or there is pressure at home.”
The schools also have a family support worker, who is helping in any way they can, or signposting them to services which can, such as the Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS).
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NAS helps people who are in financial hardship and cannot pay their living costs.
The trips include going to Pensthorpe, Holkham Hall and Gressenhall.
Year 6s are not going on a trip, instead, the school is paying for a leavers party for them on their final day of term.
The executive headteacher also stressed the importance of these trips for the children's well-being, many of whom have experienced a large portion of their time at school under a lockdown.
“I think a lot of our children have spent significant time in a lockdown so they might not have been to these places, and perhaps their families are not able to afford a visit to these places because of the cost of living,” Mrs Pedlow added.
“It is to give them this opportunity to support their learning and their wellbeing and experience of life outside the classroom.
“It is something we felt this year was essential to do as we didn't want them not to happen.”