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School Trips and Being Excluded


I’ve just been reading about the five boys that were excluded from their primary school trip to Disneyland as it was oversubscribed. The five names that were pulled out of a hat couldn’t go.


I suppose the first reaction is: Disneyland… for a school trip?? I think there’s a huge pressure on parents to cough up for increasingly ostentatious trips. However, putting that aside, I think it is unfair.

True enough, parents were informed beforehand that there weren’t enough places, but why was a trip that they couldn’t all go on an option in the first place? Surely there were other choices available?

People have commented that children have to learn that there are disappointments in life; you just have to suck it up and get on with it. Yes, they do have to learn about not getting everything they want, but there are plenty of opportunities for that lesson. Why have something that is guaranteed beforehand to disappoint an unlucky few, especially something that is divisive and singles them out from their peers?

My school trip

OK, so I’m particularly passionate about this because IT HAPPENED TO ME (and boy do I not want to be in the same situation ever with my kids)!!

I’m 36 now so we’re going back rather a bit, but when I was at middle school (so I’d be about 11, actually I was definitely 11 as it was Italia ’90) there was a school trip to Normandy as part of our French studies. I loved learning French and was probably quite precocious in my appreciation of French culture, so was soooo excited about the prospect of going there with my friends. The trip was oversubscribed by two out of the entire year of almost 90 and I was one of the two drawn out of the hat not to go. I was devastated. Properly devastated.

My best friend at the time, who hated French, kept banging on about how much she couldn’t wait to go. I remember that I couldn’t stop crying.  Then kids at school began to say how they no longer wanted to go, which made me even more upset. I REALLY WANTED TO! It wasn’t a flash in the pan disappointment. I just didn’t get over it.

My mum booked a gîte in Normandy for the whole family at the same time as my year group was going to be there. I know that this certainly would not have been possible for many and that I was VERY fortunate that, as a family, we were able to do this, but she knew that I wasn’t just being a brat, that I really loved French and would have done anything to go; she even got the itinerary off the teacher so that we could replicate everything (I was a bit of a nerd like that).

We had a fantastic time and I have so many wonderful memories from our trip, but to this day I remember how so upset I was when I got drawn out of that hat.


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. I think this school sounds very irresponsible. Why are they on a trip to Disneyworld and why have’nt they chosen a trip ALL pupils could be included on.
    I remember at my secondary, about 50 years ago!!! they chose a cruise for us, A CRUISE. My goodness there was no way my parents could afford this and I never went on any school big trips, just days out like Longleat.

    • I know my mum went on a cruise when she was at secondary school that went around Europe and I know certainly included Athens. I have absolutely no idea how she went on that as my granny and grandad had very little money. So the issue of the type of trip is huge. Trips should be inclusive in terms of cost and number. There is no way that they wouldn’t have been able to find something that could accommodate all children.

  2. Ouch! It does seem very unfair but I can see the logistical problems from the schools’ side. One of . probably many, scenarios that I imagine is this – you have 2 coaches that can fit 90 students, however, you have 92 students that want to go. Do you hire an extra coach just for these 2 students which will push the price of the whole trip up for everybody, potentially making it inaccessible for many more? Or do you cancel the whole trip – is that fairer? Same goes with hotel/hostel accomodation. Sometimes it’s just impossible to cater for an exact number of people and you have to make a plan to please the greater percentage

    • I do see your point, but there are coaches in an array of sizes so I’m sure two smaller vehicles wouldn’t have cost much more. Perhaps even parents/teachers that were CRB checked could have been drafted in to drive the pupils? If the five extra children did push up the transport costs too much then perhaps they should’ve considered a less expensive location for the trip. At the end of the day, children enjoy the camaraderie with friends in a different environment and the experience of being away from home. I believe the actual venue is of less importance.

      I’m not saying that my children wouldn’t love to go to Disneyland though!!

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