Leeds & West Yorkshire

Horsforth School plans £1,650 Barbados sports trip

Barbados beach Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The letter from Horsforth School asked parents to pay a £250 deposit by 19 June for the Barbados trip

A West Yorkshire school has been criticised for asking parents to pay £1,650 for a sports trip to Barbados.

Parents of pupils at Horsforth School in Leeds have called the trip "disgraceful", "disgusting" and "appalling" on Facebook.

The school, an academy, has had sports trips to Italy and Spain in previous years.

HR director Lauren Robinson said the school wished to reiterate that it was not a compulsory trip.

Catamaran cruise

A letter sent from the school's PE department said that children from years 8, 9 and 10 could stay for seven nights half-board at the Butterfly Beach Hotel in the south of the island.

Pupils from the football, netball and girls' football teams would play in three fixtures with local teams.

They would be given "traditional evening entertainment", a catamaran cruise, the option of going to a water park, and a special sports tour kit, the letter said.

Ms Robinson said the school's decision to offer the trip - an alternative destination to Italy and Spain - had been "driven partly by student views and partly by some shortcomings with the current arrangements".

The school said: "The cost of the Barbados trip is high but is balanced by a much larger number of more affordable events, from residential exchanges and study visits to single day trips and school-based events."

It refused to answer questions about how many teachers are going on the trip and how their places are being paid for.

'Unfair on parents'

Image caption Ms Tidswell said: "It's making a divide between parents that can afford it and parents that can't afford it."

A parent on Facebook wrote: "Just wondering what people's thoughts are on Horsforth School deciding to do their sports tour to Barbados next year at a cost of £1650 per child?

"Personally I'm appalled and think it's really unfair to put this pressure on parents of either finding that sort of money or saying no to their child."

Linsi Tidswell said: "I've got two children and two step-children and I can't afford to spend that sort of money on four children - it's not fair to do for one what we can't do for the others.

"It's making a divide between parents that can afford it and parents that can't afford it. To me the school is excellent but it should be promoting equal opportunities for all children."

Has your local school organised trips you have considered too expensive? Please email your comments to England@bbc.co.uk

Image caption Pupils from the football, netball and girls' football teams would play in three fixtures with local teams on the trip

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