Pupils miss out on school trip to USA

Isaac Cooke who has missed out on a school trip.
Isaac Cooke who has missed out on a school trip.
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A mum fears her son will miss out on an experience vital to his education because of what she believes was the “unfair” way places were allocated for a school trip.

A group of students will be heading off to America next year to visit a number of historical sites as part of their coursework studying American history for their GCSE exams.

But Isaac Cooke (14), of Holbeach St Johns, will be one of those left behind while some of his classmates make the trip across the pond.

His mum Michelle is angry at the way Spalding Grammar School has allocated places for the trip, which she says were on a first come, first served basis. But some pupils received letters to parents about the trip later than others and some didn’t receive a letter at all.

Michelle said: “Some of the pupils received their letters earlier than others and by the time Isaac brought his letter home, there were only four places left.

“They were asking for a £250 non-refundable deposit and a commitment to pay a total of £1,125 and I needed some time to think about it – you can’t make that kind of decision overnight.

“By the time Isaac took it back to school we were told that all the places had gone and I don’t think they have done it fairly at all. It’s not fair on the children and the school is being very stubborn about it.

“The trip includes visits to the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and Arlington Cemetery – it’s not just a jolly, it’s learning about the places’ history and it’s integral to the American history curriculum. I think that those who are unable to go will miss out and it could affect their education.”

Michelle said she had been in contact with staff at the school and had been told the allocation process would be looked at for future trips.

Spalding Grammar School headteacher Nigel Ryan confirmed the school was organising a USA trip next year, but said: “I have not received a complaint from any parent about allocation of places.

“If I receive a complaint it will be investigated and I will respond to the parent.

“I am confident the staff involved have acted appropriately and followed our usual protocol for allocating places on an extra-curricular trip, which is on a first- come, first served basis.

“We always use this system and it has worked extremely well.”