Parents slam school for arranging PE trip to Abu Dhabi costing £2,500

Furious parents slam secondary for arranging a week-long PE trip to Abu Dhabi costing £2,500 per pupil

  • Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr in Swansea is offering the sport tour to pupils in October 2024
  • The school said the cost of the final trip, if it goes ahead, ‘has not been finalised’
  • Has your children’s school arranged an expensive school trip abroad for pupils? Email [email protected] 

A secondary school has been slammed by parents for planning a trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai that would cost students £2,500 each.

Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr (Gŵyr secondary school) in Swansea told parents pupils between the ages of 14 and 16 were being offered the chance to visit the United Arab Emirates in October 2024. 

The week-long trip is described by the school as a ‘sports tour’ where students would play ‘rugby, football, netball, and cricket’ although the specific itinerary has not been revealed.

The announcement has been criticised by parents unhappy at the proposed cost, which the school says will be in the region of £2,300-£2,550 per pupil.

Has your children’s school arranged an expensive school trip abroad for pupils? Email [email protected] 

Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr in Swansea (pictured) has come under criticism for offering the £2,500 tour

It has offered to take pupils on a sports tour of Abu Dhabi (pictured) and Dubai in the Middle East

Staff at the school say the visit was arranged because after parents wished trips to return for pupils who missed out during the pandemic.

It is believed the trip is being offered to Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 children as they missed out on activities during the Covid pandemic, WalesOnline reports. 

A letter from the bilingual school’s PE department said: ‘We are writing to inform you that the physical education department is arranging a sports tour to Dubai and Abu Dhabi from October 24 to 31, 2024.

‘We will be aiming to play rugby, football, netball, and cricket on the tour. The cost of the tour is £2,300 to £2,550 (max) depending on the proposed itinerary of the travel company/kit purchased.

‘We will be offering this trip to the current year nine, 10 and 11 pupils. Pupils will only be allowed to attend this tour if they are on the register at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in October 2024.

The letter (pictured) to parents and guardians invited them to a parents’ evening on January 26 to discuss the trip in more detail

READ MORE: Pupil, 15,  fell to his death from seventh-floor window on school trip to Spain, inquest hears 


‘We are very eager to ensure that this opportunity is available to every suitable pupil and consequently there will be a parents evening with PE staff and Edwin Doran Sports Tours on Thursday, January 26, in the school canteen at 5pm where further information will be shared.’

One parent of a year nine pupil said: ‘All sounds good until you find out that the trip will cost parents £2,500,’

‘And the best part of this is that it is in Abu Dhabi – how on Earth can they say that this trip is for all pupils? Why Abu Dhabi at this cost?’

Another said they were disappointed with the price given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis that is squeezing household finances across the country at the moment. 

A school spokesperson said the trip would only go ahead if there was enough interest and emphasised it was the most cost-effective offered by the operator it wants to use.

In a statement the school said: ‘The cost of the optional sports tour in the school holidays, which would be open to year nine, 10, and 11 pupils, has not been finalised and is something we are talking to parents about.

‘The cost was very much at the forefront of our minds, particularly at this time, and working with a company we have used very successfully in the past.

‘We discounted other destinations such as Canada and South Africa as the estimated cost would be far greater.

‘We have not run such trips since the start of the pandemic but we have been approached by several parents asking for their return hence why the school has offered this sports tour. If there is not enough interest then the sports tour will not proceed.’

Edwin Doran Sports Tours, the company mentioned by Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr in the letter, offers school trips abroad to destinations such as South Africa, Sri Lanka, Italy and the United States.

On its website the firm says it has taken more than 11,000 teams on tour and that it uses ‘extensive contacts to arrange billeting in host countries, so players on our school sports tours can really engage with the local people and culture’.

Detailing one of its Netball tours to the Middle East, the operator says it arranges matches against Emirati schools and allows teachers to ‘tailor-make’ the itinerary so students can ‘enjoy a first class competitive experience, whilst exploring all of the wonders which Dubai and Abu Dhabi have to offer’.  

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