Apparently so! Saw a brief report about this on tonight's BBC Look North prog. As an old alumnus of this school, I am frankly gobsmacked by how far times have changed. In my day schooltrips were arranged to places like France, Spain & Germany - for probably no more than a couple of hundred quid. Having said that, the impression I get is that Horsforth today is becoming very much an up and coming residential district for the successful (ie loaded) professional classes from Leeds while the Horsforth I remember was a suburb with a broad mixture of both affluent and also less well off members of society. Perhaps the school is trying to target this changing demographic by organising trips like this aimed, or so it seems, at the relatively small proportion of pupils whose parents will be able to afford such a trip.
It was interesting to see on tonight's Look North report that this story has attracted the interest of one of the main teaching unions (NUT) who seem to be frankly appalled at this latest development, largely because, as they rightly pointed out, this is likely to have the effect of being socially divisive and put the parents of all pupils at the school under pressure from their siblings who, understandably, will want to go on the trip. As an 'old boy' of the school, what I can say is that such an idea would never have been tolerated in my day - although that is probably over 30 years ago now!
There are certainly issues here, but I am a bit surprised by the furore. I know of other schools in the area arranging trips to China, the USA and other far distant locations.
In my own far distant school days I enjoyed the benefit of a trip to Northern Scandinavia. However, as participants, whether our families were poor or affluent, we all had to raise most of the costs involved by selling pens, pencils, firewood..... and helping to obtain sponsorship from a variety of organisations. Also, we were post-16, perhaps better able to appreciate the experience, and there was a heavy (if enjoyable ) emphasis upon genuine educational learning experiences.
In contrast, some of the distant trips I hear about today seem to require little input from the pupil participants, who may not always be sufficiently prepared to benefit from the trip they undertake.