Skegness Academy has defended its decision to fund a £32,000 trip to America, claiming it offers disadvantaged students a chance to enhance their studies.
The defence follows criticisms issued by Coun Mark Smith, who fears the trip, which will see 40 sixth form students jet off to New York next month, is unfair on the taxpayer and other schools receiving less funding.
He said: “I have no problems with travel, which I think helps to broaden the mind but I would question whether the taxpayer should be spending £32,000 for a free trip.
“The old form of academies receive a disproportionate amount of funding compared to other schools. My concern is that they have an unfair advantage over those schools and we could end up in a monopoly situation with less choice for students.”
The Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust, which runs the academy, has defended the funding, claiming it will offer students a ‘trip of a lifetime’ many of them would be unable to afford otherwise.
Students selected had achieved high levels of attendance, displayed a positive attitude and demonstrated how the trip would support the subjects they were studying.
A spokesperson said: “The Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust only works in areas of social and economic disadvantage and often pays of pupils to go on trips that they would not normally be able to afford to broaden their experiences and to enhance their studies.”
Facebook users commenting on the Standard’s page expressed mixed views on the trip, with some praising the initiative as a ‘brilliant idea’ while others criticised it as a ‘waste of money’ which could have been better spent elsewhere.