School books - a rip off?

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03 Nov 2010 00:00 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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I would be interested to know if anyone can explain why school books (which we have to buy in Spain) are so expensive.  My son has just bought, after waiting weeks for delivery, a very ordinary music book for 30 euros.  No - not a misprint.  All others are similarly priced.



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03 Nov 2010 10:04 by Hammer100 Star rating in Camposol, Mazarron. 94 posts Send private message

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Think its pretty much always been the way. Our daughters are 4 and 12 and this year the books were about €500 in total but you can claim some back if resident.



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03 Nov 2010 11:31 by Febe Star rating in Flix, on river Ebro,.... 240 posts Send private message

I agree. The books are expensive. Last year I think it cost us about 180 euros to get every thing our son needed for the start of school.

You can shop around for them using the ISBN number that the school should give you. I've been told that Carrefour stock them. But for us that's over an hours drive away. Kind of ofsets any saving we may be able to make.

He is now in 1st year ESO and has a lap-top. As do all the chrildren in his year. They cost 300 euros. We paid 150 euros for it and the education authority paid the other half.  There was also a 30 euro license fee for the software (books) This computer belongs to our son, and assuming they continue the use them in future years, will save us lots of money. Only having to pay for the license, paper, folders, pens etc. etc!! Ha ha. I'm glad we only have one child in school.

Take care,

Febe



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03 Nov 2010 11:39 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Yes - it never ends!  My son is 15 and it has come to 400€ this year alone.  We received a grand of 150€, but that just means the taxpayer (British??? - see EC membership costs) has been ripped off for 150€ of it instead of me.

 

It all seems a bit cosy, if you know what I mean.



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03 Nov 2010 12:04 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 177 posts Send private message

I agree with all above it  is expensive but can´t put  a price on our  childrens education, however my main complaint over the years  is that when buying these books in the school year they don´t complet the full works in these books and they are not transferable to the next year,  example daughter doing French as a second language 20.00 euros for a 20 page book and last year only done 4 pages out of it, at least this year new french teacher has said we will finish last years book and she will photo copy this years work for them hence cut down costs.

 

I did speak to daughters teacher 2 years ago and he agreed with me it is expensive and as a parent himself he has same complaint 

 

Nitram





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03 Nov 2010 14:09 by TheBabyHireCentre Star rating in In between the two a.... 48 posts Send private message

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The answer was in your original question I am afraid: "(which we have to buy in Spain)".

Time and time again our experience is that if they know you cannot do without something, the Spanish will overprice it by 300%

It would be interesting to know if the locals pay the full ticket price...?



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03 Nov 2010 14:52 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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All of the Spanish I know pay the same as us...and spit feathers as well!  They all think that there is a scam going and are very angry about it.

Apart from the exhorbitant prices, it annoys me that it is impossible to send your child to school on the first day of term with all requirements as the Schools seem incapabale of organizing themselves well enough to get a book list out in time for the bookshops to order them.  We are STILL awaiting 2 major books that haven't arrived after a month.

I know the Spanish have no concept of client service, but I wish they wouldn't try to rip me off at the same time.



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03 Nov 2010 17:34 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

It really is bad to have to pay such prices for books, they are very clever by changing them every year!

They teach children about recycling, maybe they should strat with the BOOKS!

These matters need to be addressed and parents need to make a huge stink!

I dont even want to think about what this is like for parents with multiple kids. 

As per always you have to pay for public shooling in Spain, not right and not fair!

Joan





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03 Nov 2010 18:58 by Hammer100 Star rating in Camposol, Mazarron. 94 posts Send private message

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I agree that sometimes it can be a pain but I don't think it will ever change, if the Spanish can't get it to change then there is no chance. Its not exactly free though in the UK, the school my children would have gone to if we lived there would be a uniform school and you could only buy the uniform from the school or one appointed shop and I can tell you the uniform costs alot more than what Asda knock theirs out for.

We just have to stick a few euros a week away to cover the costs for the books.



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03 Nov 2010 19:06 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 177 posts Send private message

It’s nice to hear that other areas of Spain are exactly the same as ours with regards to waiting for books, our daughter waited some 3 weeks after the start of school to get all her books though we ordered them in plenty of time, but hey we live in spain our choice nobody else’s go with the flow.

 Don’t understand by the comment of do the locals pay the full ticket price, of course they do, obviously you don’t have children going Spanish school over here other wise you would know the situation.
This thread is just a general talk about people who have something in common and know things, but also open to free speech  why people who live in Spain always have to run the country and the people down, living between 2 airports there must  flights back to where you came from if you are not happy

Nitram





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03 Nov 2010 19:08 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4015 posts Send private message

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I'm pretty certain we didn't pay for the books last year or this year...but I'll have to check with the boss on that

We had vouchers which were used to buy the books.  The books are then passed down so the are used for two years.

But like I said, I better just get that confirmed!

Justin



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04 Nov 2010 00:53 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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If my son's experience of the last year of his UK education is anything to go by, all the text books were supplied by the school (and hence local authority / state). The books were generally in a pretty poor state, dog eared, had pages missing or were just a case of shared between two pupils.

Since the books were supplied by the local education authority, ultimately they were paid for by the parents by means of Council Tax, and all the other forms of indirect taxation that the UK citizen is required to pay.

Cuts in public spending over the years meant that new books were not being purchased to replace those damaged items.

My wife and many like minded parents clubbed together and staged a bulk purchase of the most required books after the kids in the fifth and sixth forms at his school literally went on a half day strike and blocked off the school entrances. The teachers at that time were having their own disputes and were staging walkouts and un-announced strikes.

Maybe the fact that taxation here in Spain both direct and indirect is lower (and more easily avoided) is the reason that parents are expected to supply the books and other accoutrements necessary for the kids to attend school here.

Its just a point however, that whether it be in the UK or elsewhere, text books are very expensive; its a big step from primary or junior school text books to those I had to purchase for my continued higher education but some of the books cost over £200 and that was fifteen years ago...

All that apart however it is definitely a case of charging whatever the market will bear and until the consumer speaks out and actually does something about it, shops like Carrefour will continue to supply at what seems to be an elevated price.



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04 Nov 2010 14:39 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4015 posts Send private message

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Checked with the boss and we didn't pay for the books last year or this year.  Our kids are now 8.

Up until the age of 6 you have to pay for the books.  That's because that's the official starting age for school in Spain.

Justin



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04 Nov 2010 15:08 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Interesting, Justin.  So....who paid for them?  Were they provided by the school?..or are your children at a private school?....if so then can I deduce that running a Spain forum is a lucrative activity?????????????

 

 



This message was last edited by Max Kite on 04/11/2010.

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04 Nov 2010 15:34 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4015 posts Send private message

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Max, my kids are in the local school...EOS budget doesn't stretch very far .  Although saying that, they are very happy there.

The free books was a new scheme which started last year (I believe).  We had a voucher which we took to the bookshop in exchange for the books. 

Those books are now being used again for the new intake in that year and my kids are using the used books from last year, although these will be replaced again for next year.

Does all that make any sense??

Justin



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04 Nov 2010 23:32 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Hi Justin

That's great if they can make it work.  It just seems that the goalposts get moved regularly (e.g. different publishers being chosen year on year for the same course).

At the end of the day, we all want the best for our children but don't want to feel like cash-cows to the publishing houses.

I'm glad you have a good system working down there.  Long may it continue!

 



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09 Nov 2010 20:22 by pinhead Star rating. 33 posts Send private message

Hello, we live in Balsicas, Murcia.

Myles is 12 and Daisy is 8, For Myles's school books we was supposed to receive €200 in september ( still waiting) and for Daisy we received €100 bono libro! manana manana (sorry no spanish n on my keyboard)

The thing is when we lived in the UK we paid taxes for all that stuff ( half of which was probably for immigrants) plus the cost of school uniform at least 3 times per year (with Myles anyway), so even if every year we have to pay €300-€500 at least I know its for my childrens future and no one else! ( no disrespect!)

No complaints, loving Spain for 4 years now.



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09 Nov 2010 20:40 by Rixxy Star rating in San Pedro. 2010 posts Send private message

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 Interesting thread.

I first came to Spain with 2 young kids (3.5 and 5) in 1995. Once they entered school I always had to pay for the books - the only parent s who didnt pay were ones on the dole.

You didnt get a list of what you needed until a week into the term (madness!!) But I learned that you can pre-order the years books for the following years if you know what year your child is in - and the name of the school!! This means also you can prepay in installments too.

I believe now that the books are provided by the schools but that came in a couple of years ago.

In Bachillerato, you pay for the books and I handed Chris's 1st year books to the school to use for the new years kids as he wasnt using them anymore.

Daughter now in Uni and I dont think she has had to buy any books!!! The lecture notes are all accessed via internet direct to the laptops they provided for a deposit of 100 euros - after 4 years you either keep the machine or give it back and get your deposit back.

Still loving Spain!! :) 



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