As a high school student, 2 weeks ago I purchased a student edition of LR5 from a retail outlet. I am now up and running except when I launch LR I receive a message informing me that updates are available. These updates appear to be referring to LR6 (Panorama, HDR etc). For me to get these updates does this mean I have to pay for them and if so, is there a student upgrade price? When I rang Adobe I was told that if I wish to have these updates then I would have to use the Cloud version and pay $10/month as there is not a one-off student upgrade price. Surely this is not correct?
The perpetual version is still available, so you were misinformed on that point.
The "update" you refer should have been called upgrades, as you guessed, and yes, the upgrade to v6 is a paid improvement. There is no student upgrade, and you will have to pay the ordinary upgrade cost. Normally, if someone buys the full version of Lr within 30 days of a new version being released, they will receive the new one for free, but I don't know if that applies to the student version. It may be worth your while to contact Adobe support and argue the case with them to see if this does apply.
Thanks for the quick reply and suggestion. The Adobe person I spoke to was not helpful at all and in fact was unaware I could even buy a student LR5 perpetual licence! I'll try ringing customer support again tomorrow and hopefully I will speak to a different person and may have a bit more luck