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to ask if it's SERIOUSLY true that in London you 'need' to register for private schools at BIRTH???

(86 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Tue 08-Jan-13 08:49:11

Haven't even had our first child yet AND we're fairly sure we won't be able to afford private schooling 3-4 years down the line... and even if we could, we'd very likely decide against it.

However some friends (who live in much posher postcodes than us in London) are telling me in apparent seriousness that if we were even half-thinking about private education we would need to register our interest as soon after BIRTH as possible.

I think this must just be for a handful of very posh schools in very posh areas (Hampstead, Chelsea etc) but am I wrong about this?

Not to mention, has the world gone mad etc etc?

CruCru Tue 08-Jan-13 20:45:38

Yes. It is expensive. Cheapest: The Children's House (£25). Most expensive: Abercorn (£225).

CruCru Tue 08-Jan-13 20:47:41

Oh really? That's good to know. I thought we would mostly lose the registration fees as they all said they were non refundable.

meditrina Tue 08-Jan-13 20:48:47

registration fees are (almost?) invariably non-refundable, even if you are not offered a place. It's deposits which may, under specified circumstances, be refundable (normally against final term's fees).

EldonAve Tue 08-Jan-13 21:26:23

compared to £12K - £14K of fees a year £50 is nothing

CaptChaos Tue 08-Jan-13 21:33:09

The thing is that a lot of parents look at the long game. Which nursery 'feeds' into which pre-prep, which 'feeds' into which prep, which has a solid history of sending children to the secondary of your choice.

Good independent nurseries which have good follow-on relationships with good pre-prep and prep schools tend to get their lists filled at birth. If you are looking at sending your child to one of the top ten public schools then getting your child into the 'right' prep is very important, especially if you are looking at scholarship places.

Therefore I would say that ime, getting your child's name down for the 'right' nursery is the most important link in the chain, so no pressure then!

Murtette Tue 08-Jan-13 22:00:34

When pregnant with DC1, I worked in London and an American colleague was due to give birth a couple of months before me. A couple of days after she knew I was pregnant, she appeared with a large number of brochures for indie schools in central London and explained that they'd registered their son-to-be for 5 schools. I thought that was keen but almost fell of my chair when she went on to explain they'd also registered for two girls' schools in case the 20 week (and 18 and 24 week private 3D scans) had been wrong! They also had their list of additional girls' schools to register at as soon as the baby was born if it turned out to be a girl! This was considered to be normal. They then moved back to the US so presumably aren't going to take advantage of any of this...

Butkin Tue 08-Jan-13 22:13:42

We live in Suffolk and sauntered into the local, popular, private nursery when DD was a month old to book her in (for when she was 6 months old). Told we could only get 2 1/2 days (out of the 5 we wanted) because most parents had booked their children in when still "bumps".

1991all Tue 08-Jan-13 22:19:31

Hate to tell you this, but the state school application in SW19 is shockingly oversubscribed
Hopefully it should improve in the next couple of years
I could recommend an excellent nursery, if you are interested PM me

WelshWereRabbit Tue 08-Jan-13 23:40:53

I don't know about schools, but you really do need to look into nurseries at an early stage, especially if you are not planning on taking a full year maternity leave - my sons' nursery has an 18mo waiting list, so I reserved his place after my 12 week scan.

I remember at the 20 week scan for my first child the sonographer asked whether we had picked a nursery yet - we thought she was joking, but there is a shortage of nurseries where we live, lucky for us she alerted us to the fact. (We are in SE London).

Having said all that, I know people elsewhere in London who have got places for their DCs at much shorter notice, but usually because a new nursery has opened without a waiting list.

Definitely worth checking what the situation is in your area.

emeraldgirl1 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:31:32

Only just managed to come back on the thread - can't believe how many replies, and so helpful - thank you everyone smile

Though am NOT thanking you for making me realise that I have been quite naive about many aspects of this whole scary process wink

I hadn't even considered the nurseries issue - it's not absolutely vital from my POV as I am self-employed and work from home so don't have a scary return-to-work-on-this-date-or-else deadline hanging over me... but I do want to find a nursery for about 18m time.

I think the reason I'm so reluctant to make proper enquiries about all of this eg calling the nurseries and schools etc is because it feels horribly like tempting fate when you don't even have a healthy baby yelling cooing in a cot next to you. IYSWIM?

Might not be able to do away with the superstition and might just hold off doing anything as dicey as making phone calls (!) until a couple of weeks after baby has arrived.

Would that still be enough time for nurseries do you think?

We are SW19 ( or rather, we will be once we have moved in a few weeks...)

emeraldgirl1 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:32:57

Also: this registration fees thing (non-refundable) sounds a total scam!!! Shouldn't someone be reporting these people to Watchdog or something? wink

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