Committing to school fees for the next 12 years!?

(26 Posts)
womaninblack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:02:52

I am just about to write my deposit and sign the acceptance form to send my 3 year old to an independant school. I have two much older children and I was very disillusioned with the maintained school experience. I've done my sums and I very happy with the chosen school but I still feeling scared! Any advice?

Amber2 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:51:18

I should add I know parents who have got children who got offers a big name boarding schools (highly oversubscribed), who are too middle class to obtain a bursary but not rich enough to pay the school fees easily ...they have taken a leap of faith and accepted on the basis that it is too great an opportunity for thier DSs and they will find the money each term somehow/someway.

Amber2 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:45:27

I meant prep school

Amber2 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:45:09

I should add like IndridCold...I have not regretted making that financial sacrifice once...there is no state primary school near me that would come close to comparison with what he has on offer at his pre school

Amber2 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:42:07

Womaninblack

Even within private sector, people have the dilemma at choice of senior school - do I take a sharp intake of breath and go for a boarding school at 32k pa plus or go for cheaper senior day schools at 13k pa...I know you can leave with a terms notice but it does affect your children so not like selling a car for a less expesnive one - to be fair to my DS, I did think of private as a big financial commitment for several years and it was scary when you calcualte the overall amount rememberiung the fees escalate as they get older ...yes you can pull out but if your child is very happy at school and gets used to it and you are sucked into the private system, I think it could be a shock to their system to pull them out purely for financial reasons ...you may be lucky and have a very good or even better state school alternative, but in my case ..;.I know my DS would find it hard to move from his gentle country prep with amazing facilities and wrap around activities and he will compare to where his friends are going ast senior school level .... It all depends on the type of school also - hardly anyone at my DS's school switches to state at senior level (though some private schools have a fair number that do) and many of the year 8 leavers (i.e. his friends) will go to quite big name senior schools....and they discuss all these senior school aspirations between themselves also and also formally at school ...I have enough saved to pay for private school for a few years so I would not have to pull my DS out if I lost my job...and if that did happen I would consider at least a less expensive private school to adjust ...you also need to think about univesrity years...not just up to 18. I just try not to think of the alternatives I could have had ...second home abroad, much better pension pot if I had not gone private when I hand over the termly fees which are hefty even at prep level for me 0 so yes it is a financial sacrifuce that you should not enter into lightly.

IndridCold Wed 13-Feb-13 09:39:59

We are on our seventh year, four more to go. DS is at a fantastic school which he loves. Before that he was at a lovely prep school where he flourished, and did many activities and subjects that he would never have done at the local primary school or community college. We have never regretted a penny that we have spent.

I hope your DC has a wonderful time smile.

maisiejoe123 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:24:02

PM me. I felt exactly like you. Have one DS in 3rd year of senior boarding and one DS 10 years old. You find the money because of the results and how your children develop.

Boarding is not for everyone. If we had a good day school (or in fact any day school!) we would probably have gone down that route. But rather than move house we chose a great well known senior boarding school for DS1 and the DS2 will probably follow him. The schools expect the best out of our children and that is all we ask of them. DS1 is very late Aug birthday btw.

Dont want to get into the state v private...

I am in London/SE so there is great demand for places. I dont agree with one of the replies. Try and make your decision and stick to it finances permitting.

happygardening Tue 12-Feb-13 08:36:23

"Just remember Private schools and paying fees are like being on a merry-go-rounds...once you are on it is very difficult to get off."
Rubbish. You just write a letter Dear Head I wish to remove Henry for the school and give 1 terms notice. Almost any illiterate clod could do it.
As breward discovered some private schools are crap and small classes and hideous smart uniforms and "nice" children dont necessarily equate with better teaching/results. But on the other hand if you look at the top 50 schools in the FT league tables only 10 are state school and when it comes to Oxbridge entry the independent sector is streets ahead.
If you send you DC and its not what you hoped for leave it is still a free country. Remember most private schools are very clever marketing machines and many many pre preps/preps in particular are struggling especially outside of London and will tell you anything to get your DC, also no where is perfect and what might be a perfect fit for your neighbours DC may not be a perfect fit for your DC. After a couple of terms analyse the situation are you and your DC getting out of it what you hoped? Keep critically analysing the situation as they go through the school because children change all the time as will your expectations. Its worth keeping an eye on whats going on in you local maintained state school and other private schools for that matter. Friends who five years ago wouldn't have touch their local state were very impressed with the teachers when they went to see to the other day. On the other hand you might love the independent sector and decide to send you DC to a "big name" school and realise that your current school doesn't prepare them for it and have to move. Things change all the time just be open minded and don't assume that everything is going to be fine or not what ever sector you in.

seeker, why is calling a state school and maintained school ignorant? Genuine question. My DS attends the nursery year of our local state primary and it is referred to as a "maintained nursery", as in it is financially maintained by the state I presume?

Mrspringle Mon 11-Feb-13 19:06:12

I assume this is 2 different comprehensives that have let you down, and not your local primary school too?
assuming you did not send your second son to the same school where your son had his face kicked in?

I can offer No advice on the financial commitment. What is your reasoning for not choosing your local primary school?

I know a lot of people who have a large gap with siblings and do things differently next time round. Best of luck with your choice.

breward Mon 11-Feb-13 18:06:54

Just remember Private schools and paying fees are like being on a merry-go-rounds...once you are on it is very difficult to get off.

My DD was at a private school in a class of 10 children and was very happy. However, the standard of education wasn't a patch on what the state school I taught at could offer. The state school was heavily over-subscribed with its grammar school pass rate being 50% of the Yr 6 class some years. We were offered a place mid-way through KS1. Most would have jumped at the place but I found it so hard to take her out of the private sector, class of 10 with its posh uniform and hats (but poor teaching)and into a class of 30 'scruffs!' with fabulous teaching.

After much soul searching we took up the state school place and 6 years later DD could not have been happier and is now thriving at a super-selective Grammar. None of the private school children got Grammar places, but then again, it is not in their best interest as they want 'bums on seats' in the senior school.

LynetteScavo Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:36

You haven't signed up for 12 years, you've signed up for two terms....you only have to give one full terms notice I would imagine.

Not all state schools are like the ones your older DC expererienced, but if they are the only state schools available to you, and you can afford an independent school, I wish you the best. It't a bit like getting a mortgage really, you might think you are committed financially long term, but really you're not.

INeedALieIn Sun 10-Feb-13 23:03:37

I don't regret a penny spent on school fees or any of the sacrifices made. Dc's happiness is worth every penny.

We work hard to pay the fees and am grateful that we are able to do so.

Trust in your choice and, as others have said, if it doesn't work out as planned, change it.

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 22:59:33

sorry, 12/14 years

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 22:59:13

I think you are being a little unreasonable in assuming that all state schools are the same as the one(s) your older children went to.

There are children who come out of private schools with nothing, and the only difference from what you got at the state school is that it cost their parents £100k+!

Are you planning to send your son to the same school for 15 years?

cassell Sun 10-Feb-13 22:56:47

I've signed up to send ds1 to private Pre-prep in September - I agree it is very daunting especially as it'll be dependent on my salary (dh's needed for bills etc) and worse once ds2 starts (not for another few years thankfully!). I debated about it for quite a while but I really like the school, think it'll be great for ds1 and as others had said if it doesn't work out then I could move him to state sector.

seeker Sun 10-Feb-13 22:49:23

You didn't offend when you said "maintained schools." You just showed yourself to be ignorant. I do wonder what your purpose was in posting.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 10-Feb-13 21:30:06

See it as 12 more years of nursery fees. You're doing what you think is right for your child. You don't have to justify this. smile

womaninblack Sun 10-Feb-13 21:25:10

Thanks for all of the advice. Sorry if I offended anyone referring to my experience with maintained schools, I know that there are some great schools out there. Unfortunately my eldest was kicked in the face repeatedly when he was 17 on school premises. The school didn't call the police because the boy who did it was in so much trouble already it would have sent him to prison! My middle son left with no GCSE's despite being very intelligent. I don't feel that some schools think that your average middle income family need any support and therefore they don't concentrate there efforts on them. For boys of a certain age in particular it is no longer cool to be clever sadly.

Fluffy1234 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:43:08

Why only 12 years?

socareless Sun 10-Feb-13 17:37:12

You can leave if it gets too much. We moved to private last sept and it is daunting. But as Schmedz says take it one term at a time and keep reminding yourself why you chose that route.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 10-Feb-13 15:31:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 15:28:31

Take it a term/year at a time and every time you think about the fact that you could have a holiday/get a car/improve your home or actually move to a big enough house / buy new clothes and eat out etc... with all the money you would save on school fees if they went to a state school, just remember what you are buying and why you chose private in the first place. And if along the way you are not happy with the choice, change it!

seeker Sun 10-Feb-13 09:18:13

The fact that you call it "the maintained school experience" suggests you haven't looked round a state school recently........your older children must be very much older!

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 09:11:39

We've got another 6 years to go , then possibly uni .... Take a deep breath.

Pagwatch Sun 10-Feb-13 09:09:41

Well perhaps remember that they do let you leave if you don't like it.
I know two parents who have moved from private to state. One at 7. One at 11.

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