Do you worry about paying school fees in future?

(73 Posts)
Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 18:05:12

We are trying to decide whether to send our DS (and his siblings in the future). If we are careful we can afford to send him now, but it gets more difficult for the others. I have planned our finances for the next several years and it looks like we should be ok, but can't be 100% certain.

How certain were you that you could pay fees in, say, 5 years time? I am willing to take the small risk that it could go wrong and we would have to move them, but DH being very pessimistic and is convinced something will go wrong. I don't want to be 5 years down the line though and realise we could have afforded it. I know that things will be tight - but that's the case for most people paying school fees I assume. DH seems to think we need loads of money in the bank to be able to afford it if things go wrong.

I want to go for it but am I being too risky?

seeker Wed 22-May-13 18:07:12

If you're al all doubtful, don't. Who wants to live a life worrying about money all the time? Use the money to fill in any gaps you see in state education, relax and have a nice life!

motherinferior Wed 22-May-13 18:10:20

No, I don't.

Because my kids go to state schools.

Bonsoir Wed 22-May-13 18:12:32

Don't do it if money is going to be really tight. Better to move to a more affluent area with good state schools, and to use your money to buy lots of nice extras for your DC, than to send them to private school and struggle financially while your DC are friends with lots of wealthy families.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 22-May-13 18:18:19

I worry about paying for school dinners at the end of the month.

Smudging Wed 22-May-13 18:18:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 22-May-13 18:20:38

Seriously though,unless I could be sure of my DC's continuity in the school I wouldn't risk it.

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 18:22:52

How much have you allowed for schools fees inflation? It's usually ahead of other indices.

Timetoask Wed 22-May-13 18:23:36

How old is DS?
In your place I would do the following: send him to a state school and at the same time put aside the monthly amount you would need for private.
If in three years you think you need to move him, then you'd have three years of fees saved up.
I send my DS to a prep but always have one year's fee saved up in advance.

lunar1 Wed 22-May-13 18:25:40

Ds1 is in private and we can afford to send ds2 as well when he is old enough. We have some savings and good equity in the house, but not enough to pay up till 18 if dh lost his job.

If everything goes to plan dh should be earning significantly more in 5 years and I will be back at work. It is still a worry and when ds2 starts school im going to take out insurance to cover the payments if needed.

HabbaDabba Wed 22-May-13 18:27:02

When we started out the advice from my friend, who was in same boat, was as follows. Take one academic year at a time. Hardly ground shaking advice I know smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 22-May-13 18:29:23

We wouldn't consider starting ours unless we had the equivalent of half the total fees for both boys in the bank.

I remember reading once that if you are relying on income to pay that term's fees then you can't afford private school.

No doubt there will be people who will disagree with that sentiment, but I think it is a very sensible position to take.

DontmindifIdo Wed 22-May-13 18:40:29

If you aren't 100% certain, then the advice about not putting your DS in private straight away is a good one - most prep schools do have a 7+ intake (as the traditional pre-preps go to 7). If you could find a good state school for key stage 1 and then move if you a) aren't happy with the state school and b) think your financial situation is stable. If you can save the fees now then you will be used to living without that extra money and will have at least 2 years money saved so if one of you did lose your job you would have 2 years 'grace' to find something else equally well paying. (that said if you do go down this route, remember many state schools won't have the wrap around care in place or after school activities for free that you often get in preps, so you might have to pay for some of that as well as trying to save).

Other things worth thinking about, if you have one DS now but trying for other DCs, if you have DCs of a different gender, many private schools are single sex schools, this means two different school drop offs and no sibling discount for having more than one DC in the school at the time, if you are planning more, then it might be worth looking for mixed prep schools to give yourself a bit more leyway should you have a second DC.

DontmindifIdo Wed 22-May-13 18:46:57

Also worth thinking about what you would have to sacrifice, we could at a push send 2 DCs to private school, but it would mean we couldn't save for uni, we would have to stop overpaying on the mortgage, we'd not be able to holiday yearly, we wouldn't have the same flexibility of if I work or not (currently on mat leave, not sure if I'll go back or not). Everything would have to be a bit more money aware. As it is, we live near an outstanding state school and have decided if we can get DS in there, combined with paying out for things like music and sports that aren't available at that school (and having money for tuition if we aren't 100% happy with his progress in a larger class) then that would be better for us.

All that said, my DS is a very outgoing loud child, I'm not worried about him being 'lost' in a larger school with larger classes, I konw some people are chosing prep for very shy DCs because they think their DCs need smaller classes more. It might come down to your DS's personality.

diabolo Wed 22-May-13 18:54:37

We made a conscious decision to only do it when we knew we could afford to see it through - although I know other people do it year to year, I don't think I'd be able to sleep properly.

Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 19:15:06

Thanks. I do worry about doing it year to year and would like to have a good plan B if it all went wrong. I will look at school fee insurance

DS is in state junior, I'm very unhappy with it and he's not keen either. He was previously very happy at his infant school. We were never planning for him to go private this early, maybe secondary if we could afford it. But the school seems to be getting worse and my other DCs will be following him there

The other option is to move, but we would be stretching ourselves to move as its very expensive round here, the good primary schools are very oversubscribed and the good state secondary schools are few and far between.

We would be taking a risk by moving to another area and hoping to get into a school with a small catchment. We would be financially stretched with either option. But feel like we have to take a risk one way or another

OddBoots Wed 22-May-13 19:21:00

My dc don't go to private school but for the clubs and the activities they do I keep 1 year of fees away in a separate savings to give me some time to make changes if my financial position worsens. Could you do something like that?

Takingthemickey Wed 22-May-13 19:27:37

I pay private fees out of income as am a glass half full person. It looked daunting at the start but this is the 6th year doing it and, touch wood, so far so good.

Our options for state were so bad that I was prepared to take the risk. The extra payment for school fees still worked out cheaper than a house in a good catchment area.

Fluffy1234 Wed 22-May-13 19:33:50

How many DC do you have op?

Bowlersarm Wed 22-May-13 19:36:25

OP for about ten years now we've been unsure whether we would have enough money to pay the school fees for the next term, as each term ends. Well, we've managed so far!

My thoughts were that we would persevere for as far down the road of private schooling as we could. If there came a point where we ran out of money to do it then sobeit, we would look at the options at that point, and face it if we came to it. There is so much movement between schools that i don't think my DC would be traumatised by moving schools.

We've got one through but still two to go. I'm glad we've gone down this route, although our finances have been precarious at times, and we haven't finished yet.

SignoraStronza Wed 22-May-13 19:39:43

Yes, start them at state school so the major legwork of teaching them to read, write and count is perfected. Then, when you can afford to 'do the best by your child', pull them out and send them private to polish off all those rough edges, refine the accent and mix with a richer variety of classmate.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 19:42:43

Please tell me you're being ironic, señora........

Bowlersarm Wed 22-May-13 19:43:28

Bitter much signora? It's a free country isn't it? Surely every one makes the choices they think are the best for their DC.

DontmindifIdo Wed 22-May-13 19:49:36

In your case, then if you don't have a good state school as an option and moving isn't really affordable compared to school fees, then I'd do it. It's also worth noting that most private schools do have funds for students who are already in the school who's parents' financial situation changes and can no longer afford the place.

I would also look at other choices you can make to increase your savings, so if you can start adding any savings now, cut back to the bone as much as possible so that you could build up 1-2 years fees money, that might make your DH feel more comfortable about the choice.

SignoraStronza Wed 22-May-13 19:51:41

Bitter? No, not really (unless you get me started on the fact that private schools are considered worthy of charitable status as opposed to taxed as businesses, but that's another thread). I really don't feel I've missed out by not going private. Neither has my DC.

I just find it amusing that a state school will do up until a certain point and then sacrifices will have to be made in the interests of the child because suddenly it just isn't good enough.

Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 19:53:55

I do feel like we should take the risk and try and get them as far as possible. Just trying to convince my DH that it may possible. I want them to enjoy school and get as much out of it as possible. My DS gets bored and hates the disruption to classes as discipline is not great. He is also being teased at the moment, which is common, but its not being dealt with at all.

Fluffy - I have 4 DCs which makes the decision so much harder. I want to treat them all the same

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 22-May-13 19:56:10

My dc's are at private school and I know a lot of the parents pay the fees out of income. There really aren't that many who have all the fee money sat in the bank unless grandparents have perhaps set up trusts.

I don't overly worry about paying the fees in the future. Because if at any point we can't afford it, then we will simply take them out and move to the state sector. And a lot of people operate this way, hence the numbers of children who have left the school that my children attend.

So provided your income is sufficient to comfortably cover fees, well I wouldn't worry too much personally.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 19:57:43

What are your main concerns about his current school?

Fluffy1234 Wed 22-May-13 20:07:48

4 DC is a lot to educate privately. I think if I was in your position I
would look more into the option of moving house/school. In my area 4 at private school would cost about 5k a month.

Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 20:11:55

Seeker - where do I start! Disruptive classes, lack of discipline, bad ofsted report, headmaster is useless, poor communication, teachers leaving in droves. DS is very well behaved and loves rules so gets annoyed at the disruption. He just wants to learn and gets bored easily. It's not just about the bad things at his current school, but also what he more he could get out of a different school

crazycarol Wed 22-May-13 20:54:24

We rely on income to pay fees, although at a push we could do 1 or 2 terms from savings but that would be it. It is a risk I accept and I do not normally take risks but for my dds future I am happy with this decision as the state option was dire. We now only have 1 year left (& university if she chooses that path) so can see light at the end of the tunnel. If you keep on saying "what if" to yourself you will never leave your bed in the morning! (although that does sound like a good idea)

seeker Wed 22-May-13 20:54:27

Had you thought about a different state school?

beatback Wed 22-May-13 21:10:21

Is it a Comprehensive School.

Bonsoir: Don't do it if money is going to be really tight. Better to move to a more affluent area with good state schools, and to use your money to buy lots of nice extras for your DC

Hmm. It was cheaper for us to send our kids to private school (secondary level only, admittedly) than to move to a "more affluent area with good state schools".

Just seen the OP has 4 kids though!

wigornian Wed 22-May-13 21:32:55

OP I think sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. We only have 1 DC, which is much more manageable, of course. We both work in the public sector and sending DS to private school for the next 14 years (inc 6th Form) will involve sacrifices and if we both lost ours jobs and were without work for a long time, that would be it. However education is so important, for us, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Schools near us as far from dire - the nearest just rated up to good, others in the locality like the C of E primary just rated outstanding - we are Church goers so this would be an option. These are out Plan B if Plan A fails. Very fortunate, I know.

musicalfamily Wed 22-May-13 21:45:35

OP I also have 4 children and have done many many spreadsheets with my DH with regards to whether or not we can afford to send them all.

It doesn't look too bad when the first goes, the second is ok, but when the third and fourth hit, ouch it is a huge amount of money, like others' said, 5000 pounds per months and that's without school bus, trips, uniforms, extras...and then there's inflation.

For 4 children for secondary only we've calculated about 500k including inflation rises and extras.

We are seriously looking at moving options alongside the private option, because 500k is a lot of money. Moving isn't easy and isn't a light option, but it scares me to death spending all that money out of earned income - I would be interested to know what you choose to do, but do understand you.

teacherwith2kids Wed 22-May-13 22:04:15

It is one of the reasons why we don't use private schools. Not the main reason by any means - those would be around quality of education (locally, state schools get better results than private), social cohesion, ideological issues etc etc - but definitely one factor in the mix

DH has been out of work a few times as the children have been growing up. Even a full-time teacher's wage is not private-school fee paying territory, not on top of eating and keeping a roof over our heads. So we opt for security every time, which means that we can afford excellent quality out-of-school provision for the sports clubs and things like theatre trips and music lessons and transport to county music groups that might come 'in house' at a private.

Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 22:53:06

We would have to move to consider another state school as they are all poor round here, which they shouldn't be as it is an relatively affluent area.

I guess it does come down to how important we feel it is and whether the sacrifices are worth the 'investment'. I think I'm more willing to make the sacrifice than DH

Musicalfamily - good to know I'm not the only mad one considering it for 4! I think around 500k was our estimate aswell which is a scary amount of money.

I really want to make the leap of faith but scared as its such a huge decision

musicalfamily Wed 22-May-13 22:59:11

what scares me the most is that unpredictability of such a large commitment - however I think I would feel better if there was a decent secondary school I could send my children if all else fails.

The problem is that like you, the schools around here are poor for secondary so if I did have to pull them all out the solution would be a big culture shock to say the least.

So moving would give us a very good secondary school (state) and then a private option if that doesn't work out. We are thinking of doing it the other way round!! But haven't decided yet - we change our minds daily!

Mumtogremlins Wed 22-May-13 23:08:18

You sound just like us musicalfamily, we change our minds on a daily basis too! The secondary back up is poor and I would not want them going there so would have to move and rent somewhere if we had to pull them out of private.

My DH keeps saying we could enjoy our lives more if they weren't in private - more trips out as a family etc

The main issue we are finding with moving to another town for better state primaries, is the long waiting lists. There were 10 children on the list for Year 5 at two of my preferred schools, and its very hard to move 4 children into the same school at the same time. I don't want to move to end up in worse schools as they are the only ones with spaces

moonbells Wed 22-May-13 23:56:16

We took financial advice when we looked at going private. The chap who came round* said it's astonishing how many people assume that paying out of taxed income is a good way to do it. It's extremely tax inefficient, especially if you're a higher rate taxpayer. There are perfectly legal ways of getting at least some of the tax back, eg releasing equity from a house and repaying the minimum while overpaying a pension from which you can then take 25% tax free lump sum at 55 to pay off the mortgage again... thus regaining upto 40% of tax... sounds complicated but actually straightforward and gives you a bigger pension too. Then there's saving into ISAs for a few years, eg before prep or secondary, the more years an investment has to grow the better. Even people who think they're find paying as they go would benefit.

There's several firms out there, some specialising in school fees. The earlier you speak to someone, the sooner you will have a realistic idea of if you can indeed pay for your DCs schools.

* he also said that after he hands people a projection of just how much the totals are, over 13 years, people usually go pale then head for the gin/Scotch!

moonbells Wed 22-May-13 23:57:06

*fine (sigh!)

moonbells Wed 22-May-13 23:58:11

and DC's

It's late. I'm about 2h past usual bedtime. That's my excuse for the typos and I'm sticking to it!

cory Thu 23-May-13 07:39:44

It is quite clear from your posts why you need to move: your ds is unhappy. He shouldn't be. It's not a good way to be educated.

When you say all the local state schools are as bad, do you mean they are as bad in all respects? Or are you just going by results? Is it possible there might be one with dodgy results but with a better atmosphere?

DontmindifIdo Thu 23-May-13 08:31:45

Is it just the primary level that's currently an issue? Would it be more affordable to move (either rented or bought) to a better area for schools, accepting that you might not be able to get a place in the local good state primary schools for all of your 4 DCs, so have to pay in that area for one or two of them, but be in the area so that you can use state for secondary if the new areas state secondary schools are better?

It's also worth checking out burseries for the private schools you like, worth asking as you have 4 DCs what they would offer in way of discounts/help. That might make it more affordable than you thought. Remember as well though that private schools have longer school holidays so if you are both working, you'll need more paid for holiday care.

DontmindifIdo Thu 23-May-13 08:32:48

Plus I believe in a lot of areas (ours definately) if you move newly into the area, you go to the top of the school waiting list, but again, worth calling the local councils to find out.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 08:38:29

You don't go to the top of the waiting list.

If there is no school place at all at destination, they activate the Fair Access Protocol and force the school which, in LA's opinion, can bet cope with additional pupils. If you don't like that school, then can join the waiting lists of those you prefer, but you will be ranked on them according to entrance criteria ofthe school, like everyone else.

OP: have you allowed for fee increases in your calculations?

seeker Thu 23-May-13 08:50:40

"We would have to move to consider another state school as they are all poor round here, which they shouldn't be as it is an relatively affluent area. "

Are you sure about this? It would be quite unusual for all the state schools to be as grim as the one you describe.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 08:54:17

It is however common to be in a situation where the only schools where you stand a chance of securing a place are ones that are for some reason or other unsuitable.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 08:55:11

Absolutely- but that's not what mumtogremlins said!

HabbaDabba Thu 23-May-13 09:25:11

Signora - why is it so hard to understand?

Our primary school wasn't particularly academic. In year 4 we talked to the class teacher about DS being academically bored. We got a speech about how children should be children and there was plenty of time for serious studying later on in life. The year 5 teacher was more helpful. He would set separate work for DS. The year 6 teacher was totally unsympathetic. DS was already at KS L4 so what was I complaining about?

While we could compensate for this at primary level there was no way we could do this at secondary level. We looked around and our local state secondary options were more of the same. We could have moved but unless we bought a house literally meters from the school gate there was no guarantee that the proximity and siblings rule wouldn't trip us up. So we sat down, did the calculations and decided to go private.

Parents usually reach their decisions after a careful assessment of the options so grin at the people who seem to think that we decided to spend £250k for no other reason than because we are gullible snobs.

Xenia Thu 23-May-13 09:50:16

I picked a career where incomes at least double if not end up 10 times what you start on. That tends to help. Make sure daughters pick high paid careers when their time comes..... and if they go to a fee paying school that more likely. I was able to pay for school fees for 5 children due to wise career choices.

I think though the thread is more about a husband and wife having different approaches to risk. Whatever your views try to spread it - have as many different income sources as possible. Never put all your eggs into one basket, particularly a male earnings only basket as therein lies the road to ruin.

Mumtogremlins Thu 23-May-13 10:18:29

The other local schools are either in special measures or very similar to his current school. I don't want to move him unless there's a very good chance of it being an improvement

It isn't an easy decision and one we are not taking lightly, hence the post! I'm torn between the financial risk and wanting to send them to a school which will be so much better

seeker Thu 23-May-13 10:42:20

Is anything happening about improving your school? If it got a poor OfSTEd there should be an improvement plan in place...if not, do you feel you have the time and energy to ask why not? (I appreciate you might well not!)

wordfactory Thu 23-May-13 11:09:41

Well OP, DH being DH insisted that we put money aside when we began our DC at private school just in case.

He said it helped him sleep at night.

And to be fair, he's self employed (as am I, I wasn't when we started out) so there are never any income guarantees.

Taking on a large financial commitment can make some poeple very nervous indeed. If your DH is one of those people, then it's perhaps unfair to insist he face the burden?

That said, I know oodles of folk who pay school fees out of income. Yes, they are taking a leap of faith that their income will remain steady, but I guess that's the case with any commitment (morgage, pension, whatever)...they don't seem overly worried.

Zigster Thu 23-May-13 11:49:30

Private schools aren't generally profit-making businesses so the amount of tax saved by by having charitable status is quite a bit less than the amount of benefit provided in terms of bursaries and so on.

And surely it is conceivable that the differences between State and private schools are not constant at each age? That is, an argument that there is little difference between State and private in the early years but the difference is greater in later years. Thus, State schools "will do" up to a certain point.

Mumtogremlins Thu 23-May-13 11:59:53

It's good to know that it's not uncommon for fees to be paid out of income. I reckon we could save 2-3 terms of fees as a back up but it's still scary the amount of money we would be paying for all 4.

Seeker - his current school isn't in special measures so no big plan to improve. The head is useless when spoken to and is like a politician - all show and talk, and no action. He says he's making changes but I've not seen anything positive yet. He is obsessed with SATs results and the children that have already achieved level 4 & 5 get forgotten about. I don't want DS to get bored and lose his love of learning

wordfactory Thu 23-May-13 12:07:16

It isn't remotely unusual. If you think about it, most people meet all their financial responsibilities through income.

It's very rare for someone to put ten years of mortgage payments in a designated account just in case grin.

lainiekazan Thu 23-May-13 12:17:31

I wouldn't do it unless you are very, very certain you can afford it comfortably and can go on doing so. Or that you have generous grandparents with deep pockets.

Ten years ago dh was earning a six figure + salary. Suddenly his company went bust and so did our investment in it. Thank goodness we had not committed to private education - at the time I had been considering it.

And schools will not just stump up for anyone who can't afford it who is already attending. That is a myth. And I spotted in the prospectus of one school that they will not help those who are funded by a grandparent if the grandparent dies. I guess people could have foreseen that funds might dry up!

Could you move to an area with good secondary schools and support the children through primary using the money that you would have otherwise spent on private education?

The quality of primary education is important but it is probably easier to make up any shortfalls at primary than it is at secondary so I would be tempted to focus on getting into the catchement of the best secondary you can.

catchment not catchement

Zigster Thu 23-May-13 15:44:26

lainiekazan - I think that's a large part of the reason for my "wobble" about private education at the moment. We are funding it out of income - paying present pre-prep fees and putting money aside for the higher fees in later years. I do currently earn a six-figure salary but it's at best a static industry- there don't seem to be many pay rises in the future, yet school fees keep going up and up. What's affordable now might start to get very painful in future years, particularly if I lost my current job and had to take a lower-paying one. If I take my kids out of private school, I'd rather do it at an early age and proactively rather than have to react to a change in circumstances - at least I have time to get my kids in to my preferred local State school rather than having to take the spare places in the unpopular school.

And I agree with your other point - I'm pretty sure the private schools are very unlikely to stump up the fees you can no longer pay. There might by coincidence be a bursary available, but you would probably have to put together a very strong argument for why your children deserved it.

So, the revised plan is looking like getting State primary education for "free" but putting money aside so we will hopefully have some flexibility for senior school if "needed".

Xenia Thu 23-May-13 16:06:03

I've always assumed my income will always get bigger and bigger. We can probably divide people into pessimists and optimists. Optimists studies show make their own luck and do better because we take up opportunities. Pessimists are so sure things will go wrong they let all kinds of possibilities go by as they say - oh I'd never manage that. It would all go wrong.

seeker Thu 23-May-13 17:10:44

"Private schools aren't generally profit-making businesses so the amount of tax saved by by having charitable status is quite a bit less than the amount of benefit provided in terms of bursaries and so on."

I'd need to see the figures on that one!

I only know one family doesn't pay school fees out of income. And they are rich beyond the dreams of avarice. ( always wanted to say that!)

musicalfamily Thu 23-May-13 17:57:35

In the case of the OP though, and my own, you cannot say it equates to taking out a mortgage - as with 4 children, just for secondary you would be looking at 500k. I don't know many people who would take on such a huge mortgage unless they were very wealthy indeed..!!

diabolo Thu 23-May-13 18:36:02

seeker We pay our fees out of a small inheritance and a share-save scheme my husband's employer operate, not day to day income.

We are among the least well off parents at the school in terms of house size, fancy cars, holidays etc smile

DontmindifIdo Thu 23-May-13 18:54:29

Musicalfamily - I guess you don't live in the south east then... (looks on rightmove and has kittens at how much a 3 bed semi in not the posh part of town costs round here)

Fluffy1234 Thu 23-May-13 19:03:31

A while back I remember a thread about a family whose income was 250k plus but because they had 4 DC at private school the OP didn't feel it was giving her the lifestyle she thought it would. That made really interesting reading.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 23-May-13 19:15:55

Fluffy I remember that one. They were struggling to afford holidays IIRC, although they did also have a vast mortgage.

Zigster Fri 24-May-13 09:26:16

seeker - From a Telegraph article

"Charitable status is thought to bring private schools tax benefits worth more than £100m a year. But private schools say they spend at least £260m on bursaries."

Charitable status of private schools is a bit of a red herring - probably works out at about £150 per pupil per year (compared with say £5k pa saved from not educating them in a State school). If private schools stopped being charities (assuming that was possible to unwind) it is quite reasonable to speculate that private schools would reduce the number of bursaries leading to more children being educated in the State sector thus more than offsetting the saving from removing charitable status.

At my kids' school, it seems that a lot of the pupils' fees are paid for/subsidised by inheritances or by grandparents. In some cases we know this is the case and, in a good number of others, there is no way that their jobs would even cover the fees by themselves before any living costs are considered.

Xenia Fri 24-May-13 10:36:33

If there were no charitable status parents would pay 20% VAT on the fees but would not be supporting poor children attending the schools nor having the cost of allowing others into the grounds and sports centres so fees may not be affected.

In my view charity ought to include any form of education including educating children of parents who can pay fees. Apart from anything else private schools hugely relieve the state from the cost of educating the children there - a huge gift fee paying children give to the poor and needy in this country for which of course we receive so little thanks as we are nation riven by jealousy and envy.

Zigster Fri 24-May-13 10:45:46

That's my understanding of the key impact as well - fees would attract 20% VAT. However, the school would also be able to reclaim VAT on its costs which has a large offsetting effect - i.e. its (net of VAT) costs would decrease so it wouldn't be as simple as taking current fees and adding 20%.

My £150 per pupil estimate was simply taking the £100m pa total figure and diving by the about 650,000 children educated in the private sector.

I think that, pre the 2006 Charities Act, education was seen as a charitable activity in its own right. Now there are more hurdles to jump through and certainly some private schools have been challenged on whether they have been doing enough to keep charitable status.

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