What is the cost...

(55 Posts)
TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 16:53:28

Of private primary schools in lancashire north west area?

Are there alot of extra things you have to pay for?

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-Sep-13 18:45:34

Most private schools publish their fees on their websites so you can check the ones you are interested in.
I'm not in your area.

TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 19:25:26

I ve had alook on there websites and cant see a price list.

I thought they didnt publish their fees as they wanted people to maybe ring instead so they could use sales tactics?

Just a thought though

difficultpickle Sun 29-Sep-13 20:11:37

Are you sure the fees aren't on their websites? I'm not in your area but I can't think of a school I've looked at that didn't have fee info on their website. Do a sitemap search as sometimes it isn't always obvious.

lunar1 Sun 29-Sep-13 20:16:23

I'm in the nw, the prep is 6700 per year and the senior is 9000. Extras last year were less than 100 but are obviously more when they start residential trips and extra curricular lessons.

Uniform can all be bought second hand in the PTA shop. New it was about £250 per year. Nobody cares if you buy second hand. To be honest most parents just pass it on if they know you have a younger one who will use it.

TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 20:16:26

Checked all their website, its no where to be seen

I did manage to find their fees on an education website £2000 per term.

difficultpickle Sun 29-Sep-13 20:19:50

£2000 per term? What age is that? Seems very cheap envy

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-Sep-13 20:24:25

In general you do have to search about a bit it is often hidden under admissions information. The only school round here that doesn't have it's fees on the website is really a "if you have to ask how much this is not the place for you" establishment.

TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 20:44:39

Its for age 3-11

Dh thinks its expensive

difficultpickle Sun 29-Sep-13 20:55:49

Ours is nearly £3000 per term for reception and nearly £5000 per term once they get to year 5. Hence my envy!

TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 23:24:59


Are you in london

difficultpickle Mon 30-Sep-13 00:05:03

No but we are in the south east. I think fees are even higher in London and there are schools near us with even higher fees.

BadgerB Mon 30-Sep-13 06:10:52

In the North Midlands £3000 to £4000 is the usual price for primary/prep, going up to £5k to £6K for Ys 7&8 in preps that go to age 13.

happygardening Mon 30-Sep-13 07:17:44

"if you have to ask how much this is this is not the place for you" establishment."
Even the most expensive and well know state their fees very clearly usually in the admissions section.
I suspect you won't find many/any in the UK charging less than £2000 I've just looked up two of our local not overly well regarded schools with no specialised teachers both want at least £2700 for infants rising to over £3000 for juniors. For a well regarded one with specialised teachers add at the very least another £1300 per term. We're not in London.

TigerBabyyy Mon 30-Sep-13 10:24:07

Do you think its worth the money?

Some prep schools are worth every penny and others are not. It depends on each individual school, the quality of the local state primary schools and what will suit each individual child.

For us, a prep school was the best option but had we lived in a different part of London or been eligible for the local faith primaries, then it would have been a more complicated choice.

crazymum53 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:00:50

My old school in Lancashire charges £2200 per term for Infants and Juniors but this does not include lunch which is extra. You may be able to take a packed lunch though!
On the website it states that there will be extra charges for trips (residential or day) but this would apply to any school (state or private).
You may also need to pay extra for instrumental music lessons and sports activities where an outside coach is used who doesn't teach at the school, but this sort of activity wouldn't be compulsory.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 30-Sep-13 11:17:44

I'm int he north west and most if the private primary schools near me (we have quite a few to choose from) are in the region of £6000-£7000 per year. Some include the extras in the fees and others charge for those separately.
What part of Lancashire are we talking? Bury, Bolton Blackburn?
Yo usually find fees info under the admission tab.

happygardening Mon 30-Sep-13 12:09:31

Do I think it's worth the money?
We've paid virtually all the way since nursery for one or other of my DS's there are times when either at the time or in retrospect it wasn't worth the money, currently I feels it's worth every hard earned penny. You need to look at your child and try and decide where they will thrive (not an easy thing to do), work out what you can expect and want from education/what you can afford and factor in where you live. We're rural we have excellent state senior schools but I still pay for one DS.

TigerBabyyy Mon 30-Sep-13 13:12:45

Do you feel your children would be the same academically if they went to a state school?

Are they smaller classes in private school?

What made you choose private school?

exexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 13:18:24

Just google the name of the school and 'fees' and I would be very surprised if you couldn't find what you're looking for (even Eton has its fees very clearly on its website). You can do the same for comparable schools to get an idea what the going rate is. Whether it is worth it is entirely a question for you, and depends on you child, his/her needs, and what the alternatives are like. Why are you thinking of going private?

TigerBabyyy Mon 30-Sep-13 13:31:08

Your going to think im a right snob for saying this but...

I left school 12 years ago with the lowest GCSEs you could get.

Alot of classes i was in had children in that misbehaved and took up alot of the teachers time etc.

Primary school was very much the same. I went to the very nearest school as it was convenient for my mum. The schools i went to had a good exam success rate, but there was also alot of children in there that came from rough backgrounds and disrupted the class.

I dont want this for dd. shes only 11 months, but i want her to really thrive academically etc and get good grades etc.

happygardening Mon 30-Sep-13 14:07:12

OP in answer to you questions:
I suspect in terms of academic results my DS2 who we still pay for would probably achieve the same type of grades as he was offered a place at one of the countries top 10 grammar schools. But we are interested in universities outside of the UK a natural next step for those who've boarded since an early age and when we were making our decision state schools were definitely not up to speed on these. The very bright we're being aimed at Oxbridge in fact I doubt many are now really pushing the Ivy League etc for the very able.
Yes the classes are usually significantly smaller, at prep 8-15 depending on the subject and yr, at senior single for some classes e.g, MFL there are 7-8 in others up to a max of 18.
Finally we chose it because we like boarding my DS's boarded from yr 3, and I like the ethos/opportunities/staff and it was a good fit for my DS.

exexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 14:16:58

She's only a baby! You have got plenty of time to think about it, but I would recommend looking at your local primaries too - unless you now live in an area with a lot of social problems, I think you are unlikely to find that much disruption in primary classes.

And if you are not impressed with your local schools, you might find it better value to move to an area with better schools, rather than committing to paying school fees for the whole 14 years of school education for your DD and any other children you have. You are probably looking at a bill of something like £150,000 per child for the total 14 years (not allowing for inflation).

exexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 14:23:06

Oh, and to answer your question: DC1 has been at a private school since year 7, DC2 since year 3. They are both very academically inclined children (pretty much everyone in our family is an Oxbridge graduate, and they are looking as if they may follow the same pattern), and the schools they are now at suit them better than the local state alternatives.

I realised when DC1 started year 7 that he had been seriously bored and underchallenged at his old state primary, which is why I decided to move DC2 earlier. The school they moved from is 'outstanding', extremely popular and oversubscribed - it just didn't suit us.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:15

Your going to think im a right snob for saying this but...

I don't think you are a snob at all. Our own childhood experiences shape the decisions that we make for our own children. Somebody who has had an awful state school experience or not met their academic potential in state school is more likely to want something different for their own children if they can afford it. Of course there are lots of people who despite a poor experience themselves are set against private school for a variety of reasons, but it doesn't make you a snob in the slightest way.

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:35

OP If you're in the NW you can begin to build on your daughter's innate brilliance with very little expense (ok some expense...) Right from now.

Have you looked on the Bridgewater Hall's website? Book tickets for the Family Christmas Carols. Lovely for a one year old.

The John Rylands Library usually has something similar - may be free.

Manchester Art Gallery has an interactive kids' area. Take her next year - and keep taking her to see more and more.

Manchester Museum ditto.

The Whitworth Gallery + lovely outdoor space and cafe.

Next year take her to Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

Sign up to the Royal Northern College of Music mailing list. Get into the habit of going as often as you can.

Leeds Art Gallery?

Tropical World - Leeds?

The Grand Theatre?

West Yorkshire Playhouse?

I could go on... Honestly OP - You can get endless advice here on schools - I second most of what's already been posted. But wherever you send her to school, it's the sort of things listed above that will make the crucial difference in the early, early, early years. Don't wait. Don't think "she's too young for that" or "she won't sit still, " or whatever. You're really lucky to live where you do - expose her to all the good stuff and you can be far more confident in your school choice later on. And she will get far more out of her formal education because of what you have done and continue to do.

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 14:43:00

I missed out The Royal Exchange Theatre! (Magical at any age.) And all of Liverpool!

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 14:48:33

In fact - if you're anywhere near Salford Quays (Lowry, Imperial War Museum North) she will scarcely need school at all.smile

TigerBabyyy Mon 30-Sep-13 15:06:06

Many thanks for all the tips on places to go!

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 16:55:52

OP Don't know where you are in the NW - but I would hope you have good transport links?

What I'm going to say may well sound patronising - it isn't meant to be. But it is the absolute truth and anyone who says different is simply wrong. The single most important factor in your daughter's educational future (given the obvious basics) is that she sees you eagerly embracing learning in your own life. I don't mean formal learning necessarily - but reading, and wanting to hear new music, always heading off to the galleries and museums in a new town, (I would have said never bypassing a bookshop or library - but good luck with that...) questioning the TV news, talking, talking, talking.

Involve her in your interests; it's great if you have the support of other adults who care about her intellectual / cultural development and want to show her "their" world - whether it be hill walking or church architecture or 21st century opera....

Lecture over. I also agree that, particularly at nursery/infant level you might find more benefit (and of course it's easy to say....) in moving to an area with a fair selection of decent state schools - rather than living in a less desirable (school) area and paying to "bus her out." Because little children are so shaped by their immediate environment. By the time she's perhaps 6 or 7 you'd have a much better idea of her interests and potential and can make an informed choice about what to do next.

HmmAnOxfordComma Mon 30-Sep-13 18:20:23

I second and third and fourth everything said by Somethingyesterday.

And that said by others about looking at your local schooling options and not assuming too much about what schools are like now based on your own schooling experiences.

However, to strictly answer your OP about fees: I would also be very surprised if they weren't listed on the schools' websites. They are on every one I've ever looked at - usually under 'admissions'. Around here, pre- and prep fees are usually between £3k - £4k per term (Midlands) and senior fees are from £4K per term. These do include books and lunches etc.

If your dh thinks £2k per term is expensive, I'll think you/he will have a bit of a shock. School fees also rise a lot every year (usually more than your wages!) so it's a HUGE financial commitment (especially for more than one child).

I would focus on looking at your local state primaries and seeing if you might need to move soon, doing all the lovely things suggested above with your dd, and concentrate on saving up for secondary fees, in case you still feel it really is necessary when the time comes round.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 19:02:01

£22 for a primary school skirt not a £5 in Tesco, 1/2 again as I pay for private music lessons for DS1, way more than that if your state school has a subsidised scheme.

No free school buses, SN help ~£40 an hour. Trips heaven knows. Older DCs have enough logo'd PE kit to start a shop. Private education is very expensive.

Some of our local schools start looking doable at 2500 a term, but it goes up rapidly and senior school is ~£4500.

DD1's DF goes to private school and I've done the sums many times, we can't afford it and even if we just could I wouldn't.

Yes it's very nice, but I'm not convinced that DF hasn't just got the exactly the same very good, but not stella GCSE results she would have got at the local decent comp.

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 10:38:03

Which school are you thinking of? I bet we can find the fees for you. grin

My family have been looking for a school in the NW and have lots of prospectuses. I could check for you? It's probably easiest just to phone the registrar though and ask for info to be sent.

The quality of independent schools vary and much as the quality of state schools. If you post your possibilities on here there will be people who know the schools, or just know about schools, who will comment!

lunar1 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:34:28

I went to look at schools, state and private when ds1 was about the same age as your dd. I knew instantly which one I liked.

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 11:50:45

Its bury prep school. There fees are not on their admissions link at all.

I did find the fees on an education website though

Their uniform is awful

Unexpected Tue 01-Oct-13 11:57:38

Instead of worrying about the uniform at the moment, I think you need to check whether you meet their admissions policy first! Are your children baptised Catholic?

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 11:59:21

No but there is a big sign outside saying all faiths welcome

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 12:07:48

Wow, they really have buried the fees haven't they?? They'd rather tell you the school's policy on calculations than how much it costs!! grin It looks pretty tiny, I's be considering how financially secure it is.

Have you considered Bolton School? They'll almost certainly have a bus to Bury and the uniform is less terrifying. They have an open day on the 12th you could go to (it is where my nephew is going for Reception in Sept). They have a nursery too which my DB and SIL have been pleased with.

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 12:17:53

See it wasnt me just not looking properly grin

Bury prep has been there a long time.

Didnt think about bolton due to traffic every morning and in the afternoon.

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 12:20:31

ISI report for Bury reads well though!

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 12:28:14

I did find the fees on an education website though

The fees listed on the education websites are not always up to date. I have found they are often way different than the current fees.

OP - it does look like the fees are not on the website. Email the school bursar and ask for a school brochure and a list of current fees.

BlackMogul Tue 01-Oct-13 12:43:40

Generally in my area you pay more for prep schools that offer more! If they get children into the top academic senior schools, with scholarships, they will be more expensive because of specialist teaching. Other schools that feed into less well known schools or back into the state system at 11 will probably be cheaper. I am not sure I would choose this type of school over a great local primary. Some less good independent prep schools do not have particularly great sport, music, drama etc so you need to evaluate what you are paying for. The best prep schools do everything very well and have lots of bright children so you need to choose the school which is the best fit. Prep schools tend to have lots of activities after school too so suit working families very well. Round my way you will be looking at £18,000 a year for year 8 for the best. We have done a mixture of state and independent and there was a huge difference in class size, specialist teaching and facilities at the independent prep school. The teaching of maths and English was surprisingly, not that different. There were very bright children in both schools but the independent school gave additional opportunities which were not matched by the state school. In the less academic prep schools, the parents are not looking towards top boarding schools, but want entry to a local independent secondary. The parents in the top prep schools are wanting Eton, Harrow, Wycombe Abbey etc so the market, and pricing, is different to reflect the aims and likely finances of the parents as well as the teaching requirements of the children.

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 12:46:58

Manchester grammar, manchester high and withington girls schools all trump eton and harrow in the results tables and are all priced well below most of the schools int he south including eton and harrow. The idea that you get what you pay for is true to an extent but there is vast regional difference in fee structure.

If a school is a charity its always worth looking at their accounts on the Charity Commission website. It gives some useful information about the school in the report and you can check their financial position.


Somethingyesterday Tue 01-Oct-13 13:10:58

Have you looked at:

Bury Grammar, Girls?

The boys' junior school has a reputation for being friendly and nurturing. Might be worth looking at the girls' purely for comparison?

BlackMogul Tue 01-Oct-13 13:13:48

People who want top boarding schools, with the chance of a scholarship, go to the top prep schools. No rude... I know other schools may be higher up league tables, but the ones you quote are not boarding. At my DDs old prep, 50% went to either Wycombe Abbey or Cheltenham Ladies. It is not all about league tables,it is about which boarding school suits. That is why the aims of the school and parents will dictate fees to some extent and there are regional differences in this.

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 14:17:39

Black mogul - I am aware they are not boarding. But even if we compare the top day schools in the south east to the top day schools in the north west there isn't a direct correlation between higher fees and better results.

Somethingyesterday Wed 02-Oct-13 21:04:18

TigerB have you managed to look at any alternative schools online? Or had any further thoughts on how best to proceed?

ilikesweetpeas Thu 03-Oct-13 10:39:31

Please can I hijack and ask if anyone knows anything about Scarisbrick Hall School? Just that if people on here know about independent schools in NW I would be interested in finding out what parents think of this school, particularly for Y5 and older. Thanks

Inclusionist Thu 03-Oct-13 10:46:15

My brother and sister went there for a year but it didn't suit them and mum and dad moved them. I knew somebody who's brother went there but then moved to KGV in Southport for VIth form. I'm a lot younger than my DB and DS and by the time I went to school my parents chose Merchant Taylors'.

It may have changed but Scarisbrick Hall used to be very Catholic in flavour and not very academic.

ilikesweetpeas Fri 04-Oct-13 03:30:31

Thanks inclusionist, I have heard mixed things about it but not yet been to look. Merchants always seems to get a good reputation but it's a lot of travelling from where we live not sure how we would manage that with me working , Scarisbrick has a mini bus from our road so was hoping it would be good!!

Inclusionist Fri 04-Oct-13 07:19:27

Merchants has a lot of coaches too. I got the bus from Southport every day from 4yo and it was never a problem- actually I enjoyed the bus when I was little.

HoratiaNelson Mon 07-Oct-13 13:40:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GenericNWMum Mon 07-Oct-13 14:30:41

I can highly recommend Scarisbrick. Not a local originally so can't tell you about its history, only my experiences of it now. Moved my DCs there from another NW prep school. It is not catholic anymore - seems to be non-denominational, which appeals to me as my own school was, and the GCSe results this year were excellent. Has no sixth form at the moment, but one is in the pipeline. It is quite small, but clearly growing and masses of investment currently going in, so the facilities are in the up.

I am very happy with it - the teaching I've encountered is really excellent and they seem to understand the idea of tayloring the teaching to the needs of the child. The extra-curricular programme is great too and included in the cost. It isn't a highly selective environment, but it seems to me that any child could reach their potential there.

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