When did starting secondary become so expensive?

(71 Posts)
privitandpetunias Sat 28-Jun-14 11:41:36

My DS1 went for his induction this week and came home with a letter detailing £50 worth of items that are compulsory to pay the school for before he even starts. That's in addition to the Uniform with logo's and two lots of PE Kit also with logo's which can only be purchased from their specified supplier. We have also been supplied with a list of other visits and activities that occur during year 7 that will also need to be paid for at various points during the year.

I am really shocked at all the additional costs we are a family of average income with 4dc's and I can't see how we are going to afford to pay for all this without it impacting on the younger DC's.

Anyone else experiencing the same?

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Sat 28-Jun-14 11:43:36

It has always been the same - tbh you were a bit naive if you didn't expect that. School may have a hardship fund if you really will struggle, or you may be able to buy some items second hand.

Shouldwego Sat 28-Jun-14 11:45:20

I remember my parents shelling out the best part of £200 when I started a state grammar 30 years ago. I think comparatively it is probably cheaper these days. I think I spent £150ish for ds1's bits and pieces when he started state comprehensive a couple of years ago.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Sat 28-Jun-14 11:45:29

PS - it would be worth the money if he learns the appropriate use of capital letters and apostrophes. grin

Artandco Sat 28-Jun-14 11:46:39

Same here but from primary. For this sept ds1 needs uniform, outdoor pe kit, indoor gym kit, tennis shoes, football boots, indoor plimsols, a flute!, school satchel, books/ pens/ etc, art supplies.... He's 4. All have to be logoed or of specific item ie certain charcoal pencils etc. no change from £1000

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sat 28-Jun-14 11:51:16

Actually that seems a lot. In addition to uniform, pens, pencils etc, we have to supply a calculator, plus a charge for an art sketchbook when they start

Last year they introduced a charge for DT, but it wasn't compulsory, you just don't get your child's cushion, scones or whatever.

No class field trips during the year.

There is the trip to France at the end of Y7, and activities week, but activities week always has free options as well as the more expensive ones.

overitalready Sat 28-Jun-14 11:52:32

Same here.

Only on top of everything else we also have to pay £20 a month for the use of a laptop.

I wasnt aware pens werent in fashion anymore.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sat 28-Jun-14 11:53:27

Artandco, that can't be English state?

Artandco Sat 28-Jun-14 11:58:57

Raspberry - English private. Regardless it's still a lot seeing we already will be paying school fees

senua Sat 28-Jun-14 12:23:00

I bet half of the list will never get used. Don't buy inessentials, buy second hand where you can and only shell out for brand new when you have to.

I'm a bit hmm about you complaining about visits and activities - would you prefer that they didn't happen? Also, forewarned is forearmed. At least you know now to budget for them and you aren't presented with an expense with no notice.

privitandpetunias Sat 28-Jun-14 12:44:58

I'm not complaining about visits as such, I think visits can be an important aspect of their learning. It's just the quantity and cost of them that worries me. Compared to when I went to secondary school there are far more visits and they are much more expensive.

None of these additional costs were mentioned when we visited the school to look around and decide which school we wanted to opt for and many of them are things that were provided when I was at secondary. So I'm not sure how I should have been expected to know that there were all these charges as all my friends have children of the same age or younger than mine.

goodtimesinbontemps Sat 28-Jun-14 12:58:43

Try living in Ireland angry I will end up forking out the guts of €1000 for my ds2 to start secondary in Sept, bog standard state run school. Ipad and ebooks alone cost €690, then I have workbooks, copies, folders etc. The jumpers are €40 each (crested and compulsory) and this is as I say a regular school, not private or special in any way.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 12:58:46

I had a long thread last yr on this, most of us spent £300+ or so (state secondary).
I agree about only buying the bare minimum especially things like studs for footie or items there are only "highly recommended"; got away without studs until yr9 & very sporty yr7 DD still hasn't missed having them, either.

Art&co is in a different league from rest of us, though. I thought most private schools had very busy 2nd hand shops.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 12:59:54

Xpost, Goodtimesinbontemps, what if a parent simply can't afford an iPad? How are they insured? There' be riots around here if schools tried to insist on buying one.

threedaystogo Sat 28-Jun-14 13:08:51

You'd better get used to it! Secondary school-aged children are expensive generally. It's not just the school trips/extras that need to be paid for, but also mobile phones, more expensive clothes and LOTS and LOTS of food!!!

I agree that DCs seem to go on more trips these days, than when we were at school. Mine go on 2-3 day trips a year costing £15-30 a time and also get offered the opportunity to go on several trips away (e.g. £350 for trip to the Battlefields, £1,200 for ski trip, £3,500 for rugby trip to South Africa). If you are low income / FSM you can ask the school if they provide any type of assistance.

We have just received a letter requesting financial assistance from parents to "enhance our facilities and provide additional resources". The suggested contribution per family is £30-50 per month. It is a state school.

mychildrenarebarmy Sat 28-Jun-14 14:01:47

DD has to either have an ipad or pay £60 per year for use of a school one (which doesn't include insurance). For a family who are capable but not enthusiastic when it comes to technology that has caused a lot of conversations. Everything else seems cheap compared to that.

MillyMollyMama Sat 28-Jun-14 15:16:48

I am ancient in comparison to most of you and I passed the 11+ to go to the local state grammar school in 1966. My uniform cost my Dad the equivalent of 1 week's wage. In those days, £22, of which nearly half was for a raincoat specially made for the school. We also had a change of skirt in 3rd year, (9). I doubt if any state school is anywhere near this level of expenditure now! There were a lot of hand knitted cardigans and pullovers back then! It was outrageous and my Dad was not paid a lot, and nearer the lower end of parental salaries in the school. No-one complained though! It was such a good school and parents were proud for their children to go there. There was no second-hand shop. You had to know other parents to see if their children had outgrown something. All of my friends went with new uniform as we were all the eldest in our families, or the only girl! My Dad's first response upon hearing I had passed the 11+ was "How much is that going to cost me then?". Not exactly a celebration in our house despite the fact he had gone to the same school!

We had quite a few trips and there was a countywide school cruise that only a few could afford to do. It was £60. Does anyone remember them? There were also monthly contributions towards new tennis courts. We declined to participate in that but I was embarrassed about it. The form teacher kept asking for the pledge forms to be handed in.

I tend to think that people complaining now really do not know how difficult it was years ago. Also if you choose a private school you jolly well know you will have an expensive uniform. In a fee paying school, everything is more expensive but it is a choice you have made so complaining is a bit churlish! Fees don't include uniform do they?

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 15:20:18

My uniform cost my Dad the equivalent of 1 week's wage.
I doubt if any state school is anywhere near this level of expenditure now

iirc, FT on national minimum wage => £1000/month after tax.
Or just under £250/week.

So actually it IS about the same now. Going on the numbers people gave for the thread I started last year.

Xcountry Sat 28-Jun-14 15:38:37

really? our school pe kit is just shop bought stuff, the only specification is no football colours for PE and the only bit of compulsory uniform is a tie. you can buy polo shirts and sweaters with the logo but really a tie will suffice.

TheFirstOfHerName Sat 28-Jun-14 16:49:47

In our experience, the state primary was very affordable in terms of uniform and equipment required. Then when they started state secondary, I reckon we spent £200 on uniform and a further £200 on equipment.

crazykat Sat 28-Jun-14 17:02:09

This is why I love our local Acadamy secondary school. It gets good marks in exams and ofsted and the only things that have to have a logo are the polo shirts and jumpers. Though these are about £8-£15 each its not too expensive even when added to pe kit an trousers/skirt etc.

The next local Acadamy have to have logos on everything: jumper, tie, polo shirt, pe top/jumper/shorts/skirt/rugby shirt, even pe socks. Its easily £200+ for one set or clothes never mind spare jumpers and polo shirts. Then there's all the pens/pencils/maths equipment.

Its insane how much it costs at some local schools and were not in an affluent area either.

Artandco Sat 28-Jun-14 21:32:56

We actually don't really have a choice re paying for private. We live in London. Our nearest 8, yes 8 primaries have no spaces. The closest one with space will take us over 1hr to get to. We both work near to home and have another child at nursery nearby. We cannot spend 4hrs a day on the school run (1hr there and back x2), esp when one of us is often travelling so no way one parent can take one to nursery, one hour away, travel back and already be over hour late for work.
Sometimes private isn't a choice. To afford this we all live in a one bed flat as need to spend money on school fees rather than an Extra bedroom or two.

Luggagecarousel Sat 28-Jun-14 21:53:45

There is a lot of nonsense on this thread.

No school can charge for school trips that are part of the curriculum/ take place in school time. They can only ask for a voluntary donation.

Artandco, of course it is entirely your choice to go private, and you could use a state school if you chose to!

And no one has to accept a school ipad.

It is expensive to raise a child and support their education, but the cost shouldn't be unreasonable. Clothes and educational materials are a must, obviously.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 22:04:15

People with Art&Co's school problems would move out of London. not saying what she should do. Just that there are always other choices.

Artandco Sat 28-Jun-14 22:11:25

Yep ok just move. To where? To somewhere with no work or home? Our work is here, they are specialised and only really exist in major capital cities. We could move but only to another capital ie Paris/ Tokyo, not down the road

Anyway I wasn't complaining, just confirming for op that schooling has got expensive. If I take school fees out of equation the extras as mentioned above are still high which is what op was asking

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