If you had £100k to spend on your child education ....

(49 Posts)
3WiseWomen Tue 02-Feb-16 15:08:57

What would you do with it?

Would you spend it on a private education, on sending them to lots of different activities, summer camp and the likes?
Would you prefer to keep that money for them in the future, for Uni and then after (house deposit, whatever)?

I'm contemplating sending dc1 to private school as he is quite unsettled/unhappy in his current state scondary. Lots of reasons for that that won't be solved by 'just' changing school (even though it might help a bit).

So I'm wondering, if we were to pay that sort money for a secondary education, what would be the best to do so he gets 'the best out this money'?

PurpleTreeFrog Tue 02-Feb-16 15:12:01

Personally I would send my child to private school if I could afford it and if DH agreed. I am considering it, actually.

If your child is unhappy at secondary school, you could look into private. Maybe have a look at some prospectuses and visit a couple locally, see what bursaries might be available etc. No harm in looking into it.

3WiseWomen Tue 02-Feb-16 15:19:09

No bursary here (we are just over the threshold of £50k combined income) and there is no way we can afford £1 of fee every month.

Just really interested about what people think. I'm not British so have no knowledge of the system works but also none of the preconceived ideas about state or private.

Why would say private rather spend that money with after school activities, tutors, travels to different place or summer camps abroad?

If we were to go down the private school route, there would be none of that.

One advantage of private school is choice. If you find a school that is a better fit for your DC then they may settle and be happier than if you didn't. If school is part of the problem then doing more out of school isn't really addressing the issue.

It really depends how much of the problem is school /peer group related and how much is outside of that.

Namehanger Tue 02-Feb-16 19:15:59

We moved DS1 from a perfectly good state secondary in year 9, as even after two years he didn't have any friends and was struggling.

Now in year 10 in private secondary, there have been ups and downs but he is happier, has friends and most importantly is getting to grow up at a slower rate.

For us worth it, but really thought he would go the state school and would grow up there. But no, if anything he got more unhappy.

FGSdontblameme Tue 02-Feb-16 19:18:52

I'd use it to move into the catchment of a great secondary.

fallfoul Tue 02-Feb-16 19:32:43

I don't think £100k would cover a full secondary education here (London), especially with extras like uniform and school trips. So I'd put it towards the extra cost of moving close to a top secondary.

DontCallMeBaby Tue 02-Feb-16 19:36:18

I'd save it for university and beyond - but then DD is settling and doing fairly well at a very good state comp, I have no reason to wish her elsewhere. Or private sixth form could be an option if she goes off the rails as I did at secondary age (didn't actually go private for sixth form, but circumstances made it an option).

Leeds2 Tue 02-Feb-16 19:46:59

If your DS is unhappy at his present school. I would certainly look into moving him, considering both state and private options. And if a private school was what you thought best met his particular needs, I would go with that. I don't really believe in saving for university at the expense of something now, as DS might not want to go to uni when the time comes.

If I were paying for his education, I would hope not to need money for tutors and activities, as I would hope that would be covered during school time. May be me being naive!

pointythings Tue 02-Feb-16 19:49:50

I'd use it for university and house deposits, but my DDs are very happy and thriving at our local state comprehensive. And it's hypothetical because 1) we couldn't afford private and 2) we wouldn't do it, we'd home ed instead.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 02-Feb-16 19:56:19

If he's unhappy and not thriving at his current school, I'd move him.

bojorojo Tue 02-Feb-16 20:11:09

I think if you opt for an independent school you would not necessarily need a summer camp or external courses. My children were educated privately and we had interesting holidays to complement their education. My DD2 did a dance summer camp for 1 week and DD2 did go on a holiday camp for 1 week but just for fun. You have just about enough money for 5 years.

The other advantage we found was more friends and more opportunities to be involved at school with what they enjoyed. Music, sport, dance, drama and lots of other opportunities were available. If your DC1 would relish the opportunities a private school can offer, then go for it. However, try and get into the best school you can that matches your DC's needs. Some private schools are not good!

lljkk Tue 02-Feb-16 20:24:49

Grad school in USA or somewhere else not UK.

3WiseWomen Tue 02-Feb-16 20:47:02

I'm investigating really.
What is it that private schools could give him that he couldn't get outisde schools in different ways?

I would say for example that being able to have an interesting holiday is very important too (He wouldn't get to do that and nor his db). And that he can get most of the sports on offer at private school through clubs etc (Maybe not the variety as it's so easy to do all these when they are onsite).
Yes it means that you have to create the opportunty for variety.

What esle would he get from a private school? (Issues might or might be solved by going private. This would ne a last resort for us)

Namehanger Tue 02-Feb-16 23:15:27

Fit, DS1 gets a school that suits him.

Not too pushy, space (not overcrowded like the state he was at), other quirky kids, small classes. For us he was unhappy, didn't fit for all his time at state schools we have bought him 3 years where he is allowed to be himself. Maybe he would have got there at state school but by year 9 he was running out of time.

He will go back to state for 6th form, hopefully a 6th form college.

Thally Tue 02-Feb-16 23:32:05

It's not so much a question of private or state but where you live what are the choices like in either sector. If you like the private school and the results more than the current/state school in your area then you could consider it.

As someone upthread said I might use some of that money to move to an area with a better state school (if the school is part of the problem) and then allvyour kids can benefit.

Blu Tue 02-Feb-16 23:33:39

It all depends on the very particular reasons your DS is unsettled and unhappy. It's possible that some private schools could simply replicate the problem while another state school would present a solution....

Maybe spending money on a private therapist or marriage counselling for parents or a school that does rugby or has smaller classes or abandons the national curriculum on favour of Steiner methods or is super selective and educates the top 2% of ability would suit various children. What would help YOUR child, and once you have identified that how can we help you to find it?

BackforGood Tue 02-Feb-16 23:48:11

I agree with almost everyone else. It's not as straightforwards as all Private schools being/having Xor Y and all state schools not - they all vary.
If buying a house in the catchment area of a different school is an option, it's certainly worth considering. Ultimately, you'd 'get that back' then at the end - which could help your dc later in life if you wanted to use it for that.
Importantly, you would be offering both your dc the opportunity of what you considered to be a 'better' school, not just one of them - which (in the absence of other information) seems unfair.

Pico2 Wed 03-Feb-16 00:02:21

Blu is spot on. I'd consider private school of it looked like a better fit for my DC than the state options available locally. The most obvious examples at secondary might be a weaker child setted with many children with disruptive behaviour or a very capable child without sufficient peers of a similar ability to stimulate discussion and create a little competition. But also the much less generic examples given by previous posters, which really are about the individual DC involved.

We're currently aiming for saving for a deposit for our DCs' first house. I think that can make the difference between living in a cramped house for a lifetime or a larger one. But we will rethink if our state options don't meet the needs of our DC. A step up on the housing ladder is nice, but school is for so many formative years that it is worth forgoing that house deposit if you need to.

OutWithTheDogs Wed 03-Feb-16 00:07:09

What about using it for sixth form?

EricNorthmanSucks Wed 03-Feb-16 06:45:58

If your child is unhappy then something must be done. That might mean a school move but not necessarily.

I would cheerfully ignore posters who haven't addressed the unhappiness issue and immediately advised spending the money elsewhere.

What parent would just leave things be?

IndridCold Wed 03-Feb-16 09:57:06

Firstly, I agree with Eric that it would depend entirely on why he was unhappy and not settling at school at the moment. I would say that one of the main reason for unhappiness is not having a good group of friends. I don't know if this is the case for your son.

Re sports and other activities, yes you can certainly do these out of school, but it is different, and if you meet and make new friends there they may not be at the same school. Participating in sports, music and drama at school has been a major factor for my DS facing up to, and learning how to get along with, some of the more difficult boys at his school.

He was in a school play recently and I said to him 'I know you don't like X, but I did think he was very good in the play', and he told me that the boy in question had worked very hard for the play, which he respected, and now he had got to know him better he had changed his opinion about him and they got along bettertogether. Similar things have happened in sports teams too.

As others have said, private isn't a magic ticket and it has to be the right school for your particular boy.

jomidmum Wed 03-Feb-16 11:38:52

100K?
We'd carry on home educating, as we are an incredibly happy family. My kids get to totally input into their route into employment or further education. We help, guide and support but they do all the free learning they want. It would certainly help with IGCSE exam costs though.
I think we'd use the money to travel more, explore more, experience even more of the world.....to gain experience and understanding.
Then we'd use the rest to support careers, further education etc.
Nice thought.....I wouldn't mind an extra 100K!

roundaboutthetown Wed 03-Feb-16 12:24:41

Different private schools would offer different things. If both parents work full time, I can see the appeal of private schools that offer lots from the one site. They won't be offering the best of everything available in the area (unless you live in a very isolated part of the country), and will be offering things you consider to be irrelevant, but they will be offering enough to keep your child busy, saving you the hassle of looking elsewhere and having to consider timings and transport to different venues. There will also probably be a school expectation that your child get involved in extra curricular school activities, so that they can't opt out of everything outside the basic academic curriculum. They will probably also have high academic expectations.

The alternative is more parental effort, possibly greater parental taxi service expectations, and a greater need for the child to be motivated to pursue activities outside of school, regardless of what their school friends are doing, if their activities are not school based. The advantage of the latter is, if your child does have specific interests, you can ensure these are being met in what you consider to be the best way, even if that isn't their school's way, as you can afford not to rely on school for everything. It also enables family to have more influence over their child's interests and experiences, as there is more money to spend on doing things together. Not everyone has the luxury of time, of course. If you do, I vote for family time and mutual experiences over school fees, unless the state school is making your child unhappy.

3WiseWomen Wed 03-Feb-16 12:37:10

Thank you all again.

I think i'm starting to think the same way than you roundabout. But I have been wondering if I have been missing something re private schools.

I do wonder about the lack of children with similar abilities and the glass ceiling effect in state secondary. But then the glass ceiling might well be there in the same way in private school too (we are too far out in the stick to have a big choice, nor a very high selective either).

YY to keep some of thaat money for 6th form too.

As for having £100k, it's mppore about looking at what you can do if you scrappe £1k every month rather than having all that money available just right now. I wish I had that too!

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