Who can afford private schools in the UK?

(1000 Posts)
wjchoihk Tue 12-Feb-13 17:18:43

Hi. I am not sure if this is an appropriate question to ask here. But I have always wondered how rich you should be to send children to private schools in UK. Fees are anywhere from 3000 up to 10000 per term. Even allowing for wide gaps in income, thinking of 'avearge' UK wage of 26,000 pound, math simply don't add up for a normal life with such high fees. I also know only 7% of children go private though.

How much of private parents live on "inherited" wealth and how much on simply superior current earnings? I have my kids at SW London privates but I wouldn't be able to afford this without current int'l expat package. Some parents at my kids' schools LOOK and ARE very very rich but most of them LOOK quite down to earth. But I can't ask....

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 12-Feb-13 17:26:30

We had five in the system at our peak. We didn't spend money on anything else.

We don't have any inherited wealth. Every penny we have is earned income.

alanyoung Tue 12-Feb-13 17:29:38

I worked in a private secondary school for a term's maternity cover some years ago and many of the parents there lived on the father's income and used the mother's to pay the fees. That's not a sexist attitude - it's just the way it was.

My dad pays my daughters school fees. I wouldn't be able to afford it myself but I was privately educated and the family wanted her to be so he pays it .

I'm just lucky that way I suppose .

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 12-Feb-13 17:37:10

We can't. It really is the preserve of the few (well, 7%!)

sittinginthesun Tue 12-Feb-13 17:39:17

I have three close friends who have children in the private system.

First couple live in a cheap area, and literally spend every penny on school fees.

Second couple - husband earns decent money, but the dcs are at a school where money means a lot (think ladies who lunch, catered for dinner parties, designer clothes). They are considering state grammar for secondary.

Third couple are stupidly, ridiculously loaded! Have the school fees for the dcs entire education already in the bank!

(Interestingly, we are all from very similar backgrounds, and were in the same place 10 years ago...smile).

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 17:40:52

Everyone. All you have to do is cut out smoking and drinking, stop the Sky subscription and have a dig down the back of the sofa.....

BeckAndCall Tue 12-Feb-13 17:40:59

We pay out of income - no wealth or savings. At the peak (they're older now) it was £38k pa. our approach was that the fees came out of my income - DH's earnings were to pay the mortgage, household bills etc.

happygardening Tue 12-Feb-13 17:42:39

We reckon to put one through boarding school fees £34 000 and to pay it out of your wages as well as a mortgage food clothes etc you need to be earning between you at least £115 000+ and then your spending half your income on fees! Thats the man earning more so paying higher rate tax and becasue the wife has taken time out for kids and paying normal rate tax and both on PAYE. So a tiny minority.

wjchoihk Tue 12-Feb-13 17:44:11

Wow. It's quite astonishing to know grand parents are paying for grand childrens schools. I have thought that would be only "Asian" thing. Is bank of mama and papa a universal thing? Brits are more Asian than Conitnental europeans in that regard?

FreckledLeopard Tue 12-Feb-13 17:46:02

My mother helps contribute towards school fees, for which I'm very grateful. I was privately educated from aged 3 onwards and DD is at private for secondary school.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 17:46:06

Genuinely, according to one poster on here whose name I can't remember, a couple on the minimum wage.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 17:47:52

Bear in mind that the 7% is an average: the proportion in prep schools is much lower than that, but the numbers in 6th form are pushing 20%. Saving up for two years worth for A levels is probably a much more manageable prospect than a full school career.

rubyrubyruby Tue 12-Feb-13 17:48:12

We could afford to send ours private but choose not to. It's not inherited income, my DH just earns well and we live moderately.

I have friends who have made a fortune and send private .
I have friends where both parents have careers and the 2nd income pays entirely for the school fees.
My mums friend was head of a private school in east London and many of the fathers worked days and drove cabs until the early hours and weekends to finance a decent education.

There is no 'typical' private/state school family imo

You just work out what your priorities are, we have one ds in private education (special school as he has lots of SPLD). Its what we had to do, so we do it. If we hadnt moved schools when we did then he would have failed no doubt about that.

When you are faced with that prospect you do everything you can to give your child the best start in life and for him that meant being in a specialist school with a maximum of 6 students per two teachers and one class and a maximum of 50 children in the whole school.

My ds is now 10 and has been at he school since he was 8. It was a struggle as we have no inherited wealth or parents that are prepared to help us. However we have just recieved the news the LEA is now funding his fees. So on top of paying his ££££ fees we had a court case to pay for on top of this.

Do i regret anything, no i don't and if we hadnt won the case then we would still make those sacrifices to ensure he stayed at the school until he was 18.

happygardening Tue 12-Feb-13 18:01:27

scaevola this 7% figure is bandied about a lot. Is that the total number of UK British children in independent ed. or the total number of children? More and more boarding schools are taking children from outside of the UK often 10 -15% will be from abroad.

rubyrubyruby Tue 12-Feb-13 18:01:57

I don't really agree with your 'bank of Mama and Papa' comment tbh and it sounds like your jealous.

It's s lovely gesture and many if the older generation can afford to do this.

FatalFlowerGarden Tue 12-Feb-13 18:10:56

morethanyoubargainfor - clearly your ds is a specific case who requires specific help so please don't think I'm directing this at you but...

... I do hate this attitude of 'it's just a case of priorities' - actually for most of us priorities don't even come into it - paying for private education is completely out of the question no matter how much you scrimp and save. Seeker is right. It's not a case of cutting back on holidays (what holidays?) or remortgaging (what if you rent?) or whatever...I could live on beans and still never afford the 16K that our nearest independent school charges...

Ds is applying for a school that has a generous bursary pot but if they don't offer a very substantial amount off the fees (and I do mean SUBSTANTIAL), he won't be going, it's as simple as that!

wjchoihk Tue 12-Feb-13 18:14:02

ruby - my apologies if my bank of M&P comment sounded that way. Coming from a different culture, I have always thought "western" culture is like "you are you and I am I". You may not notice this but English and may European language always start with "I". Having said that yes I am jealous of those who get support from parents. But that's the kind of luck that is better if you have one but still can do without it. I just wanted to know about this country better. Anyway thank you for all the comments!

givemeaclue Tue 12-Feb-13 18:16:53

Well, I guess others may be jealous of yet and the expat package paying your school fees!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 18:20:20

You just work out what your priorities are, we have one ds in private education (special school as he has lots of SPLD). Its what we had to do, so we do it. If we hadnt moved schools when we did then he would have failed no doubt about that

Maybe he would, but to say its simply a question of 'working out your priotities' and 'doing what you have to do' is simply not applicable to the vast majority of people, you know.

wjchoihk Tue 12-Feb-13 18:20:51

givemeaclue - It is not always as straightforward as that. My kids will be quite old by the time my UK assignment ends, which means they may have to spend another 2~3 years in UK education as it will be too late for them to go back. Then having been in private system for years, I may need to send all my home income. That's why I am interested in this topic.

BillComptonstrousers Tue 12-Feb-13 18:27:14

We pay from DH earnings, which are 75k a year. No outside help, and still manage a fairly nice lifestyle, but am looking to downgrade house, as our rent is ridiculous!

Sulawesi Tue 12-Feb-13 18:30:21

I also hate that 'working out what your priorities are ' argument, what a load of old tosh. Most people couldn't afford private school fees even if they worked every single minute of the next ten years night and day it just isn't possible. It is absurd to think that most people would be paying upward of £20k (2 children at average cost private school) for holidays, nice cars etc that they could just give up to send little Johnny to the local prep school.

Morethanyoubargainfor, I appreciate that you have a very specific case (as do I as it happens) but it is still a ludicrous assumption that it could be achieved for most people in this country.

I say that as someone with DC's at fee paying school who is under no illusion that it is only for the very lucky few.

rubyrubyruby Tue 12-Feb-13 18:32:54

No need to apologise.

I'm not sure it is the 'British' way tbh. I'm amazed how many shun help from their parents when they are alive, claiming independence, but are quite happy to have the money when they inherit later on.

Coconutty Tue 12-Feb-13 18:33:03

Massive variety of wealth at DS school, some funded by grandparents, some work 3 jobs, some very successful in their own right etc.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 18:34:42

happygardening A good source of stats for independent schools is the Independent Schools Census. I'll try and find another table I saw a while ago at covers numbers in state schools; they weren't counted in the same ways, but you could get rough and ready %ages.

rubyrubyruby Tue 12-Feb-13 18:34:51

It depends on your local state schools too. Ours is fantastic and there are many children there whose parents could easily afford private.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 12-Feb-13 18:37:17

Its less than 7% of parents paying school fees. There are bursaries and scholarships and the armed forces and grandparents.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 18:38:06
TheFallenNinja Tue 12-Feb-13 18:45:26

Thanks Seeker, I just found three quid down the sofa, woo hoo smile

JourneyThroughLife Tue 12-Feb-13 18:46:01

You don't need to be loaded to send a child to a private school. I sent my son to a private boarding secondary school, I was a single parent with very little income. We had a bursary for most of the fees and I wrote to charities to fund the rest! I thought it the best option for him, the school suited his needs. My daughter went to a state high school, she was a different character and chose the school for herself, it was nothing to do with her gender by the way.
Lots of schools offer bursaries for those who can't afford the fees, it's more important to get the best "fit" for the individual child, I think.

eatyourveg Tue 12-Feb-13 18:54:18

ds1 had 2 scholarships and a bursary. With ds3 we pay 50% and grandparents pay 50% he gets a v small siblings discount (5%) We have only 1 car, no foreign holidays, no x box or smart phones or any other fancy fripperies such as sky subscriptions or the latest fashion accessory. Approx 16% of gross pay goes in fees - its just a question of deciding what the priorities are.

homebythesea Tue 12-Feb-13 18:56:48

Loads of grandparents contributing - it's tax effective!
Lots of high six figure incomes - partners in law firms, management consultants etc
Loads of Bonuses - bankers etc
A few benefit from company buy outs
A few made money in property in the 90's / early noughties
Some slog it out and have no other material frippery
Some are paid by employer eg expats, armed forces
Some have scholarships / bonuses
Many have a combination of the above

homebythesea Tue 12-Feb-13 18:58:02

*scholarships / bursaries

TotallyBS Tue 12-Feb-13 19:00:38

The first £80k gross of our joint income is used to pay fees for two DCs, mortgage, bills and a modest holiday and 'treats' like eating out and theatre trips. The remainder goes into a savings account for future fees plus uni.

IMO if a family (with two kids) has a income of less than £80k gross then compromises and sacrifices will have to be made.

As for inherited wealth, the parents that we know well are high earners (lawyers, accountants, business men etc) so I'm not aware of anyone financing their school fees via inherited wealth.

With regards to the comments about GPs helping out being an Asian thing, IMO (based on living in the Far East for a few year) it's not uncommon for ordinary income Asian GMs to use up their life savings to help out with education fees. However, the attitude towards private education in the UK is such that few ordinary income GPs are going to sacrifice their pension money smile

think that Brits that are well off

sparkina Tue 12-Feb-13 19:02:01

We pay out of dh's wages. He earns well but I am conscious of the £10,000 disappearing every year. Dd has been there since primary thro secondary. We haven't decided what to do with ds yet but it will be only be for secondary as happy with his primary school and it'll mean never having two there at once.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 19:04:45

Of course most people can't afford it just by cutting back or forgoing holidays.

But...one child x 5 years of secondary day school = £50K/£60K. Added onto your mortgage because that's the same cost or cheaper than moving 10 miles up the road to be in catchment for the 'best' state school.

We earn less than one higher rate taxpayer between us. We saved up over some years for our AS son to go to his senior school - and had a little help from his grandmother, who's a dinnerlady - but we might have put it on the mortgage otherwise.

My example is much, much more doable for more people than 2 or 3 children x 14 years of education, obviously.

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 19:06:18

It's hardly just matter of priorities when bursaries are limited and the fees exceed many people's total income.

Our children and their cousins are the beneficiaries of a trust fund that pays for any and all educational expenses. They're extraordinarily privileged, as are the majority of children in private education. To assert its a matter of priorities is both blinkered and patronising.

I understand that people don't get the whole 'its about priorities' but it was for us.

Our household income isn't anywhere near some of the salaries mentioned on here and definitely not 6 figures! I only work Part time (due to physicalhealth problems), but we make the ends meet by, well i dont really know to be honest!
We dont have Credit cards, or claim anything for my DS we just go without...alot! My treat is once a year haircut for example.

Truthfully if my Ds didnt have the SPLD he has we wouldn't even contemplate private education for him, nor if we had chosen to have any more children. e simply wouldnt have been able to justify it so therefore unable to afford it IYKWIM.

chickydoo Tue 12-Feb-13 19:10:05

We have 4 kids
2 at private school at Pres.
No 4 will most likely go age 11, No 1 child already left.
We earn around 100k
Take home around 60k
2 lots of fees around 30k
Leaves us with around 30k a year for everything else.
State schools in our area not great, so we decided private was right for our kids.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 19:11:17

You're right, Hester it's both 'blinkered and patronising' to suggest it's purely a matter of priorities...but, logically, there is a tranche of people who fall into the income bracket who could afford private school fees but choose not to (they have more holidays, better cars and a bigger house or more savings or whatever than their peers). Because the income distribution doesn't jump from not being able to afford it - say for one child - and then comfortably being able to afford it with no compromises in other areas. That wouldn't make any sense.

About half the people I know earn substantially more money than us but none of them are paying for school fees. That's their choice. Not everybody's, obviously. I think that's what people mean when they say that.

stealthsquiggle Tue 12-Feb-13 19:14:51

It's clearly not "just a matter of priorities". DC's friends all have one or more of:

2 parents in top 10% of earners
1 parents in top (guessing) 5%
inherited wealth
Funding from grandparents
1 or both parents working at the school (generous staff discounts, which are not the norm)

A small proportion will have far lower household incomes and are on bursaries.

Thats exactly what i meant Books, thanks for putting it so much better than i did!

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:18:22

Agreed. Obviously many people couldn't come close to affording it but there are plenty who could afford it and choose not to. 14 years of £12k+ per child. It's a big decision.

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:21:10

Most of the parents I know have at least one fewer child than they would have had if they'd opted for state over private.

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 19:21:20

The average full time UK salary is £26,500. It's a matter of priorities for a minority of families. Failing to add that rather large caveat is blinkered, assuming that private education should be a priority is patronising. I don't get why, cases such as morethan's excluded, people don't just admit its because they want to and they can.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 19:22:21

But, like I said, Narked, 5 (or poss 7) years of secondary is a lot more 'doable' than the full 14 years; you don't necessarily have to pay for it out of monthly/yearly income but can save up in advance/pay some off in arrears (mortgage/loan etc). Again, number of children is the key to this theory. No way could we (around top 60% of income threshold not top 10%) have paid for two!

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:25:56

I know plenty of people who have gone for the 7 year option. Or moved miles away to counties they've no connection with that still have the grammar system.

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 12-Feb-13 19:27:44

We both work f/t at around the average wage and could not afford private school. And we live frugal lives as it is.

Maybe for the 'marginal' private-school afforders your housing costs are key. e.g did you manage to buy a house and get a mortgage when prices were much lower? Do you have a HA place? Did you inherit enough to pay off your mortgage?

Of course during the early years you have nursery costs to pay, and that is close to school fees - except fees get more expensive, and those nursery years nearly did for us, we couldn't continue like that. You can't put off a new roof for ever, etc etc.

We're OK, though - very happy with state education in our area, and would only consider private as a contingency if we had to pull a child out of school or something, even if we were v rich.

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:28:02

'The average full time UK salary is £26,500'

Yes. And there are parents on that (each) who will have one child and send them private.

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:29:44

You have to remember that not everyone lives in areas like the South East where house prices are utterly insane.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 19:33:20

Once again, I am gobsmacked by the "better not born than state educated" attitude!

OldBeanbagz Tue 12-Feb-13 19:35:42

No inherited wealth here and as far as i'm aware none of the parents i know are getting any help from their parents.

Every penny spent on my DC's education has been earned by myself & DH and since we're self employed it's not been an easy ride.

But it's worth it and my DD has just got a scholarship for senior school so that will help smile

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 19:36:54

It does sound shocking, seeker, when said (heard) in a vacuum...but people make decisions about family size all the time based on financials (number of bedrooms/cost of nursery etc). I think if you had an SEN child in private education for very good reasons and wouldn't want to have to move them, and that that meant not having a second, you'd possibly not have that second child. Surely, existing children come before potential children.

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:38:44

People make their choices. I'd have six of my own and be a lady of leisure if money were no object. In the real world DH and I got married, got our careers established and got a house before TTC.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 19:40:34

(And I could only have one dc, anyway...different thread...so it's a redundant argument in our case).

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:43:08

And people are on here all the time talking about how they have given up work to SAH because they can't afford nursery costs for two under three or planning to try for another DC only when their youngest hits school age.

LadyInPink Tue 12-Feb-13 19:43:09

Seeker - we neither smoke, drink or have sky subscriptions and have a DC at private school but it's still a struggle.

I went back to work and so my wages pay the fees, and DH wages pay the mortgage and everything else. We are not expecting to pay for secondary private as it is sooo much more than prep and with us both s/e it would be a burden as we would hate to uproot halfway through schooling and so it will be local comp (with private tuition should we need to go down that route).

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 19:44:56

Only those who don't have to work don't consider money when it comes to having more DC. And the ultra religious I suppose.

FairPhyllis Tue 12-Feb-13 19:48:55

It's not at all unusual for GPs to pay school fees ime - esp if there is some sort of family tie with the school that they want to preserve (usually for boys' education at places like Eton and Winchester). A couple of friends of mine had this set up.

Also as you said there is huge variation in the cost of living and price of fees nationally: my school had loads of girls on bursaries/Assisted Places (before Blair scrapped that!), and I had a 50% scholarship, which must have helped my parents. Plus some people do it on a wing and a prayer: before I got the scholarship, my parents calculated that they had enough money for three years of fees and hoped that in the meantime something would come up.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 19:50:25

In our case:
1 - we bought a house just after the crash in the mid-90's so are lucky that even after moving a couple of times our mortgage is more managable than many
2 - we chose to have just one child
3 - we downsized & moved 100 miles to a cheaper area
4 - I gave up being a SAHM
We are not rich by any means. DD never been out of the country for example. We could have lived more comfortably without school fees no question, but we chose all of the above (apart from the lucky house moves) in order to prioritise education.
IMO, anybody that can pay nursery fees while they work has a chance to consider private education as it is only an extra couple of thousand per year. Also any stay at home mum can choose to go back to work to pay fees. You only need £12-15k before tax for one!

WMDinthekitchen Tue 12-Feb-13 19:58:37

When exH and I split up we sold the family house which was in a good area. I bought a small, modern house in a much cheaper neighbourhood for DD and I, but the local school had poor inspection reports.

I worked full time and, with the help of the small amount of maintenance that her father paid (him having shuffled a lot of his money offshore), and taking a lodger, I managed to pay the fees at a private school. In her last two years finance was easier after my DM died and left me some money and her flat, which I sold. DD also had a sports scholarship which helped a little.

To get DD into a good primary school (i.e. a very expensive area) I would have barely afforded a top floor flat with a sofa bed for me in the sitting room.

Virgil Tue 12-Feb-13 20:05:23

We have two DCs in private school. The school fees are practically the same as the nursery fees were. If you're used to paying nursery DS and can afford those then you can pay private school fees too (at least in the early years). It just mean you're paying out for 18/21 years rather than 4!

racingheart Tue 12-Feb-13 20:11:36

I know parents who sink £500k- £11m into a house near a good state school, who upgrade their car every two years, stay in 5* hotels abroad or go on Mark Warner holidays, their DC have every Wii/x-box/console going and even have blackberries, and the parents have i-phones, ipads etc, every gadget going. They eat out three or four times a week at local caffs or pubs as the mothers who don't work, want a break form cooking. They say they can't afford private schools.

Anyone living like this can afford private but chooses not to. That's what some of us were saying on a previous thread. Most people can't economise and afford private but many who say they can't have levels of disposable affluence that stagger me.

racingheart Tue 12-Feb-13 20:12:45

Not £11m, £1m.

lopsided Tue 12-Feb-13 20:12:53

It isn't doable for us and we both earn more than average. 2 children post tax need 24k a year for primary.

We do not live extravagantly, one car, cheap hols. We do save for our pensions. It's patronising to suggest we have our priorities wrong.

If you bought your house in 2006 you can be paying double your neighbor who bought in 1995 round here.

diabolo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:14:23

We only have one DC (not a decision made on whether or not we could privately educate smile), but find it OK to manage without help from GP's.

We live in a nice, but not posh house, drive nice but not posh cars and go on nice but not posh holidays.

DH earns a good wage and I supplement with a p/t wage that covers treats, holidays, Christmas, Birthdays etc.

Virgil Tue 12-Feb-13 20:17:44

24k per year after tax? It's definitely doable for less than that.

We pay under £1500 per month to send two DCs to a top rated selective independent primary.

lopsided Tue 12-Feb-13 20:17:56

My smart phone costs me 15 quid a month, its hardly going to pay the fees to Eton!

Virgil Tue 12-Feb-13 20:18:32

Not that I'm saying anyone has their priorities wrong. Everyone's circumstances are different.

Hulababy Tue 12-Feb-13 20:20:46

We don't have inherited wealth and neither me or DH were privately educated ourselves. We don't come from money families (far from it), it is all from our worked for income. There are no grandparents footing the bill for us. DH is now in a very well paid job. I changed my job when we had a child to be able to be at home more with DD, which means DH has been lucky enough to take opportunities which have lead to promotions and increased earnings. We pay the fees from this and are fortunate enough to not have to scrimp elsewhere, such as holidays, cars, etc.

We only have one child, this makes it much more affordable. It's not the reason for one child - but it obviously helps.

usualsuspect Tue 12-Feb-13 20:21:23

'Also, any stay at home mum can go back to work to pay school fees?'

Yeah, it really is that easy.


olivo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:24:11

Not all fees are that expensive. DDs school is 3.5K per year, not per term. There are two other private schools locally which are about 4.5K per year.

olivo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:25:09

It is around a third of what we were paying for them for nursery when they were under two.

diabolo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:25:24

Bloody hell olivo - where do you live?

Matsikula Tue 12-Feb-13 20:27:46

Affordability is actually major long term issue for private schools. Fees have gone up so disproportionately, and housing costs, including rents, are so high that particularly at boarding schools, many, many pupils are funded by grandparents downsizing their properties or doing capital release.

However, once that asset is gone, it's gone, and current parents of private school pupils are unlikely to be able to do the same for their own grandchildren. This is why schools with any sort of international reputation are either courting the overseas market, or trying to set up franchises overseas.

Schools that can't compete internationally and aren't well endowed enough to offer good bursaries and scholarships to bright kids are going to really struggle in the long term. They will end up having to increase class sizes to afford teacher salaries and will lose a key advantage over the state sector.

Basically, unless housing costs collapse, for lots of schools the economics won't stack up.

olivo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:29:34

Can't really say, diabolo,without outing myself, as I know these are unique to where we live. Cryptic, moi? grin

diabolo Tue 12-Feb-13 20:36:17

grin envy

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 20:43:00

Usualsuspect- what makes you say that? (genuinely don't understand)

weegiemum Tue 12-Feb-13 20:48:06

We could afford private if we wanted to but we don't want to. Dh is a GP and so well paid.

However, we regard being able to afford to do some very interesting travelling, having a holiday home (the house we used to live in, in a rural area - we rent it to tourists some of the time), me being able to work for a charity with hours that fit around school, "enrichment" type of activities (all 3 of our dc play 2 instruments, for example) more important than private education.

Our dc also go to a state school that offers fully bilingual education - something no private school we've heard of can. We couldn't pay for the amazing opportunity our dc have!

Mrspartacus Tue 12-Feb-13 21:07:44

I am a stay at home mum, My husband pays the fees. We have x3 children and fees are approx £30k a year.

We didn't make the decision lightly. We decided to take our elder children out of a totally lovely primary school, as we didn't feel the love for the very good comprehensive, it made sense for our youngest to join them rather than have a different school run.

We were lucky we bought at the right time, and we are now mortgage free. We purposely don't live in a very expensive area as we don't have to pay catchment comprehensive prices.

I've had one mother (a very good friend) with children at our old primary school inform me that the rumours now are ...... we don't pay the fees, we have an inheritance as its obvious if we had money we would live somewhere else. ( why would I chose to leave my lovely home, and my great friends for a posher postcode?)

Of course nobody has said anything to my face, but that's apparantly how we afford to educate our children!

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 21:13:46

Well my reading is that usual is pointing out that anyone who thinks that any stay at home mum can easily walk out and earn an extra £12-15k specifically to pay for school fees is living and thinking inside a bubble.

Narked, of course there will be families with two earners both bringing in £26,500 and only one child to educate. They are still part of the minority of families who can pay school fees.

All this talk of "anyone can do it, it's just priorities" is rude as it wilfully ignores the different realities faced by different families and is designed to cast those who have managed it in a superior light.

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 21:15:26

That post was in answer to pugs.

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 12-Feb-13 21:19:12

I was a SAHM for 8 years, then went out to work for over £25k.

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 21:22:18

That's lovely, knows. I've also been very fortunate, I'm just not arrogant enough to assume my experience is universal, particularly in the middle of a recession.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 21:26:27

Of course people have loads of reasons for the number of children they have. But the idea of limiting your family simply so that you can privately educate strikes me as being...questionable. If you ask most people wither they'd rather have gone to a state school and had a sibling or be a privately educated only child, I suspect I know what they would say.

Marni23 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:35:08

Depends on the school...and the sibling grin

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:35:51

Ds will never have enough theory of mind to be able to answer that question, seeker...

I feel quite sure that the prevalence of only children in private schooling is not what you're suspecting, though. For medical or whatever reasons, people have only one child and then find that, ergo, then can possibly, at a stretch, afford school fees. I doubt it's rarely the other way around.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:38:17

...the reason for the prevalence, obviously...

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 21:38:20

Ok, I see your point that not all SAHM's are willingly unemployed, but if you presume most 'could' manage to earn half the national average it is certainly possible to afford private school fees. Whether somebody chooses this option is obviously a matter of opinion!
I also think it is very unfair to judge those of us who have planned to have an only because we value giving that child every possible opportunity. Not everybody who has a sibling would put that above a good education!

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 12-Feb-13 21:38:51

I have five children, all privately educated. I don't think I had another 2 or 3 unborn children in me. Mercy! We had exactly the number of children we wanted.

There are inevitable a lot of smaller families in private schools, but the causal relation is smaller family --> private education rather than private education --> smaller family.

Should we interrogate state school families with only one or two children as to their motives?

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 12-Feb-13 21:41:59

I don't think I was particularly fortunate, hester. It was the fruits of my investment in my own education.

Should I be apologising for studying hard at the right time? I'm not prepared to do that.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 21:42:39

No, people actually say, and have said on this thread, we decided to have one child because....or we stopped at one because.....

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:42:58

Cross.post knowsabit. Was just thinking the same - apparently having one child is the weirdest or most damaging thing one could do...?

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:46:59

Was about to post I must have missed someone saying that upthread. But then pugs went and said it anyway!

All the onlies I know are due to 1) disability, 2) failure to conceive others or 3) age of parents.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 21:48:08

Seeker -
I hold my hands up, it was me! & I will never ever regret having an only if it means she gets better opportunities than I did. Judge if you wish

Marni23 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:48:14

Er...last time I looked, the number of children people decide to have (and why) is a very personal decision Seeker...

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:50:07

And, yes, I probably would swap my one autistic child and his private school for two neurotypical children able to access state schooling of an acceptable/safe nature.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 21:51:17

No- there are many reasons for having one child. Or 5. Or none. But better not born than state educated is......questionable.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 21:52:46

That Seeker, depends very much on your own experience of state education!

Marni23 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:53:44

Seeker has spoken. Dispense with the contraception.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 21:55:34


Arisbottle Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:35

We have five children so if they all went private we would have to live off my salary alone, which we could do but life would be a lot less fun . I may also have had to have stayed in a previous higher paid career, again I could have done this but I love my present job . My other option would be to teach in a private school and get a few discount ( most of my children do or will attend my school anyway ) But again I love my job and don't want to teach in a private school .

I think being able to have a large family has given us more than any private education . We hope to squeeze out another one or even two .

I think my children also have a rich quality of life because we do not pay school fees. They have lots of hobbies from fencing to sailing and we have horses.

I also like my children to almost exclusively be educated at their local school. We feel like we are part of the community.

It is also important that all schools have a range of children . I know we have used business contacts to add to the work experience placements . Because there are quite a few high earning families our PTA pot is healthy and the children benefit .

Lots in the press today about lack if social mobility in this country because of schools that only serve areas of deprivation .

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:44

I wonder why you never see people being interrogated as to how they can afford to home educate (eg one parent is at home not earning) in the same way as when people say they're just using one of the wages, even a very modest, just above m w one to say for schooling (again, playing the only child card)?

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 21:59:12

And yes I see your point,obviously , bookandacuppa.

I agree, marnie-I didn't bring it up first!

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 22:04:00

Jesus, pugs- you really properly do think better not born than educated! That's....shock

lopsided Tue 12-Feb-13 22:06:01

To be fair Books I often wonder how HE is afforded. We are a 2 income family who cannot afford private education.

Arisbottle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:07:59

I cannot imagine limiting my family just so they could go to a private school.

If you are so terrified of the local state option why not move ? Do you have so little faith in your parenting or their abilities that you cannot risk then mixing with 93% of the population ?

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:16:45

In my particular circumstance, we chose to move 100 miles so that dd would never have to go to the school I went to. It just so happens that the place we moved to had better private provision than state. I would also go as far as to say that the demographic is far wider at the private school than the very backward looking state schools in our borough! We have made sacrifices to give her a better chance in life, I don't see what is wrong with that?
She is very happy as an only & appreciates the opportunities she is given. Her happiness is more important to me than my own & I have no regrets.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 22:18:12

Isn't it closer, though, to 'better another one not conceived than existing one state educated'? I believe I see the slimmest of slim distinctions between those two statements...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 22:23:01

I think her sister is one of the best things both my dd have. (hellishly tricky grammar there). I would have been very sad if for any reason I couldn't have had both, as indeed many people are, so to choose not to in order to keep dd1 out of state school makes no kind of sense to me.

difficultpickle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:24:29

Ds is an only and in year 4 at a boarding school. I pay less in fees than I did when he was with a CM before he started school. He has a scholarship which helps and will need a similarly large scholarship for senior school. His opportunities are greater than they would have been had he gone to our local (failing at the time I would have applied) state school. I had a good state education but that is no longer available unless you want to tutor and compete with league tables. I want ds to enjoy learning, not having to think about SATs, league tables and covering only the national curriculum.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 22:27:44

"In my particular circumstance, we chose to move 100 miles so that dd would never have to go to the school I went to"

hmm Surely 10 would have done?

Arisbottle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:29:38

Precisely because we are not throwing away 100k a year on school fees our children have a rich and varied life .

They are not stressed by SATS and seem to study a wide and varied curriculum .

HesterBurnitall Tue 12-Feb-13 22:31:21

Whatever, knows. It takes nothing away from my achievements for me to acknowledge that not everybody has access to the same opportunities in life.

Pugs, outside the bubble that half the national average income is often required for everyday living. Needing to earn it only in order to pay school fees is a privileged position to start with.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 22:31:24

"Isn't it closer, though, to 'better another one not conceived than existing one state educated'? I believe I see the slimmest of slim distinctions between those two statements..."
I don't. It's still saying "I am not going to have a child because state education is such a ghastly prospect I could not, under any circumstances use it. I would rather not have a child than have a state educated child"

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:31:57

Not if we wanted to downsize enough to keep the same mortgage Seeker! To move 10 miles away would have cost an extra £150k - I see £100k on school fees to be far more preferable than playing postcode lotteries!!!

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:35:57

House prices to get into the better state schools are so high, surely private fees are in some ways the cheaper option for many?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 22:37:42

Ihad a good state education but that is no longer available unless you want to tutor and compete with league tables.

Factually untrue.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:51

Pugs, that is just not true. There are schools with extremely dedicated staff in catchments with cheap housing, and there are oftsed outstanding schools with social housing and traveller sites in the catchment areas.

Unless you mean something else by 'better schools'?

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:42:12

Good god, I just looked on rightmove to compare house prices of 10 miles 'good catchment' from my birth town with our current house 100 miles away. A house the same size as ours would cost £300k MORE than ours!!! [faints]
I'll pay the school fees thanks & thank my lucky stars we had the forethought to move away

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:44:28

Not where I was born ORIGINAL! My secondary has been in special measures for over 10 years now

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 22:46:52

It's not my point, argument or reason, seeker, I just see a slightly greyer argument than you do.

To say 'I think I'd really prefer my (one) child to go to this private school than that state school and therefore I won't have anymore children' is no more ghastly than any other financial reason.

I know you believe people choosing private schooling are making an implicit judgement on (all or some) of state schooling (and I almost wholly agree with you) but you seem to be making an explicit judgement on the quality of life of an only child, which is quite hurtful to those who had no choice in the size of their family (and those who knowingly and happily chose to have an only) regardless of how they're educated.

difficultpickle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:55:18

Original not sure how you can comment when you don't know where I live or the choice of schools available. It is factually true where I live. Of course there may be a few children who aren't tutored and magically understand the 11+ questions well enough to pass having never seen them before the exam but I would be surprised. In my day, nearly 40 years ago, we did three practice papers in class and that was it. No tutoring done at all either by paid tutors or parents. It was possible to go from a poor area to grammar and be successful. That doesn't happen now.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 22:56:15
pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 22:57:00

I agree BISJO!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Feb-13 22:57:50

Ah bisjo but you did say it wasn't possible to have a good state education without those things: you didn't qualify that by saying 'where I live'. Sorry.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 23:03:31

My secondary has been in special measures for over 10 years now"

I would need to see some proof of that statement!

weegiemum Tue 12-Feb-13 23:07:40

"Ihad a good state education but that is no longer available unless you want to tutor and compete with league tables. "

As I pointed out in my last post, my state educated children gain advantages in the form of bilingualism that would be impossible to find in a private school, especially near where we live.

ProcessYellowC Tue 12-Feb-13 23:09:48

If you had that many rooms you could turn the house into a free school grin

The thread has moved on from the original question, but according to Wikipedia (which is never wrong btw) the income in the highest-earning fifth of households in 2008/09 was £73,800. So, while not all of those households would have kids, they more than plenty account for the 7% of children being privately educated.

We are some way below that figure and our DS is at a private school.

And I don't think that all the assumptions about why people send their children to independent schools are are true nor fair. I didn't choose private education because a state education was too ghastly. I chose it because the state could not offer us an education full stop.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 23:10:25

"I know you believe people choosing private schooling are making an implicit judgement on (all or some) of state schooling (and I almost wholly agree with you) but you seem to be making an explicit judgement on the quality of life of an only child, which is quite hurtful to those who had no choice in the size of their family (and those who knowingly and happily chose to have an only) regardless of how they're educated."

No I'm not. I have said there are many good reasons to have 1child, or 5 or 10. But being terrified of state education is not one of them. And if, when a child asks why it is an only child, I find it hard to believe that it is going to find" so you didn't have to be educated with 93% of the children in the country" is going to be a satisfactory response.

lopsided Tue 12-Feb-13 23:11:34

I don't think limiting family size because you want to afford certain things is so weird. People do it for all sorts of reasons all the time.

I suspect though as said before it is more likely that if you find yourself with one child you might be more likely to look at private because it is more affordable.

However this is all somewhat off topic I merely wanted to point out that the vast majority of private using parents are pretty well off. No amount of shopping at aldi or camping holidays in wales will bring it within our dual income doing ok but not minted budget.

pugsandseals Tue 12-Feb-13 23:12:09

SEEKER - why can you not just believe me that my school was never an option for dd? I sunk without a trace there & I am sure dd would have done the same!
& I will not name the school in question for obvious reasons

Mutteroo Tue 12-Feb-13 23:12:51

Bet my parents never thought their council house brought for £4k in 1971 would pay for their grandchildren to attend independent schools? No way we could afford for them to attend without a bursary & on our usual monthly income!

Having our first holiday in years this summer now DCs have left the private sector & can't wait to be a bit selfish for a change. Such fun.

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 23:14:43

I believe that. I don't believe that it gaps been in special measures for 10 years. And youy child wouldn't have had to go to that state school anyway-it's not hereditary!

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 23:19:01

People make those decisions all the time. If you choose to phrase it in an emotive way, that's up to you. None of the reasons people limit family size sound particularly pleasant if you put them like that. It makes you sound like one of those fundamentalist Christian 'quiver full' people.

Narked Tue 12-Feb-13 23:21:23

And of course you have to phrase it as 'terrified of state education' hmm

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 23:21:54

Ok, oK, I sort of give up now and, yes, you did say that about 'all sorts of reasons for only having x number of children' but you also said several times something along the lines of a child would always rather have a sibling than a private education...which is a criticism of the life of an only child, surely (especially if the state option would be damaging and totally unsuitable for the child in question - although I'm trying not to blur the two issues)?

Anyway, peace and goodnight all.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 12-Feb-13 23:27:37

...oh and why would my child ask me why he's an only child? What is so terrible about it?

Really am off now smile

marriedinwhite Tue 12-Feb-13 23:30:03

We moved ds to the indy sector when we knew we had enough capital to fund it through to 18. We are in SW London like the OP and felt safe to do it at that time because we thought there were realistic state options for girls. There weren't when it came to it and we were lucky we had the option to move her otherwise the original decision to move DS when we did would have been very wrong.

OP - in SW London you would think we were the poor people; but some of the people who look very wealthy are exceptionally highly geared - some of course are just stinking rich but mostly the genuinely richer ones are the ones who look the most ordinary. And an awful lot of parents do it because two parents are working their cotton socks off; albeit at professional jobs. And we know a lot of families who have lost one job in the last four years and who have sold a prime postcode house for one a few miles further out to fund the £200k of outstanding fees. mostly because they wanted a bigger garden

difficultpickle Tue 12-Feb-13 23:36:00

Original I'm not a politician so I limit my comments to what is within my personal knowledge and experience smile

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 23:39:38

Apart from when you said a good state education is not possible, bisjo."I had a good state education but that is no longer available unless you want to tutor and compete with league tables."

MonkeySea Tue 12-Feb-13 23:43:04

There are pots and pots of money in Surrey. Hence the 25% in independent schools here. 7% is NOT a national figure.

joanofarchitrave Tue 12-Feb-13 23:48:23

I think within the subset of those who could potentially afford it, however that is done, people who are more comfortable with financial risk pay for private schools. I would guess that people who are comfortable with risk are also likely to have extremes of income, higher or lower. Perhaps in some cases they just feel they have less to lose, but in a way that is also a kind of comfort with risk.

We can't afford private school for ds, but there was a time when we could have done. However, when dh was young, dh's parents could afford it at one point, and the costs of private education then escalated past what they could afford, and they had to pull dh out of his school and send him to a state school at a really tricky age. I know more than one person that has happened to, and in every case it has been a crap experience with a lasting impact. His siblings were also state educated as they could only afford it once, and that drove a wedge between them. I wouldn't take the risk unless we had the full amount of the fees for all the years required in the bank. I wouldn't rely on grandparents either, and not for any moral reason but because it's just not certain enough for me. Which is probably one of the reasons I earn £21K a year and think myself lucky to do so.

marriedinwhite Tue 12-Feb-13 23:49:53

Also in SW London (and probably most of London) if one is aspirational for one's children the situation is very very different from the home counties and the state sector in general, apart from one or two pockets of excellence which have about ten children chasing every place. For many families the choice is to pay, somehow (family, remortgaging) or to leave London. SW London is not about comparing like with like where education is concerned. Rather like Surrey too the percentage is, I am sure, much higher than 7%.

PootlePosyPerkin Tue 12-Feb-13 23:52:20

To answer your original question, I don't know how rich one needs to be to send their child to private school. I admit that the situation here may be unusual but, I live somewhere with three state secondaries & one private secondary and, unless your DC is musically gifted and we are talking about performing opportunities/music exams, all three state schools outperform the private results wise.

As long as I live here (with musically ungifted DCs) I won't be considering paying for education thank you very much.

marriedinwhite Tue 12-Feb-13 23:59:25

And the short answer is: Our two go to London day schools - that's about £35k net of tax every year. So after all other expenses are met (mortgage, bills, travel, food, car, holidays, maintenance, etc.) you need another £35, net of tax excluding the extras (about 5-7% on top) providing they don't board.

JenaiMorris Wed 13-Feb-13 00:13:56

Funnily enough I think we could just about, at a push, afford to send ds private now that I've had a promotion.

I'm not convinced it would be money well spent though.

designerbaby Wed 13-Feb-13 00:36:53

One reason we send our children private is because we could not afford a house in the catchment for the good state schools, and the one we are in catchment for is in special measures – not a chance I'd send my children there until it improves significantly, which it shows no sign of doing. We can't find an additional £100k up front to buy a school in catchment, we can, however, find a similar amount over 7-9 years for private schooling...

And yes, we chose to stop at two in part so we could provide adequately for them in a variety of ways. In our circumstances, private schooling was one aspect of that. It's sensible to have only as many children as you can afford to raise in the way you would want to raise them, surely?

We are fortunate to have pretty good jobs, both. We worked hard to get them and we work hard at them. Neither of us come from remotely privileged backgrounds or were given legs up at any point. We have slightly above average salaries, not stratospheric law-firm-partner salaries, no bonuses and no wealthy parents stumping up the fees.

We're careful with everything else, I got onto the property ladder in my mid-twenties, (when any fool with a job could get a 100% mortgage, and by giving up every kind of luxury and living on toast for half the month, literally), did it up (on my own). After we married we moved to a slightly bigger house, renovated it ourselves, moved to a bit better area, ditto. We spend many hours late at night and at weekends sanding, drilling, painting etc.

We work bloody hard for whatever we have, we choose to spend a fairly large proportion of it on school fees for our 2 DDs, and anticipate doing so for the next 16 years, until the youngest leaves 6th form. If I add up totals it makes me hyperventilate, so I don't, I think of it term by term. Having been paying nursery fees we're used to not having it, I guess.

That doesn't mean I don't realise we are fortunate to be able to contemplate doing this. But for most people I know doing the same, it's a rather prosaic combination of good fortune, hard work and cutting down on non-essentials...

I went to private secondary school, but on a full academic scholarship, which meant that everything from fees to uniform to travel to music lessons was paid for. Even my underwear - which was regulation, was paid for! My parents were very clear that it was the only way I would be able to go, as they had NO money (father retired on state pension, mother worked part time around being his carer). I got lucky. School was amazing. I want that experience for my girls,and am prepared to sacrifice and work my tail off to pay for it.

So shoot me...


marriedinwhite Wed 13-Feb-13 00:42:13

designerbaby >>bows<<

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 06:17:17

In answer to your original question OP we afford it by cutting back. We moved out of London and bought a cheaper house, only have one car, no holidays and we pay less in fees because the fees we do pay having moved do not attract the London premium.

I have two boys. One who is already at Prep and the other will be joining next year.

Both my husband and I work in London and commute and we are on a good combined income. Both my husband and I were privately educated but on full academic scholarships. Both of us come from working class backgrounds and our parents would never have been in a position to pay the fees.

Not everyone can afford a private education and a private education is not for everyone. I appreciate we are lucky to have the choice to go private and I am glad that there are alternatives to the comprehensive system.

olivo Wed 13-Feb-13 08:12:27

We are affording Dds 3.5k a year school by me going back to work full time, having been 4 days a week. The extra day pays for both of them. We were lucky to have this option, although it is bloody hard work! Also, things like new cars have had to wait- mine is 12, ideally I'd have got a new second hand one at about 7, but it'll have to wait. If we didn't pay for fees, I guess we'd have more holidays, but one day.....

As I said before though, not all schools are so expensive (or maybe we're just lucky!). No way we could afford 12k per child! Although we managed 10k for nursery, as there was no option!

Shagmundfreud Wed 13-Feb-13 09:01:14

It would be helpful if people saying 'we make lots of sacrifices to afford private school' to give some idea of their income and expenditure, so those of us who are scratching our heads about this whole issue could get some idea of what's realistic and what's not. We have a household income of nearly 70k, three children, a 160k mortgage and high commuting costs. We couldn't afford to send any of our three to private, even if I wasn't already shopping in Aldi, restricting holidays to camping in the UK, buying clothes in charity shops etc.

I really couldn't magic 1k a month or more out of our current household budget.

lainiekazan Wed 13-Feb-13 10:14:41

I suppose we could afford to send the dcs to private schools (at a stretch).

But all we have is dh's income. No Great Expectations. If dh were to lose his job (and he has that type of job) that would be that.

Steam always comes out of my ears at those posters who drone on about bursaries. Those of us in the middle who are homeowners would be laughed out of the bursar's office.

Farewelltoarms Wed 13-Feb-13 10:23:17

I also hate this 'it's a question of priorities'. One poster said that some people could afford private, but choose holidays, nicer house etc as if they were somehow choosing between their children's wellbeing and these luxuries. We could afford private, but choose state because we think it offers our children a better education at this juncture. We might change our mind in the future, but I really hate the idea that people are looking at us and our nice house and our kids at the local state and thinking we're somehow sacrificing them for our holiday habit. And don't say people don't, because my neighbour was really sniffy about a mutual friend using a personal trainer and sending kids to state school as if it was a straight choice between her thighs and her children's future. I just know the neighbour will be saying similar things about us.

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 10:44:37

Morning all
SEEKER - My parents thought they were lucky getting me into that school because it was marginally better than the school my father attended. We had to accept that schooling in the whole area was a gamble. With the 11+ & grammars, yes there was always a chance dd would pass & get into a good school. But we would prefer to have the guarantee of buying that 'grammar' education through the private route! I agree with the person that said grammars were once a great ticket out of deprivation. Indeed it was the case for dh, but the flip of that coin is a horrible experience particularly if you were near the top of the failure pile! & now of course, everybody that can tutors. What started out helping dh out of poverty, would have got me completely stuck in it for life.
Not something I would wish for anyone!

sieglinde Wed 13-Feb-13 11:00:37

Oh, how I agree with those of you who are sick of hearing about 'priorities'. We have no TV at all, one car (and it's a Prius - fuel costs) and very few holidays.

Ok, our house is on the big side, but it's also on a main road and it's miles from anywhere. And it's falling down...

And yyy to those of you who hate people who drone on about bursaries. I BLOODY HAVE been laughed out of the bursar's office.

We will be in debt for effing EVER because of the fees we paid for ds and dd, and it was tbh a huge waste. Up to a point.

Here's my summative assessment. All personal. Your dcs are not my dcs and you are not me. grin

On the plus side, DS did emerge with 12 A* at GCSE, but he was also severely depressed and constantly bullied. The school did pretty much nothing. Behavkour there was/is appalling. The school bus was a sink of sexual harassment and even assault.

He has just got offers from Imperial and Durham - turned down by Oxford, alas, but only by a whisker - and he is now at an FE College, which is where dd will and up next year. Ds has been incredibly happy at the FE college, much happier than he was at independent school.

DD is homeschooled - after 5 years in fee-payers - was bored to death a posh girls' school (exSam Cam) and is now 2-3 years ahead of her age group in four languages. She has lots of friends in reeneactor circles, and is on the whole very happy. She very reasonably wants to go to the FE next year, and it looks like this will be doable.

if I had my life over again, I would NOT send them to private school.

Chandon Wed 13-Feb-13 11:16:49

We sent oir kids to a priavte school after the first 4 years in State ( age 9) because we had the money, we would not have been able to it previously. We had the savings because we lived in a developing country for 8 years, where we did not lead the (expensive) expat life but rather lived like the locals, which was more fun. The side effect was to have ended up with savings for education. That is how we did it.

As to seeker, insisting private school parents " do not want their kids to be educated alongside 93% of the population" implies you think we are snobs, which I think is a bit rich from someone who has, and tried to get her own children into a grammar school. So seeker, did you not want your kids educated along with the masses? I would not ever presume that was your motivation, yet why do you insist n calling private school parents some kind of snob who do not want to mix with the rest? I only know about 3 sets of parents who think like that, but most private school parents I know are not snobs, and their motivation is not about not mixing with the masses or anything ridiculous like that. It is about smaller classes and specialist SEN help for us.

Elibean Wed 13-Feb-13 11:28:16

Another one who hmms at the 'priorities' thing.

I do have priorities, and values, and at the moment state education supports those better than private education. Where we live, and IMO. But a lot of local parents would, of course, disagree (as they have different priorities and values).

dh and I were both privately educated, some bits more successful and happier than other bits, but what works now, where we are, and for our children, isn't just based on what worked and didn't work for us.

I heard someone on Question Time say, the other day, that she wished more of the parents who are struggling to pour energy, time and resources into paying for private schools, so that their kids could have a decent education, would pour some of said energy, time and resources into supporting and improving state education. I feel very lucky to live in an area where I hope to be able to continue to do just that, I know many don't.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 11:31:23

Haven't mentioned snobbery. You may or may not be a snob- I have no idea. Some are, some aren't. In all sectors. I have my own snobberies- mostly around what you call the loo and how you hold your knife and what you say when somebody says "how do you do"

What I said was that i think it's a bit odd to decide that a child would be better off not born than receive the same education 93% of the population get.

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

Elibean totally agree with you (as have on other threads).
You don't even have to pour that energy, time and resources into the whole school if you don't want to, just pour a tiny fraction of it into your own child if you prefer. There's a thread going about the difference between reception in private and in state and the biggest 'advantage' talked about seems to be being read to every day by a teacher in a private school. Really it is so much easier (plus I enjoy) to do that myself than work the sort of hours I'd have to for three sets of fees. Ditto the much vaunted after-school activities...

alemci Wed 13-Feb-13 11:54:02

we couldn't afford it for our 3 DC but I think good luck to those who can. The fees have become very expensive. My dad could afford to put both my brother and myself through private school in the 70's/80's but it has now become very expensive.

I now work in one myself and it is a lovely environment and I can see why people want to send their DC there.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:55:35

Without completely outing myself I'll tell you how we do it (and we have one DS at one of the big (and expensive!) boarding schools.

1. Have children late in life
2. Both work in full time roles. You are unlikely to be able to afford if the woman doesnt work or works part time and likes to see her partner for his tea at 1800
3. No previous relationships where maintenance/support payments are involved unless you are very rich
4.You have to want to do it and believe it is definitely the right route to follow and that the state alternatives are unsuitable
5. Recognise it is not going to be easy. There will be times when you will need to sit down and think 'where are next years fees going to come from'
6. Choose to live in the SE/London. That is where you will get the benefits of house price increases which might well need to be used should you need to borrow
7. dont have expensive hobbies that you think MUST continue if you go down the private route

A number of people reading this wont want to do some of this. They dont want to work full time, they dont want to move house, they have children and support costs from other relationships. They dont want to gain further qualifications and get a better paid role, they dont want to leave elderly relatives. All of these are fine reasons but bear in mind you cannot have it all. There have been plenty of times where I have hated my job, I have missed something key at the school for work reasons but these are the prices I need to pay. Luckily I like living near London. Some dont! My DH and myself dont live near parents. Again another price to pay.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 12:05:12

Eilibean - if you worked at a company where you weren't happy with the leadership or the direction the team/section/company was heading, would you find another job or would you stay and fight to make your current company into one which you would want to work in?

I suspect that, like most of us, you would want to find another job.

Similarly, over in Relationships the standard advice seems to be, not to seek counselling or try to talk things through but to dump the bastard.

But when it comes to education, one is expected to stay in the state system and fight to improve it for the sake of strangers who don't have the option to go private??? I fight my own battles. I don't expect others to fight mine and I don't expect them to ask me to fight theirs.

seeker - you got a DD at a GS and if your DS hadn't failed the 11+ he too would also be at the GS. So please resist the urge to go on about how parents like me don't care about other people's DC's education.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 12:09:46

Farewell - by your logic I should get up and serve myself if the waiter is too slow instead of going to a restaurant where its a bit more expensive but has a higher staff to customer ratio.

Farewelltoarms Wed 13-Feb-13 12:19:24

No, it's more like the difference between a free self-service restaurant and an expensive waitered restaurant which served food of a similar quality. You might think the service was worth paying for, I might prefer to get the food myself and save the money plus I might actively like the act of serving myself.
That's if you want to use your restaurant analogy, which I think might now be stretched to breaking point...

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 12:22:43

<waves cheerfully at stalker>

GregorSamsa Wed 13-Feb-13 12:34:58

Goodness, by the logic of many people on here, I think we shouldn't exist. Or maybe we are a figment of our own imagination. But I don't think our experience is that unusual:

a. No, we couldn't afford private, not even if we stopped buying organic veg and cut back on camping holidays.
b. All our DC went to nice but roughish primary schools in inner London (def not the kinds of schools people sell a kidney/their grandmother/move house to get into).
c. Older two are at roughish secondary schools ditto, c. 55-60% A-Cs at GCSE, Ofsteds good but not outstanding.
d. DC1 got 11A* at GCSE and has been offered a place at Oxbridge; DC2 looking likely to be not quite as stellar an overachiever, but still getting plenty of level 7 and level 8s in Y9, and set to get a healthy proportion of good grades at GCSE; DC3 is still at primary and utterly bonkers, so who knows? But likely to get all L5s in Y6 and follow in the path of the other two.
e. All are happy, confident, well-adjusted and have lots of outside interests that don't involve getting criminal records. This will not be true of all the dc they have shared classrooms with over the years, but I don't think it does kids a favour to assume they are delicate little snowflakes who can't weigh up the options and make choices about how they behave and who they choose to copy.

So no, je ne regrette rien. Seems fine to me. Kids happy, good results, not totally skint and had the number of DC we wanted. Can it really be that simple? confused

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 12:40:05

The difference is that I don't care whether you eat at the self service or at the waiter service restaurant but you seem to be rolling your eyes at people who would rather spend extra to get the service they want.

Dropping the analogy, when was the last time you saw a thread that ask why people go to state schools? The whole thing is a one sided affair. I mean, I don't care where people send your DCs but a lot of people obviously care where I send mine, enough to regularly start threads about it.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 12:46:28

Sorry, Gregor, I don't believe you. That can't possibly happen! Your children were obviously "eaten alive" when you "threw them to the wolves" in year 7 and you are suffering from PTSD. grin

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 12:51:53

I went to private school and met people whose parents funded it through a very wide range of options. Some had grandparents helping, some had a lodger(s), some were teachers at school and got reduced fees, some were on scholarships and assisted places, some were paying with income, some were paying with an inheritance, some were paying through their own savings (often acquired from downsizing house or moving to cheaper area).

DH and I hope to have a good stab at paying definitely for one and poss two sets of fees. We bring home about 65k between us after tax and have proportionately tiny mortgage outgoings as we bought a wreck of a house at the bottom of the 09 crash and although we have spent a fortune on it it means we're not servicing much debt. We were also incredibly lucky to be able to pay off 100k of it last year thanks to an inheritance. If we weren't in that position we'd use our advantage of currently living in London and move out to somewhere v cheap and use lump sum saved to pay for fees. We've also considered having only one child so that we can stay comfortable without having to work ourselves into the ground. There are lots of options (oviously not for everyone, but quite a few people.)

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 12:53:02

TOTALLYBS - Maybe we should start one! wink We could even put it in AIBU, but what wording? Something like ' AIBU to think that parents that choose to live where there are good state schools are completely mucking up the demographics of this country? If you can't afford private, surely you should take the Ofsted Special Measures school & be grateful! '
But we don't say things like that because it might offend people - yet those that choose private education are sitting ducks! hmm

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 12:53:46

I wouldn't mind a thread asking why I sent to state schools, or why they're better, or how people manage it, etc! Not sure anyone's that interested though: after all, it's what almost everyone does do, so doesn't attract the kind of interest that the education of the minority does I suppose.

DadOnIce Wed 13-Feb-13 12:56:29

When someone (on a totally different planet, financially) was advising me and DW on schools (not knowing that we decided on the local secondary ages ago for DD), they said the following immortal words to me:

"Don't pay the fees out of income."

DW and I don't usually move in circles where people have disposable cash other than "income".

MonkeySea Wed 13-Feb-13 12:58:53

Er, I think that's known as 'savings'.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 12:59:00

"TOTALLYBS - Maybe we should start one! We could even put it in AIBU, but what wording? Something like ' AIBU to think that parents that choose to live where there are good state schools are completely mucking up the demographics of this country? If you can't afford private, surely you should take the Ofsted Special Measures school & be grateful! '
But we don't say things like that because it might offend people - yet those that choose private education are sitting ducks! "

Go for it!

DadOnIce Wed 13-Feb-13 13:00:23

Oh and FGS just ignore the deranged people who claim anyone can afford it by "making cutbacks" or deciding what their "priorities" are.

They don't realise that an awful lot of people - and we're talking middle-class people in good jobs - put off repairs to the house, drive old cars and shop at Morrisons anyway, as a matter of course, because they have to in order to afford the bills, and not because they are putting £10k a year aside for flipping private school.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 13:00:30

Well this thread isn't called anything like that, is it? It's called 'who can afford private school'.

alemci Wed 13-Feb-13 13:01:14

Dad, I know what you mean. have a good friend who has no mortgage, doesn't work much, dc are in private school and pays a cleaner. very nice but one day she asked me when I was admittedly moaning about how tired I was and a bit fed up a) why didn't i get a cleaner and b) why do you work all those hours (school hours)?

Some people are on a completely different planet. Where would the other money come from apart from income - inheritance, offshore bank account

DadOnIce Wed 13-Feb-13 13:02:11

MonkeySea - OK, we have savings, but not THAT much! And a lot of it goes every year on a holiday.

Lancelottie Wed 13-Feb-13 13:03:02

I think there's a strange sort of gap, actually, between truly low income families who might get a bursary,and those who can afford fees.

Round here, any kind of bursary is only offered to those earning under about £40k (family, not each). Substantial bursaries might be offered if you earn below about £25k. But an income of £45k doesn't somehow let you afford fees after tax of £25-30k a year (assuming two children). Can I flog one?

Remortgaging the house -- what if you've already done that earlier to create an extra bedroom -- and your income is wavering and feels insecure?

All smacks too much of gambling present security for hypothetical future gains, to me.

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 13:05:33

& that would achieve what exactly?
The same way as private school bashing is never going to change the views that state is best! DD has friends in state who would easily pass the entrance tests, but the parents will not let them take them because they want to prove that state is better hmm & that all private school pupils will turn against their parents at some point hmm - I don't understand, but I don't criticize!

DadOnIce Wed 13-Feb-13 13:10:22

We can't really use any analogies when talking about education - they are all imperfect. It certainly can't be compared, I feel, with consumer goods.

One thing people lose sight of on here is that even being in a position to have serious discussions about "choosing" where your child goes to school, of any kind, puts you in an unusually privileged position. Like all privilege, it is often invisible to those that have it.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 13:10:51

Ok, so the answer is that some people are not interested and some are, then.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 13:13:13

Dad - that sounds like sound advice as opposed to something to mock.

My friend has 5 years of school fees banked whereas we are paying fees from income. It's not an ideal situation to be in but luckily as long as one of us is in a job then the income will cover the fees. However, if a couple is on a lesser income then they will essentially be maxing themselves out in order to pay the fees.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 13:14:37

Well Totally, it does seem to assume some sort of norm in which people have money other than income, doesn't it? Which is not the situation for the vast majority.

grovel Wed 13-Feb-13 13:15:06

There are a lot of lucky babyboomers out there. Before we met, DH and I each bought flats in Earls Court in the 1980's for +/- £35,000. 90% mortgages. 3x salary.

The market since then has gone crazy. Those flats now sell for +/- £600,000.

DadOnIce Wed 13-Feb-13 13:15:25

I wasn't mocking the advice, but rather the presumption that everyone is in a position to choose. I mean, "make sure you get a gardener in to do all your lawns rather than trying to do them yourself" is sound advice, but that doesn't stop it containing a world of presumption.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:17:36

Woozlebear - 100% agree with you! The people who dont want to live near/in London and gain from the house price increases, who want to have 3+ children and want their partners to be home every night at 6, who wont/cant for all sorts of reasons obtain full time roles, who dont have any inheritances coming up, who are perhaps on the 2nd marriages/partnerships etc are unlikely to be able to afford the school fees. That's just life.

I could give up my role tomrorow, go and work in a shop where I do a days work and at the end of the day shut the door and dont take the job home with me. I havent chosen to do this as it doesnt pay enough. So, I give up weekends taking calls from clients who for one reason or another need help. Its just how it is. I dont get paid overtime for it, I consider it is part of my role and most clients are very respectful of weekends! Of course once the school fees and the mortage are paid off its a different story!

I would love to buy Chanel suits and have a holiday home. Unfortunaely I cannot afford it. To snipe at people that have made the decision to go down the private route seems to indicate a 'well if I cannot have it, you shouldnt either'

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:26:18

Grovel - yes those flats in Earls Court. This is where the money was to be made. Hindsight is a great thing!

The one thing I really regret tbh was not putting some money aside on a monthly basis to at least pay a propotion of the fees. We are paying out of income which is never good especially with the current economy. However, we have plenty of equity in the house, we have been here for 14 years and the house has of course gone up in value because of where it is.

Shagmundfreud Wed 13-Feb-13 13:28:09

I think you find Maisie that when it comes to children, most people don't like to see other people's children who may be less able or less hard working, leap frog over their own children when it comes to university places or getting great jobs, on the basis - not of their innate ability - but on the basis that their parents have been able to buy them a privileged education.

From a child's perspective it is unfair. However hard your parents work or however lucky and privileged they are, that's your parents. It's not you. No one child deserves to be raised above another child on the basis of parental income.

But hey ho, that's the world we live in. It's not a meritocracy. Family money counts. Don't see why those of us whose children are disadvantaged by this system should be cheerful and accepting of it though. It is unfair.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 13:29:26

Dad - the road called Presumption Road is a two way road.

I regularly read post where it is presumed that indie parents are rich, snobby and are out of touch with the problems and concerns of 'ordinary' people.

GregorSamsa Wed 13-Feb-13 13:29:28

Seeker: "Sorry, Gregor, I don't believe you. That can't possibly happen! Your children were obviously "eaten alive" when you "threw them to the wolves" in year 7 and you are suffering from PTSD. grin"

Doh. [slaps self] That's where I'm going wrong. I shall slink back into the parallel universe occupied by people who believe that robust teenagers get bullied for taking their violin cases to school, and where children get mocked for liking reading and asking questions. That one? hmm

So it's all a delusion that in his very average blokey comp my middle ds has a running competition going with his mates as to who gets the highest maths level? And looked at me baffled when I asked whether he gets teased for still being the music department's favourite blue-eyed boy treble. [Snurk]


I think some people just want to believe it's a jungle out there in state-school-land, in order to justify the eyewatering amounts they are caning out on fees.

higgle Wed 13-Feb-13 13:35:52

We sent our 2 sons private school until they were 11, then state grammar. I knew that was what we wanted to do when they were born and started saving every month from then. The nurser stage is no more expensive than other nursery fees but after that it gets more each year, so I gradually put more aside. We only had an average mortgage and were both working but we cut down on social activity and anything other than modest holidays for the 11 years we were paying. It was worth it, the impact of the small classes, better teaching and freedom to run riot in large grounds, build dens etc. is more when they are very little than later.

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 13:40:57

But GREGOR, you cannot fault people who were eaten alive in the local secondary modern as a child themselves for wanting their child not to have to go through that surely?

outtolunchagain Wed 13-Feb-13 13:47:57

Well at the risk of entering the lions den ,we afford it by effectively paying (currently for two) by allocating the whole of my salary for school fees,there was a time a couple of years ago where each month there was 10p left of my net income.

I am well aware that for many its not a choice but we we were lucky to be able to do it .We run second hand cars,have cheap holidays etc .around here though the schools will give bursaries quite far up the income scale so that a lot of people get a little help rather than one or two getting all the fees paid ,although some do get that.

I think if you have a child who is going to get 10 A*s they will probably get that anywhere but my children are not in that league so they need all the help they can get and I will do as much as I can for them .One has Spld and like someone else on this thread is at an independent specialist school which has made a massive difference to his life chances.

Also I really don't think that you can measure education in terms of grades,I don't like the style of education at my local outstanding comprehensive.It is all about league tables and all the pupils sit numerous exams to push the school up the rankings .DS has several friends there who were made to take 4 A levels and have lesser grades but more ucas points ,ds school would say better to get A*AA and paly adn instrument and play sport ,than get AABB plus general studies and critical thinking ,and most universities would agree.

In my book its not about what grades you get at school its about what else you have done at school.I wanted to choose the school that most matched my ethos of education and paying enables you to do that.I am very privileged I know ,but i have worked hard for it ,my grandparents had manual jobs and lived in council housing and worked hard to enable their children to have a better education than them.They expect to see me doing the same .

GregorSamsa Wed 13-Feb-13 13:48:52

PUGS: no, but you can fault the logic of assuming that their children's experience will be the same as their experiences 30 years ago. There are undoubtedly schools that I would not be happy for my dc to go to. But not that many, and certainly not most state schools are like that.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 13:49:32

Shagmund - A few years ago I was watching the post mortem debate after most of the Brit players were knocked out in the opening round of Wimbledon.

One of the Brit talking heads was going on about the Americans and Eastern Europeans and their entourage of nutritionists, fitness instructors, sports psychologist etc. The panel then collectively rolled their eyes as if to to say - how can people expect Brit players to win against pushy people like that.

It's kind of deja vu when I listen to some people talk about education. I mean, all those pushy parents working the system so that they get the coveted places/jobs over their naturally clever but untutored comp going DCs grin

If you think that your delicate children's heads will explode if they are pushed then that is fine with me. If you believe that a bright child doesnt need tutoring then that too is fine. Similarly if you believe that homework is the work of the Devil then that is up to you.

But please, please when my DC runs pass yours don't complain about how it's unfair.

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 13:51:01

I hate it when threads like these get derailed by the anti-private school brigade. The question was clear, “Who can afford private schools in the UK?” I accept that some posters might not agree with the way other posters have phrased their responses when answering the affordability issue but it is wearing having to read through endless posts that have nothing to do with the OP’s question.

lopsided Wed 13-Feb-13 13:51:02

I don't begrudge those who use the private sector. I do mind the assumptions on these thread that anyone could do it if we stopped shopping in waitrose, buying new cars and holidaying. Assuming I'm not already doing those things, the sums of money are vast.

I'm a lucky person in many ways but we won't be able to afford school fees. That's ok, I think my kids will be fine.

MonkeySea Wed 13-Feb-13 13:52:27

The best tennis school is (of course) a private school - Reeds. Tim Henman went there, following on from the Dragon School.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:53:04

Shagmund - I dont agree that private buys you the best jobs etc because it then assumes that all private schools are better than all state schools and that all the kids going to them are going to achieve more because their parents have 'brought' this benefit.

Perhaps what we need to do is look at is WHY private schools send more children to the Russell Group uni's and why there is a perception that pupils do better. When I was at school only 5% of pupils went to univ, now its 50% and tbh there are universities and universities just like there are schools and schools.

I am happy with the disipline in my son's schools. When they started we signed to say that we agreed to the rules and the punishments should they be broken. My DS has done his fair share of litter picking around the school!
I wouldnt dream of storming into the school and demanding that he be let off because it was beneath him. My DM when she was teaching was hit by an irate parent when she removed a child shouting and swearing at another child to the HM. Parent took offence.

No mobiles in class. A mobile that goes off will be taken away for 1 week and the pupil will not be allowed to go home at the weekend. Harsh maybe but why do you need a mobile in the classroom?

Uniform is strict

Not handing in homework on time has various levels of punishments all carried out.

So, maybe we need to follow what private schools are doing in some areas and try and copy some of the things they do well. Starting with disipline which will cost a school nothing at all to implement.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 13:53:31

I am constantly amazed , BS at your ability to to get very exercised by, and respond to, points that have never been made, and attitudes that no one has shown. It's a bit like Lakeland. They invent a domestic problem you didn't realize you had, then sell you the solutions!

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 13:54:50

Is that a private school or a state school, maisieJoe? I can't tell from your description.....

lopsided Wed 13-Feb-13 14:00:31

I answered it upthread as to why we couldn't. I was not chippy or anti. Then a couple posts after someone says 'my friend says they can't afford it but they have iPhones and iPods' etc. It's wearing for me too.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:00:43

My sons go to private schools. The disipline is one of the things most important to me. Boys need to know the boundaries and from speaking to friends in the state system - in a number of cases there seems to be little. One friend is now moving house to release some equity to move from state to private as their DD's lessons are constantly interuppted by ringing mobiles and the sharing of porn around the class.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 14:00:53

seeker - I was addressing shagmund's post from about 20min ago. Feel free to skim posts but it makes you kind of look foolish when you accuse others of arguing points that haven't been made upthread.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 14:05:37

MonkeySea - it may be the 'best' but how many World Top 10 players has it produced apart from Henman. And how many Glam Slam champions did he win?

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 14:07:07

lopsided every now and then I find a response that answers the OP's question. Sorry if I missed yours.

I think it is an interesting question and I am intrigued to see how others have (or have not) had to adapt to accomodate a private education.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:10:18

I think all the 'anti private school brigade' have done on this thread is point to the logical flaws in lines like 'it's just a question of priorities'; 'you do what you have to do'; 'I don't want my child to go through what I did thirty years ago' etc. I can't recall any post slating private schools in the last 9 pages - though a fair few slagging off state schools (well, state schools 20 or 30 years ago, which, let us remember is another thing). As per.

Nobody's saying all parents who pay for schools are rich, exactly, but sometimes such parents do lay themselves open to the charge of not really having any concept of what real life is like for most people, when they make statements about 'priorities' and 'sacrifice'.

INeedALieIn Wed 13-Feb-13 14:11:01

In our area, day fees are around £9k per child for senior school. Fees are afforded by a variety of methods as already discussed. But at that level, to answer the op initial question, 2 child families with jobs in a profession such as law, accountancy, medicine, can afford fees.

To say that people in this scenario cannot afford fees is not true, it is down to priorities however People may not like to be told this.

In hind sight, such families may not be able to afford the fees due to choices made which haven't worked out so well, given their chance again they may prefer to reprioitise. (Commit to less expensive property, save more pre children, go back to work earlier, retrain/try harder at school). Or they may be happy to choose state over private.

People on lower incomes can generally only afford fees with additional assistance.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:13:15

" One friend is now moving house to release some equity to move from state to private as their DD's lessons are constantly interuppted by ringing mobiles and the sharing of porn around the class."
Yeah, right, of course they are. And this is what happens in all state schools- the only answer is going private!

outtolunchagain Wed 13-Feb-13 14:16:45

I always amazes me how the most prolific posters on these threads are never the people who actually have children in independent schools .Why do people who don't pay school fees feel they are the best people to comment on the question "how do people afford private education"

INeedALieIn Wed 13-Feb-13 14:17:51

Personally, we pay by having fewer extra nice to haves in life. (Holidays, eating out, new clothes).

Friends in our circle who have chosen state have more of those things. If they mive to private they say they will havevto reduce this expenditure in order to cut their cloth.

I realise this is not an option for everybody, however this is my experience.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:19:02

If anything, outtolunch, those people might be slightly better placed to observe that 'making sacrifices' and 'deciding priorities' is not the realistic option for most families that some posters make it out to be, surely?

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:20:42

bS- I think you might just have "skim-read" Shagmund's post. She was not complaining about super duper high ability people getting all the top jobs etc. she was complaining about them getting the top jobs etc because of the schools they went to.

If you genuinely think that the current Cabinet, for example, are there entirely because of their huge ability and stellar intelligence, then please allow me to sell you this vial of genuine snake oil I happen to have about my person. To anyone else, £1000, but because I know you've got school fees to pay, to you only £500.

grovel Wed 13-Feb-13 14:20:59

nit, that was my thought too.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:56

I sometimes think that some people on this forum think that if you can afford school fees you can afford ANY school fees ie putting VAT on the fees themselves!

Someone said earlier that people who pay for private education dont live in the real world. I would argue that we absolutely do! We know how much it costs, what we need to do to fund it (and sometimes it isnt possible for all sorts of reasons).

My parents both worked. Its what they did - DM was a teacher so it made things easier during school hols and they were firm Labour supporters. Every election and during by elections a poster was put in the front room to ensure that everyone knew they were Labour voters! My mother still votes labour as she says they are for the working classes. Well that's my DH and myself - we are the working class as in we both work.

Unless the view is that you are working class until you start to earn £xxx...

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 14:22:45

pugs RE starting a thread about state schools, how about the following titles?

Why do you think that moving to a expensive area with outstanding state school is not you buyingu a better education for your child?


Why is it bad for a parent to bale from a bad state school to go private but its not bad to bale and move to a MC state school elsewhere. Either way, the net effect on the children at the bad school are the same.


AIBU to think that sending your DCs to the predominantly white MC village state school isn't you giving a more diverse schooling for your children.

To paraphrase Keven Costner, post it and they will come... Or not. Most indie parents don't feel a need to get people to justify why they choose state so chances are you'll just get the anti-Indy crowd posting.

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 14:22:46

outtolunchagain I couldn't agree with you more.

TheOriginalSteamingNit the point I was trying to make is that I genuinely have an intrestest in the OP's question as I will be privately educating two boys. It is simply wearing when threads like this get derailed.

outtolunchagain Wed 13-Feb-13 14:24:14

Not saying they don't have a view ,but most of the posters who have children at independent schools recognise that not everyone can do it but that above a certain level of income then it is about priorities .But the most prolific are never those who are actually doing it

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:24:33

Seeker - I know you dont like private schools and seem to have a chip on your shoulder about people who choose this route. Why??

Our friends have chosen to do this because THIS state school has failed their children, they fortunately have the option to move so why not! Its not all state schools...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:25:55

Totally - sigh.... where does your assumption come from that everybody who uses and approves of state education did either of those things?

Anyway, there was that AIBU a while back about 'sending to a comprehensive is an exit from the middle class', remember? It's certainly not all one-sided.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:27:56

Outto and Succubi - I kind of agree, and the posters earlier who honestly and factually said 'I think you need to be earning about this much' or 'we earn this much and it just about works if we scrimp' - well, I might not like their choices, but I acknowledge their honesty and realism.

However, I'd argue that the real hijacking comes with the posts about priorities etc, which I do think need to be challenged.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:28:01

Succcubi- I honestly think this is the wrong thread for you. If you look at the OP you will see that it was drafted in such a way as to stimulate discussion, rather than practical qdvice.

Ther is plenty of that sort of advice on here if you search. Or start your own thread in the independent schools section. In th meantime, dive into the "heated debate"!

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 14:35:36

Nobody's saying all parents who pay for schools are rich, exactly, but sometimes such parents do lay themselves open to the charge of not really having any concept of what real life is like for most people, when they make statements about 'priorities' and 'sacrifice'.

Surely only if you're claiming that all or most people could afford it through priorities and sacrifice? In a lot cases it's a valid point. For example, if I argued that most people I know who I know to be in a similar financial situation to me, could afford school fees if they changed their priorities and made some sacrifices, I would be correct. In reality, I know that many of them have chosed to 200k extra moving to a bigger house during their children's primary years. The house DH and I currently live in is perfectly adequate for a family of 4 (it has enough bedrooms), but it's small. We intend to stay (or trade in for something bigger further out), so we can afford fees. Most families on our street end up moving to a bigger house in the same area and not being able to afford fees. Fine, but it shows it often can be a matter of priorities.

On the flip side I'd also make the point that it's frustrating for people who are just about comfortably off but bust a gut to afford fees being lumped together and slated as rich privileged toffs who are completely out of touch with reality. I think you'll find that one of the reasons why some private-school-payers are often so keen to argue that it's often about sacrifice and priorities is because they're so sick of everyone automatically seeing them is privileged tw*ts and making assumptions and being ignorant of what real life is like for THEM. It cuts both ways. It's also particularly galling when all your efforts are also rewarded by people also accusing you (and your children) of snobbery, damaging the state system, and being stupid and deluded about state schools blah blah blah. No one seems to say 'oh, well done, you managed to send your kids private'. They either try to make you feel guilty for being able to, or they criticise you. It's amazing how much of an opinion other people are allowed to have about your choices, that you're mysteriously never allowed to have about theirs.

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 14:35:40

Seeker I think you are probably right. I suspect that I will struggle to find a thread about private education on here that doesn't get derailed by the anti-private brigade of which I know you are one. This is of course a shame.

alemci Wed 13-Feb-13 14:36:35

we had a marketing talk at my place of work and the guy said that people needed to be earning at least 60K for one child and then say 100k for 2 so they would be classed as people who were successful in life.

Anyway (sounding like the silly woman in the harry enfield sketch) mine are doing ok in their comp.

Astelia Wed 13-Feb-13 14:37:15

If you work abroad on an expat contract you may well get school fees paid as part of the contract. We know many people in this position. Some send their DCs to boarding schools in the UK while some use local international schools.

Bunbaker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:37:40

"Saving up for two years worth for A levels is probably a much more manageable prospect than a full school career."

That is something we are looking at, or even for GCSE years as well. We couldn't afford to pay for 7 years though.

With hindsight, having DD at the local comp has been better for us as she has had some medical problems which meant spending a lot of time at the hospital. As the private school is 20 miles north of here and the hospital 20 miles south of here we couldn't have managed it logistically without DD missing even more school than she has done. (Comp is 4 miles west of our house)

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:38:54

You won't succubi- there are plenty. And many of them are about just the points you raise.

This thread was actually derailed, not by the anti private school brigade, but by the "everyone can afford it if they only try a little harder" brigade. Which you must accept is a deeply crass attitude to take.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 14:40:08

Nit - were do I say that everybody has these views? So .. sigh right back at you.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:41:04

No one seems to say 'oh, well done, you managed to send your kids private'

Why on earth would they, though?

The thing is, it's really quite rare to see a post about sending private which doesn't contain an explicit or sometimes implicit assumption or statement about state schools and education. In fact I think the decision is fundamentally such a statement. And, in turn, such statements are galling and difficult not to challenge.

Chandon Wed 13-Feb-13 14:41:41

Woozlebear, my thoughs exactly!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:44:02

Well, but Totally, why would you speculate about starting a thread or threads with all these implied 'yous' in the title? That seems so narrow as an area of interest in the decision to use and support state education.

Why do you think your children are too good to consort with mine?
Why do you think your children need more than others?
Why do you view education as a purchasable commodity?
Why don't you care that not everyone can have the education you think is so great?

See, I wouldn't start a thread with any of those titles - it would just be stupid and pointless and designed to annoy.

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 14:47:23

Why on earth would they, though?

I dunno - maybe in the same way that private health insurance and a private pension is generally seen as desirable if you can afford it. Something worth making an effort for, an example of providing well for your family, even. But, for instance, everyone I work with snaps these up but would be chippy about private education. Private education seems to be the only area of life where spending money because you believe it will give your children an advantage in life is frowned upon.

PPT Wed 13-Feb-13 14:48:58

Haven't read the whole thread but... We have chosen only to have dc and started to save when he was born! Probably only just for secondary, and hopefully will have enough to pay for fees in a lump sum and negotiate a rate.

Succubi Wed 13-Feb-13 14:49:13

Seeker we are simply not going to agree.

I have already set out my reasons for joining this thread and it is not to enter into a debate over the comment you have highlighted which is quite frankly either badly put or if put correctly so obviously wrong that it simply doesn't require this type of in-depth dissection.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:50:55

See, in that post there are a number of things I have a problem with, Woozle. You describe private school as 'providing well for your family', which does suggest you think children not at private schools aren't being provided for, or that their parents aren't doing such a good job. You describe people who are opposed to it as 'chippy', which is dismissive of very genuine ideological opposition to private education.

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 13-Feb-13 14:51:28

Why do people who don't pay school fees feel they are the best people to comment on the question "how do people afford private education"

Perhaps because some of the answers given: 'we have less nice to haves such as holidays, new clothes and meals out' do not actually answer the question satisfactorily. The amount our family spends on new clothes, holidays and meals out in total would not put one single child through private education in London. The answer given just does not answer the question.

Presumably you afford private education by having an income big enough over and above your outgoings.

There's a poster below who poo-poos the idea that two working parents who had to pay nursery fees could therefore afford private education. But it isn't like that. During those fee paying years you don't replace your household goods, you leave the all-important (for maintenance) external decorating or the threadbare roof, you don't replace the ancient car, you NEVER buy new clothes...you run up some credit card bills, you don't pay into a pension. You live in a way which isn't sustainable longer term. And anyway, school fees increase, and come with expenses that nursery does not. Trips, uniforms, PE kits, sports equipment, maybe school meals if not all-inclusive.

I have no chip on my shoulder, I am happy with the state schooling my DC enjoy, I am not 'anti private education' or those that choose it. But I do not wish to be told it is 'all a matter of priorities'.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 14:55:27

seeker - fees cost between £9k to £15k for most day schools. Assuming we are talking about one child, a family needs a gross income of about £40k pa in order to cover fees, mortgage, bills, food and other essentials. There isn't much left over for a new car every 3 years oir a long haul family holiday every year. This is where the 'sacrifice' and 'priority' kicks in.

No one is suggesting that a person working as a van driver earning £20k can go private if only they prioritize and make sacrifices. So it's kind of ridiculous to interpret people's comments as such and use this to kick off a series of eye rolling posts.

Shagmundfreud Wed 13-Feb-13 14:56:57


The problem isn't the quality of teaching in most state schools. It's the amount of individual attention.

Children who attend private school will get more of the teacher's time, simply because there are sometimes fewer than half the number of children per teacher, and because there are fewer disruptive children and children who are struggling academically taking up the teachers' time.

"It's also particularly galling when all your efforts are also rewarded by people also accusing you (and your children) of snobbery, damaging the state system"

Many parents choose to privately educate because they don't want their children learning alongside disadvantaged children who don't achieve at a high level.

And 'creaming off' the most motivated, brightest children with the most supportive and involved (and wealthy) parents DOES damage the state system. Schools rise and fall not just on the quality of the staff, but on the input of the children and the parents.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:57:51

The thing is - honestly. For those who think that the private system is the Devils Work....

What would happen if you won the lottery. It is easy to preach and say. unfair advantage, stuck up toffs etc when you have no opportunity to go private.

But - what if you came into some money. Are you really saying you would not look at the private schools. I suspect some who are especially against have NEVER set foot into one of the top private schools. They dont know anyone who has gone to one. Well - perhaps they arent what you think they are...

Like various members of the Labour government Preach all you like about the state system but their children wont use it, Ruth Kelly, Diane Abbott et al have had no issues with using whatever means they have at their disposal, be it influence, money etc to use them.

If you had a failing school and you won the lottery would you look at private or would you move to a more desirable area and go for one of the outstanding state schools that only people who can afford the house prices are able to apply for....

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 14:58:41

Erm, I have seen it suggested in as many words that a couple who are both on the minimum wage could find school fees if they cared enough, Totally.

We don't have a new car every three years or a long haul family holiday every year - I've never considered we're 'sacrificing' anything, just that's not something we do. I never realised how deprived I was! We do have a gross income over £40k though, I wonder why we don't have a spare 15 floating around every year?

Shagmundfreud Wed 13-Feb-13 14:58:45

"Assuming we are talking about one child, a family needs a gross income of about £40k pa in order to cover fees, mortgage, bills, food and other essentials."

Shelter has estimated that in London families need a household income of 50K a year to be able to rent a two bedroom flat and cover all their living costs without subsidy.

I imagine this applies to large parts of the SE. I'm in a horrible part of London and a two bedroom flat here costs 1.2K per month.

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 14:59:33

Nit I didn't describe all people as chippy, just specifically people I work with, who I know (and presumably you don't).

As for 'providing well for your family' a) I didn't actually say I see it that way, I said I find it odd that private pensions and health insurance are generally seen that way, while education is not. To extrapolate from that that I also think that people who don't are not providing well for their family is absurd. Although I admire your effors to provoke an argument and dismiss all my points by making me look unpleasant.

My point was not whether or not it's a matter of providing well, it's the logical inconsistency of some things being perceived that way, and others not. A point which I notice you have managed to totally ignore despite it being the sole point of my post.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 14:59:35

Well, if you can call not having a long haul holiday every year a "sacrifice" you must have led a very sheltered life, that's all I can say. There were children at our primary school who "sacrificed" their own dinner so they could pay for their child to go swimming.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:01:47

Oh wow Maisie, you have bowled me over with the force of your rhetoric there and made a suggestion never heard before on MN....

I would not privately educate on a lottery win, inheritance, plain or train. I do not like them, Sam, you see!

So if I went to a top private school, I might see they're not 'what I think they are'. Well, what I think they are is institutions probably really quite passionate about the education they provide, as well as perhaps the pastoral care, values, etc etc. And I think they make that service available to those who can pay and/or pass an exam, and not the rest.

I think they are what I think they are.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:02:08

PLAIN???? I mean plane, obv. blush

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:03:08

But Woozle I doubt your colleagues would consider their response, or their views, as 'chippy', would they? It's hardly objective truth!

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 15:05:23

Nit - Please feel free to cite the poster and the post that suggest that people on a minimum wage can afford private schooling and I will be glad to slap them around a bit. You can't get fairer then that

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 15:08:26

seeker - did this turn into a Monty Python sketch without me noticing? We were sooooo poor that ......

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 15:11:28

I agree with Totally BS. No one is saying for someone earning £25k per year with 3 kids that private education is possible. It isnt. It wasnt for my parents who both worked and it was never discussed or thought about.

So, all of us went through the state system at a very damaning time when the grammars were disolved and the education system was in turmoil. I have done OK but I dont want to risk the same sort of education that myself and my siblings had for my children. I am willing to work full time and keep the number of children I have to two. My DH would have liked three. If we had three our lives would be different.

Incidentially when we told my PILs about the sorts of schools we were considering they went bananas. Thought they were full of the sons of the landed gentry and stuck up toffs. Well - no - after looking around and seeing for myself there are very wealthy people, there are people like us who have made certain choices and decisions and there are some of full busaries.

The boys dont care who you are and what your parents earn. Their friends are their friends.... Its actually the parents that are most interested in all of that. If we are teaching the next generation that where you have come from is not important, its where you are going that is most relevant - isnt that a good thing....

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:12:05

Oh god I can't remember her name Totally... It was one of those threads in the last few weeks that stopped taking new posts: I'll scroll though my TIO in a bit.

In the meantime - Woozle - ok: My point was not whether or not it's a matter of providing well, it's the logical inconsistency of some things being perceived that way, and others not. A point which I notice you have managed to totally ignore despite it being the sole point of my post

I'm sorry, I didn't get that it was the sole point. Logical... hmm. If you organise yourself a private pension, you're not having any impact on anyone else, are you? You're not implicitly criticising those who don't have a private pension, you're not doing it because you think it will buy you any advantage other than the obvious - you'll have more money in your retirement.

By contrast, paying to send your children to private schools which exclude, by definition, the vast majority, and which - in my view and that of most people opposed to private education - you are entrenching class division, privilege, and generally contributing to a divisive society. Education is political in a way which I don't think pensions are.

In terms of private healthcare, well I'm none too keen on that two tier system either to be honest, but still you're not actually making a comment or an impact on those who wait longer for hip replacements when you get yours done quickly. Also I find private healthcare to be something of a red herring, because surgery and healthcare generally can be literally life and death, and so in extremis we probably all know we'd do whatever we needed to keep, for example, a child alive.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 15:14:11

Shagmund - my mortgage is similar to your rent but my money gets me a 4 bedroom detached in a leafy commuter burb.

Which brings us full circle back to priorities. If a person on £50k pa were to live where I am then they can easily afford private school.

perceptionreality Wed 13-Feb-13 15:16:41

I haven't read the whole thread.

But really, in my opinion the days are gone when private school was only an option for those with a huge amount of disposable income. These days if your income is under 50k a year then you can get a bursary which pays 50-100% of the fees. Some private schools I know of are so keen to get people in the door they offer packages of free places, school uniform and after school care included.

Timetoask Wed 13-Feb-13 15:16:41

Op, the thread seems to have derailed! In answer to your question, what I have seen at ds's private primary (around 12k per year, up to 15k in upper years) is that people on the average salary you mention in the op could definitely not afford private, even if they made so called sacrifices.
I have seen very rich foreigners (huge number or Russians suddenly on the scene)
Very wealthy British (mums don't need to work, houses with pools, inherited money, etc)
Then you have the "down to earth people", mostly both parents working in a professional capacity earning much more than the national average, a few choosing not to have larger houses in order to afford the fees (but still working in good careers), a few older parents who have had years of earning well before children therefore being able to fund education, then you also have a few clever people who are not in professional careers but have done well in their own business and made money that way.

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 15:16:47

I dunno, how about you meet them and then decide? Anyway, I'm human. I have opinions about people that are informed by my own viewpoints, not just 'objective truth'. Just as some of my colleagues do - they have opinions and judgments about private schooling that are not objective either, and make them what I perceive as chippy. Not everyone who's a bit 'anti' private has a deeply held moral conviction about it, sometimes it's just a bit of inverted snobbery and, well, chippyness.

woozlebear Wed 13-Feb-13 15:22:33

You're not implicitly criticising those who don't have a private pension

IF that's the case, I genuinely don't see how private education is an implied criticism either. And if education is, then surely pensions are? By your logic isn't having a private pensions a way of saying 'I don't think only having a state pension is a nice/adequate way to be, I don't want to be in that situation'?? That's a criticism, isn't it, in your mind?

And I think health and pensions are every bit as much political as education, I just don't think they're quite as emotive, esp amongst parents.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:23:47

Sure, I'm just saying that I doubt they would consider it so. And by the same token, I suppose, not everyone who's 'pro' private is pure in thought and deed, and some of them are non-inverted unreconstructed snobs, yes?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 15:25:10

Well no, because saying 'I'd rather have more money than less' is simply saying a true thing, that more money is nicer than less money. Saying 'I'd rather my children weren't state educated' is, implicitly, making a statement about those who are.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 15:26:15

'seeker - did this turn into a Monty Python sketch without me noticing? We were sooooo poor that ......'

Only if you enjoy laughing at people who know what real sacrifice is..........

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 15:29:36

I have had many people say I am lucky to have a private pension. As SAHM's they dont have one. Well no - you dont. I hopefully will have paid in for 40 yrs. I would blooming hope I would have a good one!

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 16:06:56

Seeker - people who criticizes wc parents for not valuing music lessons shouldn't lecture others.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 16:16:36

Yet another of your bizarre misreadings/inventions BS. I have decided the only response is laughter. And pity. Don't forget the pity.

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 16:18:01

So Seeker gets her kids to sit entrance tests for grammar schools, pays for music lessons & then criticises us that choose to go private!?!?! hmm

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 16:22:35

Yeah, goddam those derailers on this thread... hmm

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 16:24:24

Oh, come on, pugsandseqls, you know perfectly well what I do with my children- you've posted on threads with me before. The wide eyed innocent routine doesn't wash.

wjchoihk Wed 13-Feb-13 16:30:54

Hi All. As a OP, I am glad this thread looks set to overtake the famous Whitgift/Trinity thread ^ ^. It just shows how all of us are also interested in this topic. From the various comments from posters, I guess unless at least over gross income of 100K (alone or combined) one shouldn't bother to look at private option (2 kids assumed). Some investment into tutoring to get DCs into state grammar seems to be the most effective choice to me. Why then don't government invest more into turning more state schools into "grammar-standard"? I don't get why they instead spend energy in other things like changing GCSE into another form of test, etc... Why people who already pay huge income taxes still have to pay for education? I'm not a Brit, but as a Tax payer here, guess it is OK to raise this issue.... But I know I must adapt to the rule of the game here though...

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:49

Then let me remind you seeker grin

B4 Christmas you spent a couple of days going on about how your precious DS didn't have a school orchestra to join. Apparently the WC parents at your school don't value classical music as much as the posh parents at your DD's GS.

If you are struggling to survive on a low income then music lessons isn't top of your 'priorities' (there is that word again).

People who show such little empathy shouldn't get outraged on behalf of low income people. It makes you come across as very false.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 16:33:17

People who pay huge income tax don't have to pay for education separately! What are you saying?

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 16:35:30

Hi OP - because to roll out grammar systems across the whole country would be political suicide! It seems against what the majority want.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 16:37:15

Oh do stop it, Totally. You know full well (because I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you're malevolent rather than plain stupid) that Seeker never said that working class parents don't value classical music. You must know (you must!) that those comments were much more nuanced than that.

For the love of god will you stop with your ridiculous parallel universe versions of things Seeker has said (and before Christmas too! How far back does your spreadsheet go?) and stop trying to make every bloody thread into your lame and clunking 'killer' argument.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 16:43:40

Some people believe that people who use the grammar school system are not playing fair. For some the grammar schools are private schools without the fees...

I am speaking as someone who is in a grammar school catchment area. They are very very popular unless of course your children dont get in and then they should be abolished!

INeedALieIn Wed 13-Feb-13 16:49:01

Now today is a day we'll never get back.

Posting round in circles on mn.

Time to move on.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 16:51:25

No I didn't. BS. As you know perfectly well. I don't know what you get out of your absurd personal vendetta, but I assume everybody finds it as boring as I do. So please stop.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 13-Feb-13 16:59:44

Op- do you realise that grammar schools only take the top 10%? So therefore it's not as simple as raising the standards in all schools. Grammars, certainly where I am from, are exactly like the private schools.

stealthsquiggle Wed 13-Feb-13 17:08:53

£40k gross income? No way (IMHO).

Having had a quick squint at income distribution numbers, I would stand by my original guesstimate - in the absence of inherited wealth or support from extended family, I reckon a normal mortgage or rent paying household would need one earner in the top 2%, or two in the top 10% to put 2 or more DC through private schools.

... and of course there are bursaries and the rest, but most schools aspire to funding 10% of places, so clearly that is not a solution open to everyone.

maisiejoe123 Wed 13-Feb-13 17:38:52

I agree that grammars are held in very high regard around here as are the private schools.

Seeker - do your children go to a grammar or have I read incorrectly

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 17:43:54

Stealth - Yes way smile

It is the absolute minimum income IMO. I didn't say it was a comfortble income. I certainly wouldn't go private if I had that income but that is exactly what my friend is doing.

Her DC is at prep so fees are 'only' £9k pa. They have a modest 3 bed semi so mortgage is probably half mine. Leisure time consist of bike rides and long walks and they go camping as a holiday. So overheads are low.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 17:50:11

seeker - this thread is about private fees and what kind of income one needs to be able to afford to go private.

Neither one of your kids are private so what are you doing in this thread? Last week you had a go at at poster from a comp area for commenting on the Kent system. Why flame her for commenting on something she has no personal experience with if you are doing the same.with private education?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 17:51:38

Why don't you talk about private schools and fees then, totally, instead of boring on about seeker's children as usual?

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 17:59:14

Nit - Upthread I discussed private schools fees with other posters. A subthread only developed when seeker, who doesn't have kids in private school, chose to go on about people being insensitive towards those less well off. I'm not particularly keen to be lectured on the subject by someone who obviously regard the WC parents at her school with distain.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 18:04:25

We've all discussed private schools and fees, and income and savings and priority and sacrifice. I don't know why there should be an entrance criterion for doing that.

And I think you're being a bit stalky and a bit odd and very obtuse, to be honest. I do wonder what you get out of doing this every single time.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 18:27:52

"Last week you had a go at at poster from a comp area for commenting on the Kent system"

"someone who obviously regard the WC parents at her school with distain."

No I didn't. And no I don't. But when have you ever let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Thank you TOSN- I think I must have sold her a crap cake once. It's the only explanation.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 18:30:16


I have kids at private school and this is thread about private schools.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 18:42:18

Oh come on, BS! You popped up on a thread a couple of days ago, misquoted me, had a go at me, realised your mistake and vanished again! I can probably link to it if you like- it certainly wasn't a private school thread!

sunshine401 Wed 13-Feb-13 18:49:08

My eldest goes to our local grammar school. She took the test to get in and passed. How is that cheating her way through education?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 18:50:33

What post are you thinking of there, Sunshine?

sunshine401 Wed 13-Feb-13 18:54:04

Some people believe that people who use the grammar school system are not playing fair. For some the grammar schools are private schools without the fees...

I know it says "some" people but it was placed here for a reason no? My daughter is hard working and should not be made out to be "playing" the system. AT ALL. angry

Doshusallie Wed 13-Feb-13 18:57:53

Apologies for not having read whole thread, but regarding bank of mum and dad and grandparents paying for private school....is the irony lost on them that their children went through the private school system and yet came out of it not being able to pay for private school fees for their own kids? hmm

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 19:09:27

First you accuse me of stalking you by hanging around a thread that has you it. Now you are having a go at me for not hanging around a thread that has you in it grin

And I never said that I only post to threads about private education.

grovel Wed 13-Feb-13 19:09:33

Doshusallie, that made me smile but 2 comments:

Privately educating 3 kids (nursery, pre-Prep, day Prep, boarding school) would cost the thick end of £700,000. You'd have to be very, very successful to pay that out of taxed income and have any lifestyle at all.

Paying school fees for grandchildren can be a very tidy way of reducing Inheritance Tax.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 19:14:44

You left the thread when you made even more of an arse of yourself than usual, BS. As anyone who read it could see.

alemci Wed 13-Feb-13 19:16:03

i remember my best friend's dad giving her the money to pay school fees in the 80's. was this a tax loophole that they closed.

In the area where I work when I am shopping in the supermarket, I often see mums with about 3 children all in prep school uniform and my mind just boggles. how on earth do they afford it.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 19:26:26

If I stay on a thread and argue with you then I am an arse for derailing a thread. If I go 'whatever' and don't stay on a thread then that is a self admission that I am an arse???

No wonder you don't see the hypocrisy in your opinions.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 19:37:48

You were an arse for your contribution to the other thread. Where you got something wildly wrong, and instead of just admitting it and saying sorry, you just left. That is the behaviour of an arse. Your ridiculous misrepresentations of my views and statements on this thread are also the behaviour of an arse. Your misrepresentation of something I said ^before Christmas" is also the behaviour of an arse.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 20:33:21

alemci - an Oxbridge graduate trainee in the City in something like law or finance will have a starting salary of about £60k pa. It can easily top £100k when they are in their 30s.

We aren't in that league but many of our parents are so three sets of fees isn't that big a deal to them.

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 20:47:12

grovel - if you break it down to an annual cost then it's do-able on a gross income of about £90k pa. As I said upthread, an income of £100k plus while in your 30s isn't that unusual in the City

pugsandseals Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:46

All this heated argument over how somebody chooses to spend £60 per day? I think there are people on here that need to get out more! hmm

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 21:23:59

Pugs - I agree but standby to be flamed for being insensitive to those for whom £60 a week is a lot of mmoney smile

MrsShortfuse Wed 13-Feb-13 21:25:16

Seeker, rise above it. I am a closet fan of yours. Keep up the good work.

wjchoihk Wed 13-Feb-13 21:32:30

BS - I dont think even oxbridge grads will get 60k start salary in the city. If they are fresh off undergraduate degree. You need to be a top-tier MBA to get 60-70K start salary which means you would have needed at least 3 yrs career and 1-2 yrs back at mba that also costs. Potential to reach 100k, yes i agree not uncommon in the city...

TotallyBS Wed 13-Feb-13 21:46:34

wjchoihk - there is a two tier system graduate recruitment system in place at a number of City firms that I am familiar with - the 'ordinary' graduates for HR, IT, Settlements for example and then there is high flyer graduate stream. These graduates have a choice of job offers in international centres like New York, Hong Kong and Singapore so the starting salaries being offered reflect this.

Anyway, we both agree that £100k salaries aren't uncommon which was my main point.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 13-Feb-13 22:40:52

BS, she said £6o a day, not a week. Your skim reading at work there again?

On the thread about teachers giving class positions, you misread what Seeker said, and made a factually incorrect and ill-mannered post to her. Several other posters pointed it out to you, but at that point you coincidentally left the thread rather than having the good grace to apologise for your error and your rudeness.

And on the subject of getting out more: yes, how is that going for both of you mrs pots?

grovel Thu 14-Feb-13 00:01:47

BS does not do sums.

Replying to a (funny) post about grandparents above I pointed out the cost of educating 3 children at boarding school. BS said £90k gross would do. £90k net would not be enough. You would have minus loads to live on.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 05:47:55

Nit - is this the best put down you can come up with? grin

£60 per day = £300 per week = £3000 per term= typical prep school fees.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 06:02:56

grovel - Unlike a lot of people posting to this thread, I actually do have DCs at private school not to mention friends who.have three+ DCs going private all the way. But feel free to tell me that my maths is off and that you know better grin

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 06:27:30

...and I know she said £60 a day Nit. I was merely making the point that for some people £60 is their disposable income for the week. It's ok. I'll try to use smaller words in future

archilles Thu 14-Feb-13 06:32:08

Pushydad/totallybs just can't seem to leave seeker alone. Why is that?

Total, we know your kids are at a selective independent. We know all the crap you spout. Can't you ever come on to a thread without derailing it?

I hope your kids learn better social skills than you.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 06:39:34

.. also grovel .. It was an absolute bare bones minimum income as opposed to a comfortable income for supporting 3 DCs at boarding

HesterBurnitall Thu 14-Feb-13 06:43:11

I have three kids in private education too, I just object to the small minded, patronising attitude that insists 'anyone' can do it if they have the 'right' priorities.

HesterBurnitall Thu 14-Feb-13 06:46:29

I also dislike the nasty side of meritocracy which asserts that what one archives is entirely down to personal virtues and is deserved, therefore those who haven't achieved the same clearly have personal failings and deserve their lot in life. That attitude informs a lot of the presumptions demonstrated in these threads.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 07:24:02

Hester - I can't speak for others but I'm not suggesting that a single mom on a low income can go private if only she cuts down on the cigs and make up.

However.... a Filipino workmake is a PA, her DH works at the front desk at some 3 star hotel and her mother cleans rooms. I suspect that my lone income tops their joint income (perspective info rather than stealth boast) They use their collective income to send the DD.to private school.

'Anyone' with a joint income above £40k can afford to send a DC to at least a modest price indie. Whether they feel that they can afford it is another matter.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 07:33:40

Oh you know that do you? You just thought it would make the point a bit better if you said week rather than day? Yeah, that's much more resonant confused

And no, that's not the only thing I 'came up with' or to put it another way, 'said'. But you're ignoring the rest, of course.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 07:38:34

You're just absolutely incapable of admitting it when you make a mistake, aren't you? You half read everything, reply in a big hurry without engaging your brain first, and then pretend that's what you meant all along.

Anyway, I will not let you wreck this thread as so many others. <<switches on virtual ignore>>

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:09:43

wjchoihk any graduate at all, not just Oxbridge grads, start on £40k+ at a MC firm in the City (after a 6 month LPC) which goes up to £60k+ after two years. So, not long after they take Finals tbh.

merrymouse Thu 14-Feb-13 08:10:06

Looking at the stats...

You have to look at total household income, not average wages to work out whether a family can afford a private school.

Also, some private schools promote themselves as being able to provide better wrap around care, hence attracting 2 income families and enabling them to continue to be 2 income families.

Some families send their children to private schools and then live in a cheaper area. Some families live in a really expensive area to enable them to live in a particular school catchment area.

Also, the cost of fees and extras in the 7% will vary quite a bit. Some schools require you to shell out £100's on uniform and sports kit. Others won't have a uniform and have far more modest fees. (Some schools seem to attract children of working parents into their nursery and then gradually increase their fees, bit like the frog in hot water).

Clearly some grandparents are prepared to support their children and grandchildren, in many ways including paying for school fees.

Also, if a parent honestly believes that (for whatever reason) their only option is to send their child to a private school, they will just do whatever it takes to get them there, including going into debt.

And that is how I think parents manage to pay school fees.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:11:30

starts on etc.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 08:13:39

Nit - you skim read a one sentence post and managed to get the wrong end of the stick (it's one sentence for fecks sake!). Now you are going to virtual ignore my response. grin

Don't let this stop you from accusing me of doing the same <rolls eyes>

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 08:18:31

I meant in general, but do explain how I got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
And if I did, why you went to the trouble of showing your working about how £60 a day works out at £3k a term, before you realised your mistake two posts later? I don't see why you'd do that if you we intent on making the powerful rhetorical point about £60 a week not being a lot of money?

I think it's fairly clear what's gone one, here and in general. Like when you were told repeatedly by lots of posters that you had misunderstood Seeker's point and were wrong: they could all see exactly what had happened.

Private schools offer free places to students on scholarships or bursarys. My best friend and her sister both attended a top private school on bursary places. Their mother was widowed when they were both under 5, and was a SAHM on benefits. She did not pay a penny in school fees. My sister won an academic scholarship to the same school, and my parents did not pay either.

As for graduates starting on 40k in the City.... b*ll*cks. You need professional qualifications in addition to a degree, and several years experience as well to attain that. That's if you can find a job..... Most places are laying off staff and there are many many qualified people chasing every job.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:28:11

Sorry Worcestershire but since DD1 and a significant number of her friends have already started on £40k+ or are on the eve of starting, and since I've seen the offer letter and the terms of the contract, I can say that as fact. All you need to do is check out the websites of the MC firms in any event.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:31:02

DD and her friends have first degrees only (albeit good ones); very few (none that I can think of) stayed on to do a second degree. Many took a year off after uni though, just to travel.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:32:34

Sorry, worsestershire, misspelt your name.

Succubi Thu 14-Feb-13 08:36:51

I am in legal and I can endorse what yellowtip says.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 08:40:36

worse - the world around you isn't all there is. Just because the people around you aren't landing those kind of jobs doesn't mean other people are talking out of their arses.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 08:45:29

worcester lawyers need only one year professional trianing post degree and many city firms help with the costs of that. It's two years if your degree was not law.

City firms offer around £40k as the starting salary for a trainee.
Next tier down (what used to be called a West End firm in ye olden days) around £30k.

Even in the CPS you'll look at about £20k.

You'll get a pay rise every six months and qualify at the end of two years, when pay jumps up very nicely indeed.

Tis good money.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 08:49:21

Trainee investment bankers start at £30k - £40k. No post degree quals necessary (though many do have MAs of course).

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 08:51:28

6 months only for some LPCs now word.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 08:56:12

Didn't know that yellow.

Though it makes sense. Better to get it all out of the way rather than stringing it out. Although I guess some students need the full year so they can work alonside if they don't get any assistance.

I must admit that I think students would do well to sign up for a city firm even if they don't think they'll ultimately want to end up there. They help with LPC fees, the wages are very good form the get go, and it looks fab on your CV...

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 08:56:47

Though the training is not that great TBH.

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 09:00:39

Apologies for not having read whole thread, but regarding bank of mum and dad and grandparents paying for private school....is the irony lost on them that their children went through the private school system and yet came out of it not being able to pay for private school fees for their own kids?

grin grin grin

We have friends like this, it's hilarious! Always banging on to us about how everything they have achieved is because of private ed. They live in a 3 bed semi on a joint income of about 60K.
I do want to say something about the glaring irony but never do.

BlueyDragon Thu 14-Feb-13 09:01:09

On the saving for sixth form point, the rumour round here (Surrey) is that parents are taking their DCs out of private school for sixth form to boost their Oxbridge chances. So that knocks 2 years off the fees.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 09:02:45

Nit - the poster said that £60 a day in fees is no big deal. I made the point that to some people £60 is their income for a week.

If you want to develop a sub thread based on this one line post then go for it dudette.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:05:21

Aunt there is a generation of middle class people, now parents of school aged children, that had many advantages in life.

However, they used their advantages to choose interesting employment over well paid employment. I give you the swathes and swathes of folk working in the meeja and publishing and the arts wink.

I give you the nouveau pauvre.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 09:07:07

Aunt - although I am not one of those people, not everyone measures success in terms of pay checks and the house they live in. So it's only ironic to people that think like us.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:07:29

Though to be fair, school fees are much more expensive (relatively) than when they attended school.

House prices are at an all time high.

Pensions/investments etc are all down the toilet.

So what their parents could manage on the wage of one GP, is simply not doable by today's standards.

Many many middle class adults are not able to give their DC the same standard of living they experienced as a child.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 09:08:18

oookay. It was helpful then that you did the sums for £60 a day two posts before you explained your highly satirical point about £60 a week. Maybe that was all part of some wider point as well, I don't know.

But you're right, it's tedious especially when there are so many other instances of your skim reading for which you have yet to apologize.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 09:10:02

Isn't it good that some people are in the media and publishing and the arts? I think it is!

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:14:28

Of course! I am one of them!

But, it aint gonna pay you what Goldman's is offering. It actually might pay less than a teacher's salary.

You need to appreciate that and accept it. You need to accept that your DC won't get your start in life or if they do it will come from the bank of Mom and Pop. If you can't suck that up, you're in deep shit.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:16:51

And I have yet to meet a middle class journo/novelist/editor who seem able to suck it up wink.

Shagmundfreud Thu 14-Feb-13 09:21:41

"However, they used their advantages to choose interesting employment over well paid employment. I give you the swathes and swathes of folk working in the meeja and publishing and the arts"

I give you the nouveau pauvre."

They're not 'pauvre'. Most of these people are earning perfectly respectable incomes. No different from teachers and nurses, who I also wouldn't describe as 'poor'.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 09:23:14

Bluey I know some parents pull their kids from top indies and sling them into sixth form or comps hoping to dupe Oxford and Cambridge into thinking their kid is underprivileged or at least not super privileged. But it's charmingly naive. And may even be counter-productive. GCSEs are assessed against the school they were taught at.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Feb-13 09:24:11

I am a huge fan of teachers who started out by going into the arts, didn't make a living and then turned to teaching. My DD's current class teacher is a failed actress. She is a fabulous fabulous primary school teacher!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 09:24:44

Well, yes you can't complain it's not fair that you haven't enough money if you had the choice and chose not to have, sure.

Though middle class journalists/novelists/editors who were privately educated might very well have come to the conclusion in adulthood that although they personally benefitted, they can see that, more broadly, that system isn't fair. So that kind of complaining about fairness seems.... fair grin

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 09:25:33

Agree. The nouveau pauvre are those who used to have phenomenal inherited wealth and have lost it, through bad management, gambling, war or whatever.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:25:35

Well of course they're not!

But they are living a much less comfortable life than their parents, and their DC don't have the luxury of private school etc.

These are the folk that write those endless bloody articles...and these are the folk that make comments about the nouveau riche.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 09:26:53

sixth form colleges or comps. I really should read these posts before I hit send.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:29:14

bonsoir yes indeed. I give you DD's singing and LAMDA teachers.

nit I agree that some people might come to the conclusion that their advanatge wasn't fair. But my experience is that the arts world is populated by those who just can't quite get their head around how things have turned out. They were told they could do anythingafter all.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 09:30:27

But you seem to be saying that all journalists who write articles about private education only do so because they're poor relative to their own parents, and unreasonably embittered - because they chose not to make big money and to spend their time instead.... writing 'endless bloody articles'? Do you not think some of them might actually be able to see the unfairness of a system, despite having personally gained from it, and be making genuine arguments in which they believe, rather than just out of chippiness?

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:34:32

No I'm not on about them.

I mean those articles about 'look how poor we are.' The ones who write books about 'austerity measures'. Or go on and on about glamping in Cornwall.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:36:35

IME the folk who turn their back on their advantage are few and far between. Most of em simply can't afford to replicate it...and it wasn't meant to be that way!

Bonsoir Thu 14-Feb-13 09:37:45

Some people make a lot of money in the arts world. Like absolutely any field, to be successful in the arts requires commercial nous and a head for business.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 09:42:52

Cross posted above!

Absolutely, bollocks articles by really rather well-off people pretending to economise etc are tiresome.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Feb-13 09:44:52

Mostly those articles are written by spoiled brats who didn't ever wake up to the fact that they were going to need to do a real job if they wanted a reasonable standard of living. Their public whining about why they aren't as rich as they were as children is grossly distasteful.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 09:46:42

whatever Nit.

By the way, don't post that you are going to virtual ignore someone AND then spend several posts rehashing the same points. It kind of make you sound like seeker. Hmmmm. <ponders that last sentence>

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:53:11

Sure Bonsoir - its just a lot less likely. I tell my kids that the money I make from writing is highly unusual. Most writers need several income streams. Wheras in DHs field its highly likely you will make a lot of dosh. Kids need information - the rest is up to them.

woozlebear Thu 14-Feb-13 09:55:07

YY, to the starting salary thing. Trainee lawyers easily start on best part of 40k, (so that's uni plus 1 or 2 years postgrad study) then straight after qualification (ie after 2 years of training contract) shoot up to nearly 70 plus, more if they're in big US firms over here. 100k would be a pittance to anyone relatively senior in city law. Partners would be on many times that. As soon as people qualify, they get a marketing call from Coutts. They do very well. And there's quite a lot of them.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 09:57:48

DP's nephew works in the media. The competition for positions like his is such that his employer can demand Firsts from RG unis and not have to pay a commensurate salary.

So yes the nephew had an expensive education and no, he can't afford to put his DCs through the private system but he is happier in his job than many of us highly paid corporate drones.

So the irony is kind if lost on him.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 09:58:58

True dat Woozle. But they really really graft for it. Another thing you have to be straight with your kids about.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 10:02:20

If there are people outraged that they can't afford to give their children the private education they had, it just sums up to me this idea of privilege being a magnet for more privilege. With obvious exceptions (before I get the anecdotes about the coal mining grandfather who worked 36 hours a day to send his child to Eton) the more privilege you are born with the more you attract through your life. And by privilege I don't mean money. I mean social and cultural capital.

woozlebear Thu 14-Feb-13 10:05:42

regarding bank of mum and dad and grandparents paying for private school....is the irony lost on them that their children went through the private school system and yet came out of it not being able to pay for private school fees for their own kids?

Well, I suppose it's ironic if you consider the sole point of education and school life to be one's earning potential in later life, and nothing to do, say, with what you actually learn for learning's sake, or learning and/or being exposed to things that open up career paths that might be very rewarding but not super well paid.

I'd also say that cases where this has happened have more to with the fact that private school fees have gone up by about a zillion% in the last decads or so, which means that many privately education people who earn (allowing for inflation) the same or even more than their parents, can't afford private fees themselves. Most people I went to school with didn't have super-rich parents in the city, they were doing jobs that NO WAY now would be able to fund the fees.

And isn't it also ironic that anti-private people think that's ironic when privately educated people can't afford private fees, thereby tacitly admitting that they actually think that private education generally leads to greater earning potential?

merrymouse Thu 14-Feb-13 10:12:17

Is starting salary hugely relevant? Most professionals, in my experience, work for a decade before having children. That's the salary that pays school fees and nursery fees.

It's not unreasonable to assume that a professional couple might be earning a joint income of 100k having worked for a decade. That salary might not cover 3 children simultaneously at eton, but it would cover a couple of children going private at secondary with some planning and saving.

Yellowtip Thu 14-Feb-13 10:12:54

word by the time they get anywhere near applying for vac schemes it's pretty clear to any of the half-way intelligent ones that they'll have to work hard for the money. It's not a well kept secret. I think it's fair to say that the salaries are very high compared to many other hard work occupations.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 10:13:02

I am slightly lost in the layers of potential irony! grin

The funny thing is, whatever our views, we can probably all agree that the short answer to the OP is: 'the fairly well-off'. But then immediately you get the issue of those who could but don't, which leads to the question of how many of those who think they couldn't could if they tried, which leads to how much it is worth trying or worthy to try..... which is where the contention comes in.

woozlebear Thu 14-Feb-13 10:15:56

Nit Well put! It's kind of interesting though that it's so emotive that you can't even invite a factual discussion without it becoming entirely subjective.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:56

seeker to be fair to those people, they were sold a pup.

Their childood was advantaged in that their Dad could generally afford school fees, their Mum to stay at home, or do a small income job that fitted in around DC.

They had nice homes. They were brought to believe that the world was waiting for them. Not just by private schools, but by society in general. The iddle classes, whereever they were schooled thought the class system was in place. And it was.

They went off to university (no huge struggle for a place) where it was free. There were jobs in the Summer and inter railing.

Then bam. The world changed.
The working classes wanted a slice of the pie. The internet struck. The world became global...house prices shot up. Cost of living shot up. Competition for everything increased. School fees become silly money.

Not exactly how those people saw it laid out.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 10:19:00

Yes, it is emotive - from both sides, and doesn't always bring out the best in everyone!

Though to be fair, threads like 'St Mary's Calne or CLC for dd' are usually only responded to by those responding to the question - and that's probably why they stay nice and short!

The only two specific private schools which generate lots of posts are Eton and Queen Ethelburga's, as far as I've seen grin. Probably about all they have in common!

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 10:21:25

"seeker to be fair to those people, they were sold a pup."

But to be fair to everyone else, they still do hold most of the cards, socially, politically, culturally..and usually financially as well.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 10:25:25

Well yellow I think DC need to get an understanding way before that point.

I think DH and a lot of other partners would also argue that many young applicants simply don't get it!!! Indeed many trainees/newly qualified don't get it.

They fancy the dosh. They think they'll work hard for it. They think they'll make it.

But that level of commitment requires a brutal determination and caste iron constitution. The drop out/cast out rate is huge. The numbers of those made up is low.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 10:26:53

Put up Excel. Type in monthly gross income. Deduct typical monthly expenditures. If the resultant figure isn't enough to pay the fees of the school you have in mind plus extras like school trips then you can't afford private school.

It's that simple.

newpup Thu 14-Feb-13 10:35:11

Our DDs are in private school. My Dh has worked hard for many years to earn a lot of money but he works long long hours and is often away. That is our sacrifice, family time. However, his career affords us a wonderful house, good lifestyle, fabulous holidays, I have not had to work and we can afford private school. However, I spend most evenings and some weekends on my own with the DDs and he has only ever been to a handful of their school events.

Girls at my DDs school come from a variety of backgrounds, some are very wealthy for whom private school is a given and fees are a drop in the ocean. In some cases both parents have to work all hours to afford it. Others have grand parents who pay the fees, actually I know a few families where the mother was privately educated but can't afford to send her own children so the grandparents step in. There seem to a lot of generous grandparents out there! Interestingly if my parents were both still here and had the means I know they would have helped out had we needed it. My DHs parents are still here and have the means but would never offer and we would never want them to.

We worked hard to have our lifestyle, which includes being able to educate our girls in private school. I am proud of what we have achieved but never take it for granted.

woozlebear Thu 14-Feb-13 10:36:40

"But to be fair to everyone else, they still do hold most of the cards, socially, politically, culturally..and usually financially as well."

I think as far as statements like this are concerned, private schools are definitely not all equal. Eton, Westminster etc etc - yes, your statements is very true. The more modest, less upper class, less expensive social-climbingy private schools - really not so much. I know so many people who went to really good comps - and not such good comps - who to any impartial observer would appear to have every bit as much social and cultural capital (if not more so) as any number of my peers from a more down-to-earth private school. As far as schools like mine are concerned I really think any perceived advantage comes from the quality of teaching, facilities, discipline, extra-curricular activities and an atmophere of expectation and confidence, not anything to do with entrenched privilege. Anything else is from your family background.

alemci Thu 14-Feb-13 10:46:18

Good point earlier Woozlebear. People used to go to private schools whose parents were on moderate incomes and had a variety of occupations and some were very wealthy. I think it is more difficult these days.

Also I think to certain cultures education is very important so the extended family will pool their resources to put their children through private school and they may prefer the setting of a single sex school for their child.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 10:47:02

Woozle- I agree. That is another elephant in the room. There are people who think private is best, regardless not realizing that pecking order is ruthless!

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 10:54:24

seeker - you make it sound as if only you can see the elephant.

A lot of private schools are ranked below state schools like Tiffins and friends. We 'private' parents can read. We get it that simply because a school is private does not by default make it the 'best'.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 10:59:07

"A brief extract from a Peter Wimsey novel, for your edification and delight.

^"I suppose Tallboy thinks I'm not worth speaking to, just because he's been to a public school and I haven't.”

“Public school,” said Mr. Bredon, “first I've heard of it. What public school?”

“He was at Dumbleton,” said Mr. Smayle, “but what I say is, I went to a Council School and I'm not ashamed of it.”

“Where's Dumbleton?” demanded Ingleby. “I shouldn't worry, Smayle. Dumbleton isn't a public school, within the meaning of the act.”

“Isn't it?” said Mr. Smayle, hopefully. “Well, you and Mr. Bredon have had college educations, so you know all about it. What schools do you call public schools?”

“Eton,” said Mr. Bredon, promptly, “—and Harrow,” he added, magnanimously, for he was an Eton man.

“Rugby,” suggested Mr. Ingleby.

“No, no,” protested Bredon, “that's a railway junction.”

Ingleby delivered a brisk left-hander to Bredon's jaw, which the latter parried neatly.

“And I've heard,” Bredon went on, “that there's a decentish sort of place at Winchester, if you're not too particular.”

“I once met a man who'd been to Marlborough,” suggested Ingleby.

“I'm sorry to hear that,” said Bredon. “They get a terrible set of hearty roughs down there. You can't be too careful of your associates, Ingleby.”

“Well,” said Mr. Smayle, “Tallboy always says that Dumbleton is a public school."

“I daresay it is—in the sense that it has a Board of Governors,” said Ingleby, “but it's nothing to be snobbish about."^

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 11:02:07

BS- I was merely agreeing with the previous poster. And the use of the form "there are people who" to most competent readers means "there are some people who do, but there are other people who don't"

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 11:13:11

seeker - the use the form 'private schools are better' to most competent readers means 'the top of the ranking tables are stacked with private schools'

You seem to have no problems accusing others of not being 'competent readers' while at the same being 'guilty' yourself

alemci Thu 14-Feb-13 11:16:34

I think it isn't always about exam results either. some private schools are more nurturing and caring whereas others get very good results but their pastoral care isn't that great.

Alot of parents like the small classes and the seemingly 'safer' environment the school may provide.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 11:23:00

Seeker - it's much nicer if you just let it flow past you. I did make the mistake a bit earlier of not being able to resist one last time, but honestly, the relief in just not engaging....

grovel Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:06

seeker, I love that piece from Wimsey. Thank you.

It reminds me of a story from Oxford. The "lefties" at some prestigious college arranged a debate in the JCR on the night when the "posh boys" were all going to be at some ball. The motion was "This house believes in the abolition of Public Schools". They lined up some journos to be ready for a story about this famous College calling for the abolition of Public Schools. The posh boys went en masse to the first 5 minutes of the debate before going on to their ball. They asked to amend the motion by just one word - the Chair had to agree. They added "minor" before Public Schools.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:31

You know, BS, do you think it would get it out of your system if you just told me exactly what I've done in this or a previous life to get under your skin so much? You go to such extraordinary efforts to try to discredit me- misquoting and lying and misinterpreting, popping up in all sorts of funny places. You've even name changed at least once, if not twice. I half expect you to turn up accusing me of something when I'm chatting about guinea pigs or horses with mud fever or cake decorating! It used to upset me a bit, then I thought it was funny, now I actually think it's a bit sad. And it's incredibly boring for everyone else, I'm sure. So, go ahead.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:17

Sounds as though Wimsey is someone I should get to know - despite hearing about him third hand through other books, I've never actually read any!

grovel Thu 14-Feb-13 11:29:40

seeker, I think you'll find there's a village missing its idiot somewhere.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 11:30:19

grin at grovel.

I love Evelyn Waugh on grammar school boys too! While cringing.

You're right TOSN- and I've just been drawn in again. Damn. But I a just so baffled by it!

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 11:42:41

Oh, TOSN- I am so jealous that you've got them to read! Now, which should you start with? They are variable. Strong Poison, perhaps? Followed swiftly by Gaudy Night.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 11:44:01

Oops. Epic derail!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 11:45:50

But you won't get an answer, you'll just told again that you hate the working class and are still fuming ds didn't get into grammar school even though up until that moment you were the most vociferous supporter of the 11+ going.

There are people on here with whom I disagree frequently and fervently, but they make their points intelligently, and make nuanced points based on careful reading and thereby reasonable interrogation of what I say. I find this quite invigorating, albeit sometimes frustrating, which is probably why I am one of the 'familiar faces' which get rolly-eyes for being familiar.

I suppose I wouldn't be able to resist replying, though, if someone were equally intent on slandering me based on their own misunderstanding - like if I were repeatedly accused of having bought a million pound house in a leafy suburb to educate in a state school, perhaps. But it's all very silly.

sieglinde Thu 14-Feb-13 11:46:17

Nit, with that Antonia Forest name, surely you've heard of Wimsey and his characteristic late cut?

seeker, I notice nobody ever responds to my wails about what a waste of money private schools were for my dcs - IMHO that gets up everyone's jumper. grin

Along with my loathing of the priorities people, I also hate those who think their privilege is the result of 'hard work'.

Not sure who said this... "To make the rich work harder, you pay them more. To make the poor work harder, you pay them less."

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 11:47:16

<< on the derail - Are all in print still? It's about time I had a new book - and a Marlow one even better! I used to see Mask of the Apollo in our library all the time, but never fancied it>>

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 11:48:42

sieg well done for spotting the AF name! Yes, I've heard of it - Nick and Edwin bond over him, yes? But never read - see also The Nine Tailors, Mask of the Apollo, The Prince and The Pauper and Persuasion....

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 11:55:48

Popping up in weird places???

What is so 'weird' about the education forums? confused

It's a forum about education. I have school aged DCs. Why do you have a problem with me 'popping up' on such a forum? Now if I were to pop up on Breastfeeding then that would be stalky.and perhaps weird grin

But to answer your question, I said that a base income of £40k is enough to put a child through prep school but certain sacrifices had to be made like forgoing the annual long haul holiday.

You decided to lecture me on how it was an insensitive remark and how some parents you know sacrificed dinner to pay for swimming lessons.

a) if a person wants to forgo food so that their DC can splash around in water for 30mins then that is their choice. It's not as if they are making sacrifices so that the DC has shoes to wear. It's a swimming lesson for fecks sake.

b) you repeatedly come into threads like this, bypass the question being posed and instead lecture responents for being insensitive, uncaring etc, oblivious to the fact that you did exactly the same thing as the people you are lecturing.

As long as you persist in adopting a holier attitude then I will persist in reminding you of your double standards.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 11:59:33

grovel - If I post what you post I wouldn't be making village idiot jokes grin

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 12:13:26

seig isn't refreshing for you to comment freely that private school was a waste of money for your children without posters calling you names? If I said the same about state schools then seeker and tosn will start going on about how my experience is rude, about fairness bla bla bla

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 12:17:00

Ah, right. You are just stupid them.

Rather a relief. I was starting to worry that you were someone who I knew in real life that I had upset, and your next step would be to slash my tyres. Or daub red paint on my front door.

TOSN- I would most definitely read The Mask Of Apollo. Only Persauasion if you like other JAs. The Nine Taylors is a good one. But as I said, Strong Poison and Gaudy Night (definitely in that order because of spoilers)are more complex and adult. Less straight "golden age" detective story. They're all available for Kindle.

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 12:18:21

What constitutes a waste of money is very subjective. Just like I rather spend £38k on a BMW even though it is rubbish in snow than to buy say a ford focus. My experience and my choice nothing to do with anyone and saying that people get so upset because education is about children is all just a smokescreen.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:20:56

I once had a very revealing conversation with someone who sends 3 children to private prep school (afforded mostly by both parents working 65 hour weeks and this not seeing said children during the week even though they are at day school, and partly by borrowing against anticipated future inheritance from grandparents), discussing why I send my children to state schools and she doesn't.

It went a bit like this:
'Well, you [tw2k] know about education, so even if everyone else you know sends their children private, you can explain sensibly why you send them to state schools. And you can feel confident that you have chosen good ones. I don't know about education, and everyone I work with sends their children to private schools. I don't know how to find a good state school, and I wouldn't know how to defend that choice if I made it. So I take the easy option and do what other people do.'

(Said private school is a distinctly second-rate affair, with very little sport or other extra-curricular activity, lots of snobbishness and no observable educational advantage over the state school my children attend)

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:23:13

That is not to say that SOME privat schools aren't worth the money

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 12:24:24

Well, but it's limited....

Hullygully Thu 14-Feb-13 12:25:11

rich people

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 12:25:29

"seig isn't refreshing for you to comment freely that private school was a waste of money for your children without posters calling you names? If I said the same about state schools then seeker and tosn will start going on about how my experience is rude, about fairness bla bla bla"

Sorry- I don't understand. Could you say that again, so I can see whether I'm going to go on about anything?

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 12:34:51

teacher - is this a real conversation? I'm always wary of purported conversations where people appear to be extreme caricatures. I mean, the mum is dim but presumably in a highly paid job as well. Seems a bit of a contradiction.

As for everyone that she works with being private, I work with some highly paid City people and not everyone sends their kids to private. Many prefer to be in catchment for highly regarded state schools. The logic being they rather put the money into a house that they can sell for a profit at the end. I be interested to hear where this friend works.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 14-Feb-13 12:35:22

If its important to you and you find a school that suits your dc and you can afford it, you go.

If its either not important to you or you can't find a suitable school you don't go.

If it is important to you, you find a suitable school and you can't afford it then you apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards etc.

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 12:36:40

TOSN you definitely have to get to know Peter Wimsey. Strong Poison and Gaudy Night are him at his most human, so probably a good start.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:25

"It went a bit like this:
'Well, you [tw2k] know about education, so even if everyone else you know sends their children private, you can explain sensibly why you send them to state schools. And you can feel confident that you have chosen good ones. I don't know about education, and everyone I work with sends their children to private schools. I don't know how to find a good state school, and I wouldn't know how to defend that choice if I made it. So I take the easy option and do what other people do."
Im trying to keep out of this slanging match but teacher this may be the views of your friends but it certainly isn't the views of the friends we have all of whom send their DC's to "big name" boarding schools. All do it because they know believe its provides a far better and broader education than their DC's will ever get in the state sector however good it may be.!
Totally I don't know what preps your talking about but the ones I'm familiar with a gross total income £40 000 is not going to pay for the fees. I'm a realist unless your on a bursary then fees are out of the reach of most families. Cutting out the fags and copies of Heat magazine are not going to enable your average Uk family to pay school fees.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:46

Real conversation, sadly.

Mum isn't dim - just privately educated, married to a privately educated man, and knows nothing whatever about education. I know nothing whatever about her field either. At least she admits she knows nothing about education - many people think that having once been a pupil entitles them to be an expert in all of today's schools....

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:59

Totally, she lives in the catchment for a VERY fine state primary.

Happygardening - as I say, there are private schools that are worth it, in the same way as there are state schools i is worth paying money to avoid. Neither describe the whole sector, however. The discussion is only worth having on an 'individual child for an individual school' basis. I only mention the conversation because the amount of effort put in to paying the fees in that family was so exceptionally disproprtionate to the benefit obtained.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:43:34

(If they had been making such sacrifices to send their children to e.g. Winchester or similar, then I would have a different view on the matter - as I said, there are schools it can be worth paying for)

wixawoo Thu 14-Feb-13 12:44:36

I really don't know who can afford to go private!

We have just moved to Surrey due to OH's job and have bought the biggest house we could in this area (slightly smaller than our last few houses) and have a huge mortgage. There is no way we can afford private school as well.
Even though my OH has a well paid job....

Years ago I really wanted to go private - my son is bright, gifted .... but as he has Aspergers he would probably get kicked out of private school! I mean, who would put up with their little darlings having to have a sometimes argumentative boy who goes on and on and occasionally gets a right cob on if mistreated (bullied etc)

Even now I would love it if he was handpicked to go to a local private school (there are several excellent ones near here) and I could contribute towards fees if he had a scholarship/bursary.
But we have to make do with the local (very good) academy and try to make sure he tries hard in class and doesn't fall by the wayside.
Smaller classes, a smaller school.... that would be ideal but we have to just go with the flow now..... he is a black belt in karate so doesn't get bullied too much any more smile

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 12:49:23

"the amount of effort put in to paying the fees in that family was so exceptionally disproprtionate to the benefit obtained."
But if this family are happy with and believe in it thats what counts. You might think its a third rate school but maybe they don't, you only have to read the arguments on MN about top independent schools to see that we all think and want something different. I would rather send my DS to a state school than Eton although I acknowledge its a good school and that many love it and their DS's do well there just not a good school for my DS or us as a family. We all want different things from a school perhaps they feel its offers their DC as an individual something or maybe they feel comfortable there who knows but its their money let them spend it how they like.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:54:03

HG, they are not happy there BUT they are too scared of the state alternative to move...which sounds daft, written down, but they have no knowledge of the state system (direct or via the children of friends) to guide them and have been told so many times that 'private is best' ... which is why our conversation came about.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 12:55:02

(They also moan constantly about their lack of money, which I find deeply irritating, but that's by the by!)

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 12:56:30

happy - we aren't near the Chelsea crowd smile so the local (highly regarded) prep 'only' cost about £9k pa. Lets round it up to £10k to include extras. Finger in the air - £8k pa mortgage for 3 bed semi. That's about £20k of your gross salary. The remaining £20k gross is IMO enough to pay for bills and food.

My income is above £40k and a lot of it is bonuses and share options so I have no firm idea of what tax deductions are made against a 'regular' income of £40k. So I'm willing to accept that HMRC takes a bigger chunk than I thought. In which case £40k is not do-able.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 12:59:54

Im always astonished why people continue to pay if they're not happy unless of course their DC's are coming up to crucial exams and it would be daft to move them. To not do it because they have "no knowledge of the state system" is ridiculous and bizarre its not exactly rocket science once you cut through the jargon. Any fool can read an inspection report (even if they're not worth the paper they're written on) view a school and ask pertinent questions.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 13:03:01

wixa - in answer to your question, people who don't take out whacking big mortgages is who smile

We bought about 13 years go. Our house is worth double now. If we were first time buyers then there is no way we could afford the mortgage and the fees but since we bought when it was relatively cheap .....

impty Thu 14-Feb-13 13:11:16

teacherwith2kids I have had a similar conversation with a friend.

She had decided to privately educate her dd. She and her dh had based their whole life around this, as they are not on high incomes. They had one child to ensure that fees could be paid for.
This is great. Except it's not a great private school. It's in a small town and panders to those who feel that if they pay they get something better, but is decidedly average.
Imagine her horror then when she discovers my dd has better exam results than her dd. Even more horror when my dd tells her "No, she's not in the top set."
Now for all I know her dd has done much, much better in her private school than she would have done in a state one. But paying for an education does not always mean you get a better education. Fee paying schools are not always more ambitious for their pupils than the state school down the road, despite what the glossy brochure says.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 13:16:42

teacher - I'm guilty of complaining about lack of money smile But don't we all?

I know several people on lesser incomes who will complain about being broke despite paying £40 pm for Sky, £x on cigs and beer, and an annual holiday to Spain.

Ok, if you are on benefits and struggling then yes, it can be extremely irritating to hear well off people complain about forgoing a foreign holiday. But that aside, , I don't see why only people of modest incomes should be allowed to complain.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 13:19:32

sieg I don't think I've read any of your posts about regretting shellling out for fees (other than on this thread). Do people really get arsey about it? confused

I mentioned earlier that thanks to a promotion, we could probably afford to send ds to a private school but I really don't think it would be money well spent. There are some great fee-paying schools here, they're just not £12k+ a year great. If £1k a month represented a much smaller percentage of our income I suppose I'd feel differently, but it would have to be a significantly smaller percentage.

If we were really sensible I suppose we could try and put the money we might have spent on fees aside. £80k could be hugely handy in 6 years time...

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 13:21:29

Totally if both were partners were on £20 000 a year total income just shy of £2700 per month not including CB . I doubt few in London home countries Oxfordshire Wiltshire Hampshire pay only £8000 PA for their mortgagee more like £1000 PA if not more so thats more than a third of your income gone already. Then you add in food travelling to work council tax utilities insurance clothes CC and other bills or a family of four thats at least another third gone if not more probably I just don't accept that they're enough to pay £850 a month in prep school fees and that assumes you've only got one child most people have at least two.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 13:22:25

Not forgetting as a recent poster seems to be implying, if you're at private school you won't have to deal with AEN kids, and don't worry, if you go state you won't be bullied much so long as you've got a black belt at karate!

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 13:23:48

impty "Imagine her horror then when she discovers my dd has better exam results"
Can i make an outrageous suggestion maybe for some its not all about exam results!!

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 13:24:15


stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 13:26:05

impty - I have had similar conversations with people who have fallen for the pretty uniform and only realised too late how incredibly average (or worse) the education actually is. The school I went to probably falls into the "average" category but since neither my parents nor I were keen on boarding it was still the best available option (private or state) and I did ok (got into Oxford) , probably because of pushy teacher DM as much as the school. The mistake a lot of people make, IMO, is thinking that paying the fees means that you don't have to remain closely involved with your DC's education, and that they will emerge as a "finished product". Gross generalisation, but those who have consciously chosen state education seem more likely to be interfering involved parents.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 13:26:09

Typo for S?

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 13:26:30

happygardening I once had a conversation with a woman who had recently moved to the area and was keen to find out about local schools. It hadn't even occurred to her to look at any of the state options. Not even slightly.

I suppose if you went to private schools, your siblings did, your parents did, your grandparents did maybe state just wouldn't be on your radar and if it's not working out at one fee-paying you just look at another.

impty Thu 14-Feb-13 13:27:22

happy you can make that suggestion, of course. But in this case the conversation came about because my friend was boasting about her dd's results then asked my dd how she did. So in this case it was about exam results.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 13:28:21

impty I suppose it could be argued that your daughter would have done even better at the private school and hers even worse at the state.

impty Thu 14-Feb-13 13:29:53

stealth as I await a phone call from a teacher from school, realise how interfering involved I am grin

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 13:29:58

Additional Educational Needs.

impty Thu 14-Feb-13 13:33:00

Jenai yes, you are right, it falls into the 'never know' category. It is perfectly possible that I am doing my children a massive disservice by not educating them privately.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 13:33:08

If we were really sensible I suppose we could try and put the money we might have spent on fees aside. £80k could be hugely handy in 6 years time...

I didn't mean to sound smug there sorry. Knowing our profligate tendancies we won't put that money aside at all.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 13:35:29

happy - as a poster has said upthread, it's kind of pointless trying to answer the OP in abstract since there are so many variables.

Of course if you are talking about living in certain parts of the SE and you commute into London and you live in a high council.tax area and your prep is £20k pa and you have a big mortgage because you bought high and....and ... then of course £40k is not enough. But my figure is based on costs and circumstances in my part if the UK and not yours smile

IndridCold Thu 14-Feb-13 13:38:46

Gross generalisation, but those who have consciously chosen state education seem more likely to be interfering involved parents.

This is definitely not true IME, in fact the complete opposite is true! I think it can vary from school to school, but not necessarily along the private/state divide.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 13:40:33

I'm always bemused by those who are unhappy with their private school yet still keep on stumping up the fees.

I would never do that. Nor would any of my mates.

That said, I don't think any outsider can take a view as to which schools are valuable or not. Only you can say that for and about your own family.
Even the most average private state school may be worht every dime if DC were extremely unhappy at their state school, or thriving beyond everything the parent ever imagined.

Both my DC attend very different types of school. Both are excellent value for money in very different ways for very different children.

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 13:41:09

It's all personal choice.
We could afford it quite, quite comfortably. Instead we moved to a fantastic house with land and horses which we could never have bought paying several sets of school fees. Oh, and in catchment for outstanding schools. Our children ski, ride and have amazing holidays and experiences. Again, not mutually affordable with school fees.

To me, life is a balance. Scrimping and saving to send your children when excellent alternatives are available seems daft, especially if all you can then offer your children is private education.
We are exceptionally happy with our choices, and as DD1 is already being spoken of as Oxbridge material and supported at school accordingly at 13, we've clearly made the correct ones.

Each to their own. Every school is different and every child.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 13:43:37

I doubt you are doing her a disservice, impty! I have the odd ponder about my own ds here and there. he probably would get better grades for now if he went to one of the private schools (they are more pushy here and ds can be a lazy so-and-so) but he's doing plenty well enough where he is (a not particulalry stellar comprehensive) and he's happy.

I'm always reluctant to say it on MN but as long as he does well enough at GCSE to do what he wants to do post-16, and well enough at post-16 to do what he wants to do after that, I'm content.

I'm concentrating on giving him options for now; letting him know that there's a whole world of opportunities out there (whilst mentioning that some are conditional on getting bloody good exam results - so it is well worth pulling your finger out).

Dozer Thu 14-Feb-13 13:44:21

At DD's year at primary school (speculating!) a few have family wealth or grandparents / trust funds are paying; most have a SAHM and one very high earner (e.g. Managing / finance directors, senior bankers); a smaller number (including us) have two high earners (eg doctors, dentists, lawyers, banking, IT, accountancy) or run a successful business.

We have a big, detached 3-bed house, have yet to be on a playdate with anyone from school with a smaller house.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 13:45:31

(Musing) I think that one of the issues my acquaintance has is that her 'picture' of what 'education' looks like is very shaped by her own experiences and peer group. So, for example, she would expect children in blazers and ties, at individual desks, in silence, with a teacher talking at the front, for whom everyone stood up when they entered the room.

None of those are bad things, though they do not of themselves guarantee a good school or a good education.

However, that expectation does not equip her to evaluate the education provided in e.g. a modern state reception class, full of children in sweatshirts, busy with child-initiated and teacher-guided activity, or even in a KS1 or KS2 classroom with children seated in groups working busily on differentiated tasks.

Again, none of those things are, of themselves, good or bad, but she is as poorly equipped to judge their excellence or otherwise as I would be when e.g. assessing the ability of a performer of Gamelan or on the sitar, despite having some (Western) musical knowledge. And of course prevalent opinions such as 'inspection reports not being worth the paper they are written on' plus media reports about state education don't help much either.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 13:45:56

Ah thanks seeeker Im crap at acronyms.
Im only thinking out aloud here so might be talking rubbish do you think that many choose independent ed and claim that they know nothing about state ed because of the way its presented to them. Most independent schools have glossy prospectuses smart websites many now with hideous videos of bright eyed pupils telling you that there schools facilities, exam results etc are the best. Enthusiastic teachers telling you how wonderful the teaching is and the pastoral care images of science teachers causing explosions in front of beautifully well behaved and smiling children and sweeping images of swimming pools playing fields and music rooms. As a prospective parent you can often arrange a time to go and meet the head personally drink tea and eat posh biscuits while he pretends to be interested in your DC hangs on your every word about how wonderful and talented your DC is. You have a guided tour with an equally enthusiastic pupil telling you how wonderful the school is.
In contrast in the state sector you can usually only go on a open day or "when we do prospective parent tours on Wednesday morning" you rarely meet the head or at our local comp ay of the other children you slightly get the feeling they're doing you a favour by showing you round. Is it surprising that so many parents get won over by 3rd rate independent schools doing a soft sell?

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 13:45:59

stealth - I agree. It was a gross generalisation smile

I know private parents who have a hands off approach to theirs kids education. You ask them what gcse options their DCs are going to choose and theiy have no idea or interest.

Then there are parents like me. I know what homework my DCs get and I know what marks they got.

You are going to get parents like us in the.state system. Pushiness or indifference isn't unique to private parents

Dozer Thu 14-Feb-13 13:46:49

DH has several colleagues who chose expensive houses near popular state schools, on the basis that all being well they will have more money, and get their financial investment back.

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 13:47:11

Just to be clear, Indrid, by "those who have consciously chosen state education" what I meant (and should have said) is "those who could afford private schools and have chosen state schools" - not parents of state school pupils in general.

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 13:48:40

happy - not our Secondaries. In fact, your experience of private mirrors mine at state. I know our Heads well.

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 13:49:41

Dozer - yes, my experience and it means the schools are full of like minded, successful , interested parents, in the main.

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 13:51:15

At the last parents evening at the secondary you couldn't move for Audis and Landrovers . It's extremely affluent and full of the sort of parents who could afford private but choose an excellent state school.

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 13:54:27

Happy, that's an interesting point. My experience at DS's comprehensive when visiting was as you describe for a private school - individual tour with member of senior management team, opportunities to chat with pupils etc. However, we have almost entirely discounted a state girls' grammar in the next town simply because they were so obstructive about visiting (I cannot go to open days, as they are during term time and I am teaching, so I asked to go on another day. That is simply NOT ALLOWED. I did almost ask what they were so worried that I might see, but decided to be polite!) Attitudes towards prospective parents can shape decisions...but perhaps it's again a school to school variation thing not a state / private divide...

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 13:55:01

Laughing at your quick clarification stealth. You would have been shredded otherwise.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 13:57:30

stealth - some people consciously choose to go private. It doesn't by default make them more involved parents. So I don't see why consciously choosing a state school by default make them more involved either.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 13:59:57

"Of course if you are talking about living in certain parts of the SE and you commute into London and you live in a high council.tax area nd you have a big mortgage because you bought high and....and ... then of course £40k is not enough."
Forget prep fees of £20 000 as I demonstrated above prep fees of £10 000 are outside of the financial range of an average couple on £40 000. There are just over 8 million living in the south east ditto greater London thats not including Essex and wiltshire another 2,300 000 so were talking just over 18 million just under a third of the UK population. So maybe Totally where you live my figures are unrealistic but not for a third of the population living in London the home counties Oxfordshire and Wiltshire they are frightening realsitic.

HiggsBoson Thu 14-Feb-13 14:03:05

Egadz, another of these threads hmm

DP and I live in the SE, both work and earn £25K between us. We don't holiday and have a small hatchback car.

I would love for those posters who keep saying it's 'all about choices' and 'priorities' to tell me where I can cut down in order to be able to afford school fees amounting to our entire annual income angry

Am I missing something here? I thought there were millions of people in the UK in the same position as us, working hard for low incomes.

These threads really do make me feel like shit sad

Auntmaud Your posts made me nauseous tbh. Am I jealous? To right I am envy

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:29

TotallyBS I didn't say it did.

grovel Thu 14-Feb-13 14:06:18

Higgs, you don't have the option. People talk nonsense on here.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 14:08:40

"but perhaps it's again a school to school variation thing not a state / private divide..."
Nearly all independent schools even the over subscribed big names bend over backwards for parents. We've lived in two counties and I and friends have found that you don't get the same soft sell, in the state sector. Many people are blinded impressed by swimming pools canapés manicured lawns and Palladian bridges and IME experience the more relaxed friendly (not sure thats the words I'm looking for slightly smarmy maybe) atmosphere.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 14:09:48

auntmaud DH and I often play the 'what would do if we could only afford fees' game.

If fees took up all our dosh and there wasn't enough left for the cars and holidays etc...

I take my hat off to all those families that do that. I mean, you can't fault them, doing that for their DC. Dunno if I'm selfless enough...

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 14:10:44

Higgs that is what I was trying to demonstrate to Totally with my figures and that was for a couple on a higher income than yours. Of course you cant afford it.

Dozer Thu 14-Feb-13 14:12:49

Higgs you are right, most people just don't have the option.

HiggsBoson Thu 14-Feb-13 14:13:18

Why can't people understand it though instead of banging on with this 'oh, if you sacrifice all your holidays and handbags bullshit?

I see it on every bloody private/state thread.

sieglinde Thu 14-Feb-13 14:13:30

Yes, Nit - they don't come any steamier is the phrase that cemented it.smile

YY Nick and Edwin, but also the last match in the Cricket Cup, where Nicola thinks 'Mr Tallboy'....

Now back to the real thread..

yy impty and others, though the prep school my dcs attended is internationally famous and one of the 'best' in the country. I can name names if people care to message me. I know INCREDIBLY rich people who send their dcs there, eager and hopeful. I try not to ask if their dds are on the Pill.

The secondary schools were more middling, but one is regularly in the national top 50. And it's STILL fundamentally shite. Creaky, rule-bound, useless at managing big discipline probs - a mix of brilliant and UTTERLY TERRIBLE teachers.

IMHO, the indy schools I've encountered are VERY well-suited to kids who are moderately conventional, outgoing all-rounders. That describes a lot of kids, but not mine.

I say all this because in the past people have tended to assume that only underrated private schools could fail a child. My point is that the top ones can too.

Why did I go on paying out? Largely because I had no idea how bad it was for my dcs. The reports kept rolling in, full of praise, even hype. I picked both my dcs up frequently and made time to ask them how things were. Yet they never really said until one day I said, look, do you still want to go there? on a whim. Then the dam broke.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 14:14:07

happy - I live south of Watford Gap so I'm one of you as opposed to one of them smile

I don't understand why we are having this argument. Based on my outgoings and the fees at the local prep £40k is do-able. The fact that its not do-able where you Iive doesn't invalidate my post.

How about we agree to disagree since it's getting rather pointless

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 14:14:08

DH and I often play the 'what would do if we could only afford fees' game

The winter nights must fly by.... wink

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 14:16:30

[oooh, that's what the Mr Tallboy is! Thanks sieg!
'You' said Nicola sternly to Nicola, 'are the original steaming nit'. I think of hat to myself whenever I bash a leg on something and swear at myself grin ]

wixawoo Thu 14-Feb-13 14:16:49


I hate how this kind of thread makes someone feel like shit.

I don't know how much one would need to earn in order to have enough spare for fees.... I just can't see how people do it.
I can see that if you bought your house at a good price way back when and have managed to just have a small mortgage you may be able to make savings elsewhere..... Or maybe people get lucky with some inheritance or help from grandparents?

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 14:17:07

Stealth - I can't cut and paste from my phone so can I refer you to your sentence that starts with 'gross generalization'

everlong Thu 14-Feb-13 14:17:31

So a couple are wrong to stop at one, two children that they can afford to send private rather than have another baby.

Who exactly are this couple hurting?

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 14:17:43

Well when you've been properly poor nit you do think about what it would be like to end up broke again...you do question if your priorities have changed and which things you could give up in a flash and which you couldn't.

That's just natural for people like DH and I.

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 14:18:19

I think some people deliberately misunderstand to have an excuse to get angry. Of course if 2 adults earn 25k btw them then the priority issue is not for you.

DadOnIce Thu 14-Feb-13 14:20:39

And let's not have comparisons with moving house for a nicer area. The decisions involved are totally different. And are often taken before people know what the schools are like, what the catchments are, even before children. (Plus, catchments change all the time.)

teacherwith2kids Thu 14-Feb-13 14:20:45


I thought that you decided £40k wasn't doable because you had not known how much of that gross income would have to go on tax? As HappyGardening has said, that would leave around £27k net, perhaps £17k after typical mortgage / rent costs.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 14-Feb-13 14:22:53

Well, not sure 'broke' = 'only able to afford fees' though, does it?

Of course everyone spends time thinking about contingencies and putative situations, from how you'd all get out if there was a fire to what you'd do if you both lost your jobs.

(I always used to get in a tangle about what I'd do if one of the children fell off a bridge when they were very small - would you risk losing valuable moments taking your shoes off, or would you jump straight in and risk them impairing your progress?)

And sorry if that sounded rude, but the idea of spending lots of time thinking oooh, cars or fees if we were really skint.... well it's a bit specific, isn't it?

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 14:25:03

"Why did I go on paying out? Largely because I had no idea how bad it was for my dcs. The reports kept rolling in, full of praise, even hype. I picked both my dcs up frequently and made time to ask them how things were. Yet they never really said until one day I said, look, do you still want to go there? on a whim. Then the dam broke."
sieglinde I've have never said independent ed. is right for all and as you said maybe its the one you send you DC's too and the ones you've encountered and I'd be the first to admit that unconventional children are not welcome or catered for in many independent schools and I'm sure seeker et al would also say that state ed is not right for everyone. We all have so many different experiences and as importantly expectations.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 14:27:22

Who are these posters that go on about how everyone can afford private if only they make sacrifices? People keep making third party references but no one name names. Do these posters really exist? Or is this what they call a straw poster?

Fees for prep are about £9k on average. With extras you need about £15k gross so if you are on £26k, unless you get 100% bursary or scholarship, then of course you can't afford private and only an idiot will suggest that you can.

So please feel free to post a link to the post of the said idiot so that we can all enjoy the post.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 14:31:55

Totally Im really not trying to argue (honestly) with you but I think £27 000 (actually its about £32000) is what a couple on £40 000 a year earn after tax you said they could afford prep school fees teacher and I are trying to demonstrate that they probably cant especially if they have two children. !

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 14:32:32

[sigh] I can see why you drive poor seeker nuts, TotallyBS

What I said:

“Gross generalisation, but those who have consciously chosen state education [note my later clarification - given that they could afford private] seem more likely to be interfering involved parents.”

What you said:

“some people consciously choose to go private. It doesn't by default make them more involved parents. So I don't see why consciously choosing a state school by default make them more involved either”

Can you spot the difference hmm?

As it happens, I am an interfering involved parent (even if not in the same league of interference as my DM) with DC in an independent school. My (unscientific) observation was about the average nature/inclinations of those different groups. It's not choosing a state school which makes them more involved, FFS.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 14:34:03

Well nit if somehting cataclysmic happened overnight our single biggest expense would be fees (no mortgage).

That's kinda where that particular conundrum comes from.

DadOnIce Thu 14-Feb-13 14:34:06

Well, I've definitely seen that said on the last half-dozen times this subject was discussed. I think people tend to phrase it carefully - not necessarily "if you make cutbacks you can afford private school" but "we go without holidays, drive a rusty car and shop at Lidl to afford the fees." Implication: so could you. Totally goes over their heads that many people do all that anyway just to survive.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 14:37:03

I have read posts where posters have claimed that "everyone" (or rather, "most" people) could afford school fees if only they'd camp in Wales instead of going abroad, and shared a 15 year old Skoda and an old pushbike. Not for a loong time though - I don't think anyone would dare grin

Having said that sometimes it does feel that posters are belabouring the point a little when they talk about the sacrifices they make. I'm sure they don't mean it, but it does feel as if they're suggesting that we could all afford to send our children to private schools if only we were less profligate.

wordfactory Thu 14-Feb-13 14:37:29

But dad aren't people just saying that that is how they fund it. Singling themselves out from those who can afford it easily.

They're not saying 'oh and anyone could do it', are they?

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 14:43:41

teacher - I said it wasn't do-able if I had seriously under estimated what HMRC deductions were made but happy doesn't seem to be contesting those figures.

What we seem to be arguing about is whether a family can live off £17k net after mortgage/rent (your figures).

I'm sure seeker will shortly be jumping in to post that we are being insensitive to low income people for discussing whether a family can live off £27k / £17k smile

Auntmaud Thu 14-Feb-13 14:50:43

Couldn;t think of anything more grim, frankly, than going without everything pleasurable in life to pay the school fees. And the pressure on those kids!? Wow.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 14:50:47

stealth - your get out clause is that you said 'seem more likely'???

If I said that private school kids are more likely to be well behaved I would get hammered.

Apparently making a gross generalisation is ok as long as you qualify it with a 'more likely'

boschy Thu 14-Feb-13 14:51:58

oh totallyBS (name not entirely inaccurate) give over with the seeker bashing, it's so boring and unnecessary. I am quite sure seeker has broad enough shoulders and doesnt need my defence, but really, just give it a break.

My dad was a Naval officer and mum was SAHM. They put me and Dbro through minor boarding schools on one salary back in the 70s, with some assistance from the Navy in the years they were abroad. Perfectly doable for them, and they also managed to buy a house in the UK at the same time.

Fast forward to now, I very much doubt that would be achievable for a young officer in his 30s.

As for us - 2 DDs at a secondary modern (shock horror!). Both doing well, both being encouraged and pushed as required, both getting the right pastoral care from school as and when required. Nearest indie would involve an hour's commute either way 6 days a week - if we won the lottery would I send them there? would I fuck! Life is for living.

DadOnIce Thu 14-Feb-13 14:52:38

I think some people do imply that anyone could do it. I often wonder why they bother - private education is a luxury item. The whole point of it is that you are buying something which you think makes you, your life or your children "better" in some way. It seems a little daft to imply it's accessible to everyone when its very inaccessibility to everyone is one of its selling points for many.

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 14:52:48

No - try reading what I said. You have the cause and effect the wrong way round.

maisiejoe123 Thu 14-Feb-13 14:53:11

Havent read all the responses, however there are an awful lot of people who have a view of private schools without ever having looked around one or had any experience of them.

They talk about privilge and 'buying' your way in.

Well around here people pay inflated prices for houses to get into the catchment areas for grammars. They have money to do this and through choosing to pay over the odds for a house smugly say they are using the 'state' system.

Well yes, you are, however you have effectively brought your way in a catchment area and therefore the school.

Isnt that the same thing?

And realistically I think with 2 children,living in the SE in a house you have owned for say 10 yrs the family income needs to be £80K plus. There is no way a family can do it on £25k.

For those of you who mock private schools and their inability to take SEN's - well it just goes to show that you really dont know enough about them. My DS (at a very well known senior boarding school) has 2 in his year with challenging behaviour. Whilst the parents have to pay for some extra support these children are thriving.

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 15:01:04

My figure of just shy of £2700 per month (for a couple with one child both earning £20 000 PA each) is pretty a accurate I think you'll find. So again mortgage/life insurance/house insurance/or rent average rent for pleasant three bedrooms here in Smalltownsville £950-1000 but crap public transport ditto hideous localish city shock leaving £1700 pcm then utilities council tax petrol food clothes shoes etc etc I just dont believe you can do that for less than £1000 pcm whats left approx £700 pcm fees for £9000 PA school £750 doesn't include uniform even 2nd hand uniform/other extras and maybe child care during extra long holidays result not doable!

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 15:01:12

boschy - well since it irritates you then I better stop it then.

I agree maisiejoe , it's a very popular opinion that private schools either don't take children with SN or if they do, don't deal with issues very well.
My dd2 has ASD, she endured bullying at two local state schools before being moved to a private school. They didn't have to take her, they have a waiting list and it would have been easier for them not to.

She has flourished, the kindness shown to her is incredible and she is not the only one there with additional needs. This is a bog standard prep school with academic success.

My other two are in state schools, I have no agenda.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 15:10:28

Auntmaud me neither.

I'm spending my new found £££s on Stuff (once I've cleared a few debts).

Of course it all depends on priorities and on how much one values education wink

viennahoneymoon Thu 14-Feb-13 15:18:29

This thread has made me think!
We live in the SE. Total household income approx 45k. I only work 1 day a week. We have 1DD. We are currently living in a sought after village and have just paid our mortgage off. House worth c325k. DD is 8 and at ofsted outstanding primary, however the secondary options are not great. I now realise that we can afford private school fees if we move to a less desirable area (7miles away) so DH can still commute and we can get a house for under 250k thus releasing equity to pay fees. Do you put fees in a trust fund specifically to pay for education? Does this sound feasible? We could be that mythical family that doesn't have a huge income but can manage private fees!

Please tell me if I'm missing something obvious? It is so incredibly nice to think this may be an option for us smile

happygardening Thu 14-Feb-13 15:19:28

The problem about paying or not really only arises when for what ever reason you believe your DC would be better off in an independent school than his state school. Thats when it all comes down to how much money you have/need. If you think your state school is the greatest school in the world then your literally laughing all the way to the bank. But many don't and also don't have the money to do anything about it this must be terribly difficult for them.

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 15:24:17

Maisie and tough your opinions are not valid. Simply doesn't fit the script written and memorised by the anti private brigade.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 15:25:36

Happy -

The net figure that you have after deducting fees, bills etc is what a lot of low income people are actually living on.

So I don't understand why you persist on telling me that it isn't do-able on £40k. No where do I say that you are going to live thr life of Riley. All I am saying is that it is do-able.

maisiejoe123 Thu 14-Feb-13 15:30:31

Vienna, you might find you dont need to move. Work out how much it will cost you to move. Probably about £12-£15k. Work out the costs of the fees 7 years at say £12k = £84k.

As you have no mortgage (you lucky thing) you might be able to borrow again. Yes, it will involve having a mortgage but for £84k it is not going to be huge....

This way you can stay in your house....

Just what I and others were saying - the SE house prices are allowing us to do this along with the higher wages etc. Some people on this thread dont want to move - their choice of course but look at what you might be able to achieve should you want to. You only had 1 DD so more than affordable unless of course the money you were paying into your mortage is being used for something else.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 15:30:55

I would absolutely reconsider my spendthrift ways if I though ds would be better off in private. We're fortunate that the school he is at is a good enough fit for him and I appreciate that not everyone is so lucky.

Having said that, for some parents a "good enough" fit isn't good enough. I had a few converstaions with parents waiting outside of ds's tutors (yes! he had a private tutor for a while) about "progress" and how theirs hadn't made enough that put me in a right old spin.

grovel Thu 14-Feb-13 15:31:54

viennahoneymoon, you don't need a trust fund. You can pay fees upfront for - generally - a sizeable discount.

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Feb-13 15:32:07

Vienna - if there is a private option which would work for you, then yes, it sounds eminently plausible. As an alternative to putting money in a fund, you could try negotiating with the school - some will do you a very good deal (current prices, minus a fairly generous discount) for paying several years upfront, which may (or may not) represent a better "return" on your capital than investing it.

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 15:36:15

vienna - we are paying the fees out of income rather than savings. Savings is plan B and remortgaging is plan C smile

maisiejoe123 Thu 14-Feb-13 15:38:08

I agree - the script dictated by people who have NO experience of private schools! I have heard it many times on this thread. Well, I didnt have experience before I started looking into the private option. I loved the small classes, the opportunity to be the best you can, the endless list of sports you can undertake. The boundaries that are set to ensure you understand what is expected of you. The confidence your child gains to go for the stars should they wish to.

And no, the most surprising thing is that the school is not full of upper class twits! Sorry anti private brigade...

I could have more sympathy if some had tried private, even looked around at least one school and then decided it wasnt for them as opposed to making sweeping generalisations having no knowledge of the subject!

maisiejoe123 Thu 14-Feb-13 15:44:15

Vienna - could I suggest calling a mortgage broker to see what your options are. Which? have this service and also London and Country (would recommend Which?)

Ask how much £84k would cost perhaps over 10 years. If too expensive increase the years the mortgage would run for. Mortgage rates are cheap at present!

wixawoo Thu 14-Feb-13 15:47:41

Maisie and tough thanks for giving me a positive view of SEN in private schools. I must admit I have not had a lot of experience of these seemingly commonly debated subject!
If I could do it all again I think I would have pushed for the private school option. Unfortunately due to moving house across the country at age 9 and now 13, I have been unable to shape my son's education as well as I may have planned!

socareless Thu 14-Feb-13 15:51:07

The response to that maisie would be that lucky them their state school does all the above at no cost. You have been conned by your insecurities and the pressure on your poor DC! Do you not have any faith in them to succeed without your help?

TheOriginalLadyFT Thu 14-Feb-13 15:55:38

No inherited money (ha bloody ha to that thought), live in a rented house, both DH and I work long hours and we drive a 10-yr old car. Everything I earn goes to paying DS's school fees and DH's earnings pay for everything else

maisiejoe123 Thu 14-Feb-13 15:55:57

There are positives in both state and private education. There are some fab private and state schools. However some state schools can amble along and some are a disgrace and have money thrown at them to try and resolve. A private school like this wont be open for long....

Vienna is exactly the sort of person, living in the SE, mortage paid off, only one DD, with equity who is now in the market for private education should she so wish. Some on this thread moan and moan about how they have a large family, dont want to work, dont want to leave elderly parents, dont want to leave best friend etc who will be on here until the end of time saying it is not fair.... And if they can snipe at us by somehow indicating that private is not all its cracked up to be even better! Please dont think we are completely daft, if my DS's private education wasnt all we were expecting then we would think again but it is so we will stay in the private education system....

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 16:00:21

I could have more sympathy if some had tried private, even looked around at least one school and then decided it wasnt for them

How do you know they haven't?

Some on this thread moan and moan about how they have a large family, dont want to work...will be on here until the end of time saying it is not fair

Like who exactly?

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 16:06:27

"Some on this thread moan and moan about how they have a large family, dont want to work...will be on here until the end of time saying it is not fair"

Who on earth says anything so stupid?

viennahoneymoon Thu 14-Feb-13 16:07:46

Thank you so much for the positive responses and helpful suggestions. It is much appreciated. I have a few years to do my research... In the meantime, back to the usual MN 'lively debate' grin