What household income for two children at private school nowadays, roughly?(143 Posts)
Apologies as I am sure this has been done many times before, but I can't find a recent thread on it.
If you have two children at a good private school and are able to afford this comfortably without additional help from grandparents or work, would you mind telling me what is your annual household income? DH and I will be considering our options at some point, but I realise I am not sure how much most families in this situation actually earn. When I was at school the available scholarships were much higher and the fees much lower than they seem to be now.
(Household income before tax, I mean.)
Well, school fees vary enormously.
You must have an idea of the sort of fees you would be paying for the sort of school you are after?
Day schools, not boarding.
Basically, to do it comfortably at my dcs school (ie holidays, nice time out etc) you would have to not miss about £45k of your gross annual household income being spent on school fees. So that would then depend on other expenses such as mortgage and debt. At a guess, I think 2 dcs at the school on household income of less than £90k wouldn't be comfortable and would involve sacrifices elsewhere.
It depends on the size of mortgage and other outgoings. I'm beginning to think you need £150k at least with a modest mortgage.
It depends upon your income, your outgoings, how much the school fees are, where you live etc. Do a budget to see how much you can spare after essential expenses. Say (for example), you earn 50k. If the school fees cost £12k each (so 24k) can you live off the remaining 26K for your house/bills/food/clothes etc (it's a lot of money depending on where you live but only you will know the answer to this)?
I have one child at a private school and I don't earn anywhere near 90k (or even half that). It can be done, it just depends on your income and outgoings. I budget to the pound though.
Don't forget about bursaries and scholarships. Some schools offer a second child discount too.
Location undecided yet as we're currently overseas.
Thank you to all who are giving advice - this is incredibly helpful. Have to go and cook dinner, but will check back in later.
LadyMary, when I was at school my sibling and I were both on 50% scholarships and the fees were about £8000 a year, so it was do-able for my parents on a middle income and with my mother as a SAHM (we didn't have as many foreign holidays after we went private, though!) But now even a 25% scholarship seems generous for most schools that I've browsed to get an idea, and some only offer 10%. I also wanted to start my calculations assuming that the DC won't get scholarships, iyswim, although I very much hope that at least one might...
If you earn 50k that's gross, so £24k in fees will not leave £26k to live on. Also in secondary trips, uniform etc... Can cost a lot.
My assumption was that if you're paying school fees for 2 dcs then someone in the household is a 40% tax payer and that the school fees are basically the top slice of income. Fees at our dcs school are £13.5k per child, so out of your net income after tax! you would need £27k. That £27k equates to 45k of gross income at 40% tax for a one income household. I just then doubled it. I agree with the poster who said £150k though!
For 2 children, allow costs of £30k per annum. Now, deduct that amount from your net household income and see if what you have left is enough for you to live on.
Round here school fees are about £15000 per child per year less for primary, more for 6th form.
So given our income and how far we are off affording it I'd say a gross of £140,000 to do it comfortably. Less if you don't have a reasonable mortgage.
80k before tax leaves about 50k net. You'd need 30k for 2 DCs at provost schools where I live which would leave you 20k to live on. Enough for modest standard of living assuming no mortgage. So 80k I reckon if you own outright out
Or 100k with a mortgage taking up 2k a month.
Novice's thinking is exactly mine.
I'm a SAHM, so I don't know how it pans out if you have one or both parents earning a good wage that's just below higher rate tax.
Here either DH gets a 100% pay rise or we win the lottery. I don't have a well paid job to go back to and neither of us have any rich relatives likely to die and leave us a house in Kensington.
I earn nearly £60k and my DS's fees are around £12k per year. It's doable, on my salary and whilst we make some sacrifices it's not too bad.
This is really helpful for starting to get a rough idea - thanks all.
I currently pay for 2 children and that's (secondary) about £15k per child day school (South East).
Surely it depends on your mortgage and other out goings. I know families where one of the parents works full time solely to pay school fees so they earn say £15k a year after tax and 100% of that goes on the school fees and they live off the salary of the other spouse.
I earn a fair bit now, after 30 years of working full time, no breaks.
I never understand this question.
Surely the amount you need to earn is the amount you currently spend on everything else plus the amount charged for fees at the schools you are thinking of.
Or to look at it another way: families need to earn the price of the fees plus the minimum needed for you. Your family in your area.
Exactly Blu. Our highest school fee year was last year. The total, inlcuding expenses, came to £38,000 net of tax. So, if you have that much to spend after meeting all other expenses then go for it - the issue is the other expenses because they are the most variable. God help you if you budget for that though and somebody says something like little Johnnie isn't really thriving here but x school, a 100 miles away, would be perfect for him. You can then add about another £15,000 to the day fees for the boarding fees.
To be perfectly honest, we didn't make the commitment until we had enough capital to pay the eldest through to the upper 6th because we wouldn't have wanted to think about moving him in the event of a desperate change to our circumstances. I'm not saying actual money in the bank but having enough flexibility to have been able to downsize - move out a bit and free up money to keep on going.
Our DC attend(ed) London Day Schools. I very much doubt any family with two children at indies around here has less than £150,000 pa coming in unless they have inherited property or if grandparents are paying.
Blu - exactly -- v simple arithmatic - income is fixed, fees are fixed (but will go up) only variable - which you can decide/prioritise - is how much you want or need to spend on the rest of your lifestyle - ie are you prepared to live on beans on toast, small house no holidays - SAHM goes back out to work FT -- or is it essential that you remain a SAHM, have a cleaner, foriegn holidays, nice house nice area - we all want it all..
I work full time to put 4x children thru private school -- we shop in lidl are piss poor and I question this decision everyday as I sleave my home and children at 6.30 every morning for 12 hrs knakered and burnt out !!
Although my two DCs boarded, the day fees at one of the schools was over £7000 a term. There are very many extras on top of this. Music, dance, sports coaching, trips, uniform, art materials: an endless drain on income. No-one should calculate on bare fees alone. This is unrealistic. The scholarships, by the way, were honorary. They were worth nothing. Bursaries only.
Deepest, I don't question your choice - because it's yours to make. But why is it so important to send your children to private school that you choose to create this lifestyle for yourself?
It all depends on how important you want the private education. Our joint income doesn't even hit the threshold for cutting CB but we put 2 through private, one on 2 scholarships and a bursary, the other just on a sibling discount. (Without concessions that would cost us £30K)
To us getting a school that was right for them was more important than a foreign holiday, a second car, sky TV, smart phones, x box etc. (Dc saved xmas and birthday money and bought themselves a ps2 between them) they are the poorest kids in the school but thankfully they don't care and see their wealthy friends as living in a bubble cut off from the real world.
Only you can decide what your spending priorities are, everyone will be different. there are no rights or wrongs.
It doesn't matter how important you think it is eatyourveg if your income goes above the CB threshold and you don't qualify for a bursary or scholarships and you have to meet all your domestic expenses and even if you scrimp and scrape you still don't have enough. Sometimes people just can't have it.
And for deepest I image one or two went in and the others had to follow suit and the costs and the obligation just crept up. I hope one comes out of the sausage machine soon and that it gets easier for you.
I forgot about the extras. Ds's school don't add lunch to the fees and there's things like music tuition that I also pay for. Luckily all trips are included in his fees so I don't have to budget for these but his PE kit is expensive, there's no second hand uniform shop and I can only buy it from the school. 2 rugby tops, shorts, tracksuit, athletics kit, hockey kit, cricket kit... so you have to factor this in too.
Some places have fab state schools so it would be daft to pay for a private school. It would make more sense to send a child to a state school and use the money that would have been spent on fees on a better quality of life (holidays, trips etc. Not all private schools are good ones either so look for the right school for your child, regardless of whether it's state or private). Some places don't have fab state schools though and if you have a child with additional needs then there's little option but to go private.
Good luck, OP.
Exactly Lady. My children have all gone to a local state grammar but the extras still really do add up. Uniforms, PE kits, compulsory trips, activities, optional trips, music lessons etc. If your children show a talent or interest (the two don't necessarily go hand in hand!) in a particular area such as sport or music the costs can really mount up. I've paid for cello lessons at £15 pw, drum lessons at £20 pw, piano lessons at £13 pw, additional sports coaching sessions and one school trip in particular cost well in excess of £2k.
Eatyourveg: but in a two income household the threshold for cutting CB can be £99k, and if you set aside £30k or even £40k for school fees then that still leaves £59k, way way above the national average.
If your household income is £30k how are you going to manage private fees?
Blimey, longingforsomesleep! I hope you're making them earn their extras by doing some cleaning for you!
There isn't a grammar school here, sadly.
It's easy to manage on a household income of 30k for one set of school fees, Blu. I have a new job now but have managed on less than that before. It's not fun though as all you do is pay the school fees and pay the bills. There's little left for anything else but if you live in the ass end of nowhere you can't really go to the cinema/eat out etc.
How on earth can you pay one set of fees out of an annual income of 30k?
I would also say that once you get to two children the extras are such a small percentage of the overall cost that if you have to worry about them then you can't really afford the fees. For example: term's fees 6,300 - lunch, bookroom, odds and sods about 500. Uniform - tbh we've never found that too onerous.
am also baffled re managing one set of fees on 30k, do you mean you manage on that after paying the fees?
I think it's impossible to say. School fees vary a bit, but (unless you are comparing small local independent schools with big posh public schools) there is not as much variance between fees north to south, or between London and the provinces as there is in the variance of house prices.
Someone can manage very quite well indeed on the same salary in say, a suburb of Leeds, that they could not manage at all on, in most parts of central London.
I think it's easier to just say what the average school fees would be for two children in your area, and work out what you'd need to earn before tax to afford that, before you pay for anything else.
I suppose if you pay £15k in fees you could live on the remaining £15k, if you have low rent, small family, low overheads, i.e a household that can manage on £15k, and then add on the school fees to know what the total amount needed is. I don't see how you could do it in London, for example,, unless you owned a paid-for house. Even a two-bed council property wouldn't enable you to do it, I don't think.
But the OP is talking about 2 children....
The answer is the same; what you can or do live on, plus the cost of the fees and any extras.
30k (*before paying the fees*) - 12k fees leaves 18k, less mortgage/rent of 4k, so 14k left for the year.
Split the 14k over 52 weeks = £269 per week for the rest of the bills and food. Electricity and gas = £20 per week, TV, phone and broadband = £15 per week, food = £50 per week, water/tv licence/insurance/council tax = £30 per week, travel to school £27 per week (public transport), dentist £2.50 per week, leaving £146 so save for whatever. It's doable if you don't eat out/go to the cinema/go on holiday/buy clothes too much.
Families on benefits live on less than 14k, I am rather happy that I have a new job though
£4k on mortgage / rent? <<faints>>
Most basic campsites we stay on charge more than that per week! Good though, that people can find cheaper places to live.
Also £20 a week on gas and elec seems light, ditto council tax - I think our council tax alone is about £20 a week .
One advantage London parents have is free bus travel for U16s - saves a lot. But modest private schools cost £4,700 per term and rising at secondary
Anyway, I am extremely happy with DS's comp, where even his individual weekly music lessons only cost us £50 per term, and I am not contemplating juggling on this level!
Congrats on your new job, Ladymary!
Must be grim though Lady Mary. I would send mine to the comp rather than live like that.
I've just calculated that putting our 3 through is going to cost 540k net. <faints>. Luckily i work and we've started saving/ investing but it is a frightening sum. We also live overseas so have to consider flights etc. The sums involved must mean sacrifices for most surely. When did it all get so expensive?
itIsAnIdeasGame - there is an alternative you know!
I think I had our 5 from age 4 - 18 at about £1m of income taxed at about 40% (13 years x 5 x £10k a year),. When I did the calculation I assumed university was free so it is probably even more now and the fees are £15k not £10k now (secondary, SE). Money well spent however. Much nicer to spend no that than expensive shoes or hair cuts or whatever else.
We have 3 DC and cannot even contemplate a private education.
Our household income is about £4.5 k per month, but then the mortgage/gas and electric/council tax is £1,600 before any child care (about £500) credit card and loan repayments etc. plus car repayments, insurance, pet insurance, swimming lessons, dancing lessons, karate lessons. believe me there is never anything left at the end of a month.
At the schools mine went to,I saw few scrimping and saving for private education. It has gone out of the reach of many unless you are poor and clever. We know people who get bursaries, but Granny pays for the extras. The family has money, but the parents do not. This is a common wheeze. They don't go without as family money buys cars,holidays etc. Where mine went to school you would be a noticeable odd one out if you did not have a holiday or a relatively respectable car. If your child cannot join in, I do think there is a problem. They probably say they are ok so as not to hurt feelings. A few of the bursary children in my DDs old school had big problems adjusting. If you do not like rich children, why are you so keen to join them, LadyMary?
For a person with no mortgage (and there are quite a lot who seem to be mortgage free by early 40s even without being huge earners...just very careful and overpaying for 10/15 years since getting on property ladder in late 20s) I Think it is possible to do it for 1 child on not much more than £60k esp if that is split between 2 earners, so neither is paying higher rate tax and both have the tax free allowance.
I am basing that on them living fairly frugally, in terms of being careful about what is spend on food and utilities and driving oldish cars, but not going without holidays. I would see a 60k (about £3750 net per month) budget stretching to 1K on school fees per month and still allowing a couple of cheap ish holidays per year ....perhaps around the £600 mark each. Within that, I would also expect them to be able to contribute into pensions and perhaps save £200 or £300 per month. Maintaining saving is important for when you need a new car or boiler....and these things will always happen. Adding at least £4k to savings per year seems important.
I think those on lowish incomes who manage it, not only have no/tiny mortgage, but also some decent saving behind them. If they have £20 to £30k in the bank, the low income is not so terrifying, because there is always something to fall back on if necessary.
I know people who seem to do it on the £60k I mentioned previously. They have 2 earners on around £30k each, no mortgages and decent savings. They are financially savvy, in the sense that they waste little and always know the best deals, get the highest interest rates etc. They are not high earners, but get the most out of their money....and this has allowed them to afford private education, when some people who earn twice what they do, can't afford it.
I don't understand the question either. It depends on how much money you need for your mortgage and what your transport to work costs are and of course how much the school fees are.
Wish I had 20-30K in the bank!! Without the concessions of scholarships and bursary for ds1 the only way we could have done it would have been to move somewhere smaller and I would have had to increase my hours at work to something over the tax and NI threshold which could end up being counter-productive unless I was full time.
Dh is very astute with financial stuff so we could do one non-concession child and a 80K mortgage without a problem on an income below 50K. As it is, ds3 only gets a 5% sibling discount.
I would advise OP to look at areas of the UK where housing is cheaper and seek out schools that have decent scholarships that are actually meaningful.
I didn't say I didn't like 'rich children' Milly
There isn't a grammar school here and ds has additional needs so I didn't think that a large noisy school would be in his best interests (his current school is half the size of the state school that he was allocated by the LEA). The school have other boys with the same needs as ds, which helps as they have the experience and he doesn't feel alone. The school is also open for longer so I don't have to worry about who's going to spend the hour with him after school. He loves languages and the state school we were offered only taught two (he's studying four). There's a higher percentage of male teachers where he is, I'm a single mother and I wanted him to have some caring men in his life. He also gets the support that he needs, which I think is vital. The reason he goes there has nothing to do with the type of children, it hadn't crossed my mind.
Thank you, Blu
I think there are a range of lifestyles in private schools, but obviously veering towards the more affluent. Whilst I'm not into 'keeping up with the Jones'' and think it would be fine to go private, if you couldn't afford the ski trips, to have holidays abroad yourself or new cars, I think that if paying the fees makes things so tight for you that you are never going to be able to afford for your child to join a paying extra curricular activity, or to go along with a friend for a day out, because the cost of going to the cinema is beyond you, or never join the other mums for a coffee in a coffee shop, then things are cut too fine and the extent of difference will be too much. Total exclusion from social activities other children and parents engage in is not healthy.
Likewise, if paying the fees means you spend loads of time worrying each month, that there might not be enough for the mortgage, or the food, or the credit card bill, then I think you are stretching yourself too thin.
Some sacrifices are fine. It's knowing how far is too far.
Many mothers of private school pupils work full time and certainly are not going for coffees with other mothers and don't want to. I don't think the inability to afford that excludes you. It may depend on your area. Around here (London area) where Asian families will plough all family money from the chemist shop or whatever into the education of one or two children there are lots of families where there is not much money at all but education is absolutely the first priority (which is rather nice). My children won't go on any school ski trips (they could, I always ask them, they always refuse) and it's non U to have a very expensive car - that is in effect lower class made good showy and not the done thing. An older car shows you have class surely in the English class system as you have nothing to prove.
Laura, not sure you understood what I was meaning.
I was simply saying that if paying the fees means there is ABSOLUTELY nothing left, meaning either basic bills such as mortgage cause huge worry very month, or nothing is left for absolutely any of the social activities the children and parents at the school engage in, then it is very easy to become very isolated. Being isolated is not a good thing.
Not interested in whether the old banger is socially acceptable or the flash new car......some people seem to put themselves in a position where they are unlikely to be able to afford to replace any type of car if needs replacing......again, seems to me that the fees are then just too much of a stretch. Some sacrifices are absolutely fine. People have different capacities for self sacrifice, but I think to choose an education which isolates a whole family due to the level of sacrifice required, cannot be a good thing.
I've read Laura's post twice and I haven't got a scooby! But yours was perfectly clear Wombat. And I agree with you (except I am not a fan of massively segregated schooling so I have a bit of a problem with anyone paying private school fees, filthy rich or not).
I completely understand what LB is saying.
Laura - most of the mothers at DD1's school seem to do nothing but have coffee mornings... I am most definitely in the minority working, and quite a high percentage seem to be the trophy wife - good looking, dim, with nothing more to do than have her hair and nails done, and go to the gym. Husband is around 20-30 years older. There are, of course, perfectly normal parents there as well.
Full time mothers can't attend coffee mornings so are excluded whether they have money or not (oh yes, I know that feeling).
Yes, we know Asian families who work their socks off to send their children to independent schools - the people who run the dry cleaners and the newsagent and live in the flat upstairs because they truly value education. And the last bit about the cars - the really rich just don't give a fig and wouldn't spend their own non tax deductible money on a flash car - it's usually the bankers who have the flash cars imo
and the dads who get a soft top when they have a mid life crisis Sadly my DH bought a GWizz .
Laura there is a world of difference between not having a flash car and not being able to eat though.
Mine go to private school but do not go on the expensive skiiing trips etc (there was a cruise a couple of years ago that I guffawed at for 2 seconds before deleting the email). I do agree though that you cannot always be saying no to every trip as one poor boys' parents always were - he never dressed up, never went on the day trips to museums let alone residential trips and I felt so sorry for him.
Laura I thought it was the wafting about on the lawns listening to recitals that you loved most about fee-paying school anyway .
It would be hard for a child not to do day trips or residential. I wouldn't be keen on that at all.
We have no qualms about skipping the ski trips, given I've skiied once - ie beach childhood. They have family trips.
Blimey Burma mine left last year and is still meeting up with this year's sports tour in the summer .
The thing that gets to me , is the " Were better than them because we Don't need a 100-150 k car". This kind of Moral Superiority that certain people on this site show is Pathetic. What is wrong with people spending their tax paid Money on Nice things. most of the people making these comments have probably never even driven a " Proper Luxury Car" never mind have ever Owned One .
A G WIZ Is Not Only The Most Pathetic (Expensive ) Thing on the Road but quite possibly the Most Dangerous thing as well. P.S Most of the Rich People ( Outside The London Liberal Inherited Houses Bubble) P.S those that have made the Money from Scratch have about an average of 5 Cars.
( BUT NOT OLD MONEY THAT IS THE BEST MONEY DEAR) These people pretend they are not interested , the truth being they are either "Tight" , frightened that the Money is Short , or are actually already bankrupting themselves to send Tarquin to his Fathers Alma Mater.
Anybody Can spend their money in which ever way they choose, whether that's on expensive Private Education to look down on "Others" or Expensive Cars, Holidays or if Very Lucky on all Three.
I expect to get some silly comments now ?
"Full time mothers can't attend coffee mornings so are excluded whether they have money or not"
still not getting it ...
Were you privately educated, Motown?
The answer is simple.
Be very poor, don't own a flash car, make sure your child/ren are extremely G&T in some way and Bingo, free education on 30k fees.
I get your point motown (I think in amongst all the capitals!) but my observations do concur with Laura's in that it is all the new money/bankers driving those ruddy great black tanks up and down the drive (at great speed to my eternal annoyance and always blabbing on the bloody phone ).
All the horsey, old money types are definitely in old as the hills Volvos or er well Volvos but most of us just drive ordinary cars funnily enough. Ford, Audi, Vauxhall, VW, Saab, Nissan etc. There is one Bentley and yes they are new money !
Not quite sure how a GWhizz is pathetic though? How can a car be pathetic .
morethan don't forget that if you rein in on the handbags and spa treatments that everyone could easily afford private education if they just made some 'sacrifces' .
No.. "Comprehensive School" left at 16 .... No A levels ... But most of the People I know Were Privately Educated Though.
I am Not Anti Private Schools at all , I would have used them for my Kids if I could have afforded them . I have a 15 Yr old DD at a Comprehensive and a 13 yr DD at Grammar School.
I just hate the fact that some people call others for doing different things with their money ( Perhaps that's A Working class View ) I Don't know ?However all the Wealthy People I know do have lots of large and expensive cars, but every single one of them has made all their money themselves.
I don't have any of those neither.
We aren't quite workhouse, but compared to many on these threads we are. Some people are very rich.
I have to agree with a point that Laura makes, heaven help me
If you have money, the old type you don't have expensive things and flash cars.
In my past life I had various clients who were very wealthy, some real Lords and Ladies.
I would more often than not be greeted by Her Lady who was covered in Shit from her horses. Full riding gear, shaking my hand with shit on them, honestly. So down to earth and lovely to deal with. Oh, would always offer you tea, not like some of the jumped up new money type who looked down at you.
People with real money don't have anything to prove.
Oh I quite agree the GWiz is crap and unsafe and overpriced but not when you work out how much it saves on the congestion charge and how many central London parking exemptions they are beginning to get. He doesn't have it for sex appeal - he just won't use the tube . You also have to factor in the saving from charging via the solar or photovoltaic panels you have rather than paying for the leccy.
You seem very angry Motown
Near. No its My "Chippy" Northern Working Class Humour And Wit...
I am not angry, not at you anyway, Maybe Mum/Dad for not Sending Me Private ( They Could Have Afforded it) Incidentally my Dad spent all his money on "Big Flash Cars" and after the Depreciation there was nothing Left. ( That's The Reason for not buying Big Flash Cars) Whether anything is left after a Private Education ?.. I Don't Know....
It comes across more as an illiterate, angry rant, TBH, Motown, rather than working class humour and wit.
Which bit of my post is Illiterate Sheherazade.
I think it's the random capitalisation of so many words and the odd placing of full stops and commas that makes it appear illiterate.
I agree with your assertion that people can spend their money on whatever they want, but take issue with your point that those who spend their money on private education for their children do so to look down on others. We're spending money on our children's education because we want them to have a good education and start in life, rather than go to one of the two local comps near us, which keep drifting in and out of special measures. If that means sacrifices for us, so be it.
Sheherazade. If you think my Grammar is poor, you need to realise that you are living in a bubble ( Remote ) from 80% of the Mainstream Population.
One thing I did learn growing up though, it was very rude to demean people who have not been as fortunate as yourself ,In my case obviously I have not been as fortunate as you in educational terms.
Sheherazade. I take it from your derogatory comment you don't have much of an opinion on state education "Comp".
Have you ever set foot in a Comprehensive School ( We can debate the rights and wrongs of Selective State Schools) But to have such a jaundiced view of State Education is sad .
This view was evident by the Sarcastic Comment "Were You Privately Educated Motown" What has Where I was Educated got to do with my assertions about some people on this site.
Motown, I like you. And could understand what you were saying quite clearly. The others who couldn't, were either pretending or may be just a little thick and unable to read fluently.
Also, I hate to break it to you folks but money is money, new or old. Who actually cares what people spend it on? I'd rather some went to a good charity but that's about it. The judging is tiresome.
I don't mind people spending their money on whatever they want.
I was just making the point that if you have the expensive cars at private schools you might be viewed in a certain way, rather than others being jealous of you. Watch the three part series by Grayson Perry about class if you don't know the "rules".
The gist of my post was if you are poor at a private school (or many of them anyway) it won't matter and if some people think they are better than others because they have a flashy car that says more about them than anything.
But Laura, you imply that everyone who is 'poor' at private school are people who have 'lost' their old money and so somehow are 'genteelly poor'
However, recent posts on this thread are not about people in that position, but those who are stretching themselves hugely to afford the fees....there is no suggestion that they were ever rich. They are likely to be people who don't have a family background in private schools or family money. They are not poor by society's overall standard, but relatively poor in terms of the income of private school parents.
The idea that the old money look down on the new money for driving nice cars is out of date.
Sorry, but rich people, whatever the provenance of thir wealth, drive expensive cars ...
I don't think the car comment was made judgementally. There are all sorts of different people at independent schools.
I just meant don't worry if you don't have an expensive car. You can look a right idiot driving a very expensive car so you save yourself that trouble if you don't. I was just saying decent people of all classes don't need to show their wealth off and won't care if you have any or don't.
Oh yeah - should never worry about not having stuff. That said, we have for the first time come up against a money problem with DD. She and some friends want to do a residential course in the summer that's quite expensive. Unfortunately one girls family can't afford it and are pushing for a cheaper alternative. Difficult.
Motown, I am from a working class background and went to a comprehensive school. So less (fewer?!) of your assumptions about my background would be nice. I would have sent my children to the local school in a heartbeat had the two closest to us not, as I said, be so poorly performing and keep drifting in and out of special measures. The other two schools local to us are church schools (one RC, one CofE) and we would not have got within sniffing distance of them.
My question about your education was not intended to be sarcastic. But you do seem to be angry and chippy about not having gone to private school - you seem to think that your parents should have paid, given that they could have afforded it, rather than frittering their money away on flash cars. There is nothing wrong with your grammar, but given your very evident anger and the mad capitalisation of your earlier posts, as I said, it came across as a bit illiterate.
I think the key thing with starting private school is to do it with your eyes wide open to what the costs will be over the course of schooling.
I would assume fee increases of at least 5% per year. (Some years these have been nearer 10%) and also make myself fully aware of how the fees jump at retain points, such as Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and possibly Year 9. You need to add the 5% each year to all of these and not just look at the starti g figures which is deliberately set much lower for nursery/reception to lure people in.
Ask for lists of extra curricular activities with costs, costs of wraparound care, transport to school. Uniform, trips, if lunch is included etc etc.
Work out all those costs and then add a bit for contingency.
Once you've done this, you have a better idea of costs. Personally, I would split the total between all the years ahead and see if I can afford to pay a years share now. If not, I wouldn't enter into it. I would also want to have a couple of years of fees in the bank in case of crisis. I am not a flying by the seat of your pants kind of person. Lots of people are and anyone can have an unforeseen crisis crop up, but I think entering into private education with our eyes wide open and fully prepared is sensible.
I went to a private school, even though it was a stretch for my parents. I got excellent educational results, but a poorly paid career, as I went with my interests rather than where the money was. Personally, I would have rather gone to the local comp, and been given a lump sum when I graduated, to enable me to buy my first home.
I also found a real divide at my school between those wealthy children and those who came from average families (very few). Obviously, I didn't tell my parents this, as I didn't want them to feel guilty. This was a long time ago, though! I think it's important to be able to take part in those expensive optional school trips etc, if most other children/friends are going.
If you can afford to go to the private school, and stump up a deposit for your children's house, all well and good - that's what happened with many of my privately educated friends.
If the state school options are really dire, you may also perhaps feel you have no choice.
However, if you would struggle financially - see ChocolateWombat's post above! - and the choice is between an ok state school and a private school, I personally would choose the state option. Then I would use the spare money for other educational opportunities, and savings for their future house deposits. You need to be clear what opportunities the private school offers, and consider whether it is worth that to you.
Have changed username to answer op very honestly.
We have two at private secondary and two more to come. Our gross income is about £130k. Live in a London Borough. No inheritances but grandparents contribute £4k per annum. We have a small-ish interest only mortgage.
For each year we have had two sets of fees to pay we have dipped into savings. We will have three years with 3 sets to pay which will deplete our savings but then our endowment pays out just in time.
We have a rental property that in time we can sell to pay the mortgage off.
I would say we can only just afford it because of savings/rental property etc and if it was purely on income then that wouldn't be enough without cutting out holidays completely, slashing food spend, cutting out all children's sport and music costs etc. We don't spend much on clothes or going out so nothing to cut out there really. We would love a bigger house or at least to improve the one we have, but that is our big sacrifice, it is out of the question.
But we do have four. There's no way we could have done private primary as well.
I keep a very close eye on our income and expenditure so I know exactly where we are, to help preserve sanity, and started to keep track in good time before the first set of school fees were committed to so we were sure we could manage.
cretaceous thank you for your honesty.
I've always been adamant that money at private school doesn't matter. But now I can see that it doesn't matter to me ie the one with the money. But it might well matter to the one without.
Childrens attitudes to money are interesting. I have a friend who has an 8 year old boy. He appends a lot of time talking about money, mainly what he would like to have, but doesnt, in the way of electronic toys, holidays, size of house. I find some of it odd from an 8 year old boy, esp the stuff about house size. I think it comes down to the fact that his mother spends a lot of time thinking and talking about this stuff and it has rubbed off on him. He is not at a private school, by the way, but at a state school In a very affluent area, where many parents are very well off.
I have another friend who has a child in a private school, who is certainly one of the poorest in the school. He does not go on residential trips, but does go on the day trips. He is great at sport, very popular and seems to me, to be a lovely little chap. As far as I can see, he has no issues about money and is happy with what he has and is thoroughly enjoying g life and school. Of course, he maybe more aware of these things as he gets older. But I do think that our attitudes towards money and material possessions rub off on our children. If we are satisfied ourselves, they are more likely to be, but if we are envious, they too may become so. I guess that if private school is a huge stretch and makes parents anxious about money, it is difficult to keep that from the children and they may well develop issues about it at some point.
We had a big house so fine in that respect and fine with new things but local holidays only pretty much and big things like new kitchens put on hold. Plus they had to work hard to send four.
Although we were near a beach so probably felt like a holiday. Given a choice, even as a child, I'd choose the good school over extensive holidays.
I do agree that children can have very simple attitude to money, as in it doesn't matter. My dc are still prep age so perhaps it changes in secondary.
I had a good scholarship. With the inexperience of youth, I was mortified by our house, our car, my lack of branded clothes / boots, the lavish invitations to Sunday lunch at restaurants or even posh gastro type pubs that could never be reciprocated, the fact that I had never been on a plane.
That our TV was out of date, that we didn't have a good sound system, that my school bag was PVC not leather or something trendy.
That I had the basic PE kit but not the expensive logo tracksuit (even though I was in a sports team).
That I couldn't have expensive trainers, and didn't have a Sony Walkman for the coach.
But I was fairly tough and got on with it anyway. Occasionally some people were horrible about it. But I used to beg my parents to take me out and send me to the Grammar so that we could spend the money on something else.
I have a friend whose dd got a scholarship to one of the private schools in South London and she left before GCSEs - she is also a confident and talented girl, and her mother is poor but successful in her field. The snidey bullying over her lack of expensive clothes and especially the area where she lived was terrible. Girls actually knew and compared the Sqm of their homes and boasted about it. It is a school I see discussed regularly on MN as a good school.
And I am sad to say that children from the Independent schools near us refer to state school children on the same bus as 'peasants'.
My DC are now 'posh' at their school.
Wordfactory - I think you are right. I don't give 2 hoots now, who has more or less money than me. But it isn't necessarily all OK in the hands of young people, on either side of a wealth divide, however they will evolve as they grow more experienced, mature and wise.
I have a friend whose dd is on scholarship to a Dulwich secondary school. She's very happy there. I wonder if she is immune or doesn't notice. Possibly the same school.
penniless - the girl in our scenario is on a bursary. I think it has worked well for her thus far, but things are now becoming tricky in year 10.
She's becoming aware, I guess, of stuff that younger kids are blind to.
When her mother called to ask if we'd consider the cheaper course in the Summer, my immediate reaction was to agree so the girl can still join in. But I must admit the cheaper course isn't as good, and DD and the other girls will be disappointed if they can't go on the better one.
DH's view is that it is just tough on the bursary pupil. That her mother should have just quietly made an excuse....
I dunno...I feel torn.
Things definitely change in secondary. I agree that attitudes rub off. From my post, it might seem that it affected me badly. However, my parents never went on about money, and I just felt I had nothing in common with those girls whose main interest was clothes, makeup, expensive holidays etc. I didn't mind at all about being at the bottom of the financial pecking order, as I was top of the academic pecking order. (I was a bit of a geeky loner who enjoyed observing!)
But I found it does seem to be a major interest among many children, state or private, at secondary school. I think having a lot less money than others at a state school is a similar issue. I could equally have written the same thing about weight, height, intelligence, etc on a different type of thread... My DC are lucky enough to go to a great state school, and have an above average amount of wealth, so have the luxury of not being interested in money, as it's not an issue.
My 12yo DD has a friend at a good London girls' school, and although they are wealthy, I would imagine they are below average at the school. Whenever we see her, she's always telling my daughter about her new phone, new clothes, her friends with chauffeurs, her brother's friend (who has the world's largest house, or something).... Her parents are lovely. I don't think they have an issue about money, and would be horrified if they overheard her! I find it very entertaining when I'm driving them around, though.
I tell my DD she has a chauffeur - me!
PS I've written a lot about this on the thread, but it wasn't actually a major issue in my life, and it's not something I normally think about. It's just displacement activity from getting on with my work!!!
In this instance I think it would have been a big shame to decline a scholarship to a top school for the sake of attitudes to things and houses. The dc is happy, highly academic and thriving.
It does seem a pity if it all becomes more closed to people who are not hugely wealthy. It can work out well, so it's good they were not put off.
The state school I went to was like that, PennilessPrivateEd. It was very much 'look what I've got'. My family were dirt poor so I was bullied and ridiculed for not having the latest bag/clothes from a specific shop. I don't think this sort of snobbery is exclusive to private schools to be honest, children will look for anything that makes another child 'different' and will use that to batter them.
wordfactory - my experience of sending DC on holiday residential courses is pretty extensive and, FWIW, I have completely abandoned the idea of ever trying to coordinate with other families. I enrol my child(ren), early on in the season. What we usually find is that once we have taken the plunge, others follow. As brave/foolhardy/early adopters/leaders, we got to make the decision as to which course!
Bonsoir I think that's right.
When DD first mentioned the course, I should have just booked her on it. But she got talking to some friends and of course they all wanted to go too.
Now we're in a situation where none of them might go, because one can't afford it...
Though I suspect DH will say over his dead body will DD miss out because soemone else can't afford it...
Word factory...interesting one. If going on the course has now become a group activity for the girls, then it probably is worth considering something everyone can manage to afford. I guess you would do this naturally if planning a day out which a big group would go to.
If going on the course isn't a group thing, then just book your daughter onto whatever you prefer.
Tricky if it started off as an I divide all thing and became a group activity. Personally, I would've prepared to consider the cheaper option, if it means they can all go. I would see value in them spending time together as a group. However in future, I think I'd go with Bonsoir's approach and book alone and perhaps then mention it to others.
I think there is a good potential lesson for your daughter in all this too. Not everyone can afford the same things, so we have to be a bit careful when we mention what we are planning because of this. Would she prefer to go on the cheaper option so the friend can come too, or go to the more expensive one without the friend? It's the kind of choice she's likely to have to make later in life.
I'd like my children to have some empathy for those less well off than them and to see the friendship as just as important as the activity. Perhaps your husband might come round to see it like that too. Sorry if that sounds very worthy.
wordfactory, your problem is one faced by many parents at all schools - sigh. My DS had the opportunity of a summer school trip overseas a couple of years ago. I said he couldn't go, because I thought his close friends also wouldn't go, due to the exorbitant cost (state school, but the trip cost 000s). I didn't want to start the ball rolling, if people couldn't afford it.
It turned out all except one were going in the end, so we agreed to it. He had a fantastic time, and I'm glad he went, even though I felt bad about the one who didn't go. I would have felt even worse if the mum had phoned me. But what can you do?
ChocolateWombat, your post didn't sound worthy, but made sense.
If I had been the parent who couldn't afford it, I don't think I would have phoned. If I had, I would have made it very clear, that although I was proposing a cheaper alternative, the others were to feel under absolutely no obligation to go along with it. In this situation, one does just have to make a quiet excuse and move on I think. All of us are I. This position at some point, either because we can't afford something, or just decide we are not prepared to spend that amount on that activity. I recently turned down am I citation to a very expensive hen weekend, because I just wasnt prepared to fork out the money. I didn't ask for a cheaper alternative though, but just made a polite excuse and wished the all a lovely weekend.
The fact this parent HAS phoned, might mean it is really really important as an issue to them. might be worth considering. Or it might be that they would ring in this kind of way, about lots of things and are a bit unaware of the impact on you,or very thick skinned.
It is an issue to varying degrees in all types of school. Sadly not everyone will be able to participate in everything. Some sensitivity to close friends, over the events/activities which are a really big deal is a good thing, but does not mean those better off can never go to the expensive option alone. It's just decidi g which category this course fits into.
"Though I suspect DH will say over his dead body will DD miss out because soemone else can't afford it..."
And why should she? But there you have it: it DOES make a difference across friendships if that sort of thing happens all the time. For all of us parents, whatever our income bracket, we can't pretend that at some level it won't affect friendships or feelings.
As kids we all had to get used to not always being able to do something because of the cost, that ought to be normal for any child. But when amongst a group of friends it's always you, it matters.
I find this all so confusing. I guess my DC are at the SW London schools often discussed on here. We are extremely comfortable, (not meant as a boast but to make my point) yet my DC barely give two hoots about clothes and image. I have heard my DS telling friends they are nuts to spend �50 on a tee shirt because of a name and my dd has literally to be dragged clothes shopping. And wordfactory, I would just have booked the course if dd had wanted to go on it and have always said to them that the important thing is to do what they want and if they only wanted to do it because a friend was doing it they didn't want it enought to warrant the expense.
It may be easy for me to say this because we can have what we want but none of us, including two teens, ever seem to want more than we need. But yes there are some girls like the ones you describe around but my dd just thinks they shallow and daft and gives them a wide berth. She happily admits they think she's a bit of a nerd but she and her friends are quite happy being nerds and actually having their own style which is much more sound and eventually I think will endure.
The school trips - I think you really have to budget for some though. We have always said one each a year - how do you say no when they are actually selected on merit for things like a sports or music tour? If you have to say no for things like that I honestly think that they should be at state schools. OTH if a child on a bursary at my children's schools were talented enough to be selected I am quite sure that the school would fund the trip because the schools would want a child on a bursary to have equal access to the opportunities available; they don't give them out to create purposeful two tier systems in the schools - and at the end of the day the very selective schools want to win. If I thought that wasn't happening I'd donate the cost
providing the parents weren't dropping them off in a shiny car with a 13 plate
I've read the thread and don't get all the comments about "new money". Does it matter if money is new or old? When I think of people with new money I think of people I know who have used every avenue, skill and sheer determination to get ahead in life and be successful. Surely these are people to aspire to? Or should we think those who have always had a certain lifestyle and rich parents, an excellent education etc are somehow better?
So what if they want to buy a flashy car. I bet they enjoy driving it and unlike "old money" they have actually earned everything they own.
I can honestly say, being new money myself, that I have never come across any discrimination from those who have old money.
TBH, a lot of old money folk work in the city! They're not all driving around in beaten up Landraovers on their coutry piles.
The most discrimination seems to come from no money. The nouveau pauvre seem very het up about the snotty upstarts made good ...
NearTheWindymill - your children have a similar attitude to clothes and money to mine. But they have that because we are of average wealth, yours at your private school and mine at their state school with its middle-class intake.
That confirms me in my prejudices . Children do best where they fit in and can find like minded friends. If they are very poor compared with their peers, or very wealthy, too geeky, too image-obsessed, too fat, too short or tall, compared with the average, they will have a different experience from those who are average. Your daughter, like mine, is a nerd, and has similar friends because there is a group of those sort of children in her class.
I think we really all agree that to go down the private school route, you need to do your sums carefully, and factor in being able to afford school trips etc in with that. New money or old , it is an expensive route to take.
You made me smile word. I was old but the money was all but gone so had to make some; married working class DH who has made a lot but who still doesn't always feel completely at ease at a function. Does that make me acceptable?
I did have a shiny car when I worked in the City but only because someone else paid for it and it was part of my overall benefits package and there wasn't a cash instead option. And I agree Word - I've seen more upward discrimination than I've ever seen downwards.
I have 2DC at public school (day boarders) and I estimate it will cost me and my ex about �45K all in a year, for the next 5 years. They do go on the trips etc and both have music tuition. DS2 won a scholarship, but that is only 10% of fees
Parents certainly need to be sensitive to the issue of some children having less money.If my teenagers are going to the cinema with a friend I often ask do you want the money to pay for his ticket (if I think he's a boy who doesn't have much money). I try to make sure they are aware that some people will have more than others and not to show off or go on about who has what and who doesn't. One of my teenagers is utterly uninterested in those kinds of things and only got a mobile at a late age compared to most. The other one - this kind of thing matters to him. Same parents, different children. He bought a particular Jack Wills hoodie for the last mufti day at school whereas his brother last year on a similar day was just about the only boy in the school who went in in shorts (very old shorts at that).
My daughters talk with amusement about having all their school uniform second hand and I don't think they were upset or resented it and lots of parents did in those days (20 years ago) at many private schools.
I think the area you live in makes a big difference. We are ethnically mixed here and very mixed financially too and the local private schools reflect that and I like it. That is not the case everywhere.
Scholarships tend to be of a nominal amount, elastamum. Bursaries can be used to top them up but they are dependent upon income and have to be re-assessed yearly.
ds1's left U VI 2 yrs ago and his scholarships were each far in excess of his bursary so they aren't almost a nominal amount. The bursary and scholarships were never re-assessed and all ran "for the duration of X's time at (name of school)" though subject to good behaviour, good grades and taking a full and active part in the school activities.
dc have been on all the day trips and any residential connected to the curriculum eg Paris before the French orals and Ypres for History but never the annual jolly they run every summer just before the end of term.
ds2 (18) and ds3 (16) have yet to go on a plane - I don't feel any of my dc are disadvantaged in any way whatsoever - more than one teacher at ds1 & ds3 's school have remarked that they are the most grounded students in the school!
Eatyourveg, I liked your post. It's great your children gained meaningful scholarships, but what I liked was the attitude towards participations and money that you all have. Sounds like you had the balance just right for you, in that whilst they did not go on all the big residentials, they participated in lots of stuff and neither they nor you have a sense of them having missed out.
If my children ever go private (and they might well) I would have only made that decision based on the fact we could buy into some of the activities, so they do feel a part of what is going on, but I would hope that we at home can teach them to appreciate how lucky they are to have that, rather than to miss the bits that we would not be able to/willing to stretch to.
Word/Yorkshire. You are both right , regarding how wealthy people spend their money. "New Money" is actually More important to the Economy for the obvious reason that it is "New" the other reason why people with New Money are more important , they are more likely to spend money on new houses, Cars and other consumer goods contributing to the country much needed VAT ,as well creating employment to those who service their needs .
The difference is certain people from "Old Money"can tend to hoard their money , E.G They might have a Roof Failing off their home but refuse to sell a Painting to fund fixing the roof ( Odd People, Those Upper Class folks are)
However these are generalizations , and probably untrue in reality. The old "Car " @ Private School, must be a London Phenomenon because the Private schools in the North I know have at least 10 Range Rovers/ 6 Bentleys 4 Porsche's 3 Ferrari's arrive at (Pick up time).
These People are of cause "Vulgar" in the Extreme , not very Skilled Hard Working Talented people who have raised their families in to affluence from Ordinary Roots in many cases.
Hink people in London partly stop caring because smart cars are ten a penny, mostly company funded, and also because london cars take so many parking knocks and scratches - tiny, but they add up that there is a blazeness that develops.
Also, and my mum can't get her head round this, our last house was barely a semi, victorian and if it were outside london nothing to write home about and would probably be in the tired bit of town; our present one, albeit gated, is a four bed terraced town house. We don't live a wealthy lifestyle or even look as though we do to a non Londoner. My mother makes cat's bum faces every time she visits, because, you know, she would expect us to be living better. As my DH says, it's hard to find room for a pony in zone 2
Near we split our week between a flat in town and a house in the country and Mum gives a cat's bum to the flat all the time, much prefering to swan around the house ...
Near the windymill -
Completely disagree with your comment that a child who does not go on a music or sports tour for financial reasons 'would be better off at state school'.
How sweeping a comment...music or sport is hardly the only reason a child is sent to private school. There is absolutely no obligation to go on these tours, nor should there be. I know girls who have played for their school who choose not to go and they don't lose their places on the team either, once the tour is over.
Why parents decide to send their DC to private school is up to them and how much of the extras they want to contribute to too, is also up to them, not you.
Then I think we must beg to differ because I think if a child comes home having been selected for a cricket tour to South Africa based on ability it would be cruel to refuse. Perhaps some can do it but I couldn't. And no of course a place on a team wouldn't be lost if one went - where on earth did you get that notion from.
I think it is a parents' duty to encourage a child to maximise every experience available to them not to stand on the sidelines because they can't afford it. Life isn't a spectator sport.
Of course music and sport aren't the only reasons for sending a child to an independent school but if your child is talented I think it's wrong if your child can't take full advantage of the opportunities available.
It depends on the child. I paid for my son to go on the school rugby tour of Italy and he regarded it as theft of his half term, he said at the time but felt his sports teacher required the first team to go so could not refuse. Now he's bigger he would refuse every trip as they like being at home (more fool them with so many lovely opportunities they could go on which I could easily pay for).
Apart from paying for music lessons though music and sport are mostly free at private schools and done in school.
It's hard to generalise those as there are so many different kinds of private schools out there.
It has to be reasonable though - I still dine out on the trip to the Galapogos Islands - a snip at £3,900 . And no, he most certainly didn't go.
Not every child will want to go on a rugby tour of sri lanka etc, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be at the school. My son says (repeatedly) that he doesn't want to go on trips like this because he'd rather go with me if he did want to go. It has nothing to do with the cost.
Agree, mine are offered skiing trips and one twin would be off like a shot whilst the other one just wants to come with us. I'm not paying for both so they come with us, plus they have a younger sibling and not fair on him.
They will always go on UK residential trips whether they like it or not (need some gentle encouragement sometimes) as I think it is good for them and they always come back having had a fantastic time. They also get cross if it is in the summer holidays though too!
Actually same here. They say why would they want to go on a ski holiday with the school when we go on better ones by air (not coach) at home and my seems to regard every second of spare time as precious so school trips are not their thing. In fact one said their DofE practice last year was the worst night of his life .. sigh.. not sure how he'll view the proper expeditions this year which he cannot get out of. Will probably do him good.
Perhaps I'm just unlucky then because mine have adored the school trips: one's a singer and does the music ones and the other did all the sports ones - and is even going on one this summer - even though he's left. Will be in the country anyway and is tagging along as a "helper"!
There's a big difference between having the choice of going on (at least the cheaper) trips, and not having the choice to go at all, because your parents are scrimping and saving just to send you to the school. Obviously, not all parents will be able to afford all trips, and it's good for children to know they can't have everything.
Well, that's my thinking, anyway.
I think you probably need to aim for somewhere between smug without being supercilious. That usually covers all bases.
Most people don't rely on income to pay school fees. Most have capital for school fees. People sacrificing holidays, new cars and new kitchens is rare.
Seriously? I don't think paying school fees out of capital is rare at all. In fact pretty much everyone I know pays out of capital for independent day schools circa £15k a year. That's pretty much the norm although I expect that boarding schools may be different. We manage £20k per year of fees, 2x prep school which will rose at secondary out of capital with no problems. We have a decent sized mortgage, savings and a nice house. The children do all the clubs they like, go on class residentials and have nice birthday parties and we still eat out, go on holiday a couple of times a year, do work on our house etc etc. However I do concede that we have held on to our 7 year old car longer than we might have otherwise because we don't currently have a spare £15k that we particularly want to spend at the moment. What we don't have is the kind of money where we could easily fund the annual ski trip on top of everything else. We will budget for them to go once but that's it. They will do the French exchanges / D of E trips and similar but no, the big £3-4k trips won't be happening. I think that's fairly standard in private day schools and they certainly won't be the only ones. I still consider that we can comfortably manage private education.
We don't have a mortgage but have 4 children and we are hoping to use some investments (unless the market crashes dramatically) to pay for the first two children's secondary school fees in bulk up to GCSE.
This will mean we will "only" be paying for 2 children at a time for the rest of the time. I think 2 children with 2 professional jobs and no mortgage or a very small one is doable. We are still going on a number of holidays although NOT expensive ones, more like camping and lodge type accommodation with the odd flight to Europe but mostly driving.
Apart from this we also have a rather frugal lifestyle, no fancy cars or expensive designer clothes, and I haven't seen much excess at DD's prep school either, there is the odd flash car but most are family cars and the odd really battered 20 year old car too.
A lot of kid's at ds's school use public transport, as do we (because I can't drive). There are people turning up in giant BMW's but it's not the 'norm'.
Ds's school have a fund for the 'slightly educational but is abroad so it costs hundreds' trips. If he did want to go and I couldn't afford it then he could apply. I'm trying to encourage him to go one one though, so far they have been to Spain, Italy and France as it's a great opportunity for him
and I can book myself into a spa while he's away but he's not interested. The trips to places in the UK come as part of the fees.
The thread's digressed a bit! Hope you're still OK, OP.
Focus - your post makes no sense. Do you mean you pay your school fees out of income?
I thought that too The BeautifulVisit bit confusing! Focus appears to be vehemently agreeing with you !!
Yes sorry. We pay out of income. I meant everyone I know pays out of income I am not aware of anyone paying out of capital. It might help if I read what I write before posting.
But focus, how would you know? I haven't had this conversation with anyone in real life! We pay partly from income and top up from capital but I wouldn't imagine anyone knows that.
School fees planning as "sold" by IFAs - that is all targeted at building up capital over a number of years to pay the fees when the time comes, as far as I know. In that sense I imagine paying out of capital is pretty common for people without city type incomes to rely on?
I think in many independent schools there are certainly those who make huge sacrifices for their children to attend. The big name schools often have good bursaries, but people often have to pay something and that is often a stretch. The idea that everyone is rolling in it and paying purely from capital, is rather a narrow view I think, even for the most expensive schools.
I would agree that people will have a mix of financial arrangements and they will be very unlikely to disclose them in real life!
I have absolutely no idea how any of my friends pay for their children to go to the private school where my three are. It would be the most unlikely conversation I would have thought to be honest? No-one knows how mine are paid for either and not likely to. I mean I wouldn't even disclose it on an anonymous forum so highly unlikely to discuss it in RL!
DD1 has been offered a trip to the US to visit Ivy League colleges - a snip at £3000. That would be a no, I think.
This thread is quite anguish-inducing. I am foreign and find London state schools - or have found DS's primary - not living up to the proud name of the 'school'. I had to teach him myself as there was and still isn't any consistency, systematicity, and actual much - mmmm - teaching.
And though I am on a Professor's salary, it is tiny on the scale of finances discussed on this thread. So I was thinking of trying him for private secondaries, in the hope that it is good somewhere at least. At least somewhere there must be actual teaching going on. I thought I could live tightly. But hey, if it's about being surrounded by ppl with capital (haven't met such ones in the academic world) - what hope do I have left? Are there schools that are more modest? Where city workers wouldn't send their kids? South London rather than North? Croydon? Does it make sense to look for the school to which only those people who live poorly send their kids? Could anyone recommend a boy's school like this? I am free to move anywhere
I would live up North if you could live anywhere then innercity not in London. Schools and houses far far more expensive.
My DC's school is probably a fraction of the price of some of the SE schools.
Sorry schools and housing far more expensive in London than the North!
innercity - don't let this thread put you off! If I were you, I'd start a new thread asking for suggestions for suitable schools. (Burmahere is right about living out of the London catchment, where prices are crazy.)
Also, don't write off all state schools, despite your awful primary experiences. There is a huge range. Sadly, some are dire, but there are some excellent ones, although these are often difficult to get into.
Inner city..I am sorry to hear your introduction to education in this country is not favourable.
But there are excellent schools and teachers to be found, state and private, and if you go private, some schools are cheaper than others, even in London. Also, some do bursaries and/or scholarships/sibling discount etc
Christs Hospital in Horsham particularly is known for the help given with fees. There are threads about this school already. I don't know it myself, but worth investigating. You mention Croydon. There are three private schools I can think of off the top of my head there - Trinity, Whitgift and Royal Russell, and I have heard that Trinity (boys school, with girls in VI form) has subsidised places.
My advice would be to have a look around. If you choose to go private in the end, rest assured there will be plenty of others in the same financial boat. There are lots of threads about this on mumsnet!
I meant North of London - my work is North of London and I know that it is cheaper the further out you go, but I can't really go. Anywhere around London. Yes, I heard there must be nice primaries (and secondaries) but I don't have a trained eye - as a foreigner I just buy what they say! I really liked the primary DS is in when I visited and only really undersood it when he spent a few years in it...
South London - Dulwich college (about £16k a year)?
As for how people pay like someone said above just about everyone I have ever known in over 25 years as a fee paying private school parent pays out of their earned income. I have heard some have grandparents paying but do not know anyone who is lucky enough to have that or who has saved up capital sums to pay. It just comes off your earned income.
If you are north of London, is it anywhere near Watford or Potters Bar? There's Watford grammar school, for which you need to pass the 11+. Dame Alice Owen in Potters Bar has some places based on an 11+ exam, some on music, and others on distance. Other people may know more good state schools. It depends what part of North London you are, I guess.
I know someone whose mother is paying for one of her grandchildren. But she can only afford to pay for one of the children, so the others go to a state school. Also, other people move out of London to a bigger house for less money, and use some of the capital from the sale.
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