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To ask how much you have to earn to afford private school

(23 Posts)
mollysmum82 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:20:23

Our 2 dcs are about to go into (state) primary but we're thinking of saving up for private secondary. The independents around here are £9000 a year currently and there's not a chance we could afford them at the moment. But we thought by the time they're in secondary some of the mortgage would be paid off, I should be back in work etc etc so we might be able to squeeze it if we don't eat, holiday or dress. Seriously though, how much disposable income do people have to be able to afford private, if it's not too cheeky to ask?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 22:26:14

I'd feel the need to have a spare £20,000 a year without taking anything away from what we have now (which isn't much, but it's enough for what's needed) for the only private school I'd like round here. I wouldn't go without family holidays for it, put it that way. But I have good state provision.

TidyGOLDDancer Fri 21-Sep-12 22:26:44

I don't think you can look at it with a specific figure in mind because it's dependent on the type of lifestyle you expect to have, along with how many DCs you are funding and which school you choose, as fees can and do vary.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 22:27:10

Oh, and I have 2 dc, so double that figure!

Itsjustafleshwound Fri 21-Sep-12 22:30:40

The schools around here are about £3000 - £3500 per term per child.

We are lucky that state schools are good around here.

morethanyoubargainfor Fri 21-Sep-12 22:32:06

I too thi k it's an individual thing. We have one ds and his fees are twice what you are talking about yearly. We cope because we have too, our ds is 9 and we initially thought about sending him to the school at secondary level but after one visit there 2 years ago he started. He has SEN and this place is just right for him. The difference it has made to him far outweighs the financial burden it puts on the family.

Itsjustafleshwound Fri 21-Sep-12 22:33:26

I was talking to a financial advisor who was reckoning that to put a child through private from beginning to 'end' would be in the region of £250,000 per child.

It all boils down to priorities ....

Teamumizumi Fri 21-Sep-12 22:40:44

£9k plus extras is about £1k per month per child if you pay in 10 monthly installments. You will need a household income of £60k min if one child goes to private school, assuming your mortgage is about £100k. You will need £70k min for two children. Factor in all school trips, check if lunches are included in the fees and don't baulk at the cost of the uniform. It usually last 2-3 years providing they don't lose it.

Morph2 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:42:54

you also need to bear in mind that its not just the fees, there will be extras on top- uniform, trips, sports equipment, books etc etc

sue52 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:43:44

I would make sure I had at least 2 years worth of fees saved before my child started private school. If paying from earned income, work out how much it costs a month and see if you can live on what's left. Secondary school is much more than junior and the extras can mount up.

pugsandseals Fri 21-Sep-12 22:44:17

We are reckoning on 100k from year 3 to end of sixth form for dd's school. Far less for us than the property premium of a good catchment area! I seriously have to earn at least 15k per year for us to be comfortable - was a stay at home mum before

Teeb Fri 21-Sep-12 23:04:39

It's also worth keeping in mind that school fees seem to rise far above inflation, so somewhere that might be 9k to go to at 11 years old could be more like 11/12k by the time they are 16.

Plus the uniform, trips, extra classes, books, sometimes you are expected to pay the exam paper fees and not forgetting the 'lifestyle' extras when all your childs friends are having horse riding lessons and yours isn't.

firemansamisnormansdad Fri 21-Sep-12 23:19:17

And the 4x4 and holiday home.

Sparrows12 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:30:01

If you need to care about it, you should ask yourself how you will feel if you are not satisfied, at crucial educational stages, with the value of the school's output. We embarked, as an ordinary middle class family, on private education about 10 years ago and I do regret it. Faced with an unpleasant, badly handled and demoralising school merger in year 9, I discovered how little "say" you have as a parent of a privately educated child. Once you lose your conviction that you are getting "value" for money, it becomes incredibly depressing. We could have paid off our mortgage by now, with change left for eg university fees. It was definitely not worth it.

homesick247 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:39:27

there's no point in being flippant in this post. i loathe people who think that you need to be minted to afford private school - for us it is how we choose to spend our money rather than what we have spare. we are certainly not smug about what we choose and would never judge those who don't make the same choice we do. i always find it gobsmacking that others sit in judgement on how WE choose to spend OUR money.
i would say from my experience that you would be unusual to actually get a place at a good independent secondary school having your child/ren come from state school as i can tell you they would not pass the entrance test unless you had extensive tutoring beforehand. in my experience, you need at least two good years at an independent prep school to get the place that you want. and - before i get flamed - i live in a very affluent and desireable area where parents would kill to get their children into the local school. until they have spent any time there.
also - take heed especially of the uniform outlay - i would say conservatively about 750 - 900 pounds, and then the letters start arriving for ski trips, ski lessons and polo... obviously it is your choice what activities you are prepared to let your children do, but the opportunities are there to be taken...
and - by the way - it will be money very spent...

Morloth Sat 22-Sep-12 07:54:31

For the only couple of schools here I would be willing to pay for we would want to have at least $50k a year free for both of them together.

At the moment though I wouldn't consider that a good investment as we are in catchment for one of the top performing primary/high schools.

If that changed though then I wouldn't feel comfortable with less than say a $250k gross income.

BlueSkySinking Sat 22-Sep-12 08:01:29

We would need another 5k to keep our heads above water - we already cut corners where we can money wise (second hand shoes etc). Another 20 on top of that per annum I expect.

If the school costs 9k per year, we would need 10k per year per child as uniform etc will add to the cost.

BlueSkySinking Sat 22-Sep-12 08:03:55

I would rather move to a nicer school catchment area though.

PoppyWearer Sat 22-Sep-12 08:04:45

I would only feel comfortable with it if we had at least £50k a year disposable income (no bills or food to come out of that). So that we could still enjoy a nice lifestyle/holidays and save money for ourselves and our DCs as well as affording £5k per term per child (2 DCs) and their school trips, etc.

We were lucky enough to be able to afford to move to an area with fantastic primary schools, so rather than spend the money on private fees, we added some money to our mortgage, and we are happy with our decision. We will reassess for secondary education, but we don't currently have £50k per year disposable!

We do aspire to take the DCs on amazing holidays when they are older, and I did very well in the state system, so if we can get away without going private, I suspect we will, regardless of income.

MacyGracy Sat 22-Sep-12 08:14:17

Our relatively good value prep school starts off around 8k per year per child YR-Y2, then 9k Y3-Y6 (all inclusive lunch, trips etc). Uniform brand new outlay was around £300, second boy should be able to use this though. Secondary school we like is £15 per year per child!

We have loads of grammars around here that loads of kids from prep get into, we will prob keep in indie sector though if we can still afford.

We are thinking of a 3rd child so our fees will go up again but for the two it would be £16-18k per year for prep and £30 per year for senior.

boaty Sat 22-Sep-12 08:58:42

We did it on minimum wage! Bursaries/scholarships are out there too. Yes, DC couldn't go on every trip but neither did they want to. When they did go, they really appreciated the opportunity. DS2 worked during every holiday for 2 years to fund his trip to India. A valuable lesson in earning/saving and provided him with a reference for work when he started at university too! The uniforms weren't much of an issue. At prep level the second hand store was used well by ALL the parents matron also repaired clothes to the nth degree At secondary the DS's school was very sensible with uniforms, my friends DS starting at the local state grammar spent far, far more on uniform for one boy than I did for both mine! DD went to a school also with a fairly sensible uniform that lasted a long time, only requiring occasional items that could be budgeted for.

Jenny70 Sat 22-Sep-12 09:18:22

So fees are 9k, uniform maybe 1k (with books, laptop and deposit could be bit more), lunches/trips should be easy to find what they typically cost from school...

You can't give earnings needed, as some people pay £1000pm rent/mort and others £3000pm - if the latter moved to former they'd save 2k per month in rent/mort then hey prest private fees paid for no extra earnings..

Outgoings are seriously different - it's incoming & fixed outgoings that are big issue - can you clear that gap with savings and perhaps slight debt to pay off @ end?

holidaysarenice Sat 22-Sep-12 19:12:50

Did you think of looking into scholarships etc?

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