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To not pay for private education when I could afford to.

(63 Posts)
JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:01:30

Dons fireproof overalls.

I am extremely lucky. We live in a nice area and live comfortably, although fairly frugally (by habit, rather than necessity, but it would be difficult for us to live less frugally and stay within our means.) Our main outgoings after housing costs seem to be the children’s various after-school activities.

I’ve got even luckier and have been left a significant sum of money. I have known for a while that it was going to be enough to pay off the mortgage and leave the equivalent of my annual part-time wages left over. I dreamed of a new kitchen, but after more thought decided I wanted to spend it on travel. 6 months, rent the house out, take the children out of school for a term and around the world. What we currently pay towards the mortgage would then be put aside for the children’s university costs.

I’ve now found out it’s going to be even more money. At current prices the amount I'm going to get would be almost enough to pay for both children’s entire secondary education at the very good, but very expensive local private day school. That would mean no travel, no money saved, the same old frugality. My husband and I are both public sector workers, so our income is likely to continue to go down in real terms whilst the school fees will, I assume, go up so we’d have to tighten belts over time.

There are some perfectly decent local state secondary schools, although obviously they can’t compete with the private in terms of results or facilities. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that my daughters might benefit more from the opportunities the money will give than from the expensive schooling? (I may be slightly swayed by the fact that I went to private school and have, by dint of being a complete slacker, pretty much squandered any opportunities it gave me whilst my boss, her boss and his boss were all state schooled.)

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 16-Sep-13 17:03:49



Showing off much?

hippo123 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:05:25

If the state schools are ok I wouldn't send them private. The travelling sounds great but personally I would pay off the mortage.

JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:05:44

What have I got to show off about? I've been left some money. It required no skill or effort on my part.

freezation Mon 16-Sep-13 17:06:09

Not sure how you intend to take your children out of school for a term/6 months?

JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:06:50

With discussion with the head teacher and a commitment to home school for that period.

ramblingmum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:07:13

I am no expert but I would of thought that a good sate school, plus interested parents, opertunities to travel and activites out of school would give them atleast the same opertunities as a private school

Yonionekanobe Mon 16-Sep-13 17:08:41

I'd pay off the mortgage and enjoy a more relaxed financial situation. If you had said the state secondaries in your area were terrible I'd say go private but it doesn't sound like there is a pressing need. You could put a little aside for their university education instead, then if they decide not to go make a decision on how to use the money in the future.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:11:46

You sound very lucky, I would give my right arm to be able to have your lifestyle.

If the school is good I don't see the point of uprooting them and change school.

Hulababy Mon 16-Sep-13 17:17:08

If you intend taking the children out of school you will need to have lengthy discussions with the Ht and the LEA as to whether your children will retain their places at their current school. Usually after 3 months the place is lost. Depending on their waiting lists this may well be the case with an independent school also - or you may be expected to still pay the fees in order to retain a place.

meditrina Mon 16-Sep-13 17:20:04

Is your DC's school oversubscribed?

If so, you might want to think about your travel plans. A place has to be removed if an absence is too long and there is a waiting list. So you might have to change school as a consequence of the travel the world option. If there are no vacancies at you current schools on your return, what happens then?

hackmum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:20:14

All depends on the quality of the state school, OP. I can see that if you have a single, large lump sum it feels like a bit of a waste to spend it on school when you could pay for a nice kitchen or new house or a decent holiday or something. On the other hand, if the local state schools are really awful, the private school might be money well spent.

JenaiMorris Mon 16-Sep-13 17:20:15

YY, you risk losing your children's school places if you take them out for a term.

Aside from that, YANBU (and congratulations envy )

JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:21:13

I am, McNewPants and I appreciate that I am. Part of the 'problem' is that I never, ever considered I'd ever be in a situation where private education was an opportunity, so never expected my philosophical disapproval of private education to be tested. Now I'm in a situation where my beliefs actually impact on my children's future, rather than being purely theoretical.

The travel (or indeed any holidays other than camping before 2028) is not an option if we sent for the private school option. The girls are still at primary at the moment, and if we did travel I'd aim for them to only miss the summer term in year 4 and 5 respectively.

Taz1212 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:21:15

YANBU if you have decent schools around you. The main reason we're gong private is because the local catchment school is dire.

JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:23:24

Thank you, Jenai. Sorry!

Their school is horrendously oversubscribed at reception, but by KS 2 there are spaces in pretty much every class (many due to children being withdrawn to go private.)

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 16-Sep-13 17:26:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 17:27:54

would you have to put all the money into fees? Or could some of the money go towards the fees, you and DH make up the rest, and keep some aside for future trips?

If it was me, and the local secondary was good, I would stick with the secondary but maybe go private for sixth form, and also maybe see about putting some money to help out with uni (if they don't go then kerching! You've got some cash put aside). But I'm someone who, if I had the money, would go private without evening thinking about it.

JenaiMorris Mon 16-Sep-13 17:28:37

I just realised I probably congratulated you on a bereavement there, sorry blush

I assume you could always take the private route later if it transpired that one or both children would be much better off at a particular school, and that school happened to be fee-paying.

You have a lot of options. Now I am envious of that!

JammieCodger Mon 16-Sep-13 17:29:23

I know it varies hugely, but would you mind telling me very roughly how much over and above fees you think you spend? Don't if you think I'm being nosey.

sarascompact Mon 16-Sep-13 17:31:27

YANBU because it's your money and your children. If they were my children and it was my money I would consider myself very wrong to do anything but choose education over travel.

LIZS Mon 16-Sep-13 17:32:57

I would allow at least 10% on top but could easily be more with residentials.

ISingSoprano Mon 16-Sep-13 17:34:50

If the state schools are good then why pay for private schooling. If I were you I would enhance the (state) education with music lessons, trips and holidays to interesting places and 'experiences'. In other words, pay off your mortgage and enjoy life to the full! Lucky you grin

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 16-Sep-13 17:36:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 16-Sep-13 17:37:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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