Advanced search

to be concerned that British fee paying schools are now 'little more than finishing schools for the children of oligarchs'?

(44 Posts)
wildswans Mon 24-Nov-14 19:52:12

This is the view of the head of King's College School, Wimbledon, according to the Sunday Times. My IT skills aren't up to linking, but the gist of the article is that fees have quadrupled in 20 years, so that ordinary 'middle class' families such as nurses, teachers and lawyers, can no longer afford to send their children there.

On the one hand, all the investment must be good for the economy, and market forces must prevail. It seems that a lot of schools are run like businesses - this is not a criticism, by the way - so it's supply and demand, inevitably, and the rich global economies such as Russia and China, can afford to buy up big name public schools.

However, AIBU to have a sneaking sentimentality for the days of 'Goodbye Mr Chips'? It's as though the slice of quintessential Englishness (sorry Britishness) is now just used as a marketing tool to flog off something that doesn't really exist anymore.

Greenfizzywater Mon 24-Nov-14 19:54:45

Myself and my husband are doctors, it's killing us financially to do private school but we are doing it. In my daughter's class among the parents there are a few bankers, a dentist, some lawyers, a few who work in computers and a self employed builder.

I agree that the central London schools are crazy, but with 10 applicants for every place sadly I don't see them putting a brake on the fees any time soon.

SaucyJack Mon 24-Nov-14 19:56:09

You're entitled to worry about whatever you like.... but personally I'll save my concern for the Syrians smile.

Wowthishurtsalot Mon 24-Nov-14 19:58:21

So immigrants who don't work are bad and immigrants who contribute huge sums are bad

Glad I'm not an immigrant to the UK really! They don't stand a chance!

bodhranbae Mon 24-Nov-14 19:58:26

rich global economies such as Russia and China, can afford to buy up big name public schools

And they are welcome to them.

TheWordFactory Mon 24-Nov-14 19:58:28

It was an interesting article that made a fair point; traditional middle class families simply cannot afford private school.

However, the writer over eggs his pudding for effect. There are plenty of wealthy UK parents who can and do afford it.

Every private school, particularly day schools, are patently not swimming in oligarch childrengrin.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Mon 24-Nov-14 19:59:09

More fool them then.

Ours went to the local good comp and older ones got degrees. Teens will follow.

They also can conduct themselves well and know how to avoid trouble.


WooWooOwl Mon 24-Nov-14 19:59:12

Well, I wouldn't be too concerned about the view of one single head teacher, but it is crazy how much some things cost in London. I mean, private school along with most things in a big global city is going to be expensive, but it really is crazy just how expensive.

Taz1212 Mon 24-Nov-14 20:00:23

I'll assume this refers to boarding schools (or day schools in London as well- I don't know what their fees are). We are perfectly middle class- DH works in IT- and DS is at a private school and DD will follow in a couple of years. Most of DS' classmates come from similar backgrounds. No children of oligarchs up here in the Edinburgh schools as far as I am aware. grin

hollie84 Mon 24-Nov-14 20:00:46

Private schools have never been for ordinary/middle class families, unless you are using middle class to mean wealthiest 10%. Do you know what nurses and teachers actually earn?

wildswans Mon 24-Nov-14 20:02:22

No, not really, but I am guessing that teachers earn upwards of £40k and nurses less than that.

Hulababy Mon 24-Nov-14 20:05:44

I know several teachers with children at private schools. And other middle class type professions too. Most independent school parents round here are of this kind of "middle class profession" ime.

But not all private/independent schools cost the same amount - those down south cost far more than those up north on average.

Also - if you have 1 child then it is far easier than if you have 2 or more children.

primarynoodle Mon 24-Nov-14 20:07:27

lol at teachers earn upwards of 40k...

if youve taught for 20 years and are in some kind of management or hod level! not your average teacher, esp primary!

Hulababy Mon 24-Nov-14 20:11:25

For 2014 teachers on the main pay scale will earn between 22,023 and 32,187. The upper pay scale is 34,869 to 34,869.

Waltonswatcher Mon 24-Nov-14 20:12:26

Middle class families ...
When will you people realise that this notion is out dated and has no place in Britian today?
It means nothing anymore . Use salary brackets to describe income and lifestyle choices such as private ed .

Hulababy Mon 24-Nov-14 20:13:04

Registered nurse starting salary is £21,478:

spanieleyes Mon 24-Nov-14 20:14:14

No-one in my school earns £40K, except the Head and then only just!

Hulababy Mon 24-Nov-14 20:15:27

In 2013, this suggested there were 7 social classes:

The new classes are defined as:

Elite - the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals

Established middle class - the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital

Technical middle class - a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy

New affluent workers - a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital

Traditional working class - scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66

Emergent service workers - a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital

Precariat, or precarious proletariat - the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital

hazeyjane Mon 24-Nov-14 20:18:43

At £30,000 a year fees, there aren't many children of teachers (except staff children - on a discount) or nurses at our local private school. A few children of oligarchs though.

meandjulio Mon 24-Nov-14 20:19:10

Two highflying nurses with seven to ten years' postgraduate experience each, both working full-time, might be band 7s (specialist managerial sort of level) at somewhere between 30K and 40K each. 60K a year is a good household income but still not easy to find £9-15K a year in fees per child plus all the extras, plus having had time out to actually have the children in the middle of your career and still reach that level.

meandjulio Mon 24-Nov-14 20:20:26

And 'Goodbye Mr Chips' was written by an American, and made it clear that the education on offer from Mr C was extremely substandard...

Tobyjugg Mon 24-Nov-14 20:23:48

Who cares.

Hulababy Mon 24-Nov-14 20:25:04

Our local GDST school has the following yearly fees:

Reception to Y2 - £8046
Years 3 to 6 - £8301
Years 7 to 13 - £11415

and the boys school is:

Reception-Y2 - £7800
Y3-Y6 - £9450
Y7&Y8 - £11250
Y9-Y11 - £11400
Y12 & Y13) - £11550

So, very different to the £30k a year quoted already. As said before, costs vary hugely.

Tobyjugg Mon 24-Nov-14 20:25:34

Most interesting Hulababy. Not seen that before. Thanks for posting.

MummyLuce Mon 24-Nov-14 20:26:06

I think its a fair point, and quite a worrying one. Maybe outside of London, normal people can send their kids to private, but in London? No way! We're talking 25k a year for a good day school. That's 50k if you have 2 kids which most people do. That means is need an income of about 90k JUST to cover school fees (as obviously you are taxed on it, leving you with approx 50k. You then need money to actually live on... And with London cost of living that's alot. My DH earns a salery well into 6 figures and NO WAY can we afford private school.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now