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To not want my PIL to pay for my DC private school fees?

(516 Posts)
swimmerforlife Tue 04-Oct-16 07:50:15

For context, I get along with DH's parents perfectly well, they are absolutely loaded though and DH (along with his siblings) were privately educated from reception onwards. I grew up on the breadline and was state educated for all my schooling.

It was always the plan for our dc to be state educated as we couldn't afford private fees, however the subject of schools came up in conversation over the weekend and PIL offered to pay for both DS1 and DS2 fees if we decided to go private (DS1 will be 4 early next year).

DH now desperately wants DS1 to be privately educated and is willing to accept PIL offer as he thrived in private school, whilst I am not totally against private schooling, I feel my DSs will learn and be educated just as well at state. After all I am University educated...

Also, I don't want to feel I / DH or the DSs 'owe' PIL anything because the paid for our DSs private education, I really don't want to have that hanging over our heads for the next 20+ years.

Besides, DH had no qualms with our DCs being state educated before PILs offer. Now DH has gone and changed his mind after everything was practically agreed.


DirtyBlonde Tue 04-Oct-16 07:55:28

Yes, YABU.

Because you mention nothing about what schools are actually available to your DC, whether you have viewed them recently and which are the best fit for your DC.

Ruling out a school because of how it's funded seems pretty silly to me. There is nothing inherently 'better' either way.

Clearly there must be a long and nasty history with the ILs that you see an amazingly generous offer to spend money on the family as a control mechanism, which is a side issue to choice of school but must make all family life very difficult.

DeathStare Tue 04-Oct-16 07:56:59

No you aren't. I agree with every word you said.

totalrecall1 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:57:06

Wow are you serious? What a fabulous opportunity for your DC's. I would grab it with both hands. It's not about you, it's about them.

HerestoyouMrsRobinson Tue 04-Oct-16 07:57:08

YABU and you should explore the options.

EastMidsMummy Tue 04-Oct-16 07:57:43

YANBU to question the inherent inequality of private education.

FaFoutis Tue 04-Oct-16 07:57:49

YANBU. I wouldn't accept this.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 04-Oct-16 07:58:39

Unless you're both happy to commit to this level of dependence on your PIL for the next 20 or so years, along with the inevitable interference in your lives that it will bring, I'd say no.

merrymouse Tue 04-Oct-16 07:58:47

I think the bigger issue is whether you think they will gain anything from being privately educated. There are many benefits to going to the local school. Your DH sounds a bit panicked by State education.

I agree that private school is very expensive. If your in laws really want to help their grandchildren, there are plenty of other ways to be supportive without starting on the private school conveyor belt.

Magstermay Tue 04-Oct-16 07:59:24

I think YAB a bit U, it's about getting the best education for your DC not the fact that you did ok at state school.

A lot depends on a) whether you really think your PIL would somehow expect you owe them something - I suspect they just want to do something nice for DGC, b) what the state schools are like in your area. Sometimes state are as good, or better, than the local private, sometimes not.

My DH and I are both uni educated but our school experiences were wildly different (me private, him state) and I suspect he would have done far better at uni and beyond with a private education.

If you are dead against private could you compromise on starting at state and seeing how they get on with a plan to change if ness or either at junior/ senior level?

SaucyJack Tue 04-Oct-16 08:00:55


Even if your PILs are lovely people who will maintain the best of intentions, it's a huge financial commitment for them. You have no idea if they'll be in a position to maintain it in ten years time.

I wouldn't. Might be different if they could give you them money upfront so it was guaranteed.... but even then it's a huge deal.

GinIsIn Tue 04-Oct-16 08:01:15

So you aren't even going to explore what might be the better educational avenues for your DC, so you can take a stand on principle? hmm

I had the opportunity to be educated in both environments and I can safely say I would send my DC private in a heartbeat if I could afford to- it's not just about the actual educational aspects - what is offered in terms of pastoral care, extra-curricular activities and smaller class sizes and bespoke teaching are really very valuable and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

CockacidalManiac Tue 04-Oct-16 08:01:31

YANBU. An appalling way of buying and perpetuating privilege.

Seeline Tue 04-Oct-16 08:02:03

I think it really depends what opportunities are available to you in terms of the variety of schools near you, and which school best fits each of your children.
At primary, it may well be that a good local state is perfect for your DCs. But if the only one that you are likely to get into is very ppor, or is highly academic and your DCs aren't etc then private might give you more choice.
However, just because you pay, doesn't guarantee the right school for your child, or even the best school for your child
I think you also need to consider more long term - what secondary schools are available? OK - schools can change over 7 years (and that applies to both sectors).
I suppose I am saying don't rule it out on a matter of principle.

mishmash1979 Tue 04-Oct-16 08:02:34

Your children would be able to access the best education money can buy whilst u provide them with a balance by making sure they appreciate the opportunity and make them aware of the vast differences between rich and poor. My friend does this by making up hampers for sure start centres and packages for the homeless at Christmas with her kids. It helps her kids appreciate that not everyone leads such a privileged life

SuburbanRhonda Tue 04-Oct-16 08:02:59

It's not about whether private education is better.

It's about the fact that before they offered, you and your DH weren't even considering private and now their offer has meant they have decided for you where your DC go to school. It's not their decision.

Masketti Tue 04-Oct-16 08:03:07

It might seem complicated but ask yourself which school your boys would thrive in most and then you'll know your answer.

GraceGrape Tue 04-Oct-16 08:03:13

I wouldn't be comfortable with this either. Also, you are not in control of whether or not PIL will be able to keep up the payments for the whole of DC's education. What if they suddenly needed the money elsewhere, eg had health problems? I wouldn't want my parents or PIL to sacrifice things for themselves because they were paying school fees.

GinIsIn Tue 04-Oct-16 08:03:19

And EastMidlands - inherent inequality of private education?! The fact the state sector can't measure up to the private sector is not a reason to dismiss a better education! Not being as good as the private sector is a failing on the part of the state sector, not a reason to dismiss a more rounded education.

myownprivateidaho Tue 04-Oct-16 08:03:22

I think YABU. You should be choosing a school based on the best opportunities available for your kids, whether state or private. I agree that private is not necessarily best, but you need to assess the options. It sounds like you feel that owing your PILs something would be an inconvenience to you rather than a disadvantage to your children.

CockacidalManiac Tue 04-Oct-16 08:04:02

My friend does this by making up hampers for sure start centres and packages for the homeless at Christmas with her kids. It helps her kids appreciate that not everyone leads such a privileged life

How Lady Bountiful of her

Rumtopf Tue 04-Oct-16 08:04:11

Yabu as it seems to be more about the where the funding is coming from and not the school or education itself.
Have you been to look around the private school as well as the state schools near you?

SuburbanRhonda Tue 04-Oct-16 08:05:16

My friend does this by making up hampers for sure start centres and packages for the homeless at Christmas with her kids

This is a joke, right?

chattygranny Tue 04-Oct-16 08:05:24

Aside from the rights and wrongs of private education which is a decision you and your DH have to make, the bigger issue is whether to accept. I think it depends on what your in laws are like. From past experience do they give freely and expect nothing back? Or does everything come with a price?

myownprivateidaho Tue 04-Oct-16 08:06:49

My friend does this by making up hampers for sure start centres and packages for the homeless at Christmas with her kids

Or alternatively you could just um make sure they have the opportunity to meet and socialise with people from different schools...

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