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has anyone turned down a massive discount >=50% to private school?? why?

(158 Posts)
tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 14:45:41

We have been offerred half price prep school for our sons, (discount is related to my FIL's profession).

Obviously we would still have to pay quite a lot but it is much more affordable with the discount and we could just able manage it.

Wouldn't have considered private before secondary otherwise.

Not sure what to do, feel that perhaps it is too good to turn down, but then it's still a lot of money.

butisthismyname Thu 25-Oct-12 14:46:56

If you can afford it and you feel that it is the right place for you and your son, for goodness sake do it! If you don't , then don't!

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 14:48:43

well it's a lovely school, but not sure how much better than state it is really. main difference is the class sizes and the fact that academic attainment is much higher. Not that much bothered by grades though.

We can afford it but we would notice the money going and it would be a bit of a pinch.

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 14:50:09

what I mean is that I'm not that bothered by grades (am sure the school is!)

almapudden Thu 25-Oct-12 14:54:56

Oh do it. Even if you go back to state at secondary, your children will have learnt great habits which will stand them in fantastic stead - many prep schools really promote self-directed learning and high aspirations in all fields (not just academic).

As an aside, why aren't you bothered by grades?

TheDeathAndGlories Thu 25-Oct-12 14:56:14

Have you visited the school?
A good prep will offer so much more the just academic grades.

TiAAAAARGHo Thu 25-Oct-12 14:58:27

Go and have a look round the school (and any others you think you might want to use) and then make lists of all their good/bad points. If the private school comes out on top and you can afford it - go for it. If however you prefer the atmosphere/approach/facilities/subject range/staff at a different school - go with that one instead.

Its more important to pick the right school for your child than anything else.

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 15:00:27

Re the grades - I just think that whether you do well in exams at 16/18 and uni depends a lot on personality and schooling from (say) 11 onwards.

As long as they are doing ok aged 7 I don't really care if they are working at the age of a 9 year old or whatever, just that they are making progress and happy at school.
Level 5, 6 or 4 in their SATs at 11 - I'm not really that bothered.

We visited the school and it was lovely - just not sure whether it is 4k a year lovely.

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 15:02:06

We aren't considering other private schools as we haven't got a discount there (we wouldn't qualify for bursaries).

If we had lots of money we probably wouldn't go to this school (grounds very small) but that isn't that important I suppose.

TakingTheStairs Thu 25-Oct-12 15:03:27

Could I be nosy and ask what profession would enable a grandchild to a discount on fees? <considers a change of career>
And yes, I would for sure take the opportunity.

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 15:11:01

Discount is church/ local area related. FIL is a clergy man.

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 25-Oct-12 15:15:57

I took my DD out of a prep where she had a full bursary. Reasons were this....e had another DD...could not afford to pay her fees. Private secondary would have been impossible and there was no way of knowing either DD was academic enough for scholarships....also, we felt the pinch when it came to extra classes, uniforms and the fact that the school was really rather small.

DD is now thriving in year 4 of state school and smaller DD in reception and doing well.

APMF Thu 25-Oct-12 15:21:04

Why are you considering it if you aren't bothered by grades AND, even with discount, you will notice the drop in disposable income?

Mine are at Indies because grades matter to me. Otherwise I would put them in the local good-but-not-highly-academic school and spend the saved fees on nice holidays and new car.

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 15:23:45

I think I am thinking about it because the offer seems a bit "too good to miss".

I don't care about grades at such a young age (tbh I think my children are bright enough that they will do well at any ok-ish primary) but I do care a lot about them being happy at school. Think perhaps they will be happier at the prep.

TiAAAAARGHo Thu 25-Oct-12 15:33:57

If they would be happier at the prep, go for the prep. Happiness at school is very important.

TakingTheStairs Thu 25-Oct-12 16:04:36

thanks tidy

LeeCoakley Thu 25-Oct-12 16:14:04

Would the discount still stand if FiL died or left the church?

tidybooks Thu 25-Oct-12 16:18:16

I don't think it's at all likely that FIL will leave the church. Not sure what would happen if he died - I get the impression that they could stay on.

I don't really want to go into too many details - at risk of outing ourselves- but the discount is based on current/past connection with the school of a certain church.

mummytime Thu 25-Oct-12 16:24:48

Would they be happier at the Prep? There is at least one Prep locally I wouldn't have sent my son to whatever the circumstances.
How is the Prep doing financially? Any danger of it closing?
What do you think of the Prep as a school compared to their current/future state school?
Just because it is fee paying doesn't make it better.
Does it have a strong religious ethos? How do you feel about that?
What schools does the Prep lead into?
What if you can no longer afford private at secondary?
Transport time? I didn't pursue a certain private school for my eldest because the travel time totally outweighed any advantages compared to a local state school.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Oct-12 16:45:19

Just to put my two-pennyworth in (and it's an observation not an opinion so please don't flame me) I have taught several children at a state secondary who had come from private schools previously, and they do tend to have problems. I do't necessarily mean being bullied; I've seen them go off the rails, get demotivated when they realise how far ahead they are etc. I'm not saying it happens to everyone but just maybe something to take into consideration if you don't think you could afford secondary.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Oct-12 16:46:43

Oh and please don't think it was my teaching that caused the problems!

sittinginthesun Thu 25-Oct-12 16:52:35

To me, the choice would simply be - do you prefer the prep or the state? Which would be the best fit for your child and family?

My boys are at the local state. They are thriving, and flying grade wise. The two closest preps would be my last choice of school. I know several children and both, and have been round one several times. Don't like the ethos of either, for different reasons.

Nothing to do with state v private, just the schools.

OwedToAutumn Thu 25-Oct-12 16:57:40

What sitting said.

Private schools are not always better than state schools, but if you can afford to send your DC to a private school, there are more schools available to choose from.

So, if you prefer it over the local state schools, go for it. If not, not.

gelo Thu 25-Oct-12 18:26:38

Yes, and because we preferred another school. It's a great offer, but if it's not where you want to send your child then it's not that great a deal after all.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 25-Oct-12 18:35:47

Yes, I suppose. I teach in an independent secondary, and my children therefore qualify for half price attendance at the associated prep. Which is a very good school, but their village primary is just as good. And free, and all their friends go there.

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