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Is private education really worth the cost?

(178 Posts)
peanutbuttersarnies Sat 04-May-13 19:13:23

This is a genuine question. Sorry it's such a open question but I have no experience of private schools. And i just dont know. But I've started to wonder if we should send our two ds.

We can easily afford the costs per month based on our current salaries.

I've worked out that private education for both would be about £300k. With this money we could save and give them a deposit for a house. Or buy a property when they go to uni for them to share as their first property. So private education would need to be pretty amazing.

Dh and I were both state educated and nobody we know was privately educated. Our schools were I would say good at primary and average at secondary.
Dh thinks our dc will be state educated, it's just never occurred to us to use private education. I mentioned the possibilty the other day in front of my pil's and they seemed shocked that we'd consider
The local schools to where we are now are similar to the ones I attended myself, perhaps slightly less good.
One thing that is making me wonder about private education is that I wasnt all that happy at my secondary. I was sporty, but sport wasn't encouraged or cool. And I think private schools might be nicer places to be?

southeastastra Thu 07-Jan-16 22:26:50


MonsterDeCookie Thu 07-Jan-16 22:25:52

I wasn't suggesting salary doesn't get taxed at source but high earners often have more than one source of "income" that is not salary.

Havingafieldday Thu 07-Jan-16 20:55:25

Please tell me how you don't pay full tax on £150k because if you're PAYE it all gets deducted at source so as far as I'm aware there's no option not to.

mummytime Thu 07-Jan-16 17:43:38

Employees have to pay tax, there are ways to reduce it if you are self-employed. But lots of people are employed on 150K or more (and pay full tax).

merrymouse Thu 07-Jan-16 17:23:23

If you are an employee earning £150k tax is deducted at source.

MonsterDeCookie Thu 07-Jan-16 17:14:11

I don't know anyone who takes that 150k in salary alone and pays full tax on it. High earners tend to have sorts of ways to reduce their tax burden: dividends etc. But perhaps that's a whole 'nother thread. I'm not advocating for either system. We are in the middle of trying to answer this question for our DC but it won't have anything to do with their future earnings.

roundaboutthetown Thu 07-Jan-16 17:07:42

Privately educated people need to earn more than that over that time to pay the school fees. Still, they could always limit themselves to one child and have it late in life. grin

merrymouse Thu 07-Jan-16 16:35:31

Not following the relevance of the figures, but take home pay on £150k is £90k. 34% x £90k is c. £30k which is not enough to cover 2 x London day school fees.

merrymouse Thu 07-Jan-16 16:16:43

The thing about private schools as a group is that once you exclude the schools that only pick the academically able, and the pupils who had so much parental support that school support was largely incidental, it's difficult to judge whether they make any difference.

Equally, you aren't sending your child to 'private school', you are sending your child to a particular school that may or may not be more suitable for that particular child than your local state schools.

MonsterDeCookie Thu 07-Jan-16 15:47:56

The study below reckons that privately educated pupils earn an average of 200k more than state pupils between the ages of 26-42. According to the study even when accounting for parental socioeconomic class the privately educated children did far better economically. You might find it interesting Jasper.

roundaboutthetown Thu 07-Jan-16 09:49:26

I think you'll find it's 34% more than considerably less than that. grin You are in the top 1% of earners in the UK if you earn over £150,000 per year and more than 1% of children attend private schools. Plus it's about £35,500 per child for somewhere like Eton or Winchester per year. Add onto that registration fees, uniform, extra activities, etc... Even a more "normal" private school in SE England (where you might stand a higher chance of that sort of income) could be charging close to £20,000 per year for each child. Add to that astronomical housing prices...

MonsterDeCookie Thu 07-Jan-16 09:25:01

Actually, I reckon it would cover the fees and then some. Most of the professional men I know in their 40s are on 150k+. 34% of 150k is 51k per year. That's more than enough to cover fees. Mind you, I'm an American and this whole private vs State thing baffles me. No one gives a hoot where anyone went to high school in the US. It just doesn't factor at all.

JasperDamerel Thu 07-Jan-16 07:40:12

I'd be interested in comparing results of children of wealthy parents from similar backgrounds who go to state and independent schools.

JasperDamerel Thu 07-Jan-16 07:37:01

I suspect that the difference in earnings isn't particularly to do with education but family background - financial support through years of unpaid/badly paid training or work experience (even with a great education, it's hard to become a barrister without extra help), family expectations, family jobs and access to work experience etc.
It's far easier to become rich if you start off rich.

roundaboutthetown Thu 07-Jan-16 07:17:00

Ah, you're talking about the public schools, then... grin

bojorojo Wed 06-Jan-16 23:41:18

Yes, but all that inherited wealth would!!!

roundaboutthetown Wed 06-Jan-16 23:02:33

Ah, well, the prospect of huge school fees would probably spur one on to search out the better paying careers, MonsterDeCookie, so as to give the same opportunities to ones own children. I'm not sure a mere 34% differential would quite cover the extra costs, though. grin

MonsterDeCookie Wed 06-Jan-16 22:10:03

I haven't read the whole thread but did come across this article that quoted a 34% pay difference between state/privately educated men at age 42. I think potential earnings are only one reason and often not the the primary reason people choose private but I was fairly staggered by the difference.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 05-Jan-16 18:36:19

We're missing out the whole of DD's final term of Y6 at prep school partly to avoid the whole party thing - although there are other very good reasons too (saving £4.5k is a bonus!). Home-ed for a term here we come! Now home-ed is well and truly avoiding the whole private/state debate altogether!

writingonthewall Tue 05-Jan-16 06:51:35


tomatodizzy Tue 05-Jan-16 00:25:14

No sorry writing. He's definitely 6. Going into first grade is a big deal here, all children have a graduation ceremony when they finish pre-school. Even my husband had one 40 years ago so it's not a newfangled thing, new for me though. It's not usually black tie either, that was the idea of one very flamboyant mum, who wanted to go the whole hog.

writingonthewall Mon 04-Jan-16 22:32:05

tomatodizzy please tell me that was a typo and it was a 16 year old not a 6 year old!

FlatOnTheHill Mon 04-Jan-16 14:58:21

Agree with timidviper. They do come out with more confidence and polished.

wallywobbles Sun 03-Jan-16 19:50:54

Private girls schools certainly have their fair share of girls with issues. Particularly eating disorders.

I would start as you are and only change if necessary. Maybe look at changing for Alevels as choices are likely to be wider.

tomatodizzy Sun 03-Jan-16 18:30:40

Not US dollars no, but exchange rates are only useful for travelling. It would be about £500, but we don't earn in £ and 3000 coming out of your wages is 3000 coming out of your wages, wherever you are. The actual cost just spiraled and when you factor in photographer, the entertainment, booze, food and venue and then as the little one was black tie (needed a suit) so we also needed to kit ourselves and the other 3 dcs out in suitable clothes, so by the end of all the payments we calculated that we spent close to $3000. They did have some money left and I got an email from the PTA saying they would buy some icepops for the kids on a hot day (so not exactly a huge amount!). The problem I find with private schools is that some people are insanely rich and can often go a bit OTT with costs or assume that everyone is in the same boat.

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