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Top Up Fees For Secondary Education?

(48 Posts)
GeorginaA Wed 04-Feb-04 08:15:18

Did anyone else catch the Today programme this morning? I'm still fuming... a private school headmaster has suggested that people who pay more to move to the catchment area of a good school are hypocrites. His solution is to "make the middle classes pay" - i.e. means tested secondary education.

I'm still fuming.

I note they have put it on the main BBC website but have selectively quoted to tone down his comments somewhat... School Chasing Parents Immoral

So now I'm immoral and a hypocrite for not wanting to send my child to a school which is rife with bullying, absenteeism and low achievement am I?

GeorginaA Wed 04-Feb-04 08:15:51

heh... I'm obviously so cross that "I'm still fuming" crept in twice

marialuisa Wed 04-Feb-04 08:57:49

I heard about this on Radio 4 this morning. I think a lot of what he's saying is worth thinking about. As someone who has been attacked by other middle-class parents for sending DD to private school I think there are some hypocrites out there. some of the people who have sneered at me and DH for our choice freely admit to blatant lies to get their kids into certain state schools and live in areas where house prices are astronomical (and in this part of Merseyside it's quite a pronounced difference.)

I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with saying that you don't want your child to go to a particular school for whatever reason, but I do find the put-downs of people who can afford a £400K house in the right area a little hard to stomach.

BTW, Antony Seldon worked closely with a Haed brought in to turnaround one of Brighton's most notorious comps when Haeds of "good" local state schools would have nothing to do with him, so he's not living in some ivory tower.

Hulababy Wed 04-Feb-04 09:10:14

Only read it briefly but:

I think fee paying state school isn't the way forward.

But I do agree that there is often a lot of bad mouthing said towards parents who opt out and choose to pay private, yet the same people who say these things are quite often the ones who are willing to move house and pay more to live in the catchment areas of the best state schools. I think he is right there - there is hypocracy, even on MN.

Sonnet Wed 04-Feb-04 09:51:49

I agree with hulababy that fee paying secondary schools are not the way forward
BTW I also agree with marialuisa that ( in my experience) some parents will go to any length to get there child into the school of their choice whilst attacking mine and my husbands decision to educate privatly. By any lengths I mean lying, giving relatives addresses as their own! - the list goes on)

IMO means tested top up fees for secondary eduation is NOT the way forward.

marialuisa Wed 04-Feb-04 09:54:44

Oh, i don't think top-ups are the way forward. It was just nice to hear someone say there are some hypocrites out there!

Hulababy Wed 04-Feb-04 09:57:32

marialusia - I taught in a very good state school and people tried many different scams to get in to it. They moved the catchment the year I left - the uproar went on for months.

I just think it is hypocritical to say that paying for private edicaution is wrong, but paying to live in a good catchment area (or lie about it) is okay. I just don't follow that logic.

twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 09:57:48

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marialuisa Wed 04-Feb-04 10:11:34

Twiglett, I think top-up fees will be fairer to the m-c because the money will come from the students' earnings not the parents. Nobody will be expected to pay for their kids' university education.

As for paying school fees, hopefully we will still live in a grammar school area when DD is 11, otherwise what was "day nursery fees" has simply changed to "school fees" in our monthly budget. The people i'm upset by are not those who freely admit that they would do anything to get their kids a decent education, including sending them private if they can afford it. i'm upset by the (many!) people who bad mouth those of us who choose to pay school fees whilst ignoring the fact that they've deliberately moved to a particular (often expensive) area, lied about their faith, given false info. etc.

twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 10:21:17

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twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 10:23:07

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twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 10:23:46

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aloha Wed 04-Feb-04 10:41:20

I wouldn't be surprised by ANYTHING this government does anymore. Workhouses? Bring 'em on.

marialuisa Wed 04-Feb-04 10:44:43

Well, as someone who's saddled with a similar amount of debt, but went through under the original student loans system, I'm just jealous because i'd be better off under the new scheme. My repayments are huge, but for the same amount of debt under the new scheme they'd be more than halved. Also, student loan debt rarely shows up when mortgage companies do a credit search. I should explain that I'm an assistant registrar working in the Registry/Fees office so I probably read too much about this, but means testing should take into account older kids already at uni (undergrad level only), maintenance payments for people with second families etc..

As for nursery payments, well I've only got one child and we paid out about £7.5k a year in nursery fees which was quite low for our area. She started at a school nursery in September and including before/after care and childminder for the hols we're paying about £400pcm or £4.8k pa, so for us (and lots of parents at DD's school, including those with more than one child,) it's cheaper.

twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 10:53:18

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Sonnet Wed 04-Feb-04 10:55:54

Twiglett - re conversion of nursery fees to school fees:
My DD1 was at nursery 4 days per week ( I worked) and basic school fees work out slightly cheaper than that - but I do have to add on after school care and then a bit for ballet and tap so it ends up about the same ( Give or take a couple of quid.
DD2 goes to nursery 3 days per week and her school fees when she goes in sept work out the same, then a bit extra for after school care, ballet and tap
BUT: when they move to the prep department at school ( age 8, ready to begin year 4)there is a HUGE hike in fees. They then move to the senior school to begin year 9 and there is another increase although fairly minor....so whilst it was a continuation for us at the pre-prep stage we do have the increase to come....
(head down now waiting for the inevitable onslaught!)

twiglett Wed 04-Feb-04 11:00:18

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GeorginaA Wed 04-Feb-04 11:02:58

Certainly I understand people complaining about private education then trying to get the best state education are hypocritical (and for what it's worth I'd *love* to send my kids to private secondary school but I honestly don't think we'll ever be able to afford it) - but that wasn't the impression I got from his interview he was just condemning all people who paid attention to which area they moved to.

Like twiglett the whole thought of financially crippling ourselves just so our child gets a decent education terrifies me. We've only just got out of debt ourselves (bar mortgage) - I really don't want to go there again or have my children saddled with huge debts when they leave education.

If there's any hypocrisy it's in the reports we'll get next week whinging that we're a nation of debtors and rely on credit cards and loans too much instead of saving. *sigh* ... I wonder why that might be?!

pie Wed 04-Feb-04 11:08:34

As long as Secondary Education remains compulsory I can't imagine that legally a government can not provide free Secondary Schools. Can they?

marialuisa Wed 04-Feb-04 11:18:27

Twiglett, an allowance is made for each child you have living at home or in full-time education. As for the mortgage thing me and friends who are buying.have bought houses have all mentioned loan repayments and been told they don't count. mind you, that could be dodgy mortgage advisors, but we all have mortgages through the major bamks/building societies....

Interestingly, DH (11 years my senior) went through on grants and holiday jobs. He is terrified by my laissez-faire attitude to debt, borrowing etc. Mostly, he is just bitter that he earns a lot more than me but we have the same "pocket money" every month although my student debt payments come out of my "pocket money" rather than our joint expenses.

I didn't hear the whole interview Georgina, so I can't comment too much(apart from what I've already spouted). It sounds as if he was using the old socialist line that everyone should send their child to the catchment school regardless of its reputation, as that is the only way to improve things, is that what you mean? As I posted before, I have a lot of time for his views as he does try and build bridges between private and state schools and is quite honest about his priorities etc.

GeorginaA Wed 04-Feb-04 12:07:34

That was the impression I got marialuisa, but having calmed down and read the responses on here I am prepared to admit I might have got the wrong end of the stick

Sonnet Wed 04-Feb-04 12:07:38

I didn't think you were Twiglett!! - PE is a red rag to a bull on mumsnett IME.....

My Dad sounds just like yours!!! - and my DH is as bad....but saying that, bar mortgage we are debt free
To be honest Twiglett if i didn't have PE to worry about in the years to come, I'd be a SAHM...I'd also like to increase our family but worry about the pressure of PE 3 children at secondary school age....so it's all about choices really....I I'll never know if I make/made the right ones!!

M2T Wed 04-Feb-04 12:26:18

I don't think there is a comparison to people sending their child to a Private school and those that move into a better catchment area!! There are many advantages to moving into a better area, not just the school! I don't think there are many people out there that move into a more expensive area JUST for the school. What about a lower crime rate??? Nearer work???? Nicer neighbours??? A bigger house????

Sorry, but to say that moving into a nice area with a nicer school is hypocritical is a tad ridiculous IMO.
I will most certainly move out of the area I'm in before ds goes to school coz I don't like the area and it has a bad reputation in general. I would move whether I had kids or not. It's called moving on....... selling one house to buy a bigger one. People do it all the time and are not accused of favouring one school over another!

sykes Wed 04-Feb-04 12:37:49

I think it is an issue - but not the only one. Estate agents force certain postcodes down your neck as the right catchment address and I personally know of at least one person renting a property (while living elsewhere) to ensure her child gets in to the right school. When the estate agent sussed her out she was assured it happened a lot - more so in secondary rather than primary education, but still happened. She's not anti private education - can't get into the school she wants - so is instead spending some of that money on renting a place prior to moving to ensure entry into her school of choice. And it's worked. Also know of people attending church to ensure entry into school of choice. Doesn't seem particularly fair and, in some cases is highly hypocritical - it's not down to religion, just that the church schools are the good schools in the area.

Batters Wed 04-Feb-04 12:42:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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