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What is the cost...

(55 Posts)
TigerBabyyy Sun 29-Sep-13 16:53:28

Of private primary schools in lancashire north west area?

Are there alot of extra things you have to pay for?

GenericNWMum Mon 07-Oct-13 14:30:41

I can highly recommend Scarisbrick. Not a local originally so can't tell you about its history, only my experiences of it now. Moved my DCs there from another NW prep school. It is not catholic anymore - seems to be non-denominational, which appeals to me as my own school was, and the GCSe results this year were excellent. Has no sixth form at the moment, but one is in the pipeline. It is quite small, but clearly growing and masses of investment currently going in, so the facilities are in the up.

I am very happy with it - the teaching I've encountered is really excellent and they seem to understand the idea of tayloring the teaching to the needs of the child. The extra-curricular programme is great too and included in the cost. It isn't a highly selective environment, but it seems to me that any child could reach their potential there.

HoratiaNelson Mon 07-Oct-13 13:40:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Inclusionist Fri 04-Oct-13 07:19:27

Merchants has a lot of coaches too. I got the bus from Southport every day from 4yo and it was never a problem- actually I enjoyed the bus when I was little.

ilikesweetpeas Fri 04-Oct-13 03:30:31

Thanks inclusionist, I have heard mixed things about it but not yet been to look. Merchants always seems to get a good reputation but it's a lot of travelling from where we live not sure how we would manage that with me working , Scarisbrick has a mini bus from our road so was hoping it would be good!!

Inclusionist Thu 03-Oct-13 10:46:15

My brother and sister went there for a year but it didn't suit them and mum and dad moved them. I knew somebody who's brother went there but then moved to KGV in Southport for VIth form. I'm a lot younger than my DB and DS and by the time I went to school my parents chose Merchant Taylors'.

It may have changed but Scarisbrick Hall used to be very Catholic in flavour and not very academic.

ilikesweetpeas Thu 03-Oct-13 10:39:31

Please can I hijack and ask if anyone knows anything about Scarisbrick Hall School? Just that if people on here know about independent schools in NW I would be interested in finding out what parents think of this school, particularly for Y5 and older. Thanks

Somethingyesterday Wed 02-Oct-13 21:04:18

TigerB have you managed to look at any alternative schools online? Or had any further thoughts on how best to proceed?

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 14:17:39

Black mogul - I am aware they are not boarding. But even if we compare the top day schools in the south east to the top day schools in the north west there isn't a direct correlation between higher fees and better results.

BlackMogul Tue 01-Oct-13 13:13:48

People who want top boarding schools, with the chance of a scholarship, go to the top prep schools. No rude... I know other schools may be higher up league tables, but the ones you quote are not boarding. At my DDs old prep, 50% went to either Wycombe Abbey or Cheltenham Ladies. It is not all about league tables,it is about which boarding school suits. That is why the aims of the school and parents will dictate fees to some extent and there are regional differences in this.

Somethingyesterday Tue 01-Oct-13 13:10:58

Have you looked at:

Bury Grammar, Girls?

The boys' junior school has a reputation for being friendly and nurturing. Might be worth looking at the girls' purely for comparison?

If a school is a charity its always worth looking at their accounts on the Charity Commission website. It gives some useful information about the school in the report and you can check their financial position.

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 12:46:58

Manchester grammar, manchester high and withington girls schools all trump eton and harrow in the results tables and are all priced well below most of the schools int he south including eton and harrow. The idea that you get what you pay for is true to an extent but there is vast regional difference in fee structure.

BlackMogul Tue 01-Oct-13 12:43:40

Generally in my area you pay more for prep schools that offer more! If they get children into the top academic senior schools, with scholarships, they will be more expensive because of specialist teaching. Other schools that feed into less well known schools or back into the state system at 11 will probably be cheaper. I am not sure I would choose this type of school over a great local primary. Some less good independent prep schools do not have particularly great sport, music, drama etc so you need to evaluate what you are paying for. The best prep schools do everything very well and have lots of bright children so you need to choose the school which is the best fit. Prep schools tend to have lots of activities after school too so suit working families very well. Round my way you will be looking at £18,000 a year for year 8 for the best. We have done a mixture of state and independent and there was a huge difference in class size, specialist teaching and facilities at the independent prep school. The teaching of maths and English was surprisingly, not that different. There were very bright children in both schools but the independent school gave additional opportunities which were not matched by the state school. In the less academic prep schools, the parents are not looking towards top boarding schools, but want entry to a local independent secondary. The parents in the top prep schools are wanting Eton, Harrow, Wycombe Abbey etc so the market, and pricing, is different to reflect the aims and likely finances of the parents as well as the teaching requirements of the children.

Norudeshitrequired Tue 01-Oct-13 12:28:14

I did find the fees on an education website though

The fees listed on the education websites are not always up to date. I have found they are often way different than the current fees.

OP - it does look like the fees are not on the website. Email the school bursar and ask for a school brochure and a list of current fees.

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 12:20:31

ISI report for Bury reads well though!

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 12:17:53

See it wasnt me just not looking properly grin

Bury prep has been there a long time.

Didnt think about bolton due to traffic every morning and in the afternoon.

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 12:07:48

Wow, they really have buried the fees haven't they?? They'd rather tell you the school's policy on calculations than how much it costs!! grin It looks pretty tiny, I's be considering how financially secure it is.

Have you considered Bolton School? They'll almost certainly have a bus to Bury and the uniform is less terrifying. They have an open day on the 12th you could go to (it is where my nephew is going for Reception in Sept). They have a nursery too which my DB and SIL have been pleased with.

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 11:59:21

No but there is a big sign outside saying all faiths welcome

Unexpected Tue 01-Oct-13 11:57:38

Instead of worrying about the uniform at the moment, I think you need to check whether you meet their admissions policy first! Are your children baptised Catholic?

TigerBabyyy Tue 01-Oct-13 11:50:45

Its bury prep school. There fees are not on their admissions link at all.

I did find the fees on an education website though

Their uniform is awful

lunar1 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:34:28

I went to look at schools, state and private when ds1 was about the same age as your dd. I knew instantly which one I liked.

Inclusionist Tue 01-Oct-13 10:38:03

Which school are you thinking of? I bet we can find the fees for you. grin

My family have been looking for a school in the NW and have lots of prospectuses. I could check for you? It's probably easiest just to phone the registrar though and ask for info to be sent.

The quality of independent schools vary and much as the quality of state schools. If you post your possibilities on here there will be people who know the schools, or just know about schools, who will comment!

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 19:02:01

£22 for a primary school skirt not a £5 in Tesco, 1/2 again as I pay for private music lessons for DS1, way more than that if your state school has a subsidised scheme.

No free school buses, SN help ~£40 an hour. Trips heaven knows. Older DCs have enough logo'd PE kit to start a shop. Private education is very expensive.

Some of our local schools start looking doable at 2500 a term, but it goes up rapidly and senior school is ~£4500.

DD1's DF goes to private school and I've done the sums many times, we can't afford it and even if we just could I wouldn't.

Yes it's very nice, but I'm not convinced that DF hasn't just got the exactly the same very good, but not stella GCSE results she would have got at the local decent comp.

HmmAnOxfordComma Mon 30-Sep-13 18:20:23

I second and third and fourth everything said by Somethingyesterday.

And that said by others about looking at your local schooling options and not assuming too much about what schools are like now based on your own schooling experiences.

However, to strictly answer your OP about fees: I would also be very surprised if they weren't listed on the schools' websites. They are on every one I've ever looked at - usually under 'admissions'. Around here, pre- and prep fees are usually between £3k - £4k per term (Midlands) and senior fees are from £4K per term. These do include books and lunches etc.

If your dh thinks £2k per term is expensive, I'll think you/he will have a bit of a shock. School fees also rise a lot every year (usually more than your wages!) so it's a HUGE financial commitment (especially for more than one child).

I would focus on looking at your local state primaries and seeing if you might need to move soon, doing all the lovely things suggested above with your dd, and concentrate on saving up for secondary fees, in case you still feel it really is necessary when the time comes round.

Somethingyesterday Mon 30-Sep-13 16:55:52

OP Don't know where you are in the NW - but I would hope you have good transport links?

What I'm going to say may well sound patronising - it isn't meant to be. But it is the absolute truth and anyone who says different is simply wrong. The single most important factor in your daughter's educational future (given the obvious basics) is that she sees you eagerly embracing learning in your own life. I don't mean formal learning necessarily - but reading, and wanting to hear new music, always heading off to the galleries and museums in a new town, (I would have said never bypassing a bookshop or library - but good luck with that...) questioning the TV news, talking, talking, talking.

Involve her in your interests; it's great if you have the support of other adults who care about her intellectual / cultural development and want to show her "their" world - whether it be hill walking or church architecture or 21st century opera....

Lecture over. I also agree that, particularly at nursery/infant level you might find more benefit (and of course it's easy to say....) in moving to an area with a fair selection of decent state schools - rather than living in a less desirable (school) area and paying to "bus her out." Because little children are so shaped by their immediate environment. By the time she's perhaps 6 or 7 you'd have a much better idea of her interests and potential and can make an informed choice about what to do next.

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