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Single Parent wasting time considering private school?

(21 Posts)
theygrowupt00fast Tue 17-May-16 04:25:45

Hello folks
Am I wasting my time considering private education for my child as a single parent?
I live in NW London(hugely competitive). From the limited dealings I have had with some schools so far they all assume it's Mr and Mrs.

Does marital status affect applications? Has anyone ever heard of any single parent families attending private schools in NW London or are they still in the 19th century on this one?

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Tue 17-May-16 04:56:27

They are not worried about your marital status, just whether you can afford the fees.

Gruach Tue 17-May-16 04:56:41

I'd imagine it has nothing to to with a generalised attitude and everything to do with the two salaries that most people need to maintain a life involving school fees.

Personally, my advice would be to look well outside the overcrowded London market. The most forward thinking "country" boarding schools (prep and senior) are falling over themselves to offer bursaries to single parents in possession of a clever, talented child.

theygrowupt00fast Tue 17-May-16 07:15:51

Thank you both. I wonder if we'll be binned at the application stage by the registrar when they realise we're single parent.

VocationalGoat Tue 17-May-16 07:19:05

Not at all. My single parent friend got her son into an excellent prep school and now private secondary school (boarding) all on bursaries. Exactly what Gruach said.

Gruach Tue 17-May-16 07:27:59

OP You say "thank you" but I'm not sure you're listening!

You need a much more positive attitude. Even for mega-bucks two parent families, getting a child into their ideal school (with the added choice element of the independent sector) is stressful. There's no point at all if you set out with the conviction that you'll be rejected.

Tell us more. Will you be paying the full fees yourself or are you investigating bursaries? Is your DC vaguely, spectacularly good at something and likely to attract a scholarship - which is often the gateway to an additional means tested bursary.

Goat no one ever believes till they see it with their own eyes. grin

LoveFromUs Tue 17-May-16 07:33:27

You are not wasting you time Hun, no one is going to care if you are a single parent or not, my son goes to a private school and one of his friends mum is a single parent, the school will not care about this, as long as you can afford the fees.

Also you will never see a lot of mums or dads at the school, most children in my sons school are dropped of by their nannies/ au pairs, and quiet a few turn up in taxis.

theygrowupt00fast Tue 17-May-16 07:48:58

Sorry for being a negative numpty. You are all so supportive and I am really grateful.

I've gone to a few open days recently and I guess the volume of prospective parents and ratio of on average 2:1 per place has knocked my confidence. Moved back in with wonderful grandparents, my salary will cover fees. DC is only 8 months, but I have seen newborns at open days! I planned to explore all this during maternity leave in case we need to make any big life changes.

rollonthesummer Tue 17-May-16 07:51:51

The single parent aspect has 0% to do with anything. How much do you earn and can you afford the fees; that's all they'll care about.

You'd have to be earning a fair whack if you can do private singlehandedly for years (plus pay the bills etc).

Janefromuptheshops Tue 17-May-16 07:54:37

Me mate is a single mum with both kids at private school.

The other parents want nothing to do with her. Probably more to do with the fact she's a stripper than her single parent status though.

Abraid2 Tue 17-May-16 11:23:38

Why would you think they would give a damn about your marital status?

Do you read a lot of Mallory Towers?

TheBlessedCheesemaker Tue 17-May-16 12:58:57

Jane, we have a gigolo amongst our parenting group. He's vairy vairy sexy. but we cant afford his day rate

OP, the nearest they come to giving a shiny shit is that they usually need to check that the father supports the mothers' education decisions. It gets very messy for kids when the paerents fight over private vs state, which ive seen a couple of times. Youngest DCs class (in nice posh prep) has 3 single parents out of 14 and a further 2 who say they have husbands, but we've never clapped eyes on them.

bagelsandlox Tue 17-May-16 13:20:05

If you don't make a big deal of it, no one else will.

HohnJamm Tue 17-May-16 13:29:12

Single parent here with child about to start Y7 in private school. The only problem I've had so far is telling them that despite both parents having PR, I am the main decision maker and payer on account of DDs father not having been in touch since aged 1. They have accepted it now. Also, most of the forms I've had to fill in have assumed 2 parents which I have found a bit irksome esp as they list the father first. Am used to the more inclusive 'parent/carer' presumption primary school make.

roguedad Tue 17-May-16 21:21:58

There is no issue here beyond being able to pay the fees. At our school there is just about every type of family with singles, steps, multiple parents on info lists etc. I think people are careful not to put their foot in it. The forms you have to fill in might well have a legacy of assuming a mum and a dad as per last poster, but don't let that get in your way.

Dustylaw Wed 18-May-16 20:43:45

Don't worry and don't let your confidence get knocked. If people ask about the other parent it's because there often is one and, to be frank, it's a fairly easy opener to elicit information eg, no, it's just me or yes certainly there is X but he/she has no parental responsibility or whatever. Also, school forms usually are designed for for ease (usually ease of the school's form designer) so don't worry in the slightest if you have to cross things out and state that the child has 1/2/3/4 parents or whatever is applicable. NW London - I wouldn't think they would bat an eyelid but to be fair I also think most schools are pretty used to seeing the lot, whether private or state.

theygrowupt00fast Wed 18-May-16 22:12:08

As a newbie to mumsnet I am so grateful for everyone's comments.
Private school and parenthood are both new for me and mumsnet members have definitely helped put it all in perspective. Thank you xx

Parsley1234 Wed 18-May-16 22:19:01

I'm a single mum and have nearly done preprep and prep on a bursary. I made up my mind when my son was really little that I was going to do that. It has been hard sometimes being a single mum not getting invited to stuff etc but overall I'm glad I did it and now he's got a bursary to board next year which I'm ecstatic about. I'm going to miss him so much but I'm doing what's best for him - good luck and be positive ! You'll be fine !

Dapplegrey2 Wed 18-May-16 22:24:39

Parsley - congratulations on your ds's bursary.
Who doesn't invite you to stuff?

SAHDthatsall Thu 19-May-16 08:48:17


Parsley1234 Thu 19-May-16 10:18:36

God that sounded so precious ! I mean I don't get invited to dinner parties because I'm single and lunch parties because I work - where I am there is a lot - as in majority of mums that don't work hence very social. The most important thing is my sons education and that has been a resounding success !

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