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rich relative offering to pay for private school

(59 Posts)
tonton Thu 28-Aug-08 15:04:59

shock I am flabbergasted. An elderly relative is considering paying for all the children in my family to be privately educated. Between us my brothers & sisters and I have 17 children in all. I have 2 kids myself. He's clearly a lot richer than I realised!

All my brothers & sisters kids are currently privately educated (primary or prep schools). I have always felt consious that DD1 doesn't have the opportunities (sport facilities, languages, arts, music etc) they have. On the other hand she mixes with a fantastic range of people and doesn't inhabit a posh ghetto.
She loves her state primary and I have no plan to move her until she finshes. But now I suppose I'd be mad to turn down the money and insist on sending her to a state secondary school as I had planned (there's no 'cash option' so it's have schools fees paid or nothing). I wouild only consider day school - we live in london so that won't be a problem.

DH (state educated) is worried that she will beconme a posh brat with flicky hair and a bad attitude! But I think he is secretly excited.

Anyone have an experience of going from state to private? She's above average in her class but I'm sure she'd be way behind privately educated kids. I'm a bit freaked out by the thought of putting her through all those entrance exams and interviews.

bran Thu 28-Aug-08 15:16:53

If the relative is elderly are you absolutely sure that he will be able to continue paying? It would be unsettling for your DD to have to leave suddenly because your relative needs to pay for a place in a care home or dies suddenly without leaving a will.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 28-Aug-08 15:17:56

Are you sure he realises how much money this will entail - for all of them to go through their whole school lives?!

Beetroot Thu 28-Aug-08 15:19:02

i dream of this

PavlovtheCat Thu 28-Aug-08 15:21:35

Its not about the money surely? Just because he has offered to pay, does it make it the right choice?

It is of course a grand offer, but if you are happy with the choice you have made for your dd's education, perhaps you should not think about the financial incentives, but the educational ones.

If you have always wanted her to go to a private school and this offer enables to realise that desire, to fulfil educational plans you would love for your daughter, then it is a great offer and go for it. But if it is not something you want for her, why do it?

I just don't see that it has to be taken, just because there is no cash alternative.

traceybath Thu 28-Aug-08 15:22:34

well i switched at 11 from state to private. The state primary i was at was bad and i did struggle a bit to catch up in maths but soon did.

I'd just make sure that the money was going into some type of trust so the fees would definitely be paid for the whole of secondary.

17 sets of school fees is a huge amount of money though!!

fanjolina Thu 28-Aug-08 15:22:45

Going fromstate primary to private secondary is very common, so your DD shouldn't feel out of place in doing so.
What a great opportunity this has opened up for your children.

pagwatch Thu 28-Aug-08 15:25:28

it does depend on you having a school that she can get into and that she likes. A private school does not equal a great school of course.
I would also make very very sure that all the fees would be paid as a change later could be terrible.
And schools do not make posh brats. I think that is mostly parents. My children are definately not brats ( although DD does find it hilarious to say she is very posh and talk like the queen hmm)

smallwhitecat Thu 28-Aug-08 15:25:44

Message withdrawn

Blu Thu 28-Aug-08 15:25:45

Yes - make sure the money is paid in a lump sum upfront or put in trust, or something...and that there is enough left over for IHT should he not survive for 7 years after giving the gift...

No advice on the schools choice aspect - I suppose you could visit a few and see if you really want to send you dd there.

I think there is a big range in posh-ghettoness. I know someone who has just wihdrawn their dd from a private school and sent her to the local state primary because of the level of bad one-upmanship and snootiness from other children and parents, but others seem to be very down to earth. Go and see.

Beetroot Thu 28-Aug-08 15:41:15

Blu (hyjack) did you get my email?

tonton Thu 28-Aug-08 15:53:40

Thanks for your responses. The relative is very financially-savvy. he certainly knows what it will cost and the money will be in a trust. It would seem he is truly loaded!

Good point Pavlov - that was my insinctive reaction - ie not to accept the offer. Strangely i was quite upset and a bit angry when I heard the news. Partly for complcated family reasons and partly beacuse it felt like a whole new difficult set of decsions to make.

We will certainly go and visit as many schools as possible. From what I've heard cost isn't an issue (!) but it may be that a 'cheaper' school may be a little humbler and more suitable for us. She's a bright girl but very shy so I would care as much (if not more) about the feel of the school and it's ethos as much as results. It would also need to have a great art teacher (that's her passion). Most of the london day schools seem to have amazing results anyway.

tonton Thu 28-Aug-08 15:55:31

Pagwatch - did not mean to be rude about privately educated kids. Just my husband's perception and that's based on the few kids he's met at very posh schhols, ie Eton!

findtheriver Thu 28-Aug-08 18:42:33

I agree that you shouldnt just jump at it simply because it's there. I can see that when you have an offer like that, it's tempting to take it up simply because you feel you should. But you need to look at what is best for your children. Absolutely no point in making a move if they're happy. There's no harm in having a look around, but son't assume that private school = better education. I currently know of some parents moving their kids into state schools because they feel private might be a disadvantage with University applications!
As all your brothers and sisters kids are privately educated, it sounds like there's a lot of family pressure (whether unspoken or not) to go private. It's very easy to get locked into the idea that private equals better - really weigh it up carefully, trust YOUR intstincts and talk to your children.

deepinlaundry Thu 28-Aug-08 18:46:21

Wow- £170k a year at least- sorry nothing more constructive to say.

snorkle Thu 28-Aug-08 19:00:02

wow! I'd have a look at potential schools and if you, your dh & dd like any then you would be mad not to accept. If your dd needs some coaching for the entrance exam, given that she's transfering from state primary might your realtive pay for that too?

chunkychips Thu 28-Aug-08 19:07:41

Living in London this is a godsend, especially with secondary schools. Obviously you need to have a talk with him about details, but on the surface this seems to be a fantastic offer. I went the other way round, started off in private for primary and then went to state secondary. Huge difference in facilities and standard of teaching in my case.

PortAndLemon Thu 28-Aug-08 19:18:07

I'd look on it as expanding the range of possible schools for you to consider, rather than determining that you will go private. Visit a range of state and private secondary schools and see which one feels like the right place for your DD.

bellabelly Thu 28-Aug-08 19:18:28

I would send her to St Paul's like a shot! And I speak as a secondary English teacher who has just finished teaching at a reasonably good London state school for 7 years. In terms of facilities, class sizes, etc, there's just no comparison, sadly.

Quattrocento Thu 28-Aug-08 19:20:00


if you decide not to accept your relative's kind offer, please would you ask him to adopt me?

noddyholder Thu 28-Aug-08 19:20:13

Let him if you feel it will make a differenve in the long run. Shame he won't leave your kids where they are and pay for a few years travel they would learn a lot more that way

tonton Fri 29-Aug-08 11:21:19

Bellabelly for all my liberal leanings (and they are strong) I've alwasy had a secret fantasy about dd going to st Pauls - not because its posh but because its 'the best'. I've added City of London girls to that fantasy list too. They take quite a few children from depreived backgrounds. So not boater-land at all which is my fear.

Quattro cento I will pass your request on.

Anchovy Fri 29-Aug-08 11:34:06

Hi, I inhabit "London day school land" and a few observations.

Firstly, lots of these schools are v difficult to get into - its not just a question of being able to pay, the "raw material" has to be very bright as well. I'm not saying your daughter isn't by the way - just that its not simply a case that being able to pay will unlock every choice available. (Have a feeling this may be an issue for us in the future, hence in my thoughts smile).

A good thing about London, I think, is that because I think the state schools are relatively weak (or rather that the good ones are few and far between, and chuffing difficult to get into), then the private schools have more of a mixed intake. I get the impression that a lot of people really do everything they can to meet school fees, and certainly not everyone at school with my DS's have parents who are hedge fund managers. What your DH perceives as the "lah-di-dah" element is reasonably low, I think (comparatively). I was state educated (outside London) and would have been entirely happy to have my DCs educated in the same type of state school - unfortunately that is simply not available to us here. I think a lot of parents are in the same boat.

Interestingly I know one of the proprietors of my DCs school from something completely unconnected with school. He told me once that you would be surprised at the very high number of children who have fees paid by someone not the parents - he assumes grandparents, godparents, relatives etc. So I think you would be far from the only one in the same boat.

fymandbean Fri 29-Aug-08 12:04:19

I'd move her ASAP - she may love her current school but the longer you leave it the longer it will take her to catch up OR if you leave it until 11 she'll need a LOT of coaching to get into the best school which won't be good for her.

I took advice from my cousin who moved DD1 at 11 and after that experience her DD2 moved at 9, and DS1 at 6 (pretty much all at the same time in fact!)

Also do check carefully which is the best private school locally, we have 5 or 6 local to us and on investigation one is just not up to scratch and the others vary from the excellent to the good. Don't forget you may have to wait for a place to come up at the 'best' school may be a case of putting her name down now and waiting a year....

pagwatch Fri 29-Aug-08 12:08:33

don't worry - not offended at all.
Although have to say DS1 played rugby at Eton last year and the boys and several of the parents were really nice - not at all like I had imagined ( me being a good 70's crappy comp girl myself)
the teas were fab too. I am taking a bag to nick the rocky road stuff this year

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