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A relative has offred to pay for my children to be privatley educated but DP unsure

(75 Posts)
Thomcat Wed 15-Oct-08 14:41:07

I'm all for it. I think it's a wonderful gift and one I don't feel I have the right to refuse my children. The relative is the children's grandfather.

My DP is unsure though, but not putting into words terribly well why.

One of his concerns is that he's worried that as we as the parents are not the ones that can afford to send them there they will not be as well off as the other children and won't fit in as well. They will be the children who could be perceived as the least well-off children.

Our eldest goes to the local state school, the local catholic state school and he thinks that catholic education is the best. He went to a catholic school. However although I go to church, now and then, we're not really good catholic parents and I've never felt really comfortable with that. However my eldest has additional needs (Down's syndrome) and I do feel that it is the best school for her until secondary level where we'll have to look at a Special Needs school for her.

I went to a shit local state school and didn't do very well at all. I feel nothing but irritation when I think about the school I went to and the terrible teachers and the attitude of the head etc etc

Anyway, don't know why I'm posting this really, maybe looking for a few wise words re our children possibly being perceived as the least well - off. Any implications that may have that I might not have thought of.

DP and I going to visit the school but I want to maybe point out a few positives (other than it's set in 20 acres of green space and has a swimming pool on site etc) about the possibility of DD2 and DD3 going to a local private school over going to the local catholic school.

Spidermama Wed 15-Oct-08 14:44:29

I would DEFINITELY go for it. If you don't, let DP be the ne to explain to them, throughout their adult lives, why he made the decision he made.

I went to a really shit school and I feel I'm always behind. I wasted so many years being bored at school surrounded by bored, misbehaving people.

NorbertDentressangle Wed 15-Oct-08 14:46:14

If it helps I read something recently (not sure where though) about how a large % of private school fees are in fact paid by Grandparents so it wouldn't be an unusual situation.

Presumably a lot of these children and their parents aren't "as well off" as some of the other pupils

morningpaper Wed 15-Oct-08 14:47:50

PERSONALLY I would try to persuade the grandparent to put the money towards a trust for university instead

LupineLunarLunatic Wed 15-Oct-08 14:48:00

I would weigh up the choice of schools by reputation, atmosphere, environment, as opposed to making a choice based on whether one is fee-paying or not.
If the best schools, the ones that will fit the needs of your children most closely, are fee paying, then I would gladly accept the kind financial offer.

Freckle Wed 15-Oct-08 14:50:04

Can you check with the generous relative exactly what the offer covers? Is it just the basic fees or does it extend to other costs? Can you ask the school for a list of all potential costs over each school year to see if you can afford to send your dds there even with their grandfather's help?

FiendishFairyFay Wed 15-Oct-08 14:51:05

I'd jump at the offer. Are there any private catholic schools in your area?

Liffey Wed 15-Oct-08 14:51:57

I have a similar dilemma. My brother wants me to send my children to the private school we went to (I could never afford it) and although I'd quite like them to go there, I don't feel as strongly about it as he does! They're my children, but I'm a single mother and he's a great help to me, not just financially. Just an extra brilliant uncle. I don't want to feel beholden to him. He would do it because he wanted to, but, what if the children didn't do well!!! i'D BE doubly upset.

What if the other children made my children aware that they were amongst the poorest students at the school??

Keeping an eye on this thread......

SofiaAmes Wed 15-Oct-08 14:51:58

I agree totally with LupineLunarLunatic. You should be making the decision based on the best school for your child and make use of the opportunity to widen your choices to fee-paying schools. You may end up concluding that the best choice is a state school. In which case, ask the grandfather if he will put money towards the extra-curricular that isn't provided by the school. (ie music swimming, sports, art,etc.)

Thomcat Wed 15-Oct-08 14:53:43

Thanks already.

Spidermama - same as that! I too was surrounded by bored, misbehaving people and got in with a bad crowd and became one of those people.

NorbertDentressangle - that's interesting and a good one to point out to DP.

Lunatic - oh yes absolutley, the fact that you have to pay to go to the school has to be the most unattractive thing about it. DD2 has already been for a visit to the school with her grandfather and although she's only 2 and her younger sister only 1 I will make sure that the school is suitable for them before making any decions.

littlelapin Wed 15-Oct-08 14:54:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MollieO Wed 15-Oct-08 14:55:46

You need to weigh up what is best for your dc but if you do choose private your dc won't be the only ones whose grandparents are paying for their gcs education.

I'm one of those parents who has made a choice to go private for a variety of reasons and making the sacrifices needed. If my mum offered to pay my ds's school fees I'd think I'd won the lottery!

compo Wed 15-Oct-08 14:55:59

I would definitely say yes if I knew he could commit for the while time they were there

willali Wed 15-Oct-08 14:56:46

I agree go for it - there are so many posts on here about "will I fit in at private school, we are very ordinary" etc etc etc as if private school is some kind of other universe where "normal" people don't exist. Unless you are talking Eton and Harrow you will find that most people are pofessional types and /or having fees paid by legacy or living grandparents or profits from property.

What you do need to consider is whether there is enough money for the duration of the education of all your children - that is a lot of years (unless you are willing to contemplate the possibility that not all your chioldeen will go to the same school). FEes go up exponentially as they get older so what looks affordable for REception, say, is a different kettle of fish from what you will pay at Year 6 and then on to Senior School (where it could go to about £8000 a term day fees).

Also there are major tax issues and the grandparent should set up a trust or other vehicle to make it tax efficient otherwise he will get hammered.

You will also need to sort out who pays for extras - uniform, trips etc (to give you an example we have just got a not about a residential trip for DS in year 6 costing £300)

ALso with regar to SN provision does the school charge for services you would get free at a state school, are the staff as experienced / competent as they woould be a state school. I have a friend who has just gone back into the state sector as they could not afford the SN helper their child needed.

So it's a lot more difficult than thinking would we fit in.....

Thomcat Wed 15-Oct-08 14:56:54

It's not just that it's private that I'm up for iut btw, not at all. As I say that's the least attrictive thing.

I have spoken to 3 mothers whose children go there, sent my parents along to the open day (I was away at the time), am arranging a visit, studied their website, written lists of pros and cons versus the local catholic school DD1 currently attends etc.

But I was looking for some back - up to help reassure DP and also for any negatives that I may not have considered.

Swedes Wed 15-Oct-08 14:58:35

A huge proportion of school fees are met by grandparents. So I wouldn't worry that your child might be the only child at the school with parents who are feckless fuckers unable to pay the fees directly.

Beetroot Wed 15-Oct-08 14:58:46


I am sure you know how happy I am with my kids school. They all go to a private school and it is not full of posh twats. There are alot of bursaries given - in our case usually for music.

newgirl Wed 15-Oct-08 14:58:46

on the subject of getting on with the other families, perhaps you should meet some and see what you think

if you go for it, the positive attitude needs to come from you both, and you must feel ok to invite their mates round etc - so perhaps you will need to have a real talk about it - but once your dh has met or at least seen the other parents he might see them as very normal

Liffey Wed 15-Oct-08 14:59:12

is it your dad or your husband's dad that he doesn't want to take money from??

littlelapin Wed 15-Oct-08 14:59:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twiglett Wed 15-Oct-08 15:00:43

take the money and leggit grin

I wouldn't hesitate if I got to that stage, looked round all my local schools and did not feel that the state schools were good enough. BUt if the state schools were good enough I'd take the money for uni.

Would you want all your children in the same school though? Is that likely with private schools?

Beetroot Wed 15-Oct-08 15:00:57

our local Catholic school has the best results in the area Lapin - and it is state!!

littlelapin Wed 15-Oct-08 15:01:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AMumInScotland Wed 15-Oct-08 15:01:43

Another one that would say "pick the right school for your children" - lots of parents struggle to afford private school feees, so there's no reason to think they'd be the "poorest" in the school, though it's worth getting a feel for the parents there to see if they are the "struggle to manage it" kind or not. But it may or may not be the place that suits your children best, so don't feel you have to send them just because you could.

Beetroot Wed 15-Oct-08 15:02:30

HOney - it does have a rather nice view though.


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