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AIBU to hang onto a place at the best state school in the area even though I don't want it, just in case?

(229 Posts)
fishnet Fri 27-Mar-09 14:29:18

Title says it all really. DS1 has been allocated a space at the best state school in the area. It is massively oversubscribed and some of the other local schools are awful. We don't want the place since he's also been accepted to a very good selective independent school. Part of me feels like I should say we don't need the place so that someone else can have it but then what if economic circumstances change and we need a state school place after all.

What would you do?

ninah Fri 27-Mar-09 14:31:01

Used to be called dog in a manger. Give it to someone who does want it for heavens sake!

wilkos Fri 27-Mar-09 14:33:43


but lets face it, you arent going to give it up regardless of what anyone posts, are you? hmm

tiggerlovestobounce Fri 27-Mar-09 14:33:57

Someone else will get it eventually, if your DS doesnt turn up.

If you are sure you dont need it, then I would give it up. If you arent sure then I would keep it.

PrimulaVeris Fri 27-Mar-09 14:35:58

For god's sake turn it down, please.

Last year my dd was waited until almost the end of the summer before she finally got a place in a good state school. It was one of 3 places 'handed back' by parents who'd chosen the private route but hanging on. We had over 5 months of nagst, checking waiting lists whilst it seemed that everyone else had the school of their choice (by paying for it through moving or private).

I also know of a boy locally who did not get a place at his preferred school until September for the same reason. He'd gone through the induction process, bought all the uniform ... just because someone else couldn't make their mind up.

I think it's very selfish. Sorry.

frogs Fri 27-Mar-09 14:36:46

Well they'll re-allocate it anyway in September when you don't show up. By which time some other family will have been put through unnecessary angst and disruption and last-minute change of plan. All because you thought you might like to hang on to the place 'just in case'. Nice. hmm

Make your mind up which school you want, and tell the school your decision.

fishnet Fri 27-Mar-09 14:37:20

Why do you say that wilkos? I wouldn't have asked the question if I had decided would I.
Bizarre statement.

I am not thinking that I won't let them know at all I am just considering whether we should keep it until a bit closer to the time in case DH gets made redundant.

MollieO Fri 27-Mar-09 14:39:09

Only you know your finances and if there is any doubt about affording school fees I wouldn't be starting down that route if I were you.

frogs Fri 27-Mar-09 14:40:51

Well, focus your mind and consider what you would do if the state school were to charge you a 4-figure non-refundable deposit at this stage, as the private school will doubtless be doing.

Would you still hold onto the place then?

Lulumama Fri 27-Mar-09 14:42:54

but it is not just about finances until september is it? you have to finance the next X number of years in private education, don;t you?

if you are that concerned, send him to the state school

mankyscotslass Fri 27-Mar-09 14:42:55

If you already have doubts about managing the fees, then perhaps private is not for you.

Also, you will have to make the decision fairly soon or you may be liable for the first terms fees as the fee paying school anyway.

fishnet Fri 27-Mar-09 14:43:24

That's the issue really MollieO. At the moment things are fine and the fees are easily affordable. However DH is a corporate lawyer and there is very little work around. Hundreds of lawyers are being made redundant. Things could change overnight.

I'd be interested to see how views differ on the fact that we are effectively also then keeping someone from a place at the also very oversubscribed independent school. We have said we want it but if circumstances change we would have to opt for state school instead. Bet the views aren't quite the same!

Pollyanna Fri 27-Mar-09 14:43:24

you are being extremely unreasonable. I was in the position that I didn't get a school place, and only got one when one of the parents let go of it in favour of a private school (lots did this in our area - very wealthy, high proportion of privately educated children). I was really stressed and starting to panic about what we were going to do.

Lulumama Fri 27-Mar-09 14:43:37

what would you do if DH was made redundant in a years time? or two? you can;t hold the place for that long

charitygirl Fri 27-Mar-09 14:44:27

FGS, if you think you might not be able to afford all 7 years, don't risk putting your DC through that kind of disruption!

MollieO Fri 27-Mar-09 14:45:15

Should add that I didn't apply for a state place as ds is happy in reception at private school. A lot of my friends did even though they have no intention of taking up the place. Seemed like a waste of time and admin tbh.

PrimulaVeris Fri 27-Mar-09 14:45:41

I see this every year. Parents announce in, say, year 4 they are going down private route for secondary. Dc's tutored accordingly (£££). Place awarded and deposit paid to secure place. (£££). Never appears to be a doubt in mind of parents or dc's that they would do anything else.

Then they hold on to their state offer 'just in case'? Wtf? SURELY if you've been planning 7 years private education for a child for the past 2 years the issue of payment, possible redundancy plans etc has been factored in??

Pollyanna Fri 27-Mar-09 14:46:16

I don't think I would risk private education as a corporate lawyer! But you must have some idea of how safe his job is at the moment.

redflipflops Fri 27-Mar-09 14:47:18

Last year a friend of mine didn't get a school place and had several months of stress and anxiety. The whole family found it a very difficult time. You could really help another family by 'coming clean' now.

Unless there is real genuine doubt about your financial situation I would tell authority now. If there is such genuine doubt should you be doing down the independent route anyway?

smallorange Fri 27-Mar-09 14:47:39


fishnet Fri 27-Mar-09 14:47:42

Is it then fair that we could give up the place and then find we need it which would leave DS without a place?

Times are different. The economy is unstable and thousands will lose their jobs in the coming months. I think this year there will be lots of private school parents reluctant to go of their state school place until a later stage. Obviously i'm just the only one on MN at the moment!

ninah Fri 27-Mar-09 14:48:07

so the indie is massively oversubscribed as well? all the more reason to make an early decision so as to be fair to everyone else

Lulumama Fri 27-Mar-09 14:49:27

yes, times are uncertain, so why not send him to teh excellent state school and when things are settled, look again at private for the remainder of his schooling

OrmIrian Fri 27-Mar-09 14:49:28

If there's any sort of risk you won't be able tp afford the private school, take the state place and be thankful. Things aren't going to get better for a while yet. If your DH doesn't get made redundant now he may well a yr down the line and then there won't be a place.

NorkyButNice Fri 27-Mar-09 14:49:59

Agree with other posters - if you aren't sure whether you're going to be able to manage the fees at the private school for the full 7 years (or at least the first 5), then I wouldn't even consider it.

If you don't have savings or a second salary to tide you over in the situation where your DH is made redundant, then it's not fair to disrupt your DS's education in that way.

As to your original OP - yes you should give up the state school place, if you decide to go with the private school.

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