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school fees help

(76 Posts)
stressystressed Sun 18-Oct-09 18:49:02

is there a way to get help with school fees if you fall into the 'too well off for a bursary but can't afford full fees' gap???

alypaly Sun 18-Oct-09 18:53:59

No, if you have had your income assessed and it has been decided by the bursar that you are sufficiently well off. They will grant the bursary to less well off parents. Has the school assessed your household income with the appropriate forms.

ReneRusso Sun 18-Oct-09 18:54:21

Your school might help you out if you are having temporary difficulties.

stressystressed Sun 18-Oct-09 18:59:33

About to send them in and am worried about how it looks. The thing is, we live in small house in nice area, and both work hard. We have little spare cash, and no savings, but are not anyway near affording full fees. I am not a single mum, and receive no benefits. Feel like we're going to be stuck in the middle.

Earlybird Sun 18-Oct-09 19:04:30

Is your child currently enrolled in the school? If so, have your financial circumstances changed recently?

stressystressed Sun 18-Oct-09 19:29:40

Not at school yet. Am applying for a bursary place, but have a feeling we will be turned down. I was wondering if anyone knows of charities / organisations that could help out.

alypaly Mon 19-Oct-09 00:28:25

stressystressed old is you DC?

Its a shame when you want to do what you feel is the best for your child.

If you go in and speak to the bursar as well as the forms,and make a case for being on the breadline...some schools will help a little. If you can prove that you have very little left after you have shown them your outlay, they may be helpful. But be totally honest about every saving,every car,caravan,rent,company expenses etc as they have the right to look into every bank and if you have life insurance policies,endowment policies that are about to mature within that school year ,you have to mention those too.
Will Grandparents not help?

iwantitnow Mon 19-Oct-09 09:13:35

I would be very reluctant to go down the private route without some savings stashed away, its not just the fees but all the extras uniform, trips etc... If you can prove you have very little left each month you may well get a bursary - good luck.

sliceoflife Mon 19-Oct-09 09:41:07

It sounds like you are going to put yourself under huge financial stress.

If as you say, you live in a nice area what is wrong with the local state schools?

You would then have spare cash for all the extras like tutoring, music lessons and other activities to braoden the DC's outlook,and you would not be getting more stressed each term as the fees were due. You might even have time to spend enjoying your children rather than working all hours to find the money for school fees.

I get the feeling there is more to this than you let on in your OP. Were you privatly educated? Do you feel that private school is somehow expected of your regardless of your means?

thedollshouse Mon 19-Oct-09 09:44:19

I assumed that your child was already enrolled in the school. If that is not the case I don't see the problem just send to a school that is within your means. Most people in this country can't afford school fees.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Mon 19-Oct-09 09:48:49

I agree with SOL, having just moved my DCs into the state sector after 6 years private.

For us, the money was there to cover the fees, but anything else was a struggle.

It really does dampen your enjoyment of the odd treat when you're constantly thinking of the next invoice - we hardly ever ate out as a family, or even got a takeaway.
If we went on holiday we were counting pennies instead of relaxing and enjoying the moment.
I hardly ever bought clothes for myself, which made me feel like the underdog at pick up time (shallow, I know) - you don't realise how much these things get to you until you get back to normal.

I'd advise you to seriously look at your other options with a fully open mind.

thedolly Mon 19-Oct-09 09:50:06

You need to have a joint income of about £50K to be ineligible for a bursary. If your joint income is less than this you may qualify for some bursary assistance but as others have said you do need to have extra for extras.

thedolly Mon 19-Oct-09 09:54:12

I agree with OurLady to a certain extent but it is so easy to fritter money away on clothes/takeaways/holidays and have very little to show for it at the end.

There are worse things to spend your money on than education.

KittyCorncrake Mon 19-Oct-09 09:56:25

Bursaries are meant for people who cannot find the money even by remortgaging, giving up holidays and club memberships and nights out. If you ahve grandparents who intend to leave you a bequest, you could ask them to find the shcool fees instead. Bursars have a duty of care to parents who are struggling to pay fees not to be seen to be giving bursaries to parents who want to be able to pay fees without it affecting their comfortable stansard of living. (Not suggesting you are one of these , OP, but bursars get inundated by requests from parents who simply don't want to affect their existing standard of living.) Bursaries are intended for those who could not find the money by any means, including seeling house, appealing to richer rellys etc.
At my child's school where the fees are high, there are a number of families of Asian descent who are open about the fact that the wider family contribute - part of their ethos, and they and their children will reciprocate when their circumstances change - they do not ask for bursaries, which are effectively a contribution from otehr parents whp are paying full fees - exceelnt example of charity begining at home grin

luckyblackcat Mon 19-Oct-09 10:04:44

TBH, I would be wary of getting myself into this situation.

We have a higher than national average income, but 2 sets of fees are the main outgoing in our life. It all seemed so manageable 7 yrs ago, but dear god it can be a struggle.

Like OurLady, I hardly ever buy anything for myself and am completely fed up with my life sometimes - my fridge freezer broke down when we were away for a rare holiday.

I lost all the produce I had grown and picked (including 50lbs of plums from my tree) over the summer BUT then I had to buy a new fridge freezer!

Luckily a local charity furniture shop leant me an ancient small fridge until a fridge freezer came in, at £80 it was still a stretch but OK. I bet I am one of the few parents at the school who has to do this, which makes it sad for me and tricky to hide the 'threadbare' bits of our lives from the DC.

There are a few independent educational trusts, I know of one run by a local wealthy family but do not know the name of the trust.

alypaly Mon 19-Oct-09 14:23:15

luckyblackcat i am in a similar situation too. i buy lots of clothes from charity shops so that i can give DS2 the extra money for school trips and other expenses.I make do at home with things that i wish i could replace.
I was lucky enough to be granetd a recent bursary ,for which i am eternally grateful. Paid full fees for both at infant school. That was a stinger.
I am a single mum with one at uni and one a public school. Life is tough.....but i have been pleased with the sacrifices along the way

luckyblackcat Mon 19-Oct-09 14:31:51

aly, I am pleased also when I see my 2 Dc blossoming - they are both quirky little folk and would struggle in the hurly burly of a larger school, DS has an LSA which we fund part time (so equiv of 3 sets fees in total).

When DD recently asked why I was sewing patches on my jeans - had made my gardening ones 3/4 length to do so - I told her I liked sewing. I do think she notices that I am not as smartly dressed as the other mums, but she'll cope!

luckyblackcat Mon 19-Oct-09 14:36:12

To make up for the minor hijack Educational Grants Directory

The one I know about listed in here, plus many many others - good luck.

alypaly Mon 19-Oct-09 14:39:50

luckyblackcat ...clothes dont make a person...its whats underneath that counts.

sorry for the digression stressystressed...hope you get yours sorted with the best outcome for allsmile

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Mon 19-Oct-09 14:47:09

Thedolly, I hardly think twice-monthly takeaways or meals out are excessive, and I certainly don't consider myself a fashion plate, nor will I ever be. And the holidays were usually spent in a caravan in Cornwall where we still had to count the pennies and mainly self-cater.

You may think state-educated families will have 'little to show for it,' but there are a great many who would argue they have a huge amount to show for it - and I fully expect to be among those.

I have not one single regret about our move and I don't appreciate snide comments suggesting I may.

Btw, did you ever move your DCs into the local state school?
I seem to remember offering you support on that thread.

stressystressed Mon 19-Oct-09 18:57:32

thanks luckybc - will look at that site.
Some interesting comments here. For the record......
no one in my or my DH family has ever been privately educated. There is no pressure there.
Although we live in a nice area, the local comp is about to go into special measures, and the police are regular visitors.
As a teacher, I have taught in both state and private schools, and would like my dc to benefit from the smaller classes, the much better facilities and breadth of subjects offered.
Basically, I want to try every single avenue available to try to afford this kind of experience for my dc.
I know families who receive 95% bursaries, so know what to expect regarding extra's and lifestyle etc etc.
It might not be everyone's opinion, but it's what I would like for my kids, and just want to have a try at attaining that wish.

LIZS Mon 19-Oct-09 19:05:42

thedolly , many schools cut off lower than that level of income and operate a sliding scale of assistance. Some take certain expenditure and number of siblings into accoutn , others don't. Some offer relief to those in the services or church, certain professions or under specific circumstances such as if a relation attended previously. Basically each school sets its own rules and you would need to explore each option by speaking to the Bursar. If you are worried already , it probably won't get any better. Annual increases can be up to 10% on basic fees plus extras.

stressystressed Mon 19-Oct-09 19:32:09

alypaly - Do you think it's worth the struggle?

alypaly Mon 19-Oct-09 19:33:40

SS just to let you know ....about finding additional money...DS2 's latest since trip is to Costa Rica at an additional cost of £1800...(crikey...i nearly died when the letter came out).so despite being on a bursary,i still have to find that money as an extra for a science trip and lunches at £3-4 a day. It soon adds up. Duke of edinburgh awards which soon mount up for all the equipment etc....Its a big commitment

stressystressed Mon 19-Oct-09 19:53:09

Apparently, the bursary families I know, have the same bursay % applied to trips and music lessons too. (95%). I know that isn't normal, but is why I'm giving it a go at this school. I have to try at least.

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