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Social/affordable housing & private school bursaries

(18 Posts)
Katydive Thu 07-May-15 17:33:39


Hoping for a bit of advice if anyone can give it as I am not finding anything online. Until recently we lived in a fairly expensive rental in a fairly pricey part of the south coast. We ran our own business and after that my husband had a good job. Then however he lost his job and didn't get one again until very recently. The closure of our business and the lost of his subsequent job meant we have still quite a bit of arrears and were no longer able to afford to pay such a high rent. Luckilly my parents are able to house us and our three children, two of which attend the local primary school and we were put in a fairly high priority position (with a local connection) by our local council for affordable or social housing, and where we live it's not built up. I am happy to do this as I realised how bad the situation had got, but had to swallow a bit of pride at the same time, if I'm honest.
The issue now is, we are still waiting on the council list for a house, however my husband is back at work and things look good for him to be able to progress quite quickly to a senior level, also a local prep school approached us about DS1 and we had him attend a scholarship morning and are in the process of a fairly large bursary application which it looks like he may get, they have also inferred that DS2 can apply for the same bursary in a couple of years. My question is, how will this affect us when we are in social/affordable housing, people are going to wonder why we are shipping of two boys each morning to the local prep school! I am also wondering how the council will feel if we do end up paying a cursary amound towards the fees. Now I know there is no cap on salary (at the moment) when living in social housing, which may be questionable but how will this go down. Please bear in mind that this extra money that we may have will still not be enough to get us in private accomodation and sustain this. If however our situation improves rapidlly I'm sure we would be asked to relocate? Thoughts and guidance please...

ZeroFunDame Thu 07-May-15 17:54:05

people are going to wonder why we are shipping of two boys each morning to the local prep school!

Who are these people? grin You're still living with your parents, yes? And don't know exactly when or to where you may move? I can understand that things are stressful at the moment but you're perhaps adding to your worries by inventing a problem that doesn't (yet) exist.

Are you convinced that the prep school is the best school available to you? If so concentrate on getting that sorted out. (Very curious about how and why the school approached you rather than vice versa ...) Make extra sure the school is in a position to continue any bursary for as long as you qualify for it.

Can't help with your question re the council I'm afraid - though I hope this will prove to be another unnecessary worry. Is there any danger of your being offered housing inconveniently far from the potential new school?

annielostit Thu 07-May-15 18:08:40

Why not keep them in the local school. It was fine when you couldn't afford it

Quitelikely Thu 07-May-15 18:12:33

The council really does not care if your children go to private school!

Your income is not relevant.

Heels99 Thu 07-May-15 18:14:55

It could be a very long time till you get a council house.
The large bursary may be large but you still have to find the remainder of the fees. 50% of 7500 fees at primary level is much easier to find than 2 x 50% of 12000 fees at senior level. Fees increase ever hear then thee are the uniforms, trips, extras. Make sure you can afford it rather than end up moving kids again because you can't.
Good luck with everything you have had a tough time. But kids may need stability at this point.

softfingers Thu 07-May-15 18:15:03

I can't see how it would make any difference. We are in council housing and send DS to a private boarding school (funded place) and the council have never questioned it. In fact the council have no idea what our income is now (it has changed significantly since we first got our house). They don't check what your income is at all, unless you're claiming housing benefit from them. Of course some councils/HAs have newer tenancies where these things are reviewed.

Often with prep school bursaries they ask you for a full set of income/outgoings, so if your rent is low due to being in council housing they might ask you to pay a bigger contribution, than if you had a high mortgage for example. If your income increases due to your DH's work, they might also reduce the bursary.

People do sometimes ask why DS goes to a school out of area, but it's mostly curiosity (most of them won't have heard of it) and it hasn't been a problem at all.

SoonToBeSix Thu 07-May-15 18:22:16

Council houses are not just for people on low incomes.

Katydive Thu 07-May-15 19:14:51

ZeroFunDame - thanks, yes didn't want to eleborate too much for fear of a much longer post! I contacted the school previously enquiring about bursaries when my DS1 did not get into his first choice school, luckilly he did and he has been very happy. I suspect they kept his details on the system and the fact that as he was now 7 he could attend the scholarship morning. Until this point I had put the idea out of my head. I am only pursuing the possible problems of being turfed out a house becasue it has come to light I am contributing in some way towards school fees, but that appears not to be the case now. I am not too worried yet!

annielostit / Heels99 - admittedly his school is nice, however it looks likely that we are bring offered a 100% bursary until he is 13 (we have checked this) which of course opens the door for further education and it is a lovely school, it's a no-brainer really.

I knew that once in a council house the council don't seem to worry about income, and I suppose there may well be some that have a dramatic enough salary increase/earnings that they may be paying nearly full fees for a private school.

I was under the assumption though SoonToBeSix that thats exactly who it was for, as the council have asked us thorough questions about our income to asses whether we can afford private housing. If those families are on higher income I am interested to know how they come to find themselves in a position to be in a high enough banding to actually get allocated a house. Can anyone go on the list, on any income?

Thanks so far all very interesting!

ZeroFunDame Thu 07-May-15 19:20:41

Hmm ... OP just as you don't want your potential neighbours poking their noses into your business you might want to keep yours out of theirs. There is no one size fits all council / HA tenant - really no need for you to concern yourself with anyone else's income.

Katydive Thu 07-May-15 19:29:54

ZeroFunDame - you misunderstand me, and I don't believe I am making any investigation into other peoples incomes, what on earth would prompt you to think that! I am just very aware that I know very little about social/affordable housing regarding income and situation changes and am just after some advice from people maybe in a similar situation, and I am the first to admit I am realsing about the broad range of people who are in the same situation.

Mandzi34 Thu 07-May-15 20:03:31

We live in a Housing Association flat. We don't claim benefits but OH's salary isn't high enough for us to be able to privately rent or buy (we live in London). My ex is very well off and so wants DS to go to a private school. I wouldn't care what my neighbours thought of that, even if they knew. We can afford holidays etc just like others in our building. I don't have a problem with what we can/can't do. You do what is right for your family. As long as you pay your rent on time the council won't care.

SoonToBeSix Thu 07-May-15 20:10:35

Op maybe it varies with councils, all I know is we where not asked any questions about our family income The banding was all due to other reasons homeless, overcrowding, family ties etc. We were in a high band and offered our current home as I am disabled and it has a ramp and a stair lift.

SoonToBeSix Thu 07-May-15 20:10:53

Were not where!

TheJiminyConjecture Thu 07-May-15 20:15:05

Where I live to get on the list for social housing you have to earn below a certain amount. Once you have a place there's no check to see if you are still under the amount.

Whatthebobbins Fri 15-May-15 00:17:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3nationsfamily Fri 15-May-15 08:22:45

If you are offered a bursary then there is usually an annual review of your circumstances and if it changes such as your DH salary increasing then you woudl be expected to pay more- it is only fair on all those others who have to share the bursary pot

Jackieharris Sat 16-May-15 08:50:55

It really doesn't matter. People in council houses get bursaries.

Katydive Tue 19-May-15 14:37:21

Thanks all. Yes we will be re-assessed each year, we had a man from the bursary comission come and see all our details to make sure we weren't telling porkie pies and he will be recomending that we need 100% bursary from the school. That being the case, we will be checked annually. He has told us interestingly though that although our rent will be low compared to many, because we will be paying off debts for a couple of years after that we are allowed to put money aside for savings which will have to increase considerably before the school start asking for money which is good. I will be more than happy to put some towards the fees when this is the case, as it would be unfair not to.

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