Would you pay for private school if you could 'just about' afford it?

(78 Posts)
user7654321 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:42:01

And the local state schools weren’t too great.

We could probably just about afford for DS based on the fact that we can easily afford £1500 a month nursery fees at the moment and we still have some spare cash each month (£1000), but obviously it would be nice to have that spare cash to save/spend on other things.

We are just thinking is it worth considering, and looking into private options, if we aren’t mega rich. Would you make sacrifices elsewhere to afford private education?

OP’s posts: |
EssentialHummus Tue 12-Dec-17 08:45:14

Have you visited the local state schools? What are you basing your assessment on?

Plans for more DC?

Have you visited the local private school/s? What are they like?


Extras: uniform, trips when older, clubs - can you afford them?

What’s your housing situation like? (ie if renting is it feasible to move for schools instead of going private?)

These are the things that would sway the decision for me.

MrsBonato Tue 12-Dec-17 08:45:36

Absolutely, although you have to keep in mind that the fees go up each year. If your financial situation isn't going to improve or doesn't have the possibility of improving much you may need to think of that.

Friends of ours are sacrificing holidays to send their dc to private school.

sashh Tue 12-Dec-17 08:46:32

I'd think about what that £1500 could buy to enrich a state education. Then compare with local private schools, which benefits your child more?

NewtsSuitcase Tue 12-Dec-17 08:47:58

No. I have two in independent schools. The fees go up every year and its all the other things on top that you have to consider. Id only do it if you can definitely afford it and won't be pushing yourselves too much.

newmumwithquestions Tue 12-Dec-17 08:48:47

Personally no. I’d use the money for tuition and extra curricular activities (sporting/ music, etc depending what DC were into).

If the local state schools were really bad rather than ‘not too great’ then I’d reconsider.

But it depends what your DC are like, why the local state isn’t too great, etc.

Oh and if there was a private school that I loved the ethos of then delete what I’ve just said - I’d be more inclined to send.

Fekko Tue 12-Dec-17 08:49:56

You need a buffer of at least a year school fees (plus mortgage etc) in case of redundancy, illness etc. It's unfair to start a child in a school then have to pull them if hardship strikes.


Enidblyton1 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:50:14

I would if:

- the private school is good
- the local state schools are awful
- I knew my income over the next 15 years was assured/ going to increase
- I could afford it for siblings too
- had enough surplus cash to afford school trips etc

Lots of factors to consider. Is there a decent state secondary or would you end up paying all the way through? Secondary is much more expensive.

BigGreenOlives Tue 12-Dec-17 08:50:45

I etc with Newts, if you can only just afford it you can’t afford it. Things might happen, someone might be made redundant, interest rates might go up. Better to be financially secure than have your child in what might be a only slightly better school as a 5 year old. You can do your best for them by being less stressed about money.

MyBabyIsPerfect Tue 12-Dec-17 08:50:48

I think you’d be better sending them to state school and paying money for them to have other experiences eg ski lessons and family ski holiday, private music lessons for an instrument of their choice, sports lessons etc.

Would cost less and they learn to interact with people from all walks of life which is an important skill.

idontlikealdi Tue 12-Dec-17 08:56:31

No I wouldn't.

user7654321 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:57:42

Thanks for the replies. We haven’t visited anywhere yet as DS is only two so just pondering.

To clarify, I am actually just considering primary at the moment. There is an outstanding state secondary school on our doorstep which he will most likely go to if it’s still the same in 8 years time. Local parents choose this school over private secondary schools, and go from private primary to state secondary.

We don’t want to move, we bought the house two year ago and love it! At the time we thought, great it’s close to a brilliant school, but didn’t really consider primary.

OP’s posts: |
Sketchily Tue 12-Dec-17 08:58:41

Personally I wouldn’t splash out on private primary education. To be honest you can provide similar provision through state school plus additional tutoring/extra curricular clubs etc. I’ve sent my son to a good private senior school and it is definitely worth the extra just because he is taught completely differently. There is far more emphasis on learning key skills, like critical thinking, self guided learning etc, than my other son experienced in his outstanding, very naice state senior school.

But I admit there may be other things that private primary provides that I am not aware of.

Flowershower Tue 12-Dec-17 08:59:10

No, use the money to do extracurricular stuff like sports/music lessons + tutoring if they need it.

Sketchily Tue 12-Dec-17 08:59:56

Cross post. Sounds like not all outstanding secondary schools are made alike!

Only1scoop Tue 12-Dec-17 09:01:36

I wouldn't without a buffer account.

NewtsSuitcase Tue 12-Dec-17 09:03:17

Then I definitely wouldn't bother. Private for primary only is unlikely to make much difference at all.

Seeline Tue 12-Dec-17 09:03:43

Probably not for primary unless the only option was really dire.
It's easier to support, supplement and tutor if necessary at primary level. Save the cash for secondary if it is needed then.

gingerclementine Tue 12-Dec-17 09:05:03

I would if the school was brilliant, absolutely perfect for my child and had superb pastoral care.

We did, but that was because we found a school our DC fell in love with, and our DC are ASD, which was very badly handled at state primary. They adore where they are and they're thriving.

I'd be wary of just going private for its own sake. Make sure the school is right for your child and has the kind of opportunities and outcomes you'd want for your child and they'd want for themselves. (Is it sporty, arty, academic? Doe sit have a good track record of getting people into their first choice unis or work placements in their field of interest. What's the range of extra curricular and what are the facilities like?)

gingerclementine Tue 12-Dec-17 09:06:21

Oh, just realised you're talking about primary. Duh! If the money is a bit of a squeeze, I' save it for secondary, where the impact of where they go has a much greater bearing on the rest of their life.

Ragusa Tue 12-Dec-17 09:09:00

I wouldn't. That money could pay off a chunk of your mortgage and you could then gift them a nest egg later on. Money for a house deposit is loads more use than a private primary education IMHO.

Kokeshi123 Tue 12-Dec-17 09:12:28

Yes, if the state options were BAD and this were a temporary fill-in as we made plans to move to another area (or it was likely that a place in a better state school would come up sooner or later).

Not if this is going to be a long-term thing. The fees go up as they got older and they are also going up year on year anyway. If state options are bad in your area, you would be better off moving.

horsemadmom Tue 12-Dec-17 09:21:43

We did it. Our local schools were dire (unless we found religion ) and some months we were terrifyingly tight for money but I don't regret it.

mindutopia Tue 12-Dec-17 09:29:53

If the local state schools aren't great, yes, I would, but I would make sure to have a really good look at state schools first, don't just go by Ofsted. Dd's primary isn't considered to be all that 'great' (well, according to Ofsted), but parents love it, it's a lovely little village school, they just don't teach to testing so Ofsted is never very good, but kids are happy, parents are happy, pastoral care is excellent, lots of lovely school trips, forest school, afterschool clubs, etc. We might have skipped over it if we hadn't gone for a visit.

But that said, if you really aren't happy with the local schools, yes, I would consider stretching to do private. My mum put me in private school. We could just about afford it when I was young (she was still married to my dad), but it was a real struggle when I was older. She worked fulltime plus 2 part-time jobs to keep me there and we went without lots of other things. But it was absolutely the best thing for me. I had a wonderful experience and got a fantastic education and it's taken me a long way in life, particularly in terms of networking and connections I made in school. I think there's no reason you can't find those same benefits in a good state school, but if you can't easily access a good state school, then I do think there is something to be said for making the sacrifices to afford private, if it's the right school for your dc and your family.

LucheroTena Tue 12-Dec-17 09:33:24

Not for primary unless I was loaded.

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