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If your DC are in private primary(23 Posts)
Are you sacrificing much?
We can afford it, we have savings to cover an emergency and we'd still be able to afford a (modest) holiday a year . I'm just concerned we'll be the odd ones out. DS is fine at his current primary school but I'm getting more and more disillusioned with some of the behaviour I'm seeing / hearing about. We live in an area which ironically is known for having good schools but I feel as he goes further up the school things slide. Its mo ones fault the staff are massively overworked and the school is under funded. I'm hearing similar stories of other schools in the area too. So we are considering private as I dont feel any amounif extra curricular/ tuition can really make up for his day to day experience. Has anyone felt the same abs made the leap ? Positive/ negative stories welcome !
We’re not sacrificing anything as it isn’t paid for out of our income. Grandparents in a roundabout way, via a family business. His fees are only 7k a year though. We’re not mega high earners but could afford it ourselves but would mean less holidays.
We are pleased with his school but we are looking to move him at 9 to an independent that goes to 18.
What do you plan to do for secondary? Fees just get more and more costly. It sounds like cost is an issue so if you’re planning private secondary saving money might be a better plan than moving now.
We pay out of income. It’s fine. If you can afford it, do it, but make sure you’ve accounted for up to 5% fee increases each year.
Is your son actually unhappy?
Will you be able to keep on paying for senior school too? I’d always prioritise that over primary.
No he is perfectly happy but the behaviour and ethos in his current school seems to be declining rapidly and that does concern me.
I'm currently in a role I'm over qualified for (working at the moment as a part time TA but am a qualified teacher) so much as I'd rather not I do have the option of upping my salary should things get tight, i could suck up teaching until he had left if I had to to pay fees !! I think that's partly what depresses me so much. I know full well how inadequate the system is for many children (and this is from working at an "outstanding" primary school that people find religion / move for.
You could always try teaching in a private school . The staff at the schools that my DC attended had a discount.
We paid out of income,but were not fussy about holidays ( Both sets of GP lived in holiday areas or we did Gites) and didn't change the cars too often. The killer is the trips - both of them did a major one and the short trips to Spain or France for language practice.
I volunteered at the second hand uniform sales.
I think it really depends on the child and the independent school you move them to. I personally would always be the type to sacrifice material goods and expensive holidays for my child’s happiness and development. But I would never sacrifice a good diet, sufficient space at home, extra curricular activities like music for a school. My son was in an outstanding state primary school and he was bored, he is very bright (he was years ahead in reading) but not a teacher pleaser. He was under the radar and bored stiff with the repetitive nature of year 2 sats. I moved him to an outstanding independent where he is stretched sideways in every possible way, music, sport, drama, chess, computing, French you name it, he is also extended in maths and English, art and science, expectations are high and he has to be very independent for his age. For him it was worth it. He is having a fantastic experience, this will shape him for life undoubtedly. However, his school goes all the way to 18 so doesn’t do repetitive 11 plus type testing which I personally hate.
Just to say don't worry about being the odd ones out re:income or holidays etc.
We have two at prep, it's a very good prep in South East and there is a genuine mix of incomes and people. Some mums work. Some don't. Some have new cars, others have a car like mine - covered in mud and dog hair. I haven't met anyone 'snotty' or judgemental or unpleasant.
Everyone is just doing the best for their child/ren.
Think.it depends on your plans for secondary and any other children you may have. Our eldest stayed at state primary despite a similar experience to what you are having. He moved to independent secondary, which does have a junior feeder school. We could have moved him at year 5, but at the time he wanted to stay with his friends and didn't want 2 changes in 2 years. We also had younger child at the primary. Now younger child is year 4 and the 'slide' further up the school re behaviour and attainment is noticeable again. We will move younger child out after this year for year 5 and 6 at the private junior. We werent happy with the year 6 teaching and prep won't do SATS which makes year 6 in the state system throughly miserable. Affordability manageable for this extra 2 years, its a sacrifice we think worth making. We do not have a flamboyant lifestyle, not in London, so fees are not ridiculous. If you can factor in a modest holiday and have emergency pot, it can be done, and is how most of the parents here do it
What would be the plan after primary?
Thank you all for your responses. The main things we will be forgoing ( I realise this sounds incredibly spoilt as we are very privileged to even be able to.consider these ) would be more exotic holidays ( lovely in laws have an apt in Portugal we'll doubtless be going to for the next 100 years) and some cosmetic house renovations which are nice to have but not necessary.
We are SE London too and whilst the state schools do achieve very good SATS I want so much more than that for him.
I would jump at the chance of a job at this school !!
Change my name how did your DC settle going into y5? I worry about him starting o his own whereas at y3 there is a bigger intake. However what you have suggested sounds like it works well.
Ah apologies I've just seen you moved him for you
Don't worry about being the odd one out. We choose to have caravan holidays and we certainly don't have fancy cars.
The school we're at has a massive mix of parents. Yes there are kids that fly first class long haul for their summer holiday then ski in the family chalet. But they are still nice people. there are also a lot of doctors/dentists/business owners all making sacrifices to sen the kids private.
Yes to the pp talking about getting a job at a school. 70% discount at some schools!
It’s good that you’ve got the earning potential. I’d probably go for the indie.
We recently relocated 140 miles across the country. We applied to state primaries (rated outstanding) close to our new house, but because of the timing none had any places. So, I decided on an independent school. It's a fantastic school and I love it.
It's caused a few disagreements between DH and I, as he is fundamentally against paying for education, however our son is thriving and I personally think it's worth it.
Oh, and definitely don't worry about being the odd one out. Our school has a means-tested bursary system, so there is a real range of backgrounds/incomes
We stayed in a primary similar to the one you describe, but transferred to independent secondary. DS did fine at primary - achieved very well academically and was very happy. We knew he probably could have been stretched more and certainly had wider extra curricular experiences at a prep, but he was very happy, doing well, and I liked the community feel of the school - in spite of behavioural issues similar to what you hint at. Plus, it would have been a very big financial commitment to go private. He's now at a fantastic independent secondary due to a huge staff discount. We still hesitated over whether to accept the offer, but in the end the opportunity just seemed too good to turn down. He is now having an amazing education, for which I feel incredibly lucky.
As others have said, I think your key consideration has to be what you'll do for secondary. Near me, loads of families choose private preps in order to boost their chance of grammar entrance, so moving from private to state is common. But if you're in an area with average or poor secondaries, then it's much, much harder to make that move. Around here, there are always some families who pay for prep hoping for a grammar place, but then their child doesn't pass 11+ - and they either cripple themselves financially to pay for private secondary or make what can be a very unhappy move from prep to state. What are your secondary options like?
Grandmoth thank you for that. DH is much more with your way of thinking, get through primary then have it as a back up for secondary. Secondary find but not great, lots go to grammar but I'm very wary of counting on that . Can I just ask how you.kept your DS on track during the later primary years. Like you say mine is currently happy and academically he is doing well but I feel the further up the school you get the behaviour does deteriorate quite badly. Hes no saint and can be easily influenced for example I've signed him up to do a language lunchtime club and hes been persistently not attending as none of his particular friends go, despite him requesting to do the club in the first place !! I realise this may seem a silly example but its this sort of thing that concerns me the most .
To be honest, DS was never really a 'one of the crowd' type. He never found it difficult to stay out of trouble and do his own thing (in your example, it wouldn't have bothered him that nobody else was doing the club, if he wanted to do it). He's a natural rule-follower, and very resistant to peer pressure. (He's no angel, by the way! But that's just him. My other child is very different!!). If he'd been a different child, it's genuinely hard for me to say how we would have responded to that; I think it would, have taken an awful lot for us to move him, but I guess I can't rule out that possibility.
In terms of academically keeping on track, he did a weekly 11+ tutoring session in Year 5 to make sure he had covered what he needed to for grammar entrance, then we prepped a bit at home for independent entrance exams.
My standard of living plummeted when I stuck our kids into prep. We can afford it but it's about 22k a year and It does make a big difference to our holiday... car... new bathroom potential....
As the PP suggests, I do think it depends on your attitude to 'stuff'. Not in a sanctimonious 'oh, I care about my children's education so I'm willing to make sacrifices' way. But some people just care less about these things already. DH and I have no interest in home improvements (if it's broken, fix it - otherwise meh), or nice cars (if it works and fits everyone in, then fine), expensive hobbies (no golf, cycling etc), pets, or costly nights out with dinners and babysitters. We do like holidays, but I research thoroughly and book on a budget (no ski trips, all inclusives, kids clubs etc). So we didn't have any of this to have to consider giving up. So although we have a low (by private school standard) income, we already had a lot of disposable income that went into savings accounts, that we now spend on the percentage of fees that we pay. If we'd had to make big lifestyle changes, we wouldn't have done it. Other people I know do have these sorts of expenses, and although they could give things up to pay for education, they'd probably be miserable if they did.
there is a genuine mix of incomes and people. Some mums work. Some don't. Some have new cars, others have a car like mine - covered in mud and dog hair. I haven't met anyone 'snotty' or judgemental or unpleasant.
I echo this for the prep school my two are at. There was far more ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ at the state school they were at previously.
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