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indecision re sec school or do I even have a choice?!

(26 Posts)
staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 11:53:28

Some background... been separated from verbally/emotionally abusive husband for two years this month ( i finally with difficulty got him to leave). Have 2 dc, ds1, 11yrs and ds2 6yrs who live with me.

Ds1 didn't get into first choice secondary, he is on the waiting list, no3 as of 10th August. He has been offered a place at local school which has been sliding down for past few years.

My dm (mum) was also upset and suggested that i try him for independent school which i did back in June. He was accepted
and we bought the all uniform at beginning of school summer holidays. I feel this would be just the boost ds1 needs, it would offset
alot of the stress from the bad marriage and subsequent break-up. Ex-dh will not pay fees even though he can afford to. He is better off since he left here as i now pay all the bills and he gives me a tiny amount of maintenance. He said originally that he would pay, but i should have known better that he'd let us down...

Anyway, in the past week mum has said she thinks ds1 should go to local secondary as she is worried (v. understandably) about credit crunch. Her plan was that she would pay first years fees of £10k and sell her house to fund the future years. Dm wanted to downsize anyway - she has a large house and both brothers have left home
and married over last couple of years.

So what should i do for my ds? I have the first years fees but
that's all. He is due to start at independent on Sept 4th.

Local school starts on 1st September. And first choice (waiting list school) starts on 3rd Sept.
Any ideas/questions please?

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 11:58:07

Hmm. You do know you will still have to pay a terms fees even if he doesn't go and if you leave it until the start of the term you will also have to pay a terms notice?

What does each school have to offer your child? IMO, you match the school to the child. Sit and think where he'd be better off. Would your ex pay half or give you more maintenance?

FrazzledFairyFay Sun 24-Aug-08 12:01:51

My honest opinion is that I'd be worried about the money. Would you want DS2 to go to independent school as well?

At the end of the day you need to do what you feel is best for your DSs within the wider context of what you think is best for your whole family.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:07:36

Thank you AvenaLife, Yes the first terms fees will have to be paid now whether ds1 goes there or not. What a mess...sad

The independent has everything I want for ds... caring, small classes, not too pushy academically. I have really thought about it and was very decided it was the right place for ds.

The local school is going downhill apparently but that could change for the better?

The waiting list school is better that the local, a bit smaller and good results and ds know about 20 children from primary school who are going there so at least that would offer some continuity? No chance of more maintenance from ex-dh, he pleads poverty...

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:11:13

Frazzled, yes I am worried about the money... having to take him out after first year. DS2 is a different character, top of class at academic primary and more confident and assertive, I really would not worry if DS1 was the same as DS2

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 12:11:24

My mil does things like this. She really wanted ds to go to a independant school, I looked around and it seemed the best place for him, he got in, I coughed up the deposit etc, then she pipes up "are you sure? It's alot of money" angry I can't seem to win.

How are you going to manage the fees next year if you send him to the private school? Do they offer any busaries?

Yeyeayo Sun 24-Aug-08 12:13:30

I can only tell you what I'd do. I'd let your DS go to that school for the first year, and try and see what I could do to raise the money during. But I don't know much about your situation (job, financial commitments) and your specific worries - i.e. settling down in a school and then possibly having to leave (?) so I apologise as this comes across as simplistic.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:15:19

Avenalife, did your ds go to the ind school in the end? I would not be able to manage the next yers fees unless my dm managed to sell her house. As for bursaries, I think only the brightest children are offered them and ds would not be top of the class...

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 12:16:08

I agree. You'll have to pay them anyway so you might as well send him.

SquiffyHock Sun 24-Aug-08 12:16:48

If you send him for the first year then you may have more chance of getting into your waiting list school for year 7. Is there no way that you can't get more money from your ex via the courts?

Sorry you're having such a hard time.

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 12:19:13

ds starts his new school on Thursday. He's previously been educated at a different private school, we've never had a holiday, my socks have holes in them so I've sacrificed alot.

Busaries are dished out according to financial need, not being top of the class. Scholarships are awarded to the bright ones )or those who have had good tutors/been coached). Phone them up and ask them. ds's school doesn't offer them for the junior school, his old school offered nothing.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:22:31

Yeyeayo, I would let him go for the first year if I thought dm's house sale would go through.
As for me raising the money - I am starting university in sept.. I am not qualified at anything to be able to pay for ds.

If I do get a job, ex-dh will stop maintenance and the money I would earn would not be enough.

Yes i am worried about ds starting a school and then having to leave, he's been through enough so i want to get this right for him

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 12:24:10

Ask them about a busary. They are awarded to parents in financial need. You fill in a form and give them info about your financial status.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:31:31

Squiffy, I could let him start at independent and hope that place comes up at waiting list school, of course it still means disruption for him though. But it is probably the best type of disruption...! As for going to court - ex-dh wants me to sell house, he pretends he's on a low salary I just hope the judge does'nt believe him because he has fooled the inland revenue already...

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:35:51

AvenaLife, have read their prospectus etc, they do not offer financial support/aid at 'point of entry' at this independent school. Maybe they would in the second year? But probably not...

Yeyeayo Sun 24-Aug-08 12:36:16

Hi staypresent,
I see where you're coming from. I'm at uni too and it's all about the basics.
You said you have the money for the first year; did you mean just the first term? Or will some of that money need to go towards upkeep during that year? Have you applied for childcare grant also? Don't think it will include money for school fees but it may help out with after school fees for ds2. As AvenaLife says, try and find out what bursaries/grants may be available.
Also, have you contacted the CSA? I'm not an expert but I doubt your ex can stop maintenance because you start work. Also you may end up getting more than you do now.

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 12:45:27

In my experience, the childcare grant can be used to help pay for everything but a private school. However, if the school offers something more than a state school (breakfast club, holiday club or after school club) and they are registered, then you can get help under the childcare grant for this but not for the fees if you see what I mean.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 12:54:26

Hi Combustiblemom, have jsut seen your reply, sorry but i posted same thread twice blush.
Have contacted CSA but ex-dh has profits etc sewn up with his accountant and has already pulled a fast one on inland revenue..

TwoWindyDays Sun 24-Aug-08 14:08:15

I would send him for a year, there may be a bursery for the second but if not a year is a decent amount of time to benefit. He will be older and better able to cope with changing school in ayear. Lots of Forces children change school a lot more often.

Also in a year the divorce will be more distant, maybe your husband will be more willing to chip in, especially if he sees the benefits to DS.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 17:26:23

Thanks TwoWindyDays, I think that is true that he would benefit from a year there, and would be a bit older if/when it comes to changing schools.

However, I haven't said that the first years fees are coming from my brother but DM is reluctant to take the money again because of fear of the credit crunch, (it would be DM who would be paying my brother back after the sale of her house). Do you think this is too much or do families do things like this? What I am saying is should i just accept the position I am in which is having no finance available myself for what i would really liek for my son?

TwoWindyDays Mon 25-Aug-08 13:41:57

Its a bit tricky isnt it, but I think I would still send him for a year because you will be paying a third of the fees anyway, and did you say you have the uniform too? I would explain to your family that it may only be for a year to see him over a difficult time, and that if the credit crunch means that your mum cant pay your brother back then you will take on the debt, and that it will be after university. Its a lot of money but you are committed to a term anyway.

I think you should be clear with them what your are planning, and I suspect that they will understand. Your family sounds very supportive and lovely

staypresent Mon 25-Aug-08 21:45:06

Thank you all of you! It really helped to get get it out of my head and discuss with you all.
I will speak to DM tomorrow - they are all at a wedding this weekend. I think DS1 should go for the first year (he thinks he is going there anyway) for all the above reasons. I hope DMum and DB feel the same.

TwoWindyDays, thank you. I feel like i need to rehearse what you've said in a kind of speech! (It makes alot of sense.) I will be clear with them... I just hope they agree now as time is running out shock

TwoWindyDays Tue 26-Aug-08 08:48:06

I suggest you check the grammar first

chapstickchick Tue 26-Aug-08 08:55:07

i think that you ds education is your responsibility i would have liked my ds to go private but i couldnt afford it - at the end of the day if his education rests on a house being sold that to me is not enough bright kids can and will do well anywhere,just because a school is not attining brilliant scores doesnt mean the teaching staff arent dedicated.

to send him to private school for even a year is setting him up for a blow in my v honest opinion-you cant afford it -he cant go-simple as.

staypresent Tue 26-Aug-08 13:06:55

Chapstick, I agree that ds's education is my responsibility. Like you, I would like my ds to go to private school, my reasons are mainly the smaller class sizes, the care, and good results in the end. Unfortunately he will not get this at the school he has been offered unless he is one of the brightest (who apparently do well anywhere) children.
I agree that many teachers are very dedicated at schools that don't attain the best scores. I know my preferences but it is the weighing up of the blows I am worried about. I will find out today if the money situation for one year is going to go ahead. And think again!!

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