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SWPS Chertsey and GPs paying

(51 Posts)
Mmmmnotquitesure Fri 21-Feb-14 22:44:51

DD has a place at SWPS but failed to get a bursary place. Her grandma is considering paying for her fees but her liquid assets are currently not much more than the cost of her education in total.

What are your thoughts on the school itself and the main issue for me is that her older brother is at a local comp - and doing very well, and I won't be able to afford for DD2 to go independent so there may be some potential ill-feeling in the future. I do think though the school is right for her now considering various other issues and knowing her, but is it worth the obvious down sides regarding fees??

trader21c Sat 22-Feb-14 18:39:21

Supposed to be a good school but obviously depends what your state options are and your finances - I've never regretted paying for education smile

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 22:16:55

Well it's not my finances- I basically have none!! I think I can't really let this opportunity go and will cross the bridge re DD2 in 6 years. State option is actually doing well by DS right now- really suits him but am really not sure it is right for her at all.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 22:19:30

Just to warn you that SWPS has a lot of extra compulsary charges in addition to their advertised fees. I know a few parents who are unimpressed with the way this works.

You have to take out insurance, you have all their trips & books to pay on top - these are all compulsary!

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 22:40:02

Any idea how much?!

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 22:40:44

I'm aware of music, lunches etc

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 22:45:04

No sorry. Just mention of this insurance and that none of the school trips and text books are included in the fees quoted!! So the cost is suddenly comparable with the likes of St. Georges.

Also being on the sports squads can incur extra fees too. Oh and the school bus is hidously expensive if you would need to use that.

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 23:04:48

She's not at all sporty and we live close by so maybe ok there! I'm wondering about the curriculum trips now - the optional ones she'd have to do without ...or go to the comp and not have these concerns???? Mind is fried!

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 23:11:38

I don't think there are optional ones, that is the criticism - there are many non-optional things that are not included in the termly fees. Personally I would always be concerned about being the poor kid amongst the wealthy...

Many of the families at the school have fantastic lifestyles. Very difficult decision. Is there any particular reason why your dd would struggle so much at state and why do you think SWPS would suit her so much better?

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 23:21:32

She's academically clever but emotionally quite immature and is 'highly strung'. She finds making true friends quite hard and isn't a typical girl - couldn't be less interested in popular culture/fashion etc. She also is quite insecure and this has worsened following the divorce and I suppose I just want her to have every opportunity as when she is feeling safe she is really wonderful and amazing with real aptitude for music and maths.

Mmmmnotquitesure Sat 22-Feb-14 23:23:13

I like the idea that they turn out well-rounded confident young women I guess!!

trader21c Sun 23-Feb-14 06:47:52

well they seem to do that

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 08:01:16

So you are hoping for outstanding pastoral care at SWPS? I'm not sure it will necessarily provide what you hope for?

Mmmmnotquitesure Sun 23-Feb-14 14:57:30

This is what I'm wondering- just don't want to kick myself for not making the most of the opportunity- I have no idea what to do quite frankly!!

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 15:38:14

I honestly wonder if you better off spending money on involving her in hobbies where her self esteem will improve. I personally would worry about her being a poor kid amongst the rich and being an easy target regardless as she's "highly strung".

It could be that money spent on some family therapy of some sort to help emotionally support her better would be of far better benefit??

The school will be competitive and she will be amongst equals - so working hard yet perhaps in bottom set for maths or similar, what would that do for her esteem?

I'm just throwing ideas out - you know your dd best.

trader21c Sun 23-Feb-14 18:58:10

At every private school there are plenty of families (mine included) who are making sacrifices/working extra shifts to pay the fees ... I wouldn't worry about her being 'a poor kid amongst the rich' that is never the complete picture ... there will be some wealthy families - there will be others who struggle to pay the fees ... randommess you have quite strong opinions about the school does your dc go there?

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 19:29:15

No my dc doesn't, but my eldest has been the poor amongst the rich at private school despite there being lots of other dc where sacrifices were being made. Like I said I know several family whose dds go there and hear the very good, good and the bad about the school via them.

If you want a great education then yes send your dd there, if you think sending a dd there because they will get amazing pastoral care and they will transform an "emotionally quite immature and is 'highly strung'. She finds making true friends quite hard and isn't a typical girl - couldn't be less interested in popular culture/fashion etc. She also is quite insecure" child and I'm not sure any very academic school will achieve that.

I was merely trying to make the op aware that paying for an education (that her others won't be able to have -sibling resentment?) will not mean that these particular issues are addressed. Just my thoughts!

Gunfleetsands Sun 23-Feb-14 21:48:33

RamdomMess is correct in what she says about the school.

I would say that any girl (especially one who does not come from a wealthy background) needs to be of a resilient type in order to enjoy the environment.

Academically the school achieves excellent results. However it is worth noting that, like most independent schools, the academic fees increase by approximately 4% every year. There are usually day trips to pay for every term and these are added to the fees. The day trips are not excessively expensive but they do add up. All external examination fees and revision guides are also added to the fees.

You should also factor in several hundred pounds for the uniform and PE kit.

The school particularly likes girls to join in with extra curricular activities which is fine if a girl enjoys PE, music or drama. If a girl is quieter and more studious then I am afraid something like maths club isn't seen as 'cool' by many of the other girls!

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 22:09:27

Not to mention the trip away the first week of term for all the year 7s...

Gunfleetsands Sun 23-Feb-14 22:30:25

Yes, added to the fees as well! I think that residential trip is more or less compulsory.

About half the year go on the Year 7 French trip in the May half term.

Another large extra expense higher up the school is DofE which, although not compulsory, many of the girls sign up for.

Rowing incurs additional expense but is certainly not compulsory.

Most residential trips are optional.

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 22:34:23

I know someone who didn't want her dd to do DofE and OMG the grief the school gave them. So it pretty much is compulsary and expensive - well compared to how much it costs at state school!

It was the compulsary insurance in case they can't attend - I find that bizarre that it's just not quoted as part of the set fees.

Their best tip is that John Lewis sell the correct colour school skirt that is much better quality than the one at the uniform shop and is cheaper...

Mmmmnotquitesure Sun 23-Feb-14 22:44:40

Thanks for all your thoughts... For me I was kind of hoping that it would be cool to be in the maths club etc. she recently came top out of her whole year in the sats mocks and I think amongst like minded peers she would feel more comfortable with learning than she does now- she enjoys competition (apart from when she loses- hence the 'highly strung' comment)!

I think I'd be okay with her being the 'poor' one since my eldest, even at the local comp, still hears tales of holidays and gadgets that they will never be having.

The thing is that there is a lot of money being spent on one child and I need the GP to know exactly how much these extras will cost and I need to deal with the fact that DD2, unless she amazingly gets a bursary (she appears to be very bright but hey) then, although DD1 will be in sixth form or college, she will not have the same opportunity.

Oh bollocks- will she feel I took an opportunity away from her by saying no or not!? She is desperate to go there.

Gunfleetsands Sun 23-Feb-14 22:50:52

Yes, I believe it is in the region of £80 per term for three terms (Bronze). Goodness knows why it is so expensive. Evidently there are fines for late return of borrowed kit after an expedition.

The cost of the insurance is, I think, governed by the fees - as in it is a percentage of the fees which is then added on as a separate item.

Lunch is also extra but girls can take packed lunches after year 7.

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 22:50:55

I was wondering if you got my private message? My biggest concern would be that you all think it's going to be fanastically amazing for her personality etc. and it may not be any better than the comprehensive.

I would be tempted to try her out at the comp and if that really doesn't work out then perhaps move her to SWPS at a later date? There will be a number of very able school at each of the local comps, there is such a shortage of secondary school places there is a huge spectrum of abilities now - this certainly wasn't try when my eldest moved into year 7 five years ago.

RandomMess Sun 23-Feb-14 22:52:04

How much do the exercise books work out at? My colleagues often complain at random extras being added on each term - their dds are in the upper years now.

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