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Eton Extras?

(74 Posts)
FleurForesight Wed 26-Mar-14 09:01:39

DS has a place at Eton for 2015, which we're thrilled about. We are currently trying to work out how to pay for it, though, and are wondering how much we might need to include in our calculations for extras (trips, uniform etc)?

The extras vary at our children's current schools; one school has far more expensive extras than the other. If you include optional foreign trips (which we don't), you could probably double the fees...

We are more than happy to buy second-hand uniform (or second-hand anything at all), but don't even know if there's any kind of second-hand shop at Eton.

Could anyone please let us know how much (approximately) we might be looking at?

IndridCold Wed 26-Mar-14 09:49:22

In summer 2012 all uniform, formal change and sports kit came to around £1000, including naming and delivery to our DSs room. You can buy second hand, but if you get new they will give you something for it when you move up a size.

You have to buy school bedding and stuff for his room, which came to £300+, the most expensive item being the ottoman which was £200 (you can get cheaper ones).

Haven't been on any trips yet, but there is no need to go on them. I think DS will want to go on a D block trip, and I think they are in the region of £2000 for a week.

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 10:19:19

Congratulations to your DS.

Most houses have a preferred tailor in the High Street (there are at least three). Your Dame will point you in the right direction. Ours was Welsh & Jefferies & Weatherill Bros. They sell second-hand as well as new.

Indrid is more up-to-date than me about cost. She is right that there is an initial cost in setting up your DS's room (armchair, bedding, posters, desk chair - none of these should be valuable!).

Our DS never went on an expensive school trip (from choice).

Our biggest "extra" was music tuition. Otherwise there are a few random charges (breakages/tips for house staff/membership of the Boat Club etc).

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 10:39:52

Here's a strawman (which IndridCold and others can comment on with recent experience). I would budget £1,500 in start-up costs (uniform, furniture) and then £200 per term for basic extras (house outings/tutor outings/tips/breakages/club memberships etc). Then allow for music tuition and overseas trips which are optional.

FleurForesight Wed 26-Mar-14 11:46:14

Thanks very much indeed for this. It is painful reading, but not drastically more painful than what we have at the moment (including a 2-day trip for one of our littlies, for which we are being billed a disgraceful £250...)

We have already accounted for music tuition, but it had never crossed my mind that he will need furniture. Plus van hire to transport the stuff half way across the country!!

It's a good job DD isn't going, as she breaks things by looking at them. grin

IndridCold Wed 26-Mar-14 12:36:42

Yes, I would broadly agree with grovels figures. For what it's worth DS is still wearing all his original uniform and sports kit (after a year and two terms), and it still has several terms-worth of wear left in it.

If you order the furniture from Eton suppliers everything is delivered and ready for when your DS arrives. From then on everything stays at school until he leaves. No need for you to worry about vans until 2020!

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 13:51:30

I say that overseas trips are optional but suspect that some, in practice, are not. The 1st VIII row in the Head of the Charles (Boston), the choir sometimes tour etc. I reckon it would be hard not to participate if you were a member of the VIII or a chorister.

dog1dog2 Wed 26-Mar-14 16:22:35

Friend with DS there reckons start up costs are around £2000 and then budget c£500 per term for extras.

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 18:14:29

dog1dog2, that sounds about right too. There is some discretion. You can buy second hand uniform. You can buy overcoats, shoes etc elsewhere. My DS's furniture came from our loft.

My guess is that most parents do end up paying +/-£500 a term in extras, as your friend said, but I would be miffed if that amount did not include some optional costs (music etc). In my opinion schools should be transparent about unavoidable extras and include them in the fees.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 26-Mar-14 18:27:35

Congratulations smile I dont know much about it but I think that competition must be very high.

I'm feeling nosy though - do you really need to buy furniture? Why? Is there a thriving market in passing down second hand furniture? What happens if you get there and the previous occupant decided to be kind and leave it there? If you are on a scholarship do you get help with things like that?

Its fascinating to get an insight into different peoples lives.

usualsuspectt Wed 26-Mar-14 19:32:36

You have to buy furniture and bedding?

Well I never.

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 19:36:47

Kitten, all boys get a small room of their own. It has the basics and (at least in our case) the minimum you'd need to provide is a desk chair. It would be pretty Spartan without another chair and posters etc. Eton is a pretty full-on experience and the boys need somewhere to crash out which is "their" space.

IME, there's not much of a market for leavers selling their stuff to new boys because obviously they never meet (and, post A levels, leavers are not that focussed on being sensible!).

Leavers are not allowed to leave their stuff behind. The houses are very thoroughly cleaned over the summer and random furniture gets in the way.

Boys on full fees bursaries can get help with absolutely everything (including pocket money).

Ultimately Eton is just a school with 1300 adolescent boys! Notwithstanding their "extraordinary" experience they are just as nice/nasty/bolshie/enthusiastic/happy/sad as any other bunch of boys.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 26-Mar-14 19:45:51

Thanks smile Do they keep their room for the whole time, or do you get better ones as you go through the school?

It's good that there is complete help for those on full bursaries. Do they have strict limits on how much they are allowed? (My only experience of boarding schools are Mallory towers, chalet school and Hogwarts).

A really daft question too - do they have tuck boxes? (Sorry for the hijack!)

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 26-Mar-14 19:47:46

Sorry, incomplete question to was meant to say - do they have limits on how much pocket money they are allowed?

IndridCold Wed 26-Mar-14 20:45:19

I don't think there are limits to pocket money, but as you may imagine a few boys have loads. Mine makes do with £5 per week, plus extras from kind friends and family.

At first I was a bit shock at £500 on extras but, including tuition for one instrument, that is about right.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 26-Mar-14 20:50:08

Music tuition really adds up even in the comprehensive sector.

FleurForesight Wed 26-Mar-14 22:04:06

This is all so helpful. Thank you!

Indrid, I am now feeling better about the pocket money too. DS has just started getting a monthly allowance of £20 (which is supposed to cover everything - including, in due course, a cheapo phone like mine). I'd hoped that this would also suffice once he is at Eton, and am v glad to find out that this might be realistic...

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 22:56:21

Kitten, I don't think tuck boxes are obligatory but in my DS's day ( he left five years ago) most boys had one. They need something they can lock (and another seat). Boys pile into each other's rooms and settle wherever they can.

They change rooms every year. In our case, the housemaster rated his top two boys per year (contribution to the House, academic performance etc) and then did a lottery. The "top" boys then chose from the available rooms. The others then chose according to their place in the lottery. I hated when DS lost his view over meadows to Windsor Castle - he didn't give a stuff. He was closer to a toaster/the showers.

DS's house had two great rooms (for Head of House/ Captain of Games). The rest were fairly similar but with different views.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Mar-14 07:55:53

Funny how lots of teens rate practicality over niceness grin

peteneras Sat 29-Mar-14 16:00:14

Basically you can spend as much as you like (and I mean the sky’s the limit) OR as little as you like, i.e. the same amount as you would spend living at home going to a state school. When you are at Eton, you get fed 5 times a day so you can be pretty sure you won’t go hungry which is of paramount importance. But if you want to live like a prince which obviously many of them do (real or unreal) then there’s nothing to stop you.

Every boy has a personal school account right from Day One. The parents/guardians are sent a bill from this account at the end of a Half (term) which includes the school fee for the next Half. Eton expects this bill to be fully paid up before the boy starts the next Half.

Generally speaking, most purchases by a boy during term time are not paid in cash. The purchases are entered into the boy’s personal account, i.e. anything from (say) your daily newspapers (delivered to your house) to the odd pair of socks from the sports store. Almost every shop along the High Street is associated with the School (it seems to me the School owns the entire High Street and beyond). There may be some surprises in the bill when it arrives, e.g. outings with the housemaster to London or the theatres, rugby tickets at Twickenham or perhaps a simple meal at Pizza Hut in Windsor.

Provided the bills do not include items such as scuba diving in the Red Sea or two weeks in Beijing with the School Orchestra or three weeks playing football in Malaysia, they should be quite manageable. That’s not counting music lessons in 2 instruments, etc. which are all included in the termly bill.

peteneras Sat 29-Mar-14 16:32:25

”You have to buy furniture and bedding?”

Well, it’s just the basic bedding we’re talking about i.e. a couple of pillows and cases, a quilt and cover and I think the bed linen is provided.

You don’t really have to buy furniture as such - a basic table and chair and perhaps a single sofa chair is usually found in each room. You’ll be surprised what can be found lying about in each house, e,g, in his time, DS found amongst other things, a nice bookcase, additional sofa chairs, an electric guitar amplifier and even a small fridge!

But I bought him a nice comfortable office chair from Day One - (may as well let him get used to it if he’s going to be Prime Minister in 25 years time grin) - just to be broken by his rowdy peers a week later when they visited. Got him a replacement within a couple of days later and this time the rowdy folks are all barred!

But seriously, he’s more likely to be standing on his feet 90% of his working time in a hospital operating theatre rather than sitting comfortably at No. 10 Downing Street.

IndridCold Sat 29-Mar-14 22:34:54

peteneras is a bit out of date now. The system for boys purchases has changed since his DS was at Eton.

peteneras Sun 30-Mar-14 08:40:05

So what has changed IndridCold? Tell us how the system works now.

IndridCold Sun 30-Mar-14 09:50:46

Its very mundane now, boys have an account at the local bank, with a debit card to make purchases. It's up to parents how much money they put into their DSs account, but you can put in extra if they need a new rugby shirt or something.

The card means they can buy stuff online too, but the high street traders had complained that it was taking too long for them to be paid under the old chit system.

grovel Sun 30-Mar-14 10:53:45

There's a very convenient branch of Coutts.

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