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When did starting secondary become so expensive?

(71 Posts)
privitandpetunias Sat 28-Jun-14 11:41:36

My DS1 went for his induction this week and came home with a letter detailing £50 worth of items that are compulsory to pay the school for before he even starts. That's in addition to the Uniform with logo's and two lots of PE Kit also with logo's which can only be purchased from their specified supplier. We have also been supplied with a list of other visits and activities that occur during year 7 that will also need to be paid for at various points during the year.

I am really shocked at all the additional costs we are a family of average income with 4dc's and I can't see how we are going to afford to pay for all this without it impacting on the younger DC's.

Anyone else experiencing the same?

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 07:09:47

Viva - 1hr from the nearest with space. So 2hrs every am and 2hrs pm for pick up. Closest is 5 mins but no space and many children on list in front of us for next space ( we are no 42 on list)

Hakluyt Wed 02-Jul-14 07:15:40

"Luggage - ok we have chosen. The option for us is private and we work, or the state school 4 hrs travel so can't work, so will become homeless, jobless, and live off benefits. Not the most free choice imo"

Out of interest,what do the people who can't afford fees do?

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 07:16:43

Luggage - I would like to know what you suggest we do. For me to be at work at 8.30am, I would use before school club anyway and drop at 8am. To use the state school I would have to drop him around 7.15am at school, so leave house at 6am to get there. A) they don't open then b) it's not fair to make him wake 5am daily to get ready and commute. He's 4 years old! In return with local private we still have I use after school until 6pm as it is, the state would need to run until at least 7pm for us to collect, and we would be home 8.15pm ish.
Sorry but rushing a 4 year old (and 3 year old tagging along) around so they are eating late, only sleeping 10/11pm until 5am, no free time to play etc isn't realistic.
We aren't loaded as mentioned. We live in a one bed flat, dh cycles to work instead of tube, and will no doubt get into debt to pay for this.
If local had space he would be attending.

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 07:27:16

Hak - no idea presumably one parent has to give up work and commute 4 hrs or homeschool

As I said we are sacrificing lots to afford it so I'm assuming many could afford if they changed habits also. We now live in tiny flat, have no car, no tv/ packages, etc etc. that saves a fair amount each month. Private primary is from £2000 a term which is 3 months.

lljkk Wed 02-Jul-14 07:28:51

Out of interest,what do the people who can't afford fees do?

They go become cleaners, secretaries & traders far outside of London?
I won't want to give A&C a hard time, though.
I think someone was right about tipping her off to look more closely at 2nd hand options/hiring equipment instead of buying, etc.

BravePotato Wed 02-Jul-14 07:29:26

Artandco, on MN if you go yo private school: never apologyse and never explain wink.

You and your motives will be picked to pieces ( as you can see), and there is no sympathy or even empathy for anyone who has the cash to go private.

London IS tough. We moved to hampshire and DH commutes and I found a local job. Good state schools here, hurrah, but it comes at a cost.

Anyway, don't let the bastards get you down. You do not owe an explanation to a random bunch of MNers.

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 07:35:23

Thanks brave. Llikk - once he has started we will be able to take advantage of the second hand items as apparently there main sale is every January.

Anyway, the decision won't be changed based on this thread so thanks for any help, and sorry I'm not superwomen who can travel and work more hours than there are in a day

Hakluyt Wed 02-Jul-14 07:38:07

I'm not interested in giving Artandco a hard time. I am interested in challenging the idea that anyone has no choice but to go private. And I asking what the neighbours of people who make this claim do. However.

(I'd like to challenge the buying of a flute for a 4 year old too- honestly any school which asks this has a crap head of music. Which is a shame- because one of the really good things about going private is that they should have fabulous music.)

Hakluyt Wed 02-Jul-14 07:41:24

It's very important for state parents to challenge any ridiculously expensive bits of kit they might be asked to buy because some schools use this as a covert means of selection. Which is a seriously bad thing to do.

Iggly Wed 02-Jul-14 07:43:07

Artandco which bit of london? Can you stick DC on the waiting list until something comes up?

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 07:46:38

Iggly - central west London, zone 1.He is on the list at four schools but like I said he's number 42 at one and higher at the others so the chances of them magically finding 40+ places before sept is slim

HercShipwright Wed 02-Jul-14 07:53:25

Hak - I know what you're getting at but many state schools don't give out theist till the induction package. When it's too late for people to change their minds. And in a state school everything can be bought second hand except a gum shield. That's what we found (we don't actually need to buy things second hand but we did buy lots of the kids uniforms second hand because the PTA stalls were there at the induction events and it seemed mad not to). I think the only first hand bit of uniform DD2 will have for her new school is the trousers (because none of the second hand ones were small enough and DD1s Y7 trousers were in tatters by the time she got to Y9) and the gumshield (which I'm certain she will never use). Although actually - she's about to start orthodontic treatment so that might not be a good idea anyway.

Heels99 Wed 02-Jul-14 08:00:47

Art, you need to move house. Getting into debt to pay for private school isn't the answer. How has this happened that your son has only been allocated a school miles away? Did you apply on time?

Heels99 Wed 02-Jul-14 08:01:39

I say this as someone who has moved house for primary school so I don't say it lightly

Iggly Wed 02-Jul-14 08:06:21

That is crazy. Our ds is 29th but we got our second choice.

Can you move slightly further out? Zone 1 is expensive. You could be a 20-30 min commute from the city in zone 3 and be better off?

Luggagecarousel Wed 02-Jul-14 08:13:54

Artcando, I assure you the rest of us cope!

"Central West London zone 1" !!!!!

There are at least 25 primary schools in Kensington and Chelsea alone, and the whole borough wouldn't take an hour to cross on foot!

It is complete nonsense to say you have no choice but to use private, and is a total insult to the state system.

You are choosing to use private because it suits you, for whatever reason.

That's up to you, but why construct this elaborate fantasy victim hood around it? Is it because you typically take up an anti private education stance politically, and have to pretend that you only use private because in your totally exceptional and unheard of circumstances you have absolutely no choice? No one is going to be deceived for a moment, you know.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 02-Jul-14 09:24:08

It is an interesting discussion with Art - are things really so bad that there are many children in London unable to go to a school within an hours commute? I have no idea - but if it is that is a really dire situation.

From a cost point of view dd is heading up into Year 10. school uniform is changing but total cost to replace is about £80 including pe kit and blazer which I think is a bargain! tbh her current blazer is starting to look a little worn in and the rest is a little on the shrunken side. She will need new blouses as they are a bit grubby now.

We had to pay about the same in Yr 7, plus shoes, maths kit and french dictionary.

Biggest expense has been school bags. Finding ones that are big enough, that dont collapse once loaded up has been a trial. Think we have finally found one.

Artandco Wed 02-Jul-14 09:27:07

Luggage- the school we have been allocated is in Camden. Over an hour to get to from ours

We applied on time.

We already are out the house 10-12 hr days without extra commute and extra cost of more childcare.

Thanks but we are happy with our choice. I was only confirming with op that education is expensive

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 02-Jul-14 09:38:16

London cross border mobility report might be of interest to some.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 02-Jul-14 09:44:43

To be fair Art has not asked for opinions on whether she has made the right choice on the school for her ds and it is a bit unfair that she is being asked to justify it. However Art, fortunately it is a lot less expensive to start at a state school - dd has not been asked to provide any art equipment, books or instruments (though she does play some and in fact school have loaned her one for free).

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Jul-14 18:51:57

Just costed out DS uniform and to get everything on the list was £1200 !!! I'm guessing there are some things that he can do without and some stuff can wait until after Xmas but It will be £500 for the essentials for sept . Will definitely be checking out the 2nd hand rail as DS is growing like a weed. just a shame the bursary doesn't include uniform allowance,and how you do it with more than 1 Dc I don't know.

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