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Private school - extra costs on top of fees

(27 Posts)
Hamleysmum Mon 05-Jan-15 22:12:33

Can anyone tell me what sort of costs to expect at private school (Secondary, in Scotland) on top of the termly fees? Obviously there's the uniform, but is anything else we should be factoring in? And how much, roughly? Thanks.

wonderingstar01 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:43:42

Transport to and from school, meals, extra-curricular clubs (generally £40 per term per club), administration such as copying, tutor nights out, random boarding, school trips, days out. My extras bill was generally between £650 and £900 per term. Daughter back in state secondary now and I certainly don't miss these bills!

HmmAnOxfordComma Mon 05-Jan-15 23:58:08

It varies so much. Look at the individual school to see what is included.

At ds's school, lunches, books, most extra curricular clubs are free.

Buses, music lessons and a few clubs are chargeable. Public exams are chargeable. Trips are chargeable but we've had very few of these.

Ds walks to school and doesn't play an instrument. He's been on one 'fun' day trip and 1-2 syllabus trips per academic years.

Extras bill no more than £60 per year so far.

debbriana Tue 06-Jan-15 00:01:39

If they charge you for all those extra things them what do you pay for? Wow

babyiwantabump Tue 06-Jan-15 00:07:46

Not in Scotland but we have to :

Pay for lunches and travel to and from .
Aftercare and clubs are usually free a few have a small extra cost but those are mostly specialist .
School trips extra - this year she is going to France £400 and a few day trips on top . Music lessons £140 a term

Uniform is a big exspense every year as they keep bloody changing it! And you can't buy it from local shops only their special uniform shop. Roughly £400 for that too!

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 00:15:15

We pay for all text books/reading pens paper stationary etc, public exams, trips, DS boards so we obviously have already paid for food etc. our extras are between £300 to £750 a term.

EdithWeston Tue 06-Jan-15 00:26:18

Shorter terms, so if you need childcare during holidays there are more weeks to be paid for.

Swimmingwithsharks Tue 06-Jan-15 02:36:29

School coach approx £1100 per annum, school trips, theatre etc works out about £17 each and probably 3 each term. Lunch is £20 per week, some clubs are £90 per term, music lessons £28 per lesson, mouth guard £60, extra kit for extra curricular sports, teacher's Christmas and end of year gift ( class collection) £60 and upwards, fundraising and sponsoring kid(s) for charities. And then there are the school trips. PGLs approx £400 or overseas jaunts up to £2200. If your child plays sport or sings in the choir then there can be trips on top of that too. Depending on how far they are travelling. Dry cleaning! Petrol costs for ferrying to and from sports fixtures and music/ school productions. Ticket prices for productions.

Essexmum69 Tue 06-Jan-15 07:44:37

But alot of those costs will still apply at a state school. DS at state - pay for bus £ 3.40 a day, lunch, stationary, music lessions, choir tour to Venice this summer, day trips, contributions for materials for Art or DT, revision guides, uniform and PE kit, concert tickets, and the "voluntary" contribution to the school fund!
The common things to have to pay extra for at private school that state school do not charge for is first time external exam entries ( resits and remarks are charged even at state schools), books and some clubs.

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 08:37:51

We've never been asked to pay £2200 for an overseas jaunt. We've never paid more than £800 that includes all meals, accommodation, flights, museum admissions etc. I very much get the impression that the cost of trips is deliberately kept as low as possible and this is at one of the most expensive UK boarding schools.
Interestingly at DS1 state comp twice he was offered trips costing in excess of £2200.

TheWordFactory Tue 06-Jan-15 08:53:35

Cal the bursar OP and ask for a ball park average. They won't mind on the least and if they do, avoid the school.

FWIW DDs Xmas bill included two sports trips, two theatre trips, insurance, sports equipment, GCSE set texts, LAMDA fees at a cheeky £1996!

summerends Tue 06-Jan-15 09:08:13

Our experience is similar to Essexmum and HG. You have to differentiate what are the costs particular to a private school, such as exam fees and in some cases more obligatory sports kit, from what most MC parents will be paying for active DCs in state schools. Sports trips abroad and ski trips are common place at our local state schools. For those with DC's who perform, state schools seem to charge non-negligible sums for tickets to concerts or plays.
Although understandable to boost funds there seems to be a stealth tax approach to costs incurred at state schools with lots of MCs.

summerends Tue 06-Jan-15 09:10:51

Just to clarify I meant state schools seem to charge non-negligible sums for tickets to concerts or plays at which the DCs perform.

SoupDragon Tue 06-Jan-15 09:11:30

Most of DSs school trips are included, as are all clubs.

Over and above what you would pay for a state school, I don't think there are any extras. Maybe there are more holiday trips but these are not compulsory.

We have to pay for DSs GSCEs but I have no idea whether this is normal or not.

TheWordFactory Tue 06-Jan-15 09:12:22

Should add that DS fees included the costs of some IGCSEs.

summerends Tue 06-Jan-15 09:14:31

Word I think you said 'yes' too many times smile.

summerends Tue 06-Jan-15 09:16:30

for the different trips. (in case confusion from cross posting).

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 09:41:19

Gosh word £1996 that's loads, ours this term was just under £700 that includes a jolly abroad, new text books etc as DS started in the L6th and dry cleaning.

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 09:48:46

I am another parent with dcs in state and private sector. It obviously depends which state school you are comparing it to, but I agree that the private school trips are very modest compared to the state ones.

For my ds, we spend approx £3k a years on trips and extras at his state school and dd1 about £1k.

Dd2 at private, trips are approx £800.

Uniform is expensive, but will last years and there is a secondhand shop.

TheWordFactory Tue 06-Jan-15 10:00:53

HG absurdly steep this last bill! Not helped by two sports trips (these things are soooo overpriced) and new match kit in two sports( needed but DD is leaving this Summer - sigh ).

DS is never that much though!

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 10:04:57

I didn't find uniform significantly cheaper at DS1's comp we had to buy rugby shirts shorts track suit etc, costing pretty much what DS1's school charged, trousers were black so could cost what you like but the sweat shirt top cost £35 and the polo shirt £22.
Obviously it very much depends on the uniform if you are looking at the independent sector, I believe it cost well over 2k for the uniform at Eton but most won't be that expensive. Purchasing from the second hand shops is perfectly acceptable in the independent sector (and selling stuff) but you do need to be organised (that's not me) as good stuff can go very quickly, especially in the summer term, rugby shirts etc are usually significantly cheaper than new ones.

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 10:14:13

At Ds2's we also don't pay for tickets to productions concerts etc even when outside orchestras play etc and never have in the independent sector. It annoys me when schools ask you to pay for tickets to productions.
At DS1 well regarded state 6th form college we are asked to make a "voluntary" donation every year and as we're rural have to pay for a school bus (15 mile journey) which is well in excess of £700 PA having risen by £200 from last year it would be significantly cheaper to get the public bus but it gets him into college 10 mins to late in the morning! I don't except that this is the running cost as it's full with 54 students on it so someone is making a very nice profit and I believe it's not the coach company.

Toughasoldboots Tue 06-Jan-15 10:22:40

Oh yes, we have to make 'voluntary donations' suggested £100 a month.

They really hassled me when I was in hospital for it too.

Taz1212 Tue 06-Jan-15 11:09:37

We're in Scotland and our extras are similar to others:

- School bus transport or local bus/train (and if you happen to be in Edinburgh, you can buy booklets of child bus tickets- much easier than scrambling around for change!)

- Lunches, snack, drinks
- School trips which so far have been £300ish a year but can get much more expensive depending on the trip.
- Clubs are generally free but DS rows and there's a termly £30 charge for that
- PE/games kit, but see if you can find out in advance what is really necessary. We bought the rugby kit for games then found out that boys who didn't like rugby (e.g. DS!) could opt out and do other activities during games and just wear their PE kit.
-instrument lessons. I think we pay £15 per week.
- Books for some classes and additional charges for equipment for some classes (e.g. Technology)

Our annual fees are a bit over £10k and I mentally budget another £2kish for extras though much of that is for transport.

happygardening Tue 06-Jan-15 11:43:59

Taz your right about checking up on what sports kit you really need I sent three virtually unworn rugby shirts to the second hand shop at the end of the first year and discover "only 1st years wear the school track suit". In my experience it's better to not buy these things unless you absolutely have too, ask other parents, spend your money on better quality shirts, suits and shoes etc as they last longer and just look better when they've been washed/dry cleaned a couple of hundred times.
We don't have to provide a school coat and if you don't need to buy one don't few teenagers wear coats it appears preferring to freeze, but DS2 does use an umbrella again a better quality one last longer in the rough and tumble world of school.
It's also worth spending money on a strong waterproof school bag.

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