Should I send ds private?(15 Posts)
I have a dilemma.
After 20 years of teaching in state secondary schools, I've jumped ship and start at an independent school in Sept. It's a lovely school, great results - although I did think after the interview that I'm not sure I would pay £12k per year for it.
Anyway, part of the package is half price fees for your children. £6k per year would still be a stretch but would be manageable. Ds is an only child, so we would only have to pay for one child to go through the system. Local state schools are decent - although not amazing.
Anyway, I'm now weighing up the prospect of 7 years of 6k per year. The alternative is £42k towards uni or £42k of amazing family hols.
He's not due to start secondary school for another year so I've got time to mull it over.
What sort of boy thrives at the private school?
Do you think the school would suit your ds?
What does your son want to do?
That's 6k out of your net income. You could put at least 7500 into your pension for that, or possibly 10000 if you are a higher rate tax payer.
It doesn't breed arrogant boys - they seem thoughtful and kind (part of the reason I decided to apply.
Ds thinks it's a great idea as they do loads of sport. He also thinks it would be great to come to school with me (although he may not feel the same when he is 15!)
I probably need to do 6 months in the school and see what it's really like before we (me and ds) make any decisions.
I think you need to work there for a bit and see what you think.
But it's a good discount! So can you afford £500 a month?
Do you or your ds know any boys who currently attend the school? Would be interesting to hear their thoughts (and those of their parents) about what it is really like there.
Do other teachers / staff send their sons to the school? Do you have any sense of whether they like it, and how they fit in?
Most definitely wait till you've actually started.
£12,000 pa is rock bottom fees for an independent senior school. The day fees at my DDs old school are over £20,000. This is possibly why you did not think you would pay £12,000 for it. It may not be that good. Only you can decide if it is worth it. What does it add to a state education that £500 a month will pay for? What extras are you getting? Why are other parents choosing it? Do other staff choose it? Fees always go up more than inflation so will your salary keep pace? I always felt that if I paid, I wanted a very good education and outstanding extras that were not available in the state system. Otherwise, why pay?
Is it selective with entrance tests? Would you need to register for 2017 soon?
Please don't. My son went to a private/grammar school after winning a scholarship. We thought how lucky he was, the school had a great academic record, wonderful facilities, small classes etc etc.
Then he fell ill, very ill, and there was no help at all. A tiny bit of work home (only when we asked) No teachers helping him to catch up when he could get into school. No counsellor for the stress it was causing him.
It went on for a few years and because he couldn't guarantee being at school all day every day and doing all 7 subjects required he was kicked out.
If you can guarantee your child will never be unwell, go ahead.
£12k isn't rock bottom for a northern day school! Maybe the OP isn't in the south. Plenty of excellent independents up here at that price range. I'd register him for the entrance exams and make your mind up after the results, by which time you'll have been working there a while and have a clearer picture.
I'd teach there for a bit first and then make your mind up. I've been teaching in a lovely, small, caring private school for a couple of years now. The pupils do well and generally meet or outperform their MidYs expectation. I also would have the option to move my DC there for vastly reduced fees. I haven't done so, mostly because despite things in their current school being less than perfect they are happy and have good friends. However, I have one DC who is quite able and one who is more average. I can see the potential value for my more average DC - small classes, lots of support etc - but I honestly would worry more for my more able DC. In the secondary where that DC will go there will be the full range of ability, and lots of other able children to learn with. Where I teach there are only a few truly able DC in every year. I think it's difficult to push them as fully as a good state school would, and I think it's not so wonderful socially for those kids either. I know not all private schools are like this, but the one you describe sounds similar. Depending on your child's abilities, personality and interests it might or might not be the best fit for him.
So based on one person's bad experience above when their son was ill you should make a decision!
That does sound like a crap experience but dont listen to someone with such a chip on their shoulder! You'll be able to see how such care works at your school first hand anyway.
My concern would be what would happen if you no longer worked at the school for some reason - would you then have to pull your DS out of the school.
Thanks - will see what it's like from the inside. I'll update you in 6 months.
Yes, it's the north, so £12k is the most you will pay anywhere - unless it's boarding.
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