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Independent schools GCSEs and Alevels summer terms fees

(35 Posts)
Threeschools Mon 10-Apr-17 14:47:19

Is it true that despite the DCs being on study leave most of the summer term for their exams, parents have to pay full term fees when the children actually spend 2 weeks in school all together? Plus nearly a grand worth of external exams fees? Are the exams fees free in the state system? This is still a few years away for us but I was quite shocked when I heard this.

Eastpoint Mon 10-Apr-17 14:53:30

& then university students are paying for a whole term's accommodation & food despite only having lectures for 2 weeks & then 2 exams for DD. Think she'll be studying in the uni library.

gillybeanz Mon 10-Apr-17 14:56:09

Exams are free in the state system and I thought they were free in the indie system too, I know ours will be.
Yes, they pay full fees as far as I'm aware.

Eastpoint Mon 10-Apr-17 14:57:17

For our children they have been included within the fees. Have to pay extra for music & LAMDA exams as they are optional extras.

CiderwithBuda Mon 10-Apr-17 15:08:16

DS is doing GCSEs and we have to pay £475. Plus normal term fees I think. We paid in full up to end of this term a few years ago as we got a discount that way.

Don't know why they don't just add the exam fees into the general school fees.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 10-Apr-17 15:08:32

Ours aren't in for just 2 weeks though!! Where are pupils only in for 2 weeks of term. Anyway although fees are paid in three equal instalments at the start of each term it is based on a school year cost divided by 3 rather than calculated at a daily rate x number if days in the term.

LIZS Mon 10-Apr-17 15:16:21

In short yes although I don't think exam fees were as much as that. Also extras like bus and lunches although dd will go in all day if she has a pm exam (she has 20 papers in all) .

gillybeanz Mon 10-Apr-17 15:18:19

We too have 3 termly payments, depending on how many weeks are in the year depends on the fees.
Music is compulsory at GCSE and A level plus all music exams are free, well subsidised by the gov.

WhatHaveIFound Mon 10-Apr-17 15:20:41

Yes, i'm afraid they are though at my DC's school exam costa are included in the fees.

DD will be doing GSCEs next year though i expect her to spend most of her time in school during study leave as she has extra curricular & musical commitments and it'll save her distracting me as i work from home.

2014newme Mon 10-Apr-17 15:23:50

Exams are free at state schools yes.

Schoolchauffeur Mon 10-Apr-17 15:27:32

I would say it depends on the school and your location. DS did GCSEs at a private boarding school as a day pupil and there was no study leave - as the exams were taken those lessons reverted to study periods when he had the choice of working in the boarding house or library. Post exams there was a long weekend allocated as a mini holiday but then they were back in school for introduction to sixth form and various activities.
By contrast, after his final year at school in Scottish system, he had ten days in school after Easter and then was on study leave and just went in for exams.
Regarding the fee payments, it can seem like you are paying for not much but fees are annual cost and are simply divided into three for parental convenience. The majority of a school's costs are fixed e.g. teacher salary, building costs, catering contract so the absence of pupils on study leave makes no difference.

Threeschools Mon 10-Apr-17 16:37:36

The story I heard was from a school in North London, £900 of GCSEs exams fees plus a full term worth of fees, so 7 grand for 2 weeks of school. Glad I managed to get 1/3 of DCs in the state system for high school, hopeful for 2/3...

gillybeanz Mon 10-Apr-17 20:59:43

I've never heard of any school taking 10 weeks study leave.
I know some that have a couple of weeks or up to 4 weeks in some cases, certainly not 10 weeks.

relaxo Mon 10-Apr-17 21:40:34

Mine are in state but he has 2 weeks then study leave. Teachers are holding revision sessions during study leave and are available to the students. Obviously exam fees are free.

When I was at private school, my parents only paid for exams that weren't taught at school.

BizzyFizzy Mon 10-Apr-17 21:43:53

The fees cover costs that are incurred year round, so there is no such thing as paying less in the summer term.

Bluntness100 Mon 10-Apr-17 21:47:06

My daughters exam fees were included, paid three term fees and in summer term she was there most days in sixth form, studying and the teachers working with them on study and exam technique. They were expected to attend, She only stopped going when exams ended. They way I looked it was annual cost it was simply broken down into three. The annual cost was what was important

Rosieposy4 Mon 10-Apr-17 21:47:27

Oh ok then, some random story you heard fourth hand then. Some schools do charge for GCSEs, some roll them into the fees. It would never be as much as £700 though, even for GCSEs.
School fees are just for parents convenience divided into three. Oddly enough the teachers don't stop needing to be paid just because a couple of classes are on exam leave.

BertrandRussell Mon 10-Apr-17 21:52:05

Technically they aren't free in the state system- the school pays.

Why on earth would you expect them to be free at private school? They will either be an extra or rolled into the fees, but not free.

Genevieva Mon 10-Apr-17 21:54:09

At most independents the students will not go on study leave until half term and they may be required to come back to school for enrichment between the end of exams and the end of term. The school doesn't gain any financial benefit by not teaching while public exams are on. The staff are all still employed, the cost of running the buildings continue, etc. Your child will be sitting their exams in school and will be invigilated by school teachers who do that during the lessons when they would have been teaching. It is a pretty intense term for teachers, who often offer extra revision sessions during lunch breaks and after school, whilst also continuing with almost all their usual teaching, extracurricular and pastoral duties.

Bluntness100 Mon 10-Apr-17 22:12:46

School fees are just for parents convenience divided into three

This, it's not a daily or a weekly fee based on how often you go, it's an annual fee basically because most kids go to school for the year. If you quit then the term fees come in because there is a notice period or a penalty of A terms fee.

I'm struggling to believe this thread is for real confused

LIZS Mon 10-Apr-17 23:11:26

Dd doesn't have to go back after exams except for book return day. I didn't 30+ years ago either.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Mon 10-Apr-17 23:55:10

This is the silliest thread I have ever read on MN, are you serious? Do you expect the staff to not be paid for the summer term?

AnotherNewt Tue 11-Apr-17 08:34:00

The schools see it as cost per term, with some terms being longer/shorter more/less demanding than others, but it all evening out over the full school career. Also, as well as staff needing to be paid and all the other running costs of the school continuing, some activities keep going (notably sports fixtures) and sometimes there's other stuff too. Or just finishing early for a rest (counterbalancing the number of extra sessions run in the Easter term?)

Whether public exam fees are included is usually laid out in the T&Cs that every parent should read properly when their DC joins a school.

fairgroundsnack Tue 11-Apr-17 08:37:51

I know a percent who took a school to court over this (well actually the school took the parent to court for not paying the fees). Court sided with the school who argued that the fees were averaged out over the time at the school, and staff still needed to be paid etc. If that term was cheaper, another one would have to b more expensive to cover the fixed costs.

Threeschools Tue 11-Apr-17 08:55:54

Interesting, I see the point of the fees covering the whole year, I was just not expecting 2 weeks of attendance for the whole term (for that particular school) and fees as high as £900 for exams. The T&Cs are just saying the fees for external exams would be extra but do not say how much they are or indicate where one can find out.

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