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Talk to me if you're not comfortable financially but send your children to private schools...

(75 Posts)
Foraminutethere Wed 13-Feb-19 13:18:05

We are not well off, we are not breadline, but that awkward limbo in the middle. We live rurally. Schools are appalling, particularly our catchment (it wasn't when we moved here)

Moving isn't an option.

There are two private schools, approx 15k a year here. But, I would have to work full time and I have other dc who need ferrying about, picking up etc. Little to no support.

We would then have to send one other child at the same time as eldest child so two in private at the same time.

Has anyone on here managed to send their children to a private school when not financially comfortable? Any tips?

Hh income is about 65k so not great. No expensive holidays for us.

I feel like I've failed them with no options but terrible schools and want to look at every possible option.

OP’s posts: |
timeisnotaline Wed 13-Feb-19 13:24:25

What would your income be? Compared to school fees? I hope that dhs income will pay mortgage and reasonable living expenses, I’m not counting on holidays. Then mine will have to cover two lots of fees and years when we have 3 at once if my income doesn’t cover it will have to take it off the mortgage / savings (it’s a while away so hope to have savings covering one or two extra years fees for those years with 3 at private school. I’d call that comfortable- to be able to live well and pay private school fees on one income is wealthy really, unless there’s no mortgage or similar.

anniehm Wed 13-Feb-19 13:30:55

We have one private and on a bursary, it's still a struggle despite us earning more than you. It depends on mortgage payments to an extent but our issues have been that whilst we have the fees budgeted for, the extras like school trips are £££ and some kids go on them all - all we could afford was a French exchange because all we paid was the easyJet flight and pocket money. Being one of the poor kids isn't much fun for her at times - loads are going to Ibiza after exams this year, she's going to her grandparents.

MargoLovebutter Wed 13-Feb-19 13:36:06

I did it for my special needs son to go to a specialist school. ex-H declined to help, so I remortgaged. Still wasn't quite enough, so I cashed in two smaller pensions and an endowment plan I had from a previous mortgage. If they go through the entire senior system, you are looking at £150k minimum.

mrsm43s Wed 13-Feb-19 13:52:47

We send 2 to indie on a hh income of around £100k. We get no help or bursaries.

We can do it because we've made sacrifices in other areas. We have a small, mortgage free house (we've never upgraded from our "starter home"), old bangers and camping holidays. We are also v careful re supermarket shops, buying new clothes (for us, kids having appropriate stuff we prioritise) etc. We also started saving and planning from the moment the children were born, allowing us to build up considerable investments that can be drawn on if necessary. We are only doing private 11-16 for definite, we may also do private 6th form, we've yet to decide, but hopefully we will be able to make that decision on which is the right school for our children rather than on finances.

We manage fine on our income, we pay for a certain number of trips, music lessons etc, but not unlimited. There's never been an expense expected of us that's caused us issues.

Honestly, though, I think a HH income of £65k might be problematic. It's almost certainly too low for you to comfortably afford two at Indie, but may well be too high to receive a significant bursary.

For us, the sacrifices we have made have been 100% worth it, and we manage just fine. There also doesn't seem to be any prejudice about being the less wealthy children in school - if anything I think that parents that make sacrifices are respected, and it tends to be the brash, flash the cash types that are looked down upon.

Maybe talk to the school and ask about bursary provision. Often, though, they'll expect any investments and equity in homes to be used up first, and will expect both parents to work full time, so you may wish to bear that in mind.

Tinty Wed 13-Feb-19 13:57:47

Could you move to an area with better school options? This may be cheaper than Private Schooling for 3 DC.

Tinty Wed 13-Feb-19 13:59:34

Sorry OP completely failed to read your second sentence.

Could you send them to the state school and top up with tutoring as a cheaper option?

SquiddyMcSquidford Wed 13-Feb-19 14:02:35

Only on MN is an income of 65k (far more than twice the national average) "not great" 🙄

babysharkah Wed 13-Feb-19 14:06:04

potentially 30k pa on an income of 65 - I don't think it's doable, and fees will likely rise more than salary.

Tinty Wed 13-Feb-19 14:06:33


It's a great income but you will struggle to pay £30k in school fees and all your other bills with it.

Mmmmdanone Wed 13-Feb-19 14:08:31

Was going to say the same Squiddy!

Deadringer Wed 13-Feb-19 14:09:29

I dream of an income of 65k! We are sending ours to private school at a cost of 5000 a year (fees not as high in Ireland) and we really can't afford it. Luckily we only have one going at a time and I childmind to pay the fees. If it was 15k per annum it would be out of the question for us. As it is it is the best option in our area.

SquiddyMcSquidford Wed 13-Feb-19 14:16:38

I agree 30k is a lot out of 65k. But I still don't think it's right, given what a lot of (most!) people in this country live on, to say 65k is "not great".

eurochick Wed 13-Feb-19 15:08:46

Wot tinty said. Bear in mind fees go up each year, private uniforms tend to be pricey, etc. I don't think you can afford it, unfortunately.

ladygaga01 Wed 13-Feb-19 15:53:38

OP - I would stay positive: where there's a will, there is a way. smile

BubblesBuddy Wed 13-Feb-19 16:34:43

So much cheaper to move house! You just cannot afford this and you will have sleepless nights worryig about mney and bills. Become a Governor and improve your local school. That costs less!

Parsley65 Wed 13-Feb-19 16:57:48

We did it for our kids on the same (or a bit less) than you. We have maximum bursaries. Ask if they have a discount for siblings. For complicated reasons we couldn't move to a better catchment area, so this works for us. We both have old cars and limited holidays. Also sat kids down and told them they may have friends with big houses, posh holidays, etc and why we don't have these things. It's not perfect, but think they are very grounded. Big advantage is smaller class sizes. Good luck with it all...

newmum0808 Wed 13-Feb-19 17:01:22

I am hoping to send my two DC to independent schools. Fees are £6k per term and I'm budgeting £2k per month per child (£24k per annum to allow an extra £6k to cover uniform, transport costs, clubs, before /after school care and music lessons etc). I appreciate I'm over stating it, but I know I'll need more than just the fees. To pay for two children a £70k salary will bring in £4k per month after taxes. Nothing left over.

So, I think you need to work out a plan. Start looking for work and see if your other DCs can go into breakfast /after school clubs so you can work full time (it's what I have to do). Also start working out the extra costs (target than my over zealous estimate) and start saving to ease the pressure once they start.
Good luck x

BasiliskStare Wed 13-Feb-19 17:52:48

Whatever you do , make sure the private school is worth it. Many aren't

houselikeashed Wed 13-Feb-19 18:01:47

we have a combination of working all hours, remortgaging, scholarships and bursaries.
Worth every penny.

Foraminutethere Wed 13-Feb-19 19:40:54

I didn't mean income of 65 wasn't great in the overall sense, I meant when you take into account thinking of paying for private school - phrased badly, apologies.

This is all really interesting, thank you all - and yes tutoring top up might be a better way to go. Part of the issue is also the local schools behaviour is appalling and I don't want them having the proverbial kicked out of them regularly!

OP’s posts: |
Foraminutethere Wed 13-Feb-19 19:43:10

@newmum0808 thank you. I can work full time where I am now. But, one of the children is too small for after school club, and no family assistance doesn't help. He could go full time nursery or child minder but that would be another cost when we would be struggling.

OP’s posts: |
Foraminutethere Wed 13-Feb-19 19:45:01

@basiliskstare we know people there thankfully who swear by it. Several too, so enough to form a decent opinion. Wise words though as you never know... I need to go and really delve into it more.

OP’s posts: |
RomanyQueen1 Wed 13-Feb-19 19:46:28

You'd still have over 30k left for bills and living expenses, that's loads.

Foraminutethere Wed 13-Feb-19 19:47:21

@parsley65 thank you. We have never been into big holidays and cars so that side of things isn't too bad, I prefer cheap holidays!

From what I know we wouldn't get a bursary - can I ask what sort of % you get off if you don't mind?

OP’s posts: |

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