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Cost of High School(20 Posts)
Hi, DS is currently EHE, however we are thinking of him starting High School in Sept and I'm just wondering if someone can outline some of the costs I may not have considered, obviously I'm aware of uniforms, sports kit, stationary etc, but what costs would you say there are which maybe caught you by surprise?
Just to be clear I'm not looking for advice about applying to schools or deadlines etc, I've got that covered.
Ds went from being home Ed in years 5 and 6 to secondary school! For us the bus pass was the biggest cost by far. Plus he liked to eat in the canteen which cost me about £15 a week. I felt it would help him integrate to eat with friends!
No other significant costs for us really. Initial kitting out is the biggest expense, especially with all the footwear - they may need football boots, astros and trainers! There’s usually a year 7 residential that all kids go on. Ours cost £190. It wasn’t compulsory but it was good for him to go.
We had the usual uniform costs which really do add up when you're buying everything from scratch.
Other costs that I knew about but do add up over time are:
- bus fares (primary school was a 10 minute walk. DD takes the public bus to school. It's £1 a day so not that much but obviously over a month it amounts to around £20 per month).
- school lunches are costing more than primary. At primary it was a set price per day. Now it's canteen style and DD can easily get through £4 in a day buying a baguette, milkshake and a snack at break time. We're currently doing pack lunch a few times a week and the canteen a couple of times to help reduce costs.
There were also several "voluntary" donations requested at the start if school which were set amounts to help with the costs of science, art equipment etc. I paid the set amounts but haven't yet signed up to the other "voluntary" monthly donation request as, we are still recovering from the £300+ cost of all the uniform.
The costs for food tech ingredients and her first school trip have been very reasonable. So, so far other than the uniform, no massive outlays.
- School lunches - as much or as little as you want really
- Contribution towards art supplies / other consumables for textiles, resistant materials, food tech (or take in food)
- Optional trips ranging from £50-£1000+
- Charity non uniform days £1
- GCSE revision guides (subsidised by school) £5 a pop
- GCSE trips (e.g. Geography, Drama)
- Prom end y11 (more pricey for girls than boys )
I'm sure this is school dependent but
(as well as things mentioned)
- locker key deposit
- equipment deposit
- foreign language dictionary
- printing at home (or via printer card at school) - this is a big one as nothing is printed by school now, to save money
- cookery ingredients
- art/DT supplies (we pay a contribution for use of those at school, plus it's handy to have some at home at least from KS4)
- own copy of English Lit set texts for GCSE
- some school clubs ask for contributions
- protractors (I know this is probably under your "stationary" but they are the most frequently replaced item. Though this is perhaps just my DC)
- if you have boys particularly they grow stupid amounts in short periods of time so you have to replace uniform and shoes more frequently than you will have previously done
My DC just take packed lunches mostly, so no different in cost there from primary school.
And their secondary school is actually closer than their primary school so no difference in costs there either
And no Year 7 residential here (wasn't aware this was "thing" before reading MN)
Check what is "essential" - my non-sporty DC managed perfectly well without football boots, but wouldn't have been able to if they'd been on teams
I think the biggest cost you'll come across isn't from school as such, but from the social activities that your child wants to do with their new friends after school and at weekends.
"My friends are going into town, can I have money for the bus and some food?"
"Can I buy tickets to this gig/football game/other event?"
"X is having a sleepover, can you buy me Y to take with me?"
..But I guess going from homeschooled to having lots of peers can be an exciting time!
Red my sons also regularly break protractors. They are very careful too but it seems to be the thing that snaps. They have flexible 30cm rulers to prevent those snapping!
I agree about growth spurts. I learned from Ds1 so when I ordered uniform for Ds2 I ordered the jumpers for now and the next size up. Luckily I could pass down PE kit stuff.
I think everything has been covered. We buy stationery in bulk. So pen refils, refil leads for mechanical pencils, white board pens and a lot of glue sticks
Charity days (not many tho and not expensive)
School trips can be £100s but are not compulsory or even at all done by everyone
yy canteen can mount up, I limited mine to £10 /week then they had to take sandwiches
Also what everyone else says. I have a classic GCSE maths protractor story!
Thanks everyone very useful, who'd have thought protractors would score so highly. I now feel I need to ensure we have a stock of replacements.
I think previous posters have covered everything. I wish your son every success at high school. what year is he starting in?
@GirlsInGreen oh my God how do I not know this? Ds1 is in year 12 and doing maths A level!
Thank you so much for that, I'll be purchasing that just for the metal protractor alone.
@TeenPlusTwenties she has it at school or I'd take a photo. If you imagine a regular protractor - but with the middle out! It works honest!
Girls Wouldn't suit me, I like to see what's underneath. I also don't like wooden rulers, and protractors with a hole just where the little cross is that you use to position it properly.
@TeenPlusTwenties if only my dd was so conscientious! My mathsy nephew told her she'd end up doing a Liberal Arts degree if she's not careful!
I suspect I should be concerned that my first thought on seeing mention of metal protractors was wondering how likely it was that teens used them as an offensive weapon
The protractors has made me laugh. DD is in y7 and was adamant she needed the fancy calculator but hasn't touched it yet aside from normal buttons.
Biggest thing for us has been trips and music lessons. She's never been into music before but much more on offer in senior school so is doing 2 instruments (subsidized so only £80 each per term for 30mins 1:1 each), has been ice skating (£6), theatre (£10) and some other small amounts. Has had letters for 3 residential's but is only going on the skiing one and knows she's v lucky. This is a inner London comp with 50% FSM.
She went in knowing nobody and being very very shy and is a completely different child since starting in sept. So it's been worth it but I suspect we'll be saying no a lot more from Y8. Aside from the £2 per day lunch I topped up £50 for snacks for the year. I told her she can spend it as slow or as quickly as she likes. She went nuts in the beginning but for the last 4 weeks she's had £2.43 left untouched lol.
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