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Private schools - funding for Reception Class?

39 replies

london20 · 29/03/2009 20:52

I think this has been mentioned on MN before but I can't find the thread. Is it true you can get funding for children in Reception class in a private school while they are under the age of 5? My dd starts Reception in September and as she is an August birthday she will be 4 for the entire Reception year. If it is true - does anyone know whether it applies to all indie schools and how does it affect the fees (i.e. how much money off!!). Thanks if anyone can help.

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happywomble · 29/03/2009 21:28

I think you need to check with the private school in question if they accept the gov nursery vouchers..I don't think all private schools use the scheme.

If the school does use the scheme I think your daughter would be eligible for two terms or possibly three terms. Not sure of the exact amount it would be worth...maybe in the region of a £400- £500 fee discount per term.

Hopefully some one who knows more will come on this thread and clarify.

traceybath · 29/03/2009 21:36

My DS1 is in reception and we've had the discount from the vouchers for the last two terms and his year in nursery. Am also expecting to get them this coming term as he's an august birthday too.

For us i think it amounts to about £500 off per term.

I'd just double-check with the school but with ours they just get you to sign something at the beginning of each term which then goes to the local authority.

london20 · 29/03/2009 21:41

Thank you for your replies - that would be great if we could use the vouchers. Are they vouchers ones that are given through dh's employer or something else? Sorry to be so ignorant on the matter. Also the school that dd is going to does not have a nursery - I wonder if that makes a difference?

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Hulababy · 29/03/2009 21:42

Some private schools accept the nursery vouchers. My DD's birthday is April 5th and she got funding for 2 terms, up til Easter, It knocked a few hundred off the termly fees.

traceybath · 29/03/2009 21:43

The vouchers are dealt with between the school and the local authority in our case - not sure how it works in other schools though.

dilemma456 · 29/03/2009 22:00

Message withdrawn

happywomble · 29/03/2009 22:03

The vouchers are the government nursery vouchers that everyone gets (don't know their official name). You may also be able to use the childcare vouchers you get through work on top of the government ones. I would ring the bursar of your childs school and check which vouchers they accept.

MarshaBrady · 29/03/2009 22:05

Not all do, we are considering a prep that doesn't, something about existing within the category of 'educational' rather than 'caring', and possibly not having ofsted inspections - bit hazy but it was a quick conversation.

Another pre-prep with a nursery attached does get them.

Best bet is to call the school.

LadyMuck · 29/03/2009 22:08

Well they're not really vouchers but local government pays a grant to private foundation stage education providers (locally about £540 a term). Usually the school will have to have its foundation stage inspected by Ofsted (rather than ISI) in order to benefit, but most good schools seem to have done this. Double check with the school, but here it was known as the Nursery Education Grant.

If your child is August born then you will benefit for all 3 terms.

Also worth checking which term your school deducts the sign-up deposit.

MollieO · 29/03/2009 22:13

Ds in reception at private school. Nursery funding from government is worth just over £500 per term and we get childcare vouchers from work (salary sacrifice scheme) which accounts for £243 a month. Ds is June birthday so has got funding for his entire reception year. We will then use childcare vouchers for before/after school care and holiday club. I didn't know the school accepted childcare vouchers until the bursar told me.

Plonker · 29/03/2009 22:21

It depends on the school.

We have independant schools in our borough who access the Free Early Years Entitlement (Nursery Education Grant Funding) and independant schools in our borough that don't. You need to check with your school.

If your school accesses the FEYE your dd will have been eligible since the term after she turned 3 until she reaches the age of 5, so yes, you would get the full reception year

Speak to them and they will arrange all the necessary paperwork.

The money is usually deducted from fees on a termly basis but I don't know how much you would get knocked off your fees as it varies between authorities.

london20 · 29/03/2009 22:22

Thanks so much for all the info. I will call the school tomorrow. If we could get the nursery funding and the childcare vouchers it would seem to make a real difference to the first year's fees. If you are still reading - have your summer born children coped well with the first year? My dd will go for a full day from September - I feel like it is such a big jump from nursery.

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MollieO · 29/03/2009 22:29

Ds went full time from Sept and in the knowledge of that happening I increased his nursery hours for his last two terms so he had built up to 4 and a half days before he finished for the summer holidays. He was very tired for the first couple of weeks but other than that has been fine.

Dottoressa · 29/03/2009 22:35

My DD is in Reception at an indie school, and will get the funding until her 5th birthday in June. It's something like £500 per term, and is very welcome!

I didn't start DD at school until after the October half-term, and then only mornings. Fortunately the school was very obliging (such are the benefits of indie schools, IME!) - they don't normally do part-time attendance (in fact, they've never done it before), but were very happy to go with what we felt was best for DD, who'd only been spending two mornings at a little nursery school prior to starting school.

I was planning not to start her at school full-time until after Easter as I felt it was too big a jump, but she was desperate to go, and to go full-time, so I gave in. She has been absolutely fine. I started DS (May b'day) after the Easter in Reception, and he was slower to settle - but he's a lot more clingy. He's top of his class by some considerable margin, but I still felt that he was quite young emotionally, and I don't think he'd have coped with full-time school before he was five.

london20 · 29/03/2009 22:39

I might consider asking for a similar arrangement with dd (mornings only for first term) - that is a good idea Dottoressa. She is very quiet and shy so a bit worried about how she will cope socially. We do not know anyone going to her new school. Also - sorry to keep asking so many questions - what were your dc expected to be able to do on entry. DD can write her name and sound out all letters - was wondering if that would be similar to her summer born peers.

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Dottoressa · 29/03/2009 22:46

I'm not sure there were any expectations. DS did the 'assessment' at two (for entry into Reception), which meant that he played a bit and they chatted to him. By the time he started, he was reading anything you put in front of him (I am not exaggerating - he is apparently the cleverest child they've ever had), and was miles ahead of what they 'expected' (especially from a child who'd basically been at home). DD is now coming to the end of the second term in Reception, and is still not entirely secure about letter sounds. She writes her name and her family's and friends' names; she'll try to write other words as they sound to her, but that's it. She can work out simple words phonically (dog, cat, and, etc...) - but couldn't when she started. At our school, at any rate, they don't seem to expect anything in particular, but deal very well with the children they get!

MollieO · 29/03/2009 22:47

Ds only knew one child and we asked for him to be in a different class! Ds could read and write (although not cursive) but pretended at school that he couldn't. Took a while to resolve that and not sure why he did it (may be a family trait as I did the same when I started school). Some children couldn't do either and some are only now starting to learn to read. The ability spread doesn't seem to be age-related either.

Dottoressa · 29/03/2009 22:55

Mollie - good point. So far as I can tell, the ability spread in my DC's school isn't age-related either.

london20 · 29/03/2009 22:55

Wow - I don't know if she will be reading and writing confidently by September but as you say there will hopefully be a range of abilities.

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LIZS · 30/03/2009 10:10

We did and it was just over £500 per term. Not vouchers as such but the Early Years Funding. The school has to meet the LEA's criteria to be eligible. The bursar will know if they do.

hedgiemum · 31/03/2009 12:10

hi London, On the subject of summer borns at school; I have 2 August borns (now in Reception and y2 pre-prep.) The school weren't keen for them to start late/do pt from the beginning, as they said that all the children are v tired the 1st term, and so the pace is slow. We found this to be true. By Spring my DD was exhausted, and school suggested that she didn't do fridays. This worked really well, a longer weekend. DS has been fine, is better at pacing himself so has managed well so far.

You'll find you need to be careful about thigs like clubs and playdates afters chool, and not being too busy at weekends. MY dc don't seem to cope at all well if they do as much extra-curricula as their friends, as the school day is already so long. (8.30-3.30, longer than the state senior school down the road!) Of course, they have very long hols to make up for it - mine finished last thurs for a month, and today is the first out and about day, I've let them sleep lots and recharge their batteries until now.

DD2 is a september birthday, so am just discovering the difficulties of that situation....!

We've always got the £500 per term, btw.

MollieO · 31/03/2009 12:24

I think it depends on the child. Ds should have been born in August but decided he couldn't wait. I was worried about the tiredness factor but as of Jan term his swimming class was switched to a Friday evening. I thought it would be a nightmare but it is me who is worn out. Ds seems to have boundless energy despite the fact that he gets plenty of running around time at school (all boys).

He has quite long days too as I work full time so he is at school from 8am to 6pm most days. The pace has definitely stepped up from when they started in Sept and so have the teacher's expectations. I'm not looking forward to the transition to year 1 though as everyone tells me it is more of a leap than from nursery to reception.

london20 · 31/03/2009 13:22

Really interesting. Like you hedgiemum my dd is August and my ds is a September birthday so I too will have to deal with the other scenario in a couple of years! I think my dd will be very tired -she has been used to being at home with me and attending nursery 3 mornings a week. I may up her nursery to 4 mornings a week next term. I am going to cancel the after school activities she does at the moment (ballet and gym) but I am going to keep swimming going as I would like to keep that up. My dd will also be doing 8.30-3.30 every day - it really seems very long to me and I wish they could go half days for the first term as many of the state schools do.

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london20 · 31/03/2009 13:26

Also hedgiemum - did your dd1 cope ok with the work? As I have said before my dd is writing her name and sounds out all letters but not really keen to sit down and do more than that and I don't want to push her.

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hedgiemum · 31/03/2009 16:13

I'd taught dd1 her phonic sounds, and she was putting them together to read, writing her name, and numbers, that kind of thing. However, despite a lot of trying, she still wasn't dry at night, able to put her own shoes and socks on, able to use a knife and fork well, doing her coat up etc.. If she had been more agile and better at doing the latter things, it would have made Reception much easier; they are much more important than being able to read already! She's now Y2 and although doing well academically in general, her young age is still an issue, partly with spellings, which she is slower to learn than average, and partly getting changed, eating her lunch nicely, etc..

ds went to the schools own nursery where they start teaching them phonic sounds (in a very fun way), to write their name, etc.. He showed no interest, wouldn't sit down for such activities, and didn't absorb any of it! He was better at dressing himself, table manners, etc, than dd at the same stage though. So far Reception is going really well! His teachers insist that he is learning everything he should be learning at the right time, even though writing (even his name) is still slow and laborious. He has learnt all his phonics the first time they're presented to the class, and began reading (blending phonic sounds together - this is what schools want) just before christmas. He is coping with full days just fine; actually isn't as tired as dd after school, which is just the difference in their stamina and temperament.

Helping your dd to be able to do all the ancillary things (shoes etc..) will be much more support to her than the academic stuff - all that is what you're paying the school for! So don't worry a all, sounds like she'll do great!

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