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If I Keep Wondering 'how Can People Afford Private School?'


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I do think that there is some truth in this, a lot of people can afford it, even at the very high end: £30k per year for private boarding schools. But even at the lower end £6k per year at primary level, people can afford it or are willing to make that sacrifice. I also think that some sections of society will make larger sacrifices to ensure a good education at a significant disadvantage to themselves. Also when looking at some boarding schools and top tier universities, foreign parents see a benefit in sending their kids to them - well known and internationally extremely well respected universites do hold a significant appeal.

Personally I find it amazing but for some parents sending a kid from 8yrs to 18 to a boarding school at a cost of £300k and then university is something that they can easily afford to do, so a couple of kids is going to cost you at least £1million in pretax income.

I would agree that interest rates being low probably does help, I would guess there are some parents who are on IO mortgages currently paying a tiny amount and either banking the extra for future fees or spending it on school fees.

I am of an age where many of my friends are sending their children to private preps. The thing is that it isn't hard to afford £8K to £15K a year (and this is a more expensive prep in our area) if you only have one child, which many of them do.

What I notice is that these are couples that essentially live off one slightly-above-average salary (this is still feasible in parts of the North if you choose your location and have the right kind of occupation). As the other spouse often works either part time or full time, it is their income that pays for the school fees, holidays and luxuries.

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I was a comp kid who into Oxford to read History. There's so much I could say on the subject, but I'll just say that I won't be paying for a private education for my two children.

I did the sums and thought that for the money, I could pay for private tutors, not have to work so many hours (so could spend time with them myself), have money for educational holidays, buy any educational things they want and still have change.

My father-in-law tutors maths and most of his students are privately educated at top private schools. So how have to wonder how much value it really adds.

This is my father's position. He thinks it is wiser to send a child state and then pay for private tutition. I can see why he says this, but I am afraid my and my husband's experiences of state education at local comprehensives mean our concerns are wider than just academic achievement.

I am biased, I know I am. But our experiences of state comps in the 80s and early 90s, and that of my younger cousins who were schooled in the state system in the noughties, were and are so bad that my concerns centre around the idea that just being in a state school environment five times a week can be extremely damaging on all sorts of levels.

You end up being around other pupils where it is not seen as being odd to live in a house where there is dried dogshit on the floor, where teenage pregnancy is encouraged, where to listen in class warrants having your nose broken, where drug use is rife and extreme levels of violence, sexual coercion and criminality are the norm.

I went to a comp in the late 80s where a group of sixteen year old boys put a grate on a tramp's head and stamped on it, where girls got lovebites on their nipples in the first year toilets, where I once spent an hour in a classroom being spat on by a "hard lass" and was too scared to say or do anything about it, where you got cornered walking home, and where dirty babies' nappies were left on the school stairs by teenage mothers who had come in to "show off their babies".

Honestly, a lot of people have no idea. My husband's experiences were even worse ... and he is still very bitter about it twenty years later.

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Thanks for reading my post.

My son interviewed for a local catholic private school (infant's class). His mum is Catholic. The head asked him what he knows about God and Jesus, he replied (I'm paraphrasing a bit) "my dad says God doesn't exist and says Jesus was just some bloke and that you can't believe everything you read in the bible". My wife was not amused and I got a right earful when I got home from work.

He still got offered a place though.

Edited by davidg
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It all depends on the schools you can send your children to. If your LEA decides your child is going to your local underperforming comprehensive whether you like it or not then you might consider that you have little choice but to pay.

In an ideal world I would send my son to a really good state school, but my LEA pretty much decides where he goes thanks to catchment areas. Notionally I have six choices on the form but in reality of the four schools we selected two were pipedreams as we are on the fringes of the catchment areas.

i don't have kids yet, expectihng them in coming years

is property-renting potentially advantageous, giving you the ability to move into the centre of gthe best catchment areas in order to influence school choice?

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i don't have kids yet, expectihng them in coming years

is property-renting potentially advantageous, giving you the ability to move into the centre of gthe best catchment areas in order to influence school choice?

Yes, I know people who have rented their houses out in order to rent in the catchment area of a good school. Failing that pay someone's poll tax in the area :-)

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This is my father's position. He thinks it is wiser to send a child state and then pay for private tutition. I can see why he says this, but I am afraid my and my husband's experiences of state education at local comprehensives mean our concerns are wider than just academic achievement.

+1 and that's it.

Good state school combined with private tuition.

My children will be going to an 'Outstanding' primary school in a fantastic area. We will ensure they have every opportunity to learn a musical instrument and foreign languages (one of wifey's two degrees is in languages (French/German) so that helps). If they don't excel in either, no problem as we will find something they are good at and enjoy.

Renting has it's advanatges.

Edited by tomposh101
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This is my father's position. He thinks it is wiser to send a child state and then pay for private tutition. I can see why he says this, but I am afraid my and my husband's experiences of state education at local comprehensives mean our concerns are wider than just academic achievement.

[...]

Honestly, a lot of people have no idea. My husband's experiences were even worse ... and he is still very bitter about it twenty years later.

Fair enough. I have to say that we did move home (we rent, natch) specifically to get our child away from a school where the Ofsted report stated "many children are scared of other children". If you're concerned about the environment, then yeah I'd agree. However, in terms of academic education, I think it's a mistake to think you can simply contract it out. Kids learn from their home life mostly, and other factors are considerably less important.

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Don't know about 'eltiist' but from what I've seen (b-i-l married to a Sing. chinese in Singapore) , boy, do they make them work.

When she was only 3 one of the kids was telling me how tired she gets when 'Mummy makes me do my homework.'

In school hols they have online work set by the school every day, and that's in addition to what their mother gives them. And not counting the piano practice, etc.

Anyone see the S Times article about the relentlessly pushy Chinese mother? Can't say it was altog. a revelation since I'd seen some similar 1st hand, although nothing like this woman's strategies - pushing a young child out into the freezing cold because she wouldn't do her piano practice - threatening to burn all her soft toys, etc.

Having said that, I do sometimes think that too much of UK education has gone too far the other way.

Edit: might add that general discipline is much stricter, too. From what I've seen, bad behaviour, even whining, is simply not tolerated. Count to three and if you haven't stopped it, whack.

It only works if they want to do it. Otherwise, it's a disaster.

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I'm not sure why there is all the fuss.

Private school fees are set the plunge, they have only been kept afloat by MEWing, public sector bursaries and a few bankers.

A good secondary private school is about £7k per term right now, I am pretty confident this will be down to about £3600 once all the distortions are removed.

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I'm not sure why there is all the fuss.

Private school fees are set the plunge, they have only been kept afloat by MEWing, public sector bursaries and a few bankers.

A good secondary private school is about £7k per term right now, I am pretty confident this will be down to about £3600 once all the distortions are removed.

but..but...that would imply lower teachers' salaries...?

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A good secondary private school is about £7k per term right now, I am pretty confident this will be down to about £3600 once all the distortions are removed.

That could only happen if their margins are pushing 50% now. A more realistic scenario is that a lot of teachers will get sacked, only to be re-employed at taxpayer's expense.

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I was a comp kid who into Oxford to read History. There's so much I could say on the subject, but I'll just say that I won't be paying for a private education for my two children.

I did the sums and thought that for the money, I could pay for private tutors, not have to work so many hours (so could spend time with them myself), have money for educational holidays, buy any educational things they want and still have change.

My father-in-law tutors maths and most of his students are privately educated at top private schools. So how have to wonder how much value it really adds.

Why not have the mom home school? It's far more efficient a method and less work for the kids, plus they won't get bullied or get brainwashed with lefty ideology or, even worse, get 'gendermainstreamed'.

Given that standards have fallen drastically, anyone with a basic education should find it trivial to bring a kid up to the current requirements.

Re the math tutoring: The main perk of private schools in the UK seems to be discipline and the absence of psychopaths in class, other than that, academic excellence to a high level is not possible unless you ruthlessly combine the gifted kids (1% or less) into a cohort and teach them an accelerated set that matches their potential that normally gifted children will not be able keep up with.

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I'm not sure why there is all the fuss.

Private school fees are set the plunge, they have only been kept afloat by MEWing, public sector bursaries and a few bankers.

A good secondary private school is about £7k per term right now, I am pretty confident this will be down to about £3600 once all the distortions are removed.

Not happening on your doorstep in Guildford - my daughter started last September in a Kindergarten class of a prep school and they have expanded to 2 classes for the first few years, then will merge to a 30 pupil class for the rest of the primary age schooling. I wonder if portacabins/extensions will appear to keep the fees coming in.

BTW, I choose to stay mortgage free living in a poor catchment area (north of the A3 for those in the area) and wait out the crash - but pay private schooling fees, rather than move and pay the premium of living next to one of the 2 good state schools.

It looks like there are other families who have made the same decision as us - all about priorities.

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Some people learn later in life. ;)

For very small values thereof... They might end up with a functional education if they work hard enough, but they will never make up for the lost time.

Children learn far easier than adults for example, and the vast bulk of all mathematical discoveries were made by young men in their early 20's.

And some of those limits turn up very early -- the ideal window for learning to read, write and count is between 3 and 5, kids can learn later than that, but will never have the same utility from the skill as those who learn it young enough. And it has a knock on effect, if you can read and write fluently by the age of 6 you learn a lot faster than people who at the ripe age of 8 still cannot do joined up writing.

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For very small values thereof... They might end up with a functional education if they work hard enough, but they will never make up for the lost time.

Children learn far easier than adults for example, and the vast bulk of all mathematical discoveries were made by young men in their early 20's.

And some of those limits turn up very early -- the ideal window for learning to read, write and count is between 3 and 5, kids can learn later than that, but will never have the same utility from the skill as those who learn it young enough. And it has a knock on effect, if you can read and write fluently by the age of 6 you learn a lot faster than people who at the ripe age of 8 still cannot do joined up writing.

True, but learning is not just about facts and figures.....very important to get to grips with the basic foundations, that should be accomplished by the time you finish primary school....emotional development is just as important.....a child requires the right environment, encouragement and support to learn.....they often only find out what they want to do later in life, only knowing what you want to do and progressing down that chosen path will set you up for your future.

You learn by living, you also learn from your own mistakes. ;)

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Why not have the mom home school? It's far more efficient a method and less work for the kids, plus they won't get bullied or get brainwashed with lefty ideology or, even worse, get 'gendermainstreamed'.

Given that standards have fallen drastically, anyone with a basic education should find it trivial to bring a kid up to the current requirements.

Re the math tutoring: The main perk of private schools in the UK seems to be discipline and the absence of psychopaths in class, other than that, academic excellence to a high level is not possible unless you ruthlessly combine the gifted kids (1% or less) into a cohort and teach them an accelerated set that matches their potential that normally gifted children will not be able keep up with.

Because the mom might not be qualified, I'm told teaching is a skill, it's not one I have gone out of my way to acquire, maybe it is very simple but am I prepared to risk screwing up my child's education to find out, no. One lady locally took her 4 out of school as they were all failing, within 12 months the kids wanted to go back.

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.they often only find out what they want to do later in life, only knowing what you want to do and progressing down that chosen path will set you up for your future.

You learn by living, you also learn from your own mistakes. ;)

There is basic, common knowledge that everyone should have in life no matter how late they eventually learn it.

But that is very different to training a gifted young human in an optimal way to become a contending player on the bleeding edge in a difficult discipline at the prime of their inventive, creating stage in life.

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There is basic, common knowledge that everyone should have in life no matter how late they eventually learn it.

But that is very different to training a gifted young human in an optimal way to become a contending player on the bleeding edge in a difficult discipline at the prime of their inventive, creating stage in life.

......come on, give over......a master stone mason actor or musician is far more talented in my mind than a corrupt politician or gambler that plays with money that doesn't belong to them. ;)

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And some of those limits turn up very early -- the ideal window for learning to read, write and count is between 3 and 5, kids can learn later than that, but will never have the same utility from the skill as those who learn it young enough. And it has a knock on effect, if you can read and write fluently by the age of 6 you learn a lot faster than people who at the ripe age of 8 still cannot do joined up writing.

Anyone with the first idea of early child development knows that's complete ********. Have you ever read about the subject or just spout half-baked anecdotes like your previous post about easy home schooling and drastically falling standards? Getting kids to read early is hugely inefficient which is why the UK is just about the only country that does it. It can be done but around age 7 the child learns and comprehends much more quickly. This a brain development factor, nothing to do with teaching philosophy or class sizes. Most countries who teach reading from 7 (e.g. most scandinavian countries) have higher literacy levels than Britain. Learning through play at an earlier age is a far better strategy and produces more rounded human beings.

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Because the mom might not be qualified, I'm told teaching is a skill, it's not one I have gone out of my way to acquire, maybe it is very simple but am I prepared to risk screwing up my child's education to find out, no. One lady locally took her 4 out of school as they were all failing, within 12 months the kids wanted to go back.

Well, yes teaching is a skill but a lot of that skill is also how to tame a class of 40 kids that are strangers and other bits that home schoolers do not deal with.

Besides that, why risk send your kids to a failing school where they pick up drugs, STDS, gang membership and other problems when they can fail far safer at home instead? (...) And btw, once your kid is failing, you already are in deep trouble by which time home schooling is not a suitable remedy anymore.

And nothing stipulates that you have to home school beyond the age of 10 either, and until that age, the material that you need to teach really is not too hard, anyone can do it.

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......come on, give over......a master stone mason actor or musician is far more talented in my mind than a corrupt politician or gambler that plays with money that doesn't belong to them. ;)

Well, master stone masons were trained from a young age onwards, and Mozart, Bach and many others trained hard since childhood to hone their talent into genius.

The gambler and politicians however are far more likely to be a 'Jack of all trades' who learn late in life :)

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Well, yes teaching is a skill but a lot of that skill is also how to tame a class of 40 kids that are strangers and other bits that home schoolers do not deal with.

Besides that, why risk send your kids to a failing school where they pick up drugs, STDS, gang membership and other problems when they can fail far safer at home instead? (...) And btw, once your kid is failing, you already are in deep trouble by which time home schooling is not a suitable remedy anymore.

And nothing stipulates that you have to home school beyond the age of 10 either, and until that age, the material that you need to teach really is not too hard, anyone can do it.

I went to a rough school...we bunked off, smoked behind the prefab sheds...we lived life, saw life and learned from life....just because you have the time of your life does not mean you are thick and stupid....too many kids are wrapped up in cotton wool imo......a stable and loving family that trusts and supports, allows you freedom to grow and is there for you is worth more than certain formal education can offer......wake up.! ;)

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