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


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I went to Winchester College, my wife to a grammar. We both have good careers.

Our two kids are at Private Prep school at the moment. Whether they will continue on to Public School or a Grammar depends a lot on finances and whether they are bright enough or suited for one or the other.

Given the monstrous sums of tax we pay as a family it is ridiculous that those that choose to privately educate their children do not receive a tax advantage or refund from the state.

Even though my wife and I both work and we could potentially afford the cost of sending both children to Public school we have moved to an area where there are still good grammar schools. We will at least have the choice, if the kids are up to it, between paying or not for a good education.

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That's not too be bad even for 6th form. Round my way, the high end public/private schools are about £6/7k per term (Charterhouse, Cranleigh, St Johns etc), though I will say the Royal Grammar in Guildford is actually very good value about £9k per year and is academically excellent.

Hmm. My kids' bills are never less than £10k apiece a term (senior school, boarding) once they've racked up extras.

Food's bloody good these days though, apparently.

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... it is ridiculous that those that choose to privately educate their children do not receive a tax advantage or refund from the state.

If you take that position , it's ridiculous that those who don't have children don't get a rebate and it's ridiculous that those who have more than one child at a state school don't pay more taxes.

I think that every parent should get a voucher to the equivalent of the cost of state education and spend it on whichever school they want. Then there would be a real choice. Schools would open (or leave LEAs) and provide (well at least promise to provide) the type of education parents want rather than that dictated to them by the state. It would lead to more selective schools, and would probably drive down the fees charged by independent schools which would be faced with real competition. The biggest danger in this approach is you could end up with sink schools providing very basic education so the owners could profit. But isn't that what OFSTED are there for?

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If you take that position , it's ridiculous that those who don't have children don't get a rebate and it's ridiculous that those who have more than one child at a state school don't pay more taxes.

I think that every parent should get a voucher to the equivalent of the cost of state education and spend it on whichever school they want. Then there would be a real choice. Schools would open (or leave LEAs) and provide (well at least promise to provide) the type of education parents want rather than that dictated to them by the state. It would lead to more selective schools, and would probably drive down the fees charged by independent schools which would be faced with real competition. The biggest danger in this approach is you could end up with sink schools providing very basic education so the owners could profit. But isn't that what OFSTED are there for?

Exactly,I have one child and I could work myself up to resenting those who have 2,3,or 4 not paying more.On the OP I don't think that in future private education will buy the advantages that it has in the past,simply because the "Rich thickies" referred to earlier will water down the exclusivity of it.We have rich friends who have privately educated their kids and to be honest things have not turned out well for them.The 24 year old is unemployed and his younger brother is mooching around university trying to avoid going out into the real world.A world that his esoteric degree will not help him much in.

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I don't think that in future private education will buy the advantages that it has in the past...

It will in the top schools. It's sad that after having a succession of prime ministers educated in the state sector from Wilson to Major, two of the last three have gone to public school. It's shameful that Wilson having had the benefit of a grammar education let Crosland, the public schoolboy, pull up the ladder and remove that option for most.

http://hightory.com/2011/01/03/is-this-the-most-wicked-man-of-20th-century-britain/

Edited by arrgee1991
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During Marie Deevoy's long battle with breast cancer, she had one dying wish: for her young grandson to enjoy the benefits of a private education.

To that end, Marie left £5,000 in her will to go towards Danny's school fees when she died two years ago, aged 68.

'Danny is a talented pianist, singer and dancer,' says Jacqui. 'His teachers are delighted with him and he's happy at the school. I feel terrible I can no longer afford to send him there.'

However, as Danny nears the end of his first year, he is preparing to pack his book bag for the final time and leave the £12,600-a-year school, which prides itself on academic as well as creative success.

The reason? His mother, Jacqui Deevoy, 49, has fallen £8,000 into arrears with his school fees.

So. The grandmother only gave 5000 towards an education that would cost 84000 over 7 years. But the most pathetic thing is that the mother didnt contribute ANYTHING to the school fees and is now whining to the newspaper about it.

'Danny is a talented pianist, singer and dancer,' says Jacqui. 'His teachers are delighted with him and he's happy at the school. I feel terrible I can no longer afford to send him there.'

She says: 'Danny has begged me to ask the school to let him stay and pay back the fees when he's rich and famous.

He will have to be very lucky to get rich and famous and Im 99.9% sure it wouldnt happen, but it is interesting to see one so young so eager to take on debt that students much older than him are out rioting over. Even if he does become a luvvie, Im sure he would prefer to blow his money on champagne and cocaine rather than paying off debt.

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So. The grandmother only gave 5000 towards an education that would cost 84000 over 7 years.

She also left £60,000 to the mum in the will.

So why doesn't the mum use that money?

Or liquidate her assets, rent, and use that money?

Oh better still, live within her means!

Or (SHOCKER!) get a F******* job that pays better than her 'writing career' LOL

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So. The grandmother only gave 5000 towards an education that would cost 84000 over 7 years. But the most pathetic thing is that the mother didnt contribute ANYTHING to the school fees and is now whining to the newspaper about it.

He will have to be very lucky to get rich and famous and Im 99.9% sure it wouldnt happen, but it is interesting to see one so young so eager to take on debt that students much older than him are out rioting over. Even if he does become a luvvie, Im sure he would prefer to blow his money on champagne and cocaine rather than paying off debt.

Actually, with some kind help from the bankers... he probably would have got his way (though when he grows up and is saddled with debt, he

might not think that is such a good idea)...

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/08/12/313361/teenage-backed-bonds/

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So. The grandmother only gave 5000 towards an education that would cost 84000 over 7 years. But the most pathetic thing is that the mother didnt contribute ANYTHING to the school fees and is now whining to the newspaper about it.

In fact, £400 has gone AWOL. 12600 - 5000 = 7600, yet 8000 in arrears....

As for granny's dying wish, do me a favour. Getting sick to death of the bleeding hearts whose woes are self inflicted.

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In fact, £400 has gone AWOL. 12600 - 5000 = 7600, yet 8000 in arrears....

As for granny's dying wish, do me a favour. Getting sick to death of the bleeding hearts whose woes are self inflicted.

Penalty charges for not paying the school fees on time?

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A combination of that and quite simply better teaching. Most of the teachers at the better private secondary schools have PhDs, discipline is better (because, unlike state schools, they can simply throw out seriously disruptive pupils) and they don't teach the softer 'A' levels.

A significant point there.

A lot of the "good" state schools maintain their position by railroading as many pupils as possible into soft media studies type subjects at GCSE, rather than more difficult but useful academic subjects.

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My personal plan is to send any kids I am fortunate to have to state school and then, for the cost of my own time, also give them a bit of home education I'd expect be better than private school. I love teaching people things, always teaching my girlfriend stuff, and would probably be obsessed with teaching my kids stuff.

This is my dad's suggestion, except he thnks private tuition is the way forward.

I am not entirely sure it works though, not when children pass 11 and 12. And then there's the problem that they spend most of their state school time stuck doing nothing, but then have to come home and start their "proper education".

From personal experience, and because of where I live, private education is the only option for my child in my eyes. We have no grammars near us, and our local state school is not just "failing", it is appalling (they may as well shut it down).

I realise that there can only ever be one child, and because we live very cheaply, we will be able to pay for a mid-range private school out of my salary. We essentially live off one salary anyway, so this is doable to us -- and our domestic combined income is less than £44K pa.

It can be done, but I think you have to think rather hard about family decisions and potential outcomes. I have a friend who had four children before she realised that her two eldest boys are three years behind and have developed behavioural and psychological problems because of it, and the only solution will probably be a local private school with great SEN support -- at the cost of £4K a year.

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  • 9 months later...

If you take that position , it's ridiculous that those who don't have children don't get a rebate and it's ridiculous that those who have more than one child at a state school don't pay more taxes.

Not entirely as these children will potentially be contributing to your state pension when you retire.

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My link

Friend the other day: 'Lots of people can afford private school. It's as little as only six grand a year for one child, and even if it's more, people are prepared to go without just so their child gets the best education blah etc . . .'

£6k p/a? where? Only when they are 3 or 4 and your scholl ives you the £600 per term goverment alloance back as a rebate. Now my kid is 5 we have just has summer terms bill in and it's just short of £3k by the time you add lunches and some after school activities.

and I have been keeping track since 2008 and price inflation at this school is running about 8% p/a!!

M

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I have had those same thought processes. Basically, if you live near an English city. it is most likely your kid won't even talk properly when they come out, never mind be able to spell.

Get a grip! While, I'm sure, there are some bad schools in every English city, most schools are fine.

OK so they teach 19th century Science, British propaganda History, enthusiasm-deadening English literature (young teens do not have the life experience and emotional development to appreciate Shakespeare or Chaucer), Music (that just isn't what the kids are into). This is how it has always been, as far as I can tell. My great-uncle was taught in school in 1908ish that heavier than air flight was impossible (despite the success of the Wright brothers in 1903) and even that a human cannot travel more than 60mph without suffocating (WTF?). As long as they learn to read and write and do arithmetic, without completely killing their innate curiosity it's a win.

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Grandparents can pay school fees very tax efficiently.

If Grandparents gave a sh!t in the slightest about their grandchildren they would swap houses with their children so the grandchildren could grow up in a normal family home instead of in a sh!tty little shoe-box.

Instead they plot and scheme to transfer the debts they ran up during their lifetime to their children and grandchildren while maintaining their own lifestyle at any cost.

Old people are too scared to leave their damp, unheated, 3 bed detached houses, because of the children playing in the streets, and children are forced to play in the streets as their parents live in crappy little shoe-boxes with no space inside and no gardens AND NO-ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE THAT THESE 2 ISSUES ARE DIRECTLY RELATED.

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I think the idea that all independent schools do is create a ruling elite is misguided. Maybe places like Eton may think like that (I doubt it), but if you look at the alumni of most independent schools they are in many areas of society and at many levels.

They don't. The top private schools (and I am thinking of Eton specifically) do specifically drill the whole idea of privilege OUT of the pupils. From the school's perspective, they are in a difficult position as they have a lot of rich and spoiled children to deal with, so they are actually strongly motivated to try and quell the feelings of innate privilege.

The focus, instead, is on elitism through personal achievement (and, as they, themselves say, not achievement through daddy's cheque book).

For example, competitiveness is strongly encouraged in every aspect of academic life - after the end-of-term exams, the pupils receive their rankings per-subject, and overall within the year group (and the top rankings are read-out in a special assembly, so little Johnny will know exactly what ranking his best friend got). Teachers have a method for rewarding a pupil's truly exceptional work - where the work gets countersigned by the headmaster, bound and placed in the library where there is a list of all previous pupils who have done such exceptional work. A significant proportion of this work is actually unsolicited, where a pupil just had a flash of inspiration, and was encouraged to write it up by a teacher.

Sport is also strongly encouraged, and a huge variety of competitive sports are offered, in order to assist pupils in finding something that they will enjoy and be very good at. Sports are a major part of the week at such schools (often 10-12 hours per week of organised sports). It seems to work, because I've seen kids who were always the last to be picked for football, or whatever, at primary school - because, for whatever reason, they couldn't run well, or didn't like running, or didn't have the physique for it - completely transformed when they discover something like rowing, which they are actually quite good at, and can compete at it on a decent level.

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They don't. The top private schools (and I am thinking of Eton specifically) do specifically drill the whole idea of privilege OUT of the pupils. From the school's perspective, they are in a difficult position as they have a lot of rich and spoiled children to deal with, so they are actually strongly motivated to try and quell the feelings of innate privilege.

The focus, instead, is on elitism through personal achievement (and, as they, themselves say, not achievement through daddy's cheque book).

For example, competitiveness is strongly encouraged in every aspect of academic life - after the end-of-term exams, the pupils receive their rankings per-subject, and overall within the year group (and the top rankings are read-out in a special assembly, so little Johnny will know exactly what ranking his best friend got). Teachers have a method for rewarding a pupil's truly exceptional work - where the work gets countersigned by the headmaster, bound and placed in the library where there is a list of all previous pupils who have done such exceptional work. A significant proportion of this work is actually unsolicited, where a pupil just had a flash of inspiration, and was encouraged to write it up by a teacher.

Sport is also strongly encouraged, and a huge variety of competitive sports are offered, in order to assist pupils in finding something that they will enjoy and be very good at. Sports are a major part of the week at such schools (often 10-12 hours per week of organised sports). It seems to work, because I've seen kids who were always the last to be picked for football, or whatever, at primary school - because, for whatever reason, they couldn't run well, or didn't like running, or didn't have the physique for it - completely transformed when they discover something like rowing, which they are actually quite good at, and can compete at it on a decent level.

I was always the last to be picked. ;)

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I could write a book on this subject - unfortunately.

For what it's worth - my advice would be

If you can afford to send your kids private then do so.

If you can't afford private education be prepared to spend your whole life making up for the deficiencies in the state system.

If you can't afford or be bothered to do either of the above

Pray.

Seriously, your kids would learn more locked up for a day with a Chimpanzee than they would learn in a day at a state High School

They would also be considerably safer.

:blink:

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Put the money aside that you would have spent and invest it instead. Give it to them as starting capital when they reach 18. The cost of private education at c.£10k-££30k a year would result in a huge lump sum. If you think an education is to help them buy a home, well just give them the capital.

I have never met a parent at my kids school who thinks that. Best explained to me as I could give them the money (by the way without the term fee deadline it would never be the same amount) but what happens next marry and divorce and so give away half, don't achieve their potential because they have a cushion?

Once inside their head, heart and wrapped up in a sense of self esteem worth a hell of a lot more than the cash equivalent at 18 and thats without the easier entry to the top 20 uni's (if thats the route they choose many go straight to work)

There is also a difference between a private school and a public school which isn't often examined in this frequent thread on this forum.

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I have never met a parent at my kids school who thinks that. Best explained to me as I could give them the money (by the way without the term fee deadline it would never be the same amount) but what happens next marry and divorce and so give away half, don't achieve their potential because they have a cushion?

Once inside their head, heart and wrapped up in a sense of self esteem worth a hell of a lot more than the cash equivalent at 18 and thats without the easier entry to the top 20 uni's (if thats the route they choose many go straight to work)

There is also a difference between a private school and a public school which isn't often examined in this frequent thread on this forum.

That's because us Plebs didn't realise there was a difference - until now.

:blink:

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I could write a book on this subject - unfortunately.

For what it's worth - my advice would be

If you can afford to send your kids private then do so.

If you can't afford private education be prepared to spend your whole life making up for the deficiencies in the state system.

If you can't afford or be bothered to do either of the above

Pray.

Seriously, your kids would learn more locked up for a day with a Chimpanzee than they would learn in a day at a state High School

They would also be considerably safer.

:blink:

That made me laugh.

Unfortunately, from my limited experience of modern state and private schools it's probably true.

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