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 Post subject: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:25 am
Posts: 3
I’m new here and would just like a little bit of advice please. :D

Current situation is DS 7 is in a prep school in year 2, thriving and very happy. Hopefully DS will enter the race for the 11+, so technically have 4 more yrs of fees to pay. We also have a DD who is due to start school in Sep 2012 (when we applied for DS, I didn’t know I was expecting, a lovely surprise). The issue is now we can’t afford to send DD to the same school as her brother, have tried number crunching and there is no way we can stretch to both sets of fees.

So my dilemma is what to do now, I was always of the mindset what I do for one I have to do for the other but it just is not financially practical.

My options are:

1) put DD in to a local state school however where I am at moment the two local schools are rated as poor by ofsted . I often take DD to the park near the primary school and the language (swearing) from these young children 6-7 years olds after school makes me so sad. I would keep her at state school and move her in year 3 once DS leaves Prep and fingers crossed moves on to grammar school.

2) Look in to Prep schools that offer bursaries at 4+ level, although I am bursaries at this level are few and far between. I should qualify as I am a single parent and divorced from my ex Husband, he is the one the pays for our sons fees but it’s not possible for him to stretch to our DD’s too, he has a large mortgage. Both the children live with me in rented accommodation. Does anyone know of any schools that do offer bursaries at 4, I am on the Herts boarder but would be willing to travel to Essex schools

Just wondered if anyone else had been in this situation and what you choose to do. I feel so bad at the moment about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
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You won't get a 4+ bursary. It would be better to ask the current prep for a 7+ bursary so DD could join.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:57 pm
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Versatility wrote:
Both the children live with me in rented accommodation.


Consider moving if you aren't tied to the local area to one where the state primary schools are better. Renting gives you that flexibility so exploit it. Consider taking son out of prep school and use the money saved in fees to get the necessary tutoring to get into grammars. Essex has a number of good grammar schools.

Also some prep schools are cheaper than others, so look around and you may find one that both could attend for little more than the cost of one (assuming you aren't already in a cheaper one).

I don't know any place that offer bursaries before 7, and even those are rare.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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I was thinking that moving to an area with better schools would be an option - particularly with the flexibility of renting - are you tied to the area otherwise?

as other posters say, bursaries are usually only available from 7 or 11 - also can vary as to whether a large mortgage is taken into account as allowable against income - would have to ask those specific questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:25 am
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Waiting_For_Godot wrote:
You won't get a 4+ bursary. It would be better to ask the current prep for a 7+ bursary so DD could join.


Unfortunately DS’s prep school does not offer any form of bursary at Prep level. Only for Year 7 entry (senior school)

Moving is an option, however we chose the area because I found a decent apartment and the rent is fair. I can't move too far, due to my ex and my own family whom I rely on for help when working. The area's with the better state schools have much higher rents, which I am currently not able to stretch to.

I just hope my DD doesn't feel left out as she is not able to go to school with her brother. We would not have been in this situation had my ex and I not separated but unfortunately was taken out of my hands. You have it all planned out. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:12 pm
Posts: 302
I feel for you. When we got married we rented in North London. One time a local 10 year old girl was digging up the communal grass outside the appartment building. A resident went out to tell her off and ten minutes later the girl returned with her mum who started having a go at the resident for telling off her daughter :?:

The place was just an interim stop for us and luckily we could afford to move to somewhere nice to raise a family.

Perhaps you can talk your ex into taking the prep fees and financially support you such that you could afford to move to a nicer area where both children can go to a good state school together and then onto a good state secondary school. I don't know where you live but I find that often the landscape can change dramatically for the better just a few miles down the road. That way you will still be close to your support network and you will have set up your oldest for a good (and free) school.

When it came to choosing a primary school a friend from the same nursery class decided to put her kid into Habs Junior while we elected to put ours into a local state primary. The way we saw it, at primary level, as long as it has a nurturing environment, the academic shortcomings can be compensated for at home. We spent about £1000 a year for two kids on professional tutors and 6 years later (and thousands saved) my son is off to Habs in September where he will share the same coach as his expensively prep school educated friend.

My point? A prep school education is fine if you have the money to spare but if you had to make choices then I would suggest that the money would be better spent getting both children into a nurturing primary school. Everything else will sort it self out thereafter.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Hampton
quote="Waiting_For_Godot"]You won't get a 4+ bursary. It would be better to ask the current prep for a 7+ bursary so DD could join

I don't agree - It depends on the school. There are busary's for reception and onwards, you just need to ring up the school even if there is nothing on its webpage.

good luck

Richmond


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
I really feel for you Versatillity! However, I offer my own experience FWIW. Many years ago I was in a very similar situation with two daughters. So, dd2 always went to state schools; good and not so good (Coventry primary on council house estate). We gave her every out of school advantage we could afford, including peripatetic teaching in French, German and music (shared with dd1). When the situation got too bad at school I pulled her out and home schooled her for more than a year. [Try that for difficult finances!]

Dd2 never complained, never expressed the sentiment "not fair: I want a private school too!" She always worked hard, even at "getting on" with her fellow pupils. Not content with taking the 11plus (passed) she pleaded to sit for Rugby where she is now a Foundation Scholar.

For those who are financially restricted I would say you get more 'bang for your buck' in secondary education, so consider a third option which I would call "support and confidence build". If you are successful your dd2 will come through very well and you will deserve a lot of credit!


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:25 am
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Thank you all for your advice. It's often good to hear from other people and their own personal experiences.

Sassies Dad - thanks you, and well done to your DD. I think I may do what you did with yours, as I 100% don't want to move DS from his prep where he is thriving. I will just nurture and extend DD at home. And hope like your daughter never that DD doesn't complain or resent not attending her brothers school.

Pushy Dad - we are not that far from you, we looked at HABS pre-prep but opted for a different school in end. Well done to your son too I am sure he will love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Prep School advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 54
Versatility wrote:
I will just nurture and extend DD at home. And hope like your daughter never that DD doesn't complain or resent not attending her brothers school.


Girls and boys are different. Boys seem to benefit more from independent schools, especially where they are single sex.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/colu ... -boys.html


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