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 Post subject: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:33 am
Posts: 4
hello, i am applying for my ds to attend gads hill or farringtons. we will really find it hard to pay for the fees,, but could just manage it. however i am worried about hidden extra costs. please could anyone tell me do you pay much more for you may have to pay for on top of the basic fees. also any tips on getting fees reduced would be handy!! thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 64
We go to Wickham Court School in West Wickham and the fees are Reception, Years 1 and 2 - £1950.00 per term / Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 - £2010.00 per term / Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (Senior) - £2675.00 per term. (I think £668 a month for Seniors) The only hidden extra for us are for lunches and swimming, both minimal. The rest is optional .. even the trips. Trips do not seem expensive at Wickham Court but are optional if they are too much. There is a Nearly New uniform shop in the school so full uniform could cost under £100. The only other thing to watch is when they put the fees up - ours goes up in September but so minimally that the fees remain affordable.

I think most private schools have their own Nearly New uniform shop to help parents. Some schools have school trips costing a great deal of money. I have heard some put their fees up a lot.

Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:27 am 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 4:40 pm
Posts: 251
I'd never heard of Gad's Hill so I've had a look at their website! :)

Their fees are very reasonable but have you looked closely at their GCSE results? They really are not very good - lots of D and E grades. French appears to be the only language offered and it looks like pretty much all of the children do DT and ICT which bumps up the number of passes. It also looks like only one child did separate science GCSEs. If you are going to struggle with the fees then you probably have better State school options nearby.

Torty can give you up to date info re subjects and grades at Wickham Court. A friend's ds is at Bishop Challoner - it has similar fees to Gad's Hill but much better results - for example, all of the children passed 5 GCSEs at A*-C incl Maths and English. Farringtons is more expensive than Bishop Challoner, Wickham Court or Gad's Hill.

RE your original question, I can only agree with Torty - pretty much everything at ds's school is optional if it has a cost attached! :D School also has a good second hand uniform sale. Fees at ds's school went up by over 4% this year :o but my friend said that Bishop Challoner's fees went up by 3%.

I don't want to put you off the independent school journey but if fees will be a struggle from the off then you should give serious consideration to your State school options.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
extras can very easily put fees up. unfortunately some schools have a headline of what look like very reasonable fees but then there are more or less unavoidable extras - lunches (often can't take packed lunch) travel to swimming / other sports things, insurance, membership of things, etc etc While others include everything.. Have a look at this Trent College page to see what is included: - some of the stuff may or may not be included with other schools.

http://www.trentcollege.net/admissions/fees


re fees going up ...... :( :( they do - relentlessly.. may not sound much but 4% is quite a low amount for fee increases and can be much more... think about the fees over the next 7 years @ 5% year - have listed them below..

Most recent fees I can find for Gad's Hill top out at 2900 per term
year 1 2900
year 2 3045
year 3 3197
year 4 3357
year 5 3524
year 6 3701
year 7 3886 - a 34% increase over year 1.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
DD was at a private school for a while bthe headline rate when she left was about £12500 I think. This included lunch, books & exams. We always paid a bill of £5000 each term (therefore £15000 a year) which included the coach, any day trips and also overseas trips when they happened.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 313
My DD attends an indie school and her lunches and some books are included in the termly fees. However, we are expected to buy our own text books for literature, science, MFL workbooks etc. There are also lots of hidden extras. For example, when speakers come to the school to talk to the students, we are asked to pay a contribution. Although the letter will state that this is optional, realistically you have to pay otherwise your child will not be able to take part. We are asked to pay for lots of different things, even house badges. School trips are quite expensive too and we have to pay exam fees in all subjects. Although some of these sundries that you are asked to pay may not seem much at the time, you soon realise just how much they actually add up. Not forgetting that fees will rise every year (very rarely will they remain the same). It is wise to budget for somewhere between 4-6% but this may actually be higher.

Saying all this, I have never regretted sending my DD to an indie school. She is getting an excellent education and is very happy there but it is a big financial commitment.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Wow Moonlight - That is a fair few things extra - hadn't thought of some of them!

What I also found at Indies v GS was that there is an assumption at indie (at least the one DD went to ) that parents could just "pay up" - a note would appear re a couple of "essential" trips and please can we have a cheque for £200 by wednesday ... the GS tended to announce it in advance and asked for a series of £50 cheques to be written with monthly date so the would be cashed gradually..

I have been delighted with indie schools - mainly at primary level, they had lovely atmospheres and no SATS - just not sure that I would have been able to keep paying at the higher secondary school level.


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 313
I often feel that the list of things to pay for is endless. I could have given lots more examples but you obviously get the picture! The school are good, however, at spreading the cost over for trips so that isn't so bad.

Thankfully, DS is at grammar school and there are very few things that we have had to pay for. We were asked for a voluntary contribution of £250 each year to go towards various things at the school. An absolute bargain!


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
DS at indie -extras include school trips ( ski trip £1000!!), coach fares, music tuition.
Lunches, books and exam fees etc all included.Uniform very reasonable , no more expensive than our local state schools.
Superb education worth every penny!


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 Post subject: Re: hidden extras
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 4:40 pm
Posts: 251
Just shows how different schools can be!!!

At ds's school, when he started in Y7 we were give a full list of all school trips regularly taken by every school year - all the way through to Sixth Form. All trips are optional and there is plenty (years!! :D ) of warning so parents can save up. There is absolutely no assumption that parents have bottomless pockets! :shock: Trips can also be paid for by installments.

I think the difference comes from the fact that about half the children at ds's school receive some help with fees so lots of children are not rich or privileged. The ski trip is £900 or something but so is the ski trip run by the local Comp - we have just had a letter about the ski trip in December 2012. :D

We will have to pay exam entry fees (still a long way off :) ) but all textbooks are included in the fees. Lunches are not included but they are allowed to bring packed lunches. Uniform is very reasonable - ds's blazer was £29 - and lots of it can be bought from Tesco etc (standard dark trousers and white shirt, for example) or second hand.

Obviously you have to pay for instrument lessons but that is the case is every school, state or private.


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