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 Post subject: Extras on top of fees
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Could anyone please help shed a little light with regard to extra things we parents need to pay for in addition to the school fees? I understand books are included in many schools. I really wanted to get an idea of cost of school uniform for somewhere like St Helens, Habs Girls. Also, wanted to find out cost of trips.

I am taking into account a very generous 5% fee increase each year - I am hoping this is sufficient.

If anyone could help especially with regards to uniform costs and I mean everything including sports, blazers, coats etc. I can see from the various websites that coach fees are approximately the same at around £1000 per year give or take.

Thank you very much.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:31 pm 
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I don't know regarding that specific school but I wanted to get in before the people (who normally don't have any children at an indie) make generalisations about trips, uniform and all manner of things being far more expensive. You could be led to believe that indie schools are virtually double the cost when allowing for extras it seems!! We have one in GS and one in indie and this has not been our experience at all. It may well be the case in some schools, no doubt about it, especially the more prestigious ones, but it is not in any way necessarily so, and in fact in our case the extras in GS are far more ££ than those on the indie.

Hopefully someone will be able to be specific about your school, you could always ask the school too? It's not in their interest to hide costs.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:40 pm 
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Thank you for your reply Yamin151. It does really help about school trips. I am guessing that they are completely optional.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Well yes they are, but in general yes you'd like them to go, but the rally expensive ones then of course not. So far DS1 (indie) has school trip for 4 days in France that is cheap than his brothers 3 days in Wales! dS2 has options for ski trips and later on rugby tours that are to places such as South africa, Iceland, Australasia, which simply not offered at the indie. Not saying it's wrong, no one has to go, but it's not an indie school issue, it's an all schools issue.
And no we don't pa for books, or coaches for trips,


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
Yamin151 wrote:
and in fact in our case the extras in GS are far more ££ than those on the indie.


The same here, one in GS and one in Indy.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:01 pm 
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Definitely ask the bursary for realistic figures - if nothing else, it helps show the school that you are serious about your application - and I have always found bursars to be super helpful in that respect. Ask them what the fees actually cover - books? exam fees? compulsory trips? daily lunches? The variety between what is included by various independents is huge - but all this should be completely transparent.

Just to clarify Yamin's point - not all school trips are completely optional as some are classed as "curriculum" based - so these ones are the priority. For example, any rugby tour trips at our GS are of course optional, but the "residential" trip to North Wales in Y8 and the French Battlefields in y9 are "compulsory" as they allow the school to complete essential curriculum based things that aren't covered in the normal school day. There is the facility to apply to the Head if you cannot afford these (but understandably, not the none essential trips like skiing or rugby tours, so much.)

Most schools offer a similar "application for help" system (even independent schools - although a lot of the support would go to those in receipt of bursaries, but not exclusively). The cost of school trips is often influenced by how small or large the school is - ours is a relatively small school so costs are higher (and often we combine with another school to reduce them).

I would ask the school for a list of essential trips that they offer - as Yamin says, they shouldn't hide this. Generally speaking, (and certainly our local) Indies offer a wider variety of trips, and, obviously, if your dc are the type who want to go on these - or are good at drama/sport/music etc and may be encouraged to go on them (for example our touring dramatic group are taking a play they have just completed a run for, to France over the holidays), then you do need to budget something for them.

With regards to uniform, there are usually pretty good second hand sales where you can pick up the more expensive items and most schools allow you to purchase cheaper super market brand white shirts etc. It is always worth asking a current parent what uniform is essential as the school list can contain things that really are only worn once or are not compulsory!

I would also ask the school for confirmation of their fee increase over the last few years - that should give you an idea of the general increase to expect - 5% sounds on the lower side.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:17 pm 
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Super post, concur with all of that, and KCG and I have boys at same GS so all perfectly accurate!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:01 pm 
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:wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Thank you Kenyacowgirl. That post was amazing and really was very useful.

I will give the schools a call for accurate figures.

There is so much to consider and I want to make sure we cover all corners before committing to independent schools.

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:35 pm 
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LegoFriends wrote:
Thank you Kenyacowgirl. That post was amazing and really was very useful.

I will give the schools a call for accurate figures.

There is so much to consider and I want to make sure we cover all corners before committing to independent schools.

Many thanks


Kenyancowgirl has summed it up really well. I would add just a couple of things:

1. Lunches are they included in the fees? And any other meals such as tea if they stay to prep or for a club.
2. Sometimes things timetabled in the day are run by outside org and a charge is levied. For us it was a sport one morning during the week that was compulsory but there was a charge.
3. Music lessons.
4. Contribution to parents association or school fund. Thorny subject and a whole different debate but may need to be budgeted for.


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