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 Post subject: Fees rise
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:08 am
Posts: 211
GDST schools have put up fees by 4.3% for the year ahead, citing rising staff costs. With inflation much lower than that, parents might be forgiven for feeling aggrieved!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Not sure that it is a good time for the schools to do this, people who think they may just be able to manage the next 7 years if inflation is low may be put off by such an increase.

If it carries on for the next 7 years then the fees will be 34% higher by the time the child in the upper 6th.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:50 pm 
I'm sure someone with more knowledge on this subject will correct me if I am wrong but the inflation figures are misleading. They take into account interest payments on mortgages, BOE base rate plus consumable goods and many other expenditures. Many of these things have lowered but two of the biggest expenses to schools have increased substantially - food and utilities. Boarding schools especially struggle with these increases. Schools never want to increase fees (though they did at one point with the Public School cartel) as in doing so they could effectively be putting themselves out of business.

Our school has increased fees by 2% this year but anything under 4.5% is a bonus, even if it doesn't feel like it! :(


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
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Location: S East
CPI (the newer, Consumer Price Index) is running at 3.2% and expected to continue falling.
The RPI (the older, Retail Price Index) is running at exactly 0%. This measure includes housing costs.
So, 2% should feel like a bonus only if you don't rent or pay a mortgage, which sounds facetious, but over 40% of those with homes own them outright.

I don't accept that school fees need to rise. Schools are largely cutting back on inessential building and maintenance work. I suspect that economies are being made where they can.
However by far the largest cost in a school is teachers salaries (generally about 70% of running costs). It is not obvious why teachers salaries should be rising above inflation in the current environment. It's no reflection on them; one could make the same point about any number of professions.

It may be that schools are doing this to compensate for falling student numbers, but the answer to the latter is, sadly, falling numbers of teachers

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:33 am 
Quote:
I don't accept that school fees need to rise


Do you mean this year or in general? If its in general then we could argue that no teacher should ever expect a pay rise or that no one should expect a pay rise each year. If salaries rise then so must school fees.

As far as building new facilities many schools put an optional buliding fund fee on the invoice which is completely separate from the school fee. This tends not to rise as quickly as the fee and you can score it off your invoice if you do not wish to pay for this. So school fee rises are generally not to do with developing the physical fabric of the school. Fees in private schools have jumped substantially since the government introduced a minimum pay for teachers. Many moved out of the independent sector when this was implemented and schools had to bring their staff salaries inline with the state sector which caused a large jump in fees.

When we went to RSA we asked how much fees went up each year and they said between 11-18%! :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:40 pm
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Location: surrey
I don't feel this pay rise by the GDST schools is anything new. Our daughter went through a GDST school and for 7 years the fees rose steadily. I fully expected it to happen as teachers get pay rises like everyone else, plus heating bills, electricity bills etc always go up (rarely down!).
When starting out with a fee paying school you really have to budget ahead and think how you will afford the fees in the years to come. We budgeted for the first year, naively thinking that was what it was going to cost for the years to come!
Mind you, GDST schools include most things in their fees (apart from lunches) - there were few extras for trips etc, but fairly minor costs (We avoided the skiing trips!). :) Other schools do tend to add on extras and it can mount up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
*gulps* and gets back to preparing appeal for GS with even more fervour.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:52 am 
Following on, this article was in the times:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 993112.ece


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
I don't see why teachers' salaries need to increase at all. My husband and I both work for a large company which at the ouset of the current economic downturn immediately announced there would be no pay rises for any employees in 2009 :!: I'm sure this is the same in many walks of life at the moment, so I would think that private schools could maintain teachers' salaries without increasing them, and then not need to increase fees.

Although I think this is unlikely :roll:
LFH


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
Posts: 271
Location: S East
T.i.p.s.y wrote:
Quote:
I don't accept that school fees need to rise

Do you mean this year or in general? If its in general then we could argue that no teacher should ever expect a pay rise or that no one should expect a pay rise each year. If salaries rise then so must school fees.

When we went to RSA we asked how much fees went up each year and they said between 11-18%! :shock:


Neither. I mean for the propspective academic year. That is what the OP was about....remember. Thus arguments about what happened to teachers' salaries in the past are irrelevant. It is correct to say that if salaries rise, then fees must rise. However with inflation for many people running at zero, and many many people facing no pay increases this year ahead, I cannot see why teachers' salaries will be rising above inflation.

In context of course, fees have risen 40% in the five years to 2007, and there were further rises in 2008, so a rise of a few percent is an improvement.

RSA? Were you visiting the Republic of South Africa, or renewing your insurance? Please do explain Tipsy dear. :? :)

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