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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:40 am 
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -fees.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:49 am 
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While I sympathise with the predicament, I suppose, I'm afraid that's life, I'm not sure what the point of the article is? If you can't pay, I'm afraid your child will have to leave.

As for the person who thinks one child needs to go to a fee paying school, while the other can just go to the local secondary, words fail me, to be honest.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:51 am 
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interesting article - suspect that 'twas ever thus, some people don't do the sums beforehand or hope that money is going to appear from elsewhere.

The fees (I paid primary level only) go up year on year way beyond inflation - a term in 1997 cost me about £800, by 2007 it was £2100 (small private primary outside london).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:10 am 
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Josa wrote:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2007568/Private-schools-More-families-pay-school-fees.html


Although, as is common, the Mail manages to lead with a case that doesn't illustrate the underlying story. It's an account of a woman who was already in debt, has three school-age children, two failed relationships and no obvious regular income who, upon receiving £5000 earmarked for education as part of a £60k legacy, sent her youngest child to a £12k per year school (ie, even if the costs remained level, an £84k commitment). The majority of the £60k appears to have gone to servicing other debts.

That's not credit crunch, the times we live in, whatever. That's straightforward financial suicide. There are people who embark upon what appear to be manageable school fee commitments who then find their circumstances have changed (sometimes through no fault of their own, sometimes through a calculated risk going the wrong way) and therefore cannot continue to pay. That's really sad, and you can only hope that it works out for them and their children (and, in some cases, they will have already had a vague "if it goes wrong, will you underwrite this?" conversation with their parents). But in this case, there simply was no money: her income couldn't sustain her then lifestyle, her mother left her (in total) not enough to pay school fees unless every penny of it and more was used and left her (as an earmarked contribution) little more than a term's fees.

The idea that even in the boomiest of booms a free-lance writer who is separated from a non-paying father could take on £12k/year of school fees is implausible. Sentimentally saying "it was what my mother wanted" doesn't help, and her son has been very poorly served throughout.

The later stories are more representative, and you feel sympathy for them. Although "In previous years we've had family trips to California, Thailand and Canada, but finding money for the school fees means we won't be going on holiday this year" does make me think that when times were good we continued holidaying in England and occasionally camping in France and built up a warchest for the inevitable bad times, cf. Genesis 41, verses 28 to 32; I'm not sure how sympathetic I am towards people who spent all the money they earned on luxury holidays and didn't keep a reserve for the school fees they had already decided to spend.

[[ edited to correct chapter and verse: Pharoh's Dream of Seven Fat Years followed by Seven Lean years is Genesis 41, not Genesis 40. ]]


Last edited by tokyonambu on Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:18 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
As for the person who thinks one child needs to go to a fee paying school, while the other can just go to the local secondary, words fail me, to be honest.


To be fair, JCoSS only opened its doors this year, and it may be the parents think that somehow that's fundamentally different to, for example, the (outstanding) East Barnet school, which is presumably their other option. I think if I lived in catchment for a new school like that, it would cause me to re-consider decisions I might have taken a couple of years earlier.

But yes, in general terms, giving child X £80k towards their education and sending the other around the corner is bad karma; one trusts that private-school child will get student loans while state-school child will have parental finance.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:21 am 
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it is making the (very large) commitment without any realistic way of paying it that causes some of the problems - fine if the gap is not great but the lady in the article had a huge gap to find. I suspect she hoped that school bursaries would help out.

don't mention University to any of these parents they haven't thought that far yet! ... had a friend who said he thought that sending 2 sons to public school was the most expensive thing he would ever do ... but then he sent them to university.... :oops: :? :(


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:47 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
don't mention University to any of these parents they haven't thought that far yet!


Bizarre. The writing was obviously on the wall for free university education when the current cohort of sixteen year olds was born, and has been up in flaming letters of fire for the past ten years. Everyone's circumstances differ, but if people have been taking long-haul family holidays and buying new cars, but meanwhile don't have university fees at current international student levels salted away in index-linked instruments, I do sometimes feel the need to question their priorities.

Obviously, if you can't afford either, the game is different. But a lot of people spent a lot of money on cars, holidays and consumer durables through the 2000-2008 period, when it was absolutely clear that going to university was going to cost at least £50k by 2010. You had to be blind not to see that. I know a couple who bought a new Audi-BM-etc type car every few years over the time their child was at school, and are now complaining about upcoming university fees (their son is 16). A swift fag packet calculation says they spent at least £40k on car depreciation over that period, plus the exotic holidays, so their protests ring rather hollow. They could have bought _one_ Audi-BM-etc, holidayed in France or Spain and had the full cost of a university education salted away with change left over for an MSc.

Now, I just need to go off and clear up my woods: my bear has been making a mess of the Pope's funny hat.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
I think though people do need cars, they might not need BMWs and Audis (most of these new ones on the road are probably company cars, losing the kind of money you would spend on one of those is just plain silly - not to mention servicing and tyre costs).
You might think the writing was on the wall for university tuition fees, but lots of people have only just come to the realisation (myself included) that the debt is going to be around £50k now, and that is definitely not something I have been budgeting for since my 17 year old was born. And my family and I too have had lovely holidays, but I might not have done had I had any kind of inkling that this was to happen. Nothing else in my lifetime has gone up in price by 300% in a year that I can think of that started off not that long ago as free. I don't think a comparison can be made between not being able to afford private school education and not being able to afford university fees.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:49 pm 
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When I had DC1 the midwife came to visit and said "you'd better leave a 3 year gap before the next one as you'll be paying for them to go to university by then". Oh how we laughed...

Wise lady after all.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:42 pm 
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I often wonder how many people there are who think that they wouldn't have been paying for their children to go to university. After all, the maintenance grant was means-tested since forever, and the minimum grant (ie, the portion that everyone received irrespective of parental income) went from £410 in 1983 to £205 in 1984 to zero thereafter; that when the lost of maintaining a student outside London was around £2000 per annum and £12000 per annum was a good wage. I don't know what the income was that would entitle you to a substantial grant: my parents were classroom teachers and I didn't get a grant. So even had the system of means-tested grants continued (and, remember, there were _no_ loans then, so if your parents couldn't/wouldn't pay, there was no other source of money) most middle-class parents would have been expected to continue to pay maintenance, which is now probably between £7000 and £9000 per annum.

So leaving loans out of the equation, and assuming that parents intend to fund the whole of the education (ie, the most they could wish to spend), had the system of the 1980s/90s continued, they'd have been paying about £8000 per annum; "top up" fees take it to about £12000, the new situation around £17000. It's a lot of money now; even had nothing changed since 1985, it was always going to be quite a lot of money.


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