Finance: Paying for private education

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I’ve often heard a parent say that they will do anything for their children. How far does this go? For some the prospect of a better future for their children involves paying for their education. Are you someone that private education is non-negotiable? Or do you think that it is a waste of money? I asked a few blogging mums and dads what they thought about paying for their child’s education.

Class sizes are meant to be capped at 30 pupils in state schools but in some cases they exceed this. The thought of smaller class sizes is very appealing. Sarah at Arthurwears says, “If I could afford to send my children to private school I absolutely would. Not because I think you get a better standard of teacher in a private school – but the additional funds and lower number numbers mean better resources, additional extra curricular activities and sports and more chance of direct contact with the teachers rather than it all feeling so ‘en masse’. This thought is echoed by Sinead Latham, “It’s the lower class number and higher funding that makes it attractive to us. At 5 he’s already getting lost in the volume and I want him to have every opportunity to succeed.” 

What would you do in order to pay for private education? Stuart of Father-Hood.co.uk knows only too well the costs involved, “It’s scarily expensive, and we’ll have to work really hard to earn the money to afford it, but it’s a sacrifice we are willing to make in order to give our son (and any future children we have) the best opportunity to succeed that we can.”

Jo from A Rose Tinted World also realises what sacrifices she will need to make in order to pay for private schooling for her daughter, “Does a private school have more to offer? Probably. It will mean me going back into work, but I think it may have to happen.”

Is it just better academic results you are paying for? Not so for many parents who believe private education offers more in many ways such as Hollie from Thrifty Mum, “T think the extra cost is worth the increased opportunities, network and travel that comes with private schooling. I’d see it as a valid investment.”

If your children are at state school sometimes you are reminded what your children may be missing out on like Emma found out, “My eldest is a county club hockey player and was even told by one of the coaches that if she had been at a specific private in our town that she would have probably gone all the way to England and that for a state school girl she had done exceptionally well.”

Amy Treasure believes private education is worth every penny, “Independent school is not a waste of money, not only do we pay for a first class education we pay for unlimited resources and extra-curricular activities that are not available in state schools. Not only that, if we are unhappy with something the school will go above and beyond to make us happy – since we are paying ‘customers’ we are in a very good position in that respect.”

Being able to afford the fees now is one thing but will you be able to keeping paying them? Would you want to pull your child out of their school if you ran into financial difficulties? This is something that bothers Sophie from Soph-obsessed, “If I had the funds to be able to do it comfortably then I absolutely would. My main concern right now would be if our circumstances changes and we could no longer afford it.”

Paying for private education instead just about the school fees as Sophie of Mamamei realises, “Even if I could afford it I wouldn’t. I love the diversity at my children’s school and for me that’s as much part of learning. Plus it’s not just the fees, it’s all the trips, add ons and keeping up with the Joneses that bothers me. I couldn’t handle the pressure.”

When you have three children like Jaymee from The Mum Diaries then you know that the cost can really mount up, “The boys go to a really good state school and even if we could afford fees, we wouldn’t be able to afford everything else a private school would chuck at us, trips/residentials etc. Then paying it x3 would cripple us.”

Some parents have tried private education and found the expense of it didn’t match up to the teaching it offered. This was experienced by Carly of Mom of Two Little Girls from she returned to the UK from South Africa, “The standard of education they are receiving in their local community school is brilliant! They do miss the after school sports from their private school but we have put them in the clubs here to compensate. I don’t believe it’s necessary to put them in a private school here in the UK, even it we could afford it. As I said, the education standard they are receiving is amazing. I don’t think they are missing out on anything.”

Does private education pave the way to an unequal society? This is a concern for Amy from Mum Full of Dreams, “I am really passionate about believing all kids have a right to the same, good quality education and the best way we can do that is supporting our public school system. I have a family full of teachers and none of them would ever consider working for a private school because they want to help children have the best start in life…having that should not come down to money.” This sentiment is also felt by Katie of Living Life Our Way,  “A good education suitable for the individual is a right though. It shouldn’t depend on area or how much money you have.” 

What do you think about private education? Is this something you aspire to for your children or do you think the state system is fairest all round? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter. You can catch up with my latest finance blogs at JibberJabberUK.

 

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About Ness Charles

Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.

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