Whether it’s your first child, second, third or fourth, as parents we want them to flourish beyond the threshold of the family home. We want to provide them with the stability, experiences and education they need whilst they’re dependent on us.
Yet, as much as we can dream a dream for our children, coping with the fees associated with private education is a huge financial commitment, and once committed, it can become a difficult balancing act when interacting with family, work, and other life issues.
Depending on when your child enters the private education sector, and whether he or she is a day pupil or boarder etc, the cost of private education can be hundreds of thousands of pounds. It’s huge – impossible many would say.
But did you know there’s help available with private school fees in the form of scholarships and bursaries? And, do you know what scholarships and bursaries are, whether you are eligible, and how to access them?
When we buy a house, we contact a financial adviser, a mortgage adviser, the lender. When we submit accounts, we consult an accountant. For legal matters we seek advice from a solicitor. For insurance needs, we contact an insurance broker. Our boiler breaks and we consult an online directory of plumbers with references to obtain quotes and check licensing. We virtually always seek advice from an expert.
So, why do we treat private education differently?
We often see parents who believe that every family within the independent education sector is cash rich. Of course, there are some wealthy families, but do you know that most parents do not fund all of their school fees and associated costs from taxed earned income alone? Approximately, one in three pupils benefit from being awarded scholarships and bursaries.
Like so many areas of adult life and parenthood, private education can be a realistic goal with the right insight and strategy, (and a good measure of teamwork, elbow grease and judgement). For many families, scholarships and bursaries have been the gateway needed to access the private education sector, but there are timings, deadlines, applications, criteria to meet. Some are one-offs, but some are renewable annually placing pressures on all involved.
During the 30 years we have been working with schools, head teachers, bursars and parents in the private education sector, we have been asked many questions, seen many unique circumstances and have helped thousands of people, and we want to share our insight by passing on our experiences and knowledge at our talk, “Private education, shall I?”.