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Staff discount on school fees?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by charlieeh, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Good morning. I wonder if anyone is able to help me. My husband and I both work at two (different) independent senior schools. Salaries and excellent, accomodation can be provided in one of them, and each offer a substantial discount on school fees. We have 2 children but unfortunately they are too young to benefit from the fees discount and it will be over a decade before they are able to attend. We are looking at primary school options for the oldest and our closest two primary schools are not good (we live in the deprived/cheap part of an expensive area). We can't afford to move within this area for a better state primary and we have been unable to secure accommodation on site so far which is a shame as that's right by excellent state primary.

    Therefore a good solution seems to be to move schools to a 4-18 school with a good staff discount on fees so they can attend the school we work at. We are happy to move pretty much anywhere in the UK as have no ties here but finding the right school is a challenge as schools aren't very transparent about what they offer and I hate the idea of trawling through applications and endless interviews only to find there is no staff discount on fees, or the salary is very low.

    So I wonder if anyone can advise me on what 4-18 schools to look out for jobs at? I know we're not allowed to post school names, but perhaps a private message? It would save me a massive amount of time and wasted effort!

    Also at age 4 is it likely my child will automatically get in as a child of teaching staff or is that also quite risky? I assume they can't guarantee a place when they offer a job?

    Thanks and so sorry for the long and somewhat garbled message!
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Discount can be anything from 0% to 100% pretty much.
    You can ask when you see an advert and are considering applying, and can look at the school website for the admissions procedure for your child/ren.

    Search on TES for jobs in independent senior schools and find one with vacancies for you both, then look in to it.

    If you have no ties, maybe consider some time abroad? International schools can be fantastic places to live and work.
  3. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Many thanks. Yes we've been considering a move abroad and keep going back and forth on that.
    In the UK we wouldn't necessarily need to work at the same school. Our current schools are a couple of miles apart. It would depend on the area.
    I've tried emailing before applying before but I got a generic 'salary and benefits to be discussed at interview' type reply. Plus I feel it leaves a less than favourable impression to be asking about the perks before applying.
    The application/interview process takes up so much time and effort for everyone that it would just be better all round to know what's on offer first. I've had a couple of private messages so far so thanks for those. Massively appreciated.
  4. ellan_girl

    ellan_girl New commenter

    Some secondary schools offer a reciprocal arrangement with nearby prep schools
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    The way round the "less than favourable impression" is, of course, to have a separate email address that you use only for writing to bursars to make these enquiries.

    Can't prevent them wriggling out of answering, of course.

    Best of luck

    Twitter @Theo_Griff
  6. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    Is it worth contacting nearby prep schools, and explaining that you will only be able to stay in the area if your children can have substantial bursaries? Preps struggling with numbers might be ready to make a very generous arrangement to fill seats that would otherwise be empty with students who would otherwise not be available.
  7. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Thanks for the idea. .. But would that really have any chance of working? I don't think the prep schools around here are struggling for pupils and I don't think they'd care whether I, a total stranger, could stay in the area or not! Am I wrong?
  8. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Thanks! I actually read both your books last week and saw that you suggested that in your first one! Good idea! I do find it really odd that schools are so secretive about this. Thankfully people on here have been so helpful!
    TheoGriff likes this.
  9. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Thanks! Unfortunately the schools we are working at don't... And, short of asking each Senior School for every job that comes up, we just don't know which ones do offer this unless it's on their website or job role documents, which seems to be fairly uncommon so far frustratingly!
    TheoGriff likes this.
  10. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Many like to keep staff discounts in reserve as an incentive to attract any new appointees whom they really want (a bit like free/subsidised accommodation). I remember many years ago a school appointing a new lab technician who, it turned out, had six children, for all of whom he wanted (and got) half fee places. The bursar refused to put anything about staff reductions in advertising after that unfortunate experience.
  11. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    It costs nothing to ask. Be upfront: say you'd like to visit the school but you want them to be aware that as you are both on teachers' salaries you would need a bursary. In your discussion, be positive about your children's academic ability (schools probably won't want to give a discount to students who present with significant SEND issues). If they are happy for you to visit then you know there's some chance that they will engage with you on fees.
  12. charlieeh

    charlieeh New commenter

    Fair point! You are quite right. Although it would be for Reception entry... Surely they wouldn't give academic bursaries at that age?! I'll have a look at bursaries on the websites but the trouble is I think we'll go into that middle patch where we earn too much for a means tested bursary but not enough to actually send our kids to the school. You are quite right that it costs nothing to ask though... Nothing to lose! :)

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