I’ll buy food at Lidl and clothes at Primark rather than take my son out of his private school

In an article in the Daily Mail, 08/01/13, Claire Campbell reports on some of the huge sacrifices being made my parents for private education.

An email bearing the dreaded subject line ‘School Fee Bill’ pinged into my inbox. My heart sank as I wondered how my husband Christy and I were going to pay it. Would this be the month we finally couldn’t?

Of course, many families are struggling, yet economists say we are cutting back on the basics rather than forgoing our luxuries. I know we are — for what could be more luxurious than paying for private education when there are good state schools out there?

Many people will think the hundreds of thousands of pounds we’ve spent on our children’s education wasteful — but it is the one thing on which we refuse to compromise. And in order to continue giving Joe the education I think he deserves, I’m willing to sacrifice all the other trappings of my middle-class lifestyle. 

I’ve ditched expensive (delicious!) Waitrose food and started buying my groceries at Aldi. I’ve swapped designer frocks from Harvey Nichols for cheap High Street brands, and have even turned my beautiful flower garden into a home-grown vegetable patch — all so we can pay those school fees.

And it was worth it — all the sacrifices and the going short of things I’d thought I couldn’t live without — just to see how well our son was growing up. It’s amazing how little you can get by on when you really have to. 

Of course, I may look back on this in a few years’ time and wonder why I put my family through all that just to send my son to private school. But somehow I don’t think so. Few things justify struggling so hard for — but my son’s future is one of them.

By Claire Campbell, Daily Mail. Click here to read the article © Daily Mail