School Life: Why spend on pre-prep education

* Read Country Life’s Autumn 2013 School Life supplement in full

I mainly shop at Waitrose, but I do the big Saturday shop at Tesco. We’re looking forward to a trip to a safari park in South Africa, but, in the meantime, we’ve had years of camping in France.


St Mary’s Melrose School, Scottish Borders  

‘Give me the child for the first seven years and I will show you the man,’ say the Jesuits, and many parents agree. Not only do these years set the stage for all education that follows, but the Government will foot part of the bill. All three-and four-year-old children can have 15 hours of free Early Years Entitlement per week for 38 weeks a year.

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‘We sent our daughter to one of the smartest pre-preps in England when she was 2-and-a-half,’ says Sarah Morehouse. ‘We topped up the Government entitlement, and had to pay full fees when she turned five, but the school kept fees low at that age. At seven, she moved to our local primary and we haven’t looked back.’

Janette Wallis is a senior editor of The Good Schools Guide

How to decide which five years of school fees to invest in

* Why you should spend most on fees for pre-prep schools

* Why you should spend most on schools for your 11-16 year old

* Why you should spend most on schools for your 16-18 year old