Please note that threads in this topic are removed from the archive 90 days after the thread was started. If you would like your thread to be retrievable for longer than that, please choose another topic in which to post it.

please can you talk to me about private school and whether it would benefit my daughter...

(25 Posts)
loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 08:34:58

She LOVES school, she is really enthusiastic and works really hard. She also enjoys 'being involved'...sports captain etc etc

i never thought i would consider private school, but she is dyslexic and really struggles and it upsets her. She works best and makes more progress with lots of praise and encouragement...attention basically

she has been struggling recently with the social side/friendships etc. She suffers perceived 'slights' all the time. My take on this side of things is that school is a really difficult environment. All those characters crammed into a tiny space...trying to learn and get what they need. Its hard. She goes to a busy rowdy inner city primary. Its an amazing school, but no doubt...lots of children with lots of needs.

there are a few beautiful old private schools in our city with lots of SPACE. and im assuming smaller class sizes? One of which has Crested status. I don't want her in the focus group' in a comp...ive seen those. That isn't what she needs

phew...thanks for reading. I have no experience of private schools. Apart from working in the kitchen of one when i was a teenager!

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 08:37:38

Oh yes...and, how much will class/culture be an issue? We are very much working class. Me and her dad are separated. Its water off a ducks back to me, but will she be 'whuspered about'?

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 09:19:27

Does anyone go to private school?

OwlCapone Fri 27-Jun-14 09:23:34

No one can answer your question because "private schools" are not a single identity. They are all different in the same way that sate schools are.

You need to find the right school to meet your DDs needs and only you are able to do that by looking at the schools available to you.

DSs have not struggled at their private secondary through being from an "ordinary" background rather than super rich but again that very much depends on the individual school - theirs offers generous scholarships and bursaries so there is a pretty good mix of backgrounds.

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 09:25:59

Are there not attributes common to private schools though? Am i right in thinking that class sizes are smaller for example?

do the children get 'nurtured' more?

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 09:27:18

Or, do people who can afford it just choose private schools, for networking purposes?

CMOTDibbler Fri 27-Jun-14 09:30:11

My ds is at indie prep school - dh and I are not from posh/rich backgrounds by any means, and no one else in the family has been to private school. At his school there are some poshish families, but plenty who aren't - and lots of separated parents too.

But schools vary massively. Some are academic hot houses, and some are incredibly nurturing. We recently visited one which has a very high proportion of dyslexic, ASD, and just quirky children, with teeny classes, extra provision and a real can do attitude to finding the right way for every child. We've also visited ones where children are supposed to fit into a particular mould and thats it.

annielewis Fri 27-Jun-14 09:30:42

Hiya - didn't want to read and run. I would post this in Education instead, I am considering private school for my daughter too for different reasons and also want to know the answers to your questions re: class sizes etc.

exexpat Fri 27-Jun-14 09:31:01

All private schools are different and suit different children. Some would be great for a dyslexic child needed more nurturing, some would be a nightmare for her (huge academic pressure and competition etc). Have you been to look round any of your local ones to see what they offer?

All schools also have different social/ethnic/cultural mixes - it really is not as simple as state vs private. My two DCs go to local independent day schools which have a lot more in common with schools in the state sector than they do with, say, Eton.

OublietteBravo Fri 27-Jun-14 09:34:52

I moved my DD to a small non-selective private school last September. Previously she went to the local lower school (we're 3 tier here). She has a July birthday, and I felt that she would struggle in the large middle school (5 form intake).

She loves her new school. She is really sporty and gets picked for everything. Her reading, writing and maths have improved massively. I think this is due to the amount of individual attention she gets (class size is 10). There are a number of children who are dyslexic - it seems to be a fairly common reason for choosing private schooling.

Please don't worry that everyone who sends their children private is 'posh' - this simnply isn't true in my experience.

On a more practical note, it is almost the end of term for private schools (2 weeks left until the summer holiday for DD), so if you want your DD to move in September you probably need to start arranging visits pretty soon.

Hakluyt Fri 27-Jun-14 09:36:48

"Are there not attributes common to private schools though?"

Why on earth would there be?

Advicepleasefolks Fri 27-Jun-14 09:37:38

One of our local private schools has biggish form sizes but lots of streaming. Tbh I wouldn't send my dyslexic son there as he doesn't need a dose of competition to gee him up iyswim. Another private school is also large but has a dyslexia unit which has a good reputation. You need to visit and ask questions. The same for the comprehensive really, then you can make better comparisons.

OwlCapone Fri 27-Jun-14 09:37:56

Are there not attributes common to private schools though?

Yes, they charge fees smile

Apart from that, there are only generalisations.

nomdemere Fri 27-Jun-14 09:38:57

My DC are at a private prep school. We chose it because it was quite different to the other private schools in our area - our school bas a small, family atmosphere and is very focused on 'each child is an individual'. It doesn't have the same stupendous facilities that some of the others have, but we think it's fantastic. It actually reminds me strongly of my small village state school when I was a child. Our state alternative is an outstanding school, but very large, which I didn't think would suit our DC (although with hindsight I think that was probably preciousness on my part and they would have been fine - but this school is even better.)

However, I would look very closely at how private schools manage dyslexia. IME, private schools tend to be very poor at any form of additional needs. At our school, I know that some parents pay additional fees for dyslexia support (a weekly visit from a specialist teacher).

In terms of background - again, IME, at a standard private school (not the Etons/Harrows etc. as I don't know about those), there will be some parents who really care about money/status etc. - those parents will sniff each other out early on and stick together. Then there are a whole lot more, who are a wide range of 'normal'. Fortunately my DC seem to have palled up with the DC of that type of parent!

OublietteBravo Fri 27-Jun-14 09:40:35

Oh, and agre that it is about finding the right school for your child. I had a choice of 3 private schools in our town. I went with the non-selective one for DD, because I knew that she wouldn't enjoy the academically pressured environment in the other schools. DS is going private from this September - he is going to one of the selective schools because this will suit him. He would be miserable at DD's school, because he is a different child with different talents and needs.

RiverTam Fri 27-Jun-14 09:42:30

is there not s state primary in your area with a dylslexis unit? There's one at DD's school (just as another has a hearing-impared unit).

Yes, private schools will generally have smaller classes, but they can be extremely academically rigorous and some may not have much if any provision for a child with dyslexia. You'd need to do a lot of research.

RiverTam Fri 27-Jun-14 09:42:50

dyslexis - dyslexia!

Hakluyt Fri 27-Jun-14 09:46:57

If you have a child with additional needs, be extra vigilant when looking at private schools. Some (and I stress some)will not be happy to keep kids who don't make their results look good. And they have no obligation to keep your child if they don't want to. And they may not have the specialist knowledge and staff your child needs, and it will not be available from the LEA- you may well have to pay extra for it.

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 09:58:15

river we are VERY happy with her primary school. They picked up her dyslexia in yr1 and she has received fantastic support. We are very lucky. She isn't going to secondary for a couple of years, but i thought id start researching early

ok, so it sounds as if there might be the academic hot-houses (which ee dint want) and then the more nnurtury establishments

we are inner city. Our local state schools all have bad reputations for behaviour. I know a few of them from the inside. I think alot of them do a great job in difficult circumstances. And are fine. I went to one and did well. I think dd2 could thrive. I think dd1 will sink in one. Her head is busy and muddled and she really needs calm and gentle. There are 1, maybe 2 which might be ok...

need some investigations. Thanks for helping

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Fri 27-Jun-14 10:06:29

There are some private school with separate units for pupils who have dyslexia. My friend's son is at such a school. He still benefits from all the sports at the school as well as the specialist staff. This could be something worth considering.

djpig Fri 27-Jun-14 10:11:54

DS is in a private school which is well known for its support for dyslexic children so if you get the right school, yes, it can be a fantastic experience <DS is not dyslexic but several of his friends are>. However, as other have pointed out, private schools can have very different characteristics, and it's important to get the right school for your child.

DS applied to two schools. One was a very large school and the other was much smaller. The smaller school was very driven and had an academic edge over the larger school. The larger school has an overwhelmingly happy environment. DS was accepted to both schools and without hesitation chose the "happy" school. It's probably the best decision we have ever made. Lots of children are on burseries but there's no class division within the school- they are all just be big peer group.

If you decide to go down the private route, you need to get it right. Yes, potentially a private school with best meet your DD's needs, but you need to go visit, talk to them, go to their open days etc and get a good feel for each school

micah Fri 27-Jun-14 10:22:02

Is she Yr.4? I'm in a similar situation with DD, she'll need a school which can accommodate her (sporting) needs.

Here is my plan, fwiw.

Write a list of schools that are logistically feasible (travel time, likely to get in etc), and are of an acceptable standard, both private and state.

Go to ALL the open days I can possibly go to this september (so DD is in yr 5). Ask many questions on how they would allow for DD's needs.

Narrow it down to top 5 or 6. Calculate whether private is even affordable, and what bursaries we might be eligible for*.

Re-visit top choices sept 2015 (yr.6), with DD. Taking DD's opinion into account, apply oct 2015.

*Having begun this research, I am stunned to find very few girls/mixed private schools offer proper sports scholarships. I have however come across at least 4 excellent schools with very generous sports bursaries making the school affordable, and a big focus on sport which would suit DD -but they're all boys only (she's been to one for a comp and still asks if they let girls in yet).

Also specific to the o/p, read up on admissions criteria- several of our top nearby state secondaries have 10% of places reserved for diagnosed dyslexics. So you might be eligible for schools you wouldn't normally be under normal admissions criteria.

I went to two private schools - I changed over in sixth form, because the first one was not particularly nurturing and catered only for the super-academic and super-sporty. I was just a bit naughty and they wrote me off tbh. My second one was absolutely fantastic and it felt as if every single student was as important as another and unsurprisingly I did so much better there. I actually felt really motivated because I felt that they cared about me.

I'd echo others' thoughts that you have to find the right place for your DD and her individual needs - some will be private schools, some will be state schools. Hope it all goes well.

loombands Fri 27-Jun-14 10:37:22

Ah, thanks all. I really appreciate your input

micah yes yr4...i will steal your lan, if you dont mind?! i didnt know about reserved places for dyslexic children!

yy...we would be looking at sports scholarships also...
And i think having lots of great sporting opportunities, is important for keeping dd motivated

Losgehts Fri 27-Jun-14 10:49:00

You're DDs sound like two I know. DD1 was taken out and put into private and is now flying. DD2 has stayed on for state secondary and is flying there instead. Everyone is happy smile. Be careful with class sizes though. Lots have class sizes of 22/24 especially at secondary but it sounds like you'd need 16 as a max.

I also know of another child who was sent private because of additional needs and back to state within six weeks. In that case the parents didn't really believe her needs were an issue and didn't inform the private school about them beforehand.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now