To ask if anyone has paid for a private education and has regrets?

(218 Posts)
Moontime Thu 04-Jul-13 23:54:19

We will have to think about schools this year and I really don't know whether private schooling is something we should do. We can afford to. I don't mean to sound smug by saying that. I say it meaning if we can afford to then surely we should do the best we can for our DC.

Has anyone gone down the private school route only to realise after a few years that the local state school would have served their children just as well?

lessonsintightropes Thu 04-Jul-13 23:57:11

Will be v interested to see responses to this. We live SE London - brilliant primaries and rubbish secondaries. Likely we'll move before the latter become a problem (and in 0.1km of a brilliant primary) but are debating about this ourselves. It just doesn't quite sit right with me and financially would be an enormous commitment - but would maybe rather that, than not give DC every opportunity in later life with a good education? I'm not sure the same argument applies though if the schools near you are good.

Moontime Fri 05-Jul-13 00:00:07

The schools near us are good, but we have no chance of getting a place as they are over subscribed. DC might get a place mid year or by year 2 if we keep hassling the school and council!

SodaStreamy Fri 05-Jul-13 00:00:34

Are you honestly expecting parents who have paid for an education to turn round and say they made a mistake?

If you can comfortably affod to send your children to privae school , I'd say go for it

Gruntfuttocks Fri 05-Jul-13 00:01:47

It's very difficult to know whether another school would truly have served your kids just as well - what are you comparing in order to come to that conclusion?

Private isn't always best, but it comes down to what is available in your area and what will suit your individual DCs best. We turned down a place at a top grammar (free) in favour of a small independent school for our eldest. Many many people tried to tell us we were making a huge mistake. I haven't regretted it for a second - it was the right school for him at that time, and worth every last penny. And we chose differently for our others..

timidviper Fri 05-Jul-13 00:04:54

Mine both went to private schools and I have no regrets at all. They are both bright, eloquent and doing well.

They might have done well at state school but I think private school gave them more confidence and "polish".

Don't know what answer you were looking for but mine is no regrets

suburbophobe Fri 05-Jul-13 00:08:33

Bet my dad would... ;-)

But everything works out the way it should...

Moontime Fri 05-Jul-13 00:09:28

As this is an anonymous forum or can be if you name change, then I would expect people to speak honestly about their experience if they feel they want to.

I am just interested to hear some other people's experiences, especially those with older children as I don't have any friends in RL with school age children.

Whether private schooling generally is "worth it" is impossible to say.

I suspect it's better to ask yourself whether the local school you have in mind offers better value than the local state alternative and whether your children will be happy there.

Other than that: can't help much I'm afraid. My children's school charges a fee (it is Roman Catholic) but it is nothing like the fees one pays for a private school. There is also no evidence that the school is academically any better than our nearest standard state school, but I prefer the ethos of my children's school, so am happy to pay the fee.

A friend of mind paid mahoosive fees to send her daughter to prep school, reckons it was completely wasted. Certainly her daughter, although academically fine, is not noticeably ahead.

Jinsei Fri 05-Jul-13 00:12:29

We're on the other side of the debate - could have gone private, but decided against. Frankly, the local private primaries aren't a patch on our outstanding state school, so it was a bit of a no-brainer. We couldn't be happier with the education that dd is getting in the state system, so definitely no regrets.

I don't think you can debate whether private or state is better. It really does depend on the individual schools and on what suits your individual children.

Sorry, that probably doesn't help you much. grin

elQuintoConyo Fri 05-Jul-13 00:14:09

You might want to ask my parents!
Only me and Dsis: one of us went to university (third rate, at that), one of us is sucessfully self-employed, both of us left the country, one of us has a huuuuuuge property with acres and acres filled with chickens and bunnies (for eating grin ), one of us still has clipped RP accent, one of us reads 'intelligent' books, both fiction and non fiction), one of us obsesses over Dr Who, the other doesn't watch tv...
We're completely different and our parents are equally proud of both of us. They paid for an education that neither of them were able to have: DDad left school at 15 to work on a farm, DM left at 16 to work in a shoe factory.

SodaStreamy Fri 05-Jul-13 00:20:20

I live in an area of Edinburgh that has the best state school and it sought after.

We also have lots of private schooles, Fettes, George Heriots etc

I choose to send my children to the state school because I was always a bit left wing and did not agree with private schools

However I now regret that decision and wish I'd sent them private as I see his peer group that went private achieving more

Moontime Fri 05-Jul-13 00:21:05

Certainly the class sizes are very different, 32 at state compared to 20 at private. That can be quite important in the early years.

Moontime Fri 05-Jul-13 00:21:54

Sodastreamy, that's what I'm afraid of.

KlickKlackknobsac Fri 05-Jul-13 00:24:32

I have a close friend who went to private school- GDST chain of schools. It gave them (her and her friends) a drive and an arrogance- sense of entitlement that is still very infuriating. In her large group of friends, all are successful, but are driven, seemingly never satisfied, having to prove themselves.
Almost as if prove that they have benefited from the education, that they were worth it.
But she absolutely would not say she regrets it, in fact she has decided to send her children to private school and believes it is the better choice.
My own children have gone to a non-paying, state Catholic school. It teaches them to 'be the best they can be' but not at the expense of anyone else. I would not touch GDST (I do not agree with single sex education as it makes the girls be unrealistic about men).
So in summary, think about the ethos, what else is out there, and the impact of single sex. Very often a certain type of personal characteristics are valued at private school, which you may not agree with at the end.

BegoniaBampot Fri 05-Jul-13 00:25:39

This has been a big thing for us. We could afford private and have discussed it. So far we have stayed state and our kids are doing very well with glowing reports. I hate to think that we are depriving them of a wonderful, lovely experience that will help them reach their potential. But then I think, if we went private and went out of our way to choose that path and it all went wrong then I would also feel terrible if they turned out totally against how we view life. We are WC and I am afraid we create a mindset and children we find hard to live with or relate to. Also hate to think we are failing them and not giving them amazing chances in education and life.

KlickKlackknobsac Fri 05-Jul-13 00:26:20

My state school (catholic) has equally huge class sizes, but still achieves incredible results.
But its secondary- I agree that small classes at primary can be very important- but not always essential.

SodaStreamy Fri 05-Jul-13 00:33:08

I do not agree with single sex education as it makes the girls be unrealistic about men

sorry but that is bollcoks

Moontime Fri 05-Jul-13 00:42:10

We too are very much WC. Neither of us can play a classical instrument or understand the rules of rugby etc. Wonder how we will relate to our very privileged child in a few years.

ukatlast Fri 05-Jul-13 00:51:08

I think it is a huge financial commitment - the fees NEVER go down and so whether you can comfortably afford it, is key to the decision.
My kids were privately educated whilst we were abroad for my DH's job but we have put them back in State sector in UK and will only move them if there are severe issues...as I would rather use that money to invest in our retirement or to help the kids through University/buying their first home.

We also prefer to have a couple of good family holidays a year and they certainly do not come cheap. Of course I wouldn't put them in a total sink school and have gone 'out of catchment' as it is.

At the back of my mind, I hope that the Universities have some pressure put on them to accept state school candidates such that 'going private' could sometimes be a disadvantage as more is expected of you.

The private school we used abroad was good up to Y6 but awful in Y7 for my eldest (overcontrolling bully of a teacher) and he is much happier in his UK state school which very much reminds me of the one I attended 30 years ago - not much changes tbh.

KlickKlackknobsac Fri 05-Jul-13 00:58:41

Sodastreamy- not a very erudite argument you presented there!

My statement is based on the observed behaviour of a significant number of friends who have attended all girls schools and expect to be treated like princesses, and that the main thing men are interested in is sex. They have objectified men into something reflected in nuts, and so transformed themselves into glamour girl airheads. Admittedly many state school/ mixed ed girls have these views, and the friends did settle down in good balanced relationships in the end- the issue was when they were 16-20.
People I know from mixed ed had a much more realistic view of men- that they are multifaceted.
It was so clear a difference that it made me determined NOT to ever send my dc to single sex schools.

Not Bollocks in my view.

elastamum Fri 05-Jul-13 00:59:54

My ex and I are both state educated and our DC are at a very good local public school. It has made a massive difference for DS1 who is very bright, but dyslexic. He is on track to do extremely well academically.

My DC are not at all arrogant and entitled - in fact everyone who meets my DS is struck by how articulate, social skilled and generally nice they are.

Ex and I have no regrets at all. It is one of the few things we still agree on grin

PigOnStilts Fri 05-Jul-13 01:02:46

Actually, my husband, priv educated Oxbridge blah blah says that the one mistake his parents made was the single sex prep....he feels that it made the opposite sex seem like utter mysteries which he found socially difficult in later life

elastamum Fri 05-Jul-13 01:04:09

Mind you - our one local state school is awful - and has no sixth form, so we were'nt exactly overwhelmed with choice

KlickKlackknobsac Fri 05-Jul-13 01:04:42

Not every private school makes its pupils arrogant- I was talking specifically about the approach of the GDST (Girls Day School Trust).

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