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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?

Bowlersarm Fri 05-Jul-13 12:06:17

Absolutely no regrets.

It has been difficult financially sometimes, but the DC's excellent education can never be taken away from them.

ukatlast Fri 05-Jul-13 12:11:01

My other thought is that in the hot-housed pressured private environment, it is always hard for an above-average but not brilliant child to feel that they are bright. They always feel as if someone else is better than them especially when you have 7 year olds doing piano recitals.

Put them in a non-selective state school and they may well find themselves much nearer the top of the academic pile.
This is a risky strategy but my eldest has grown in confidence back in state sector and is now viewed as one of the brightest which motivates him to do his best to get the accolades(=praise and positive relationships with teachers) now within his reach rather than just scrape by and resent homework etc.

I think if you were to ask a friend of mine, she would say she regrets it. Her dc has turned out to be on the autism spectrum, and no resources was every put in by his private school to figure out what the issue was. My friend was never really told there were problems, she just though her dc was a bit "highly strung", and school was smoothing over issues and wrapping her in cotton wool a bit. Her dc did not achieve very well in neither numeracy or literacy, and only started getting a grasp on numeracy after she paid a tutor for a few hours a week. She realized her dc would not in a million years pass 11+ so continues to 13+ and she is stumped what to do. She feels let down by the school, and that she has poured insane amounts of money on not getting a good education for her dc.

Another friend of mine is convinced her dd achieving a 100% scholarship to an independent sixth form led to her down fall. The girl is academically bright. But has dropped out of Uni after 2 years, works in a clothes shop, and desperate to pursue a modelling career. She spent her uni grant and savings on shoes and bags and jetting off on holidays with the wealthy crowd she got to know during sixt form, rather than study.

Our ds1 sat 11+ and is going into a nice independent secondary for Y7. I hope we wont regret it.

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 12:43:04

Dn has undiagnosed SEN (I'd guess dyspraxia and ASD), what prompted dsil to send him to independent was the mainstream nursery teacher asking her permission to refer him to an ed psych. She saw it as an insult to her parenting and put him in private within a week instead believing that if they threw money at it it would go away. Admittedly the two E's are probably more than he'd have got unsupported in mainstream but IME when the nursery asked to refer to ed psych within the first half term of nursery then they had spotted significant difficulties and were wanting to get support for them. With support I think he would have fared far better in the maintained system as my own son did with a statement from three.
Ds is now in an independent specialist school and of course the quality of support he gets is superior but the LA are paying £50000pa to send him there in comparison to the £20000pa to support him in mainstream.

follygirl Fri 05-Jul-13 14:26:14

We have no regrets at the moment. A girl who has finished Y4 and a boy who has finished Y2.

Both summer babies, both written off and ignored at the nurseries they went to.

Both at different schools which suit them down to the ground. Dd's more academic, ds' more laid back and teaches the boys in a way which suits them.

Both of them are ahead of their peers in terms of academic levels but more importantly confident and extremely happy in their schools.

As they have each other they certainly know how to relate to people of the other sex.

My dh and I both went to single sex schools and again we have never had any problems!

To be fair if we would have had both of the same sex I might have reconsidered but they certainly don't have any recognisable issues with this at the moment.

FormaLurka Fri 05-Jul-13 14:32:30

My kids go to single sex school. They also have outside school activities like orchestra and sports where they mix with the opposite sex.

So, unless your kids do nothing but go to school, I don't see how single sex schools affect your attitudes towards the opposite sex.

ComposHat Fri 05-Jul-13 14:35:38

I'd worry what it teaches children. ..that education al advantage and privilege can be bought and that a wave of mummy and daddy's cheque book will make everything alright.

Most people I knew who went through private schooling are either hugely arrogant entitled twats and I can understand how it happens.

everlong Fri 05-Jul-13 14:38:44

But toad how far behind might your friends dd be if she'd gone to a state school?

trackies Fri 05-Jul-13 14:42:11

it depends on your children. I was privately and state educated (depending on finances at the time). Whenever i did state education, my grades feel through the floor because i was placid, non-competitive child, so in an average state school it was much easier for me to get distracted and get away with doing very little.

If i could afford to privately educate my kids in secondary (and there were no good state secondaries), i would do it

meboo Fri 05-Jul-13 14:54:13

When DS was first due to go to school we had to make the choice between private and state and decided that he would go to state school for primary and then look at the choices again after that. Boy do I regret that. He was very advanced when he started school and gradually, although always at the top of his class, I felt that he was not achieving his potential. His school let him down, they would not see that there was an issue even when presented with the evidence.
We moved him for year 5 to private school and he is flying, I have a happy child again and that is worth all the money in the world. Obviously not all schools are the same, but we hit the jackpot here and yes it's a boarding school.

JaffaMyCake Fri 05-Jul-13 15:03:24

I went to a private school as did my cousin. My cousin failed her 11+ by a fair way and her mum made the decision to go private at considerable financial cost. She ended up getting 9 good gcses including as in maths and English and then went on to study maths at a RG uni. Do I believe she would have done this at the local comp? Absolutely not.

Out of a year group of 50, in my year at private sixth form, EVERY single person went to uni and a good 75% of those to RG. Ten years on the majority are pretty bloody successful (including myself).

Private school isn't for everyone but in my experience, it did wonders for me and a lot of my class mates.

As a final point, my school was single sex and I greatly disagree with the comments made above, because the vast majority of my year group have the "strong independent woman" attitude and they certainly don't take shit off men!

Namechangingnorma Fri 05-Jul-13 15:07:44

I left private education pre GCSE as it just didn't suit me, I hated the elitism, it was a girls school which meant a lot of pressure to dress, act a certain way and begged my parents to let me leave. I went to my local comp which was good but not excellent and got straight a's in my a levels and went to the best university in the country for my chosen subject. i dont believe i would have achieved in the same way if I had continued in private education. I think a lot of whether it is better r not is down to the child's individual needs.

Weegiemum Fri 05-Jul-13 15:18:32

We could have afforded it, even for 3dc (by the time dc were born, dh was a GP and yes, the money is good!).

Initially we didn't as our rural location would have meant boarding. We moved - and we're in Glasgow with several great private day schools.

Leaving aside our left-wingness (yes, middle-class socialists) we're very glad we didn't. Our dc go to one of very few state bilingual schools. Ds in a P7 class of 22 next year, dd2 in a class of 27 in p6, dd1 has 20 in her main s1 class, 14 in the practical classes. You genuinely couldn't buy the education our children get. They would be missing out if I sent them private. Sometimes,the state system really does offer more!

Weegiemum Fri 05-Jul-13 15:20:20

Dd1 has just finished s1 (y7) by the way.

sue52 Fri 05-Jul-13 16:03:18

I only sent my girls to boarding school for 6th form. They were state educated up to GCSE and both achieved well. They boarded as I believe this best equips and prepares them for life away at university. I don't regret the cost but it was only for 2 years. The education provided by their state school did not put them at a disadvantage among their peers at their private school. The state school was a single sex grammar and they attended a co-ed private school. I do have friends who have paid for education from the off and a couple of them do regret that decision as their children have not made the best use of opportunities offered them.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 05-Jul-13 16:20:05

ds goes to a prep school and it is great. yes my political views almost stopped ds going to a prep but i am so glad i put ds education first

i am really happy with the school and feel lucky to have that choice. the state school that he got in to although not the best in the area is apparently outstanding. i have no idea how

my friends little boy is at the best state school in the area and comparing their work (my friends doing) what ds is doing is more advanced and they both average/above for some subjects i put it down to smaller classes

NotYoMomma Fri 05-Jul-13 16:22:13

if I could I would without question envy

edwinbear Fri 05-Jul-13 17:11:10

KlickKlack I went to a GDST school. Having attended our 20 year school reunion last weekend I don't recognise any of those traits in the 40 or so ex GDST pupils there. There was a broad mix of teachers, lawyers, bankers, doctors, artists, women running their own businesses, some working full time, some part time, girls who had travelled the world and settled in different countries as well as many full time SAHM's, all discussing the same issues of juggling busy lives with young children. Much the same conversations I would have with my non GDST friends. It's true to say that a GDST education encourages women to believe there is no career they cannot, nor should not, pursue because they are a woman, but in my mind, that is not such a bad thing. I certainly don't feel I, nor any of my old school friends, have dysfunctional relationships with men.

whois Fri 05-Jul-13 17:11:51

I think my parents would say that the best money they ever spent on me was Montessori nursery, and my private sixth form!

I went to a GDST junior and hated it - waste of money. Bad ethos and didn't help me at all with dyslexia (lazy , stupid - apparently not as I went on to get straight As at a level and a first class degree from a good uni).

State secondary was ok.

Boarding sixth form was amazing. Totally sorted me out academically and socially and I had a fantastic time with plenty of sport, drama and music. That £40k basically sorted my future out.

JaffaMyCake Fri 05-Jul-13 17:19:11

To clarify, both the schools I refer to are GDST schools. IMO whether you agree with private schools or not, the GDST was at the forefront of pushing girls into traditional "man" careers through the 50s 60s and 70s. The GDST very much holds the view that a woman can do anything a man can and I don't think that is a bad thing.

ComposHat Fri 05-Jul-13 17:32:53

The GDST very much holds the view that a woman can do anything a man can and I don't think that is a bad thing.

or more accurately: 'middle and upper class women whose parents have the resources and inclination to spend £150,000 on their education can do anything a man can.'

That doesn't look like any form of equality I recognise.

BratinghamPalace Fri 05-Jul-13 17:36:45

I went to all girls private school. We had a good time in our school, made lasting friendships, learned to have great repect for all types of women including ourselves and were able to get on with the business of academic learning and, it has to be said, learning about ourselves durning the vunerable teenage years.
We left that school without much life experience but with an underlying strength that stood us in good stead. I reccomend to all who are trying to make these huge decisions for our DCS (me included) to have a look at JK Rowlings commencement speach at Harvard. Also have a look at Meryl Streep doing a commencement speach at an all girls school for anyone thinking of same sex schools.

mrsravelstein Fri 05-Jul-13 17:41:21

ds1 went to private school until end of yr 5. we then had 2 more kids, much younger, and couldn't afford to send all 3 private without massive sacrifice to the rest of family life. moved to an area with very good state schools. ds1 did year 6 in an ofsted 'good' priimary which we were very happy with, and they gave him MUCH more support with his dyslexia - whereas the private school really couldn't be arsed and just wanted him out of the way in order to focus on the kids who would do well in their exams.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 05-Jul-13 17:44:01

I think it so much depends on what you hope paying for an education is going to achieve.

We pay and I just want my children to be happy and flourish - I am not bothered about them achieving amazing grades, just doing the best they can.

My eldest is an august boy and for him the small class sizes have been wonderful. My middle child is pretty shy so again the small class sizes are an advantage - we're talking 14 as opposed to 30 in local state school.

However with my youngest, I suspect she would be fine anywhere.

But just because you start or move them to private - you don't have to keep them there for ever. I don't think that generally private schools unless they're specialist are great for children with special needs.

JaffaMyCake Fri 05-Jul-13 18:53:23

Compos I'm afraid you are wrong there. 25% of my school were on full bursaries, and from my experience there was no discrimination whatsoever against these girls.

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