Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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?

zulubump Tue 09-Jul-13 13:34:58

My dh was sent to a private school while his older sister went to the local comp. This was because my dh was seen a bit of a slacker by his mum and she wanted him to achieve more! Dh says that he was often bottom of the class in his private school whereas he would have been above average in a state school. So this didn't help his confidence. And being a single-sex school he was very shy around girls. So he is not keen on private schools. But I do know a few mums who went to the local private girls school and did well and enjoyed it. They all seem like nice well-adjusted people!

flatpackhamster Tue 09-Jul-13 13:56:49

I was educated privately - full scholarship to prep school (boast boast) and parents paid fees to public school. Prep school was great for me, public school a total disaster, I should have gone to the grammar.

It depends upon the individual ethos of the school IMO.

That said, I think that people have a moral duty to lighten the burden they place upon the state. There's a family who live around the corner from me who have (by my estimate) well over a quarter of a million pounds worth of cars on their drive. Range Rover, Aston Martin, Mercedes AMG, Alfa Romeo to name but four. They could easily afford to live elsewhere but live here to get in the catchment area for the local (very good) primary school. They could easily afford to send their kids private and allow someone without such wealth to send their kids to the state primary. They choose not to.

somebloke123 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:42:34

I suppose in a sense moving into a rich catchment area so as to be near a sought-after school is another form of going private, in the sense that you're using private wealth to purchase a good education.

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 10-Jul-13 12:29:19

The differentiator imo has been how schools have dealt with problems:

State has made excuses and said they are better than the school next door.

Private has provided solutions.

State education is not free: like the NHS it is free at the point of delivery and needs to be more mindful of the wishes of its stakeholders. One size does not fit all.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 13:05:47

My friend went to a private school, it wasn't selective or anything and she was bottom set for everything, she achieved 5 gcses but may not have done in a state school as her behaviour wasn't great.

She says to me she feels very grateful to her parents for sending her there as she said she feels it taught her lots of other things she believes are lacking in state schools - basic manners, how to treat others and the view of how working hard gets you results. I am inclined to agree after experiencing both but also agree it is individual to a school.

Another friend of mine got all A*s in an awful state school as she is naturally intelligent and didn't actually have to work that hard to achieve that, presumably at a private she would also have achieved all A*s so I really can't see how an A* at state school makes you better than one achieved in private school.

I am a forces wife and meet a fair few people who have opted for boarding schools as a result of the forces lifestyle.

I have yet to meet any one who feels that their child performed better than they would have, had they attended a state school and some who feel that it was a complete waste of money. These are the friends who have older children doing A levels and GSCEs. Some feel that while a child has the continuity that their life has lacked they have gained little value in terms of education.

The people who I know who have children either in their first, second and in one case third year are very happy.

I am not sure what the difference is- but none of them attend the same boarding school. My guess is its all down to the school you choose and that could be state or public and the additional support each child gets, so it's a case of what offers a family and child the best value.

I started out in a private school but my parents couldn't afford the increase in fees and I went to the state comp. I found it incredibly hard to readjust. I wish I had either gone to state school throughout or stayed in the private one. I never fit in and had a miserable time throughout the comp. sad

Jinsei Wed 10-Jul-13 13:39:42

She says to me she feels very grateful to her parents for sending her there as she said she feels it taught her lots of other things she believes are lacking in state schools - basic manners, how to treat others and the view of how working hard gets you results

I believe that my state education taught me all of these things, and my dd is being taught the same at her state primary. It's absurd - and actually quite offensive - to suggest that these things are exclusive to private education!

DocMarten Wed 10-Jul-13 13:50:59

30k a year for 13 years? I don't know many prep schools which charge 30k at the age of 5. In fact I don't know any.

Yes, the fees generally rise after prep school, but we certainly don't pay 30k for each of ours. I'd be on me knees!

DocMarten Wed 10-Jul-13 13:51:40

Oh I forgot to answer the OP.

No regrets.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 13:58:51

The sad thing is Jinsei that all schools SHOULD be teaching these things. It shouldn't be exclusive to private education but unfortunately in some areas this is the case.

I can compare DS1s state infant school to DS2s pre prep and the manners instilled in the 4/5 year olds at the pre prep is vastly different and the expectation of behaviour varies hugely. I think it is an important part of education and awful that these basics aren't taught everywhere.

JedwardScissorhands Wed 10-Jul-13 14:30:10

I don't think you'll find many people who will say they regret sending their children private. I regret being sent private and will keep my DSs state.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 15:23:03

If I had a bad experience at a private school I think it would stop me sending my DCs private even though things have probably changed, I will send my DCs private as I had a bad experience in state and continue to see things I am not happy with in our area.

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 10-Jul-13 18:36:10

I did private to 11 then a very well regarded grammar. In fact lots of families sent the children who assed the 11+ where I lived to the grammar and the ones that didn't to the local indys.

DH, who has a brain the size of a planet went to the local comp and then to Oxford.

At 30 I'd say I was better educated than him; hje was better qualified than me.

I do think society has lost the notion of well educated as opposed to well qualified.

We are 50s now and overall are probably about equal but at 30 I'd say I had the edge in how too deal with people and general confidence. Also DH arrived at uni with no latin, entered the legal profession and felt he had catching up to do.

I think there's an immeasurable difference and my only regret is sending our dd to a state school for two years. Expectations re behaviour and prospects and employability were shocking and that was a sought after top 100 cofe comp with a stonking reputation. 5 years into a poor head though.

persimmon Wed 10-Jul-13 18:41:26

I work at one of the largest and most successful prep schools in Britain (not bragging, it's just true) and i would say that the kids here absolutely get a better all-round experience than those at state school. If they're not academic, there's still tons of high-level music, drama and most definitely sport they can excel at. What parents pay for is the myriad opportunities for their kids.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 19:25:31

Marriedinwhiteagain and persimmon - they are all the reasons we have opted for private for the DCs.

misstiggiwinkle Wed 24-Jul-13 18:00:47

I went to a stunning all girls private school and boarded from the age of 11 until 18. I firmly believe it has helped me in my life and career and would not even think twice when it comes to sending my DC's (as long as I could afford it).

I was significantly better equipped with handling going to university than my other peers who had not had my education, I never got homesick, I knew how to look after myself, do my washing, cooking etc. You'd be surprised how many students were incapable.

It has helped me with job offers and my career path as well as life long connections around the world. I firmly believe that it taught me how to be tolerant, kind, generous and demure.

Needless to say I was a long way from the easiest of teenagers and I could easily have gone down the wrong path if it weren't for the structures that boarding school brought.

As and when the time comes, my DC's will certainly be heading straight for a single sex private school.

cory Wed 24-Jul-13 18:45:18

I'd say dd is much better educated than dh: he went to well known private school, she went to local comp.

But to be fair, I am not sure this was because the comp was actually a better school than the private school - I think they were both good schools (though no doubt the private school had better resources). Dh is very happy with his experience (if not perhaps with his achievements).

What it probably does show is that education isn't just about opportunities but about what you make of those opportunities. That attitude matters more than almost anything else.

Dh's expensive private school (paid for by scholarship) did their best to instil ambition and hard work, but it foundered because dh was not at that age open to having ambition and hard work instilled into him.

Dd's comp also worked at instilling ambition and hard work, and succeeded, because dd was open to those ideas.

Might be something to do with having me for a mother rather than MIL (lovely but fluffy).

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