To find people say X public School is OK because

(389 Posts)
NoComet Tue 03-Sep-13 13:08:14

It gets DCs into Oxbridge and RG universities, a daft justification for choosing a school that costs £15,000 plus a year.

We have a local secondary (not even a true comp as there is some creaming off of bright DC by Grammar schools) that is in Special Measures that has just got two pupils in to Oxbridge.

And this is hardly news, bog standard state secondaries and sixform collages all over the country send DCs to Oxbridge and RG Universities every year.

My very ordinary Welsh Comp sent someone in the year above me to study medicine at Oxford, there were others at prestigious med schools and, now, RG uni's me included.

Yes, private schools are very nice, yes DC avoid some DCs with a bad attitude to education, Yes DC get good sports facilities and yes DC may study a wider range of subjects, esp. MFL.

But in the end your DC will, quite likely end up at exactly the same uni, doing the same course, just with poorer parents!

Thanks for clarifying. I can see why you would hold that position but because my experience of state schools and private schools are very different from yours (I went to both) I don't agree with you grin

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 07-Sep-13 08:09:36

Fair points- I guess both myself and my DS (both diagnosed dyslexic), are very much lateral thinkers and see different solutions - for my DS this gives him an edge in uni maths and physics but at school it was a problem as the courses and the marking schemes are narrow and don't promote much individuality of thought.

As to many exceptionally high iq students lacking in social graces - well yes, but is that because they have not spent time mixing, or because their brains are that bit different? DS1 (current Oxford medic), edge of spectrum (his words), exceptional intellect (my words!) has said he's surrounded by people like his brother (who has Aspergers), at his college. I think being very academic often goes along with having a different way of thinking and socialising just because different brains work in different ways... It's not because they don't mix with enough people because their heads are in books, but because they don't want to mix because they are not so good a mixing iykwim?

flatmum Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:05

If you work in the City (and want your children involved in that kind of thing) I am afraid you will find that public/independent school education still does almost guarantee entry (particularly onto the intern or graduate programs). the kind of spoon-fed, pampered people who have never faced adversity are massively over-represented there. I would suspect it similar in the big law and accountancy firms? (and grammar schools) wrong, of course, but what parent wouldn't help their child or give
then a pleasant lifestyle / send them to a pleasant school where they are less likely to be bullied and have access to good facilities if they could I suppose.

equally, as has been described, the other people I know who have got it good now are the ones that left school with no qualification and became builders etc and now run their own businesses or have large property portfolios.

it's the kids in the middle that can fall down the cracks, as ever, it seems to me.

I know there is litte scientific study but anecdotally I am more than happy to believe that many more people working in technology (myself included) than average are on the autistic spectrum / have Asperger's syndrome. I see this every working day.

Taz1212 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:30:44

I know the social diversity aspect of state schools is often a big argument against private schools but I disagree. I want my children to be comfortable across the social spectrum and that includes the upper classes/wealthy/however you want to describe it. I come from a very privileged Ivy background and DH comes from a WC background where money was a constant worry.

DH will be the first to say that he is uncomfortable in the private school environment where we send DS and just sees the privilege. I see a mix of backgrounds- kids on full scholarships, kids with parents who just manage to pay the fees, kids from financially comfortable homes and a few from very very well off homes. DH somehow seems to feel as though he doesn't fit in - I just see a load of friendly people with a few wankers much like anywhere in society .

If we kept our kids in our local schools where the demographic makeup is very much low income with a bit of middle income they would miss out on mixing with the other end and honestly, I don't want them growing up like DH who doesn't feel like he fits in what he calls "my world". I'm comfortable anywhere and I want my kids to be too.

I agree, Taz. At my independent school household incomes ranged from four to seven? eight? figures, and included pupils from all over the world. Now that's variety.

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 08:43:03

Our local comp has very poor grades and very poor value added (value added is a national measure of how well a school does with the kids they have). Yes one child amazingly and shockingly got A stars despite the school wishy washy academics but she had Oxford/Cambridge parents and had an unusual determination. I think an average child with little motivation could sink at a low achieving comp. by low achieving comp, I mean less then 45% A to C grades including maths and English

Public schools are excellent at taking average ability kids and ensuring they get top grades. Many of my public school friends would have got C's/B's/D's at GCSE in bog standard state schools instead of A the grades they actually achieved.

Also there is another aspect more important then grades and its the pastoral/care side. Its not necessarily the end product but the journey thats crucial. I think it's easy for an average child to be lost in a class of 33, but less so in a class of 13.

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 08:44:14

My kids and I both attend a good state school by the way

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:01:08

Then you should know better

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:48

Taz I have to agree with the old boys network thing. There are a few Cambridge colleges where a state school education will see the door almost always slammed in your face. Thankfully however some colleges have the reverse view and the particular college I went to in some subjects actually positively discriminates towards comprehensive school students.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 09:49:59

Have you reported this, Arnie? Because in the admissions interviewer training people are told this type of discrimination is not permissible.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 09:51:26

It is permissible to look at a school's GCSE results and see how a student compares to their school's average, however. The type of school is not considered relevant.

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 10:05:25

I think I would happily send my child to a school (be it comp, grammar, private etc) as long as the value added results for that particular school were above 100 (100 is average). That way i can ensure my child at least reaches his/her expected results at GCSE. Or achieve higher.

I would want to see good 'value added' results next to the GCSE results on the published schools league table results before considering any school to be honest. .

LadyEdith Sat 07-Sep-13 10:17:29

The state/private argument is nonsense in a way, because motivated aspirational families with kids at state schools have more in common with similar families at private schools than they do with unmotivated families at the state school.

Interesting re Value Added, Retro, I imagine that grammar schools actually come out as average because their pupils come in with high achievement in the first place?

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 20:06:08

No, grammars do badly on value added because almost all of the kids are tutored up to their eyeballs before the 11+ and then slide back to their natural level once the tutoring stops

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