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Private schools - want to shout IT'S NOT FAIR!

(1000 Posts)
Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:22

Went to PIL last night and heard all about sil's children's school. One of her boys is already attending a fantastic private school. Just found out his two brothers have also got places at very good private schools.

In the mean time my dc's are in classes of 31 at the local state school. My youngest needs additional support (sn) but isn't statemented (diagnosed but no statement) so doesn't get it. SIL's middle child has got into a mainstream private school that has outstanding support for children with dyslexia, which he's been diagnosed with. And will be in classes of 18.

Our middle ds is musically talented but there is really poor provision for music teaching at his state school and very few children there are learning an instrument. We struggle to pay for music lessons for him outside school.

Is it wrong of me to feel eaten up with jealousy and anger at the unfairness of a school system which privileges the children of well-off people so openly and seemingly without anyone else seeing it as something that's wrong or deeply, deeply unfair?

How would you explain to a group of children: you lot over here will have XXXX spent on your education, and lots of opportunity to develop your talents, and you lot over there will have about half as much spent on you, and will have much less attention from the teacher because there'll be twice as many of you in the class. Oh, and you kids with sn or specific gifts - unless your parents have money, you probably won't get the help you need to thrive educationally.

I know it's the way the world is but at the moment I feel bitter about it. Really really bitter. And jealous

Every time I go to my PIL's and have to hear about all the amazing thing SIL's dcs are doing at their school, their academic achievements, I want to go home and hide under the duvet and cry.

We'll never, ever be able to afford private education. We'll never be able to afford to move to an area with really good state schools. We'll never be able to get our children into church schools as we're not church goers, and our local grammar schools (2) are bursting at the seams with children from the local private prep schools, who bus their students in to take the 11+ en mass.

It's just so fucking unfair. It really is. I just want to get that off my chest.

That is all.

Hullygully Mon 04-Feb-13 11:00:51

Of course it's unfair. And wrong. All systems of privilege based on ability to pay are unfair.

GooseyLoosey Mon 04-Feb-13 11:02:31

I feel for you, but YABU.

Is it unfair that some people have bigger houses than others or go on better holidays? Do you want to live in a society where no matter how hard you or your children work you or they can never have anything more than anyone else? I don't.

Not all high achievers come from private schools.

Lots of state schools are excellent. Sounds like maybe your school isnt the greatest for your kids....what are the other state schools like around you? I am lucky in that where I live all the secondary schools are excellent and so my DS will do just as as well as say someone his age whose parents can afford to send them to a private school.

I think you maybe need to look around at the state schools near you and see whether there are some which suit your kids better if that is an option.

nefertarii Mon 04-Feb-13 11:06:23

The most intelligent people I know when to states schools. They are are amongst the most intelligent people in the country.

The fact is there will always be things that richer people than you can afford.

The only option would be communism. Which I don't fancy either.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 11:06:39

Of course YABU! Do you think you should have a bigger house, because it's unfair that others have bigger houses than you? Do you think you should be able to afford a yacht, because it's unfair that people better off than you can afford to have one? Grow up and be grateful that you live in a country where schooling is provided for free, along with healthcare.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 11:07:07

I agree - it's very unfair.

How about investigating scholarships for a music school for your middle child - are you within reach of a cathedral school, Purcell or Chetham?

Or a scholarship to do the Academy of Music junior school on saturdays?

There are also orchestral summer courses which offer grants.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:07:15

YANBU it is unfair. BUT there is a lot to be said for getting an education with a wide mix of people from different backgrounds. Great experience for the workplace and developing empathy. And yes also how to deal with difficult people from difficult backgrounds. Also better ability to work on own back at uni. Not being sheltered from poverty etc. If a kid is going to do well they will do well anywhere. And I always a think a child from state school getting top grades has done better than a child from private school because they have done that without the privileges. Universities also are under pressure to take more state school kids so being private can actually go against you. A relative of mine paid thousands to send his kid private, she did OK but no better than another relative's kid who did well at state and is at Oxford because they were impressed with him doing well from a 'bad' school. Also many state schools are involved in schemes with unis to get more state kids into good unis.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 11:09:14

Oh FGS it's not unfair! Her DC have every right to go to a private school too - but like many things out there that are desirable you have to PAY for it! Do her SIL's DC get this wonderful schooling for free? No. They get it because their parents pay a lot of money for it and no doubt go without other things in order to pay for it.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:09:33

'Do you think you should have a bigger house, because it's unfair that others have bigger houses than you? Do you think you should be able to afford a yacht, because it's unfair that people better off than you can afford to have one?'

Big difference between material goods though and children's education. I think the thing is some people want their child to have an advantage over other kids. If the option was for everyone to have as 'good' an education as their child they wouldn't want it.

nefertarii Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:02

Oh and my dd goes to states school. Its excellent.

I actually think the problem isn't private schools. Its that state schools are so ranging in how good they are and what support they offer.

There would be less demand for private schools if there were more schools like my dds. It offers excellent support for children with additional needs is all round an excellent environment for children to be in, whilst getting the most out the children educationally.

we are lucky. I could send dd to private school but no way would I take her out of this school.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:15

And it is fine to have an opinion without massive overreaction in response or put downs!

McNewPants2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:43

When has life ever been fair.

Hullygully Mon 04-Feb-13 11:12:58

11.30pm June 10th 1484

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 11:13:45

I don't think you are being unreasonable, but I also wouldn't let yourself be consumed with anger and jealousy, as its not worth it. Myself, DH, and the majority of our friends are products of state schools, with degrees, professional qualifications and are in top 5% earners in the country. Which I hasten to add is not, in my view, the only definition of 'success' but it does seem to be the definition used on here. I myself had pretty dreadful schooling but had the right home environment which allowed me to do what I wanted to do. My DDs will be state educated and I think they will be just fine, even though we could probably afford private if we juggled things.
On a practical level, I know very little about sn, but I do know a bit about dyslexia. Are the school not obliged to make reasonable adjustments? Someone who worked for me was diagnosed and it would have been contrary to the DDA for me not to make adjustments? Are there other routes you can do down / appeals you can make to get the support your dcs need? I am sure other mn'ers will be along who can give specific advice.

Tailtwister Mon 04-Feb-13 11:13:54

YANBU OP. The variation in the quality of state education is a joke. Unfortunately money is a huge factor, whether it's to buy a property or rent in a good catchment area or to pay private school fees. Those who are fortunate enough to be in a catchment with a good school will always harp on about how fabulous state education is. Yes, it is for them, but not all schools are equal are they?

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:37

i dont think its unfair,its just a shame that state schools arent all good,its not the private schools fault!

nancerama Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:51

I went to private school. I hated it and was bloody miserable, but my mother constantly harped on about how fantastic it was to anyone who would listen.

It took me years to pipe up and tell her I wasn't happy because I knew how much money was being spent on my education and I didn't want to seem ungrateful.

Your SIL may well like the idea of private education more than her DCs.

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 11:16:24

Sorry if I have misunderstood. I have re read your OP and realised it is not your DC who has dyslexia I don't think?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:16:51

The right home environment where the children can cocentrate on themselves and work etc is really paramount.

It doesnt matter if private or state, if the child goes home to consuming problems and gets dragged in, the chances are they will do less well at school.

Feeling Jealous and angry is no help to anyone.

You should be looking at the positives and what you can do - rather than what you cant.

TheFallenNinja Mon 04-Feb-13 11:19:51

Yeah, I think YABU really.

I suppose if I could afford a private school I would but really for the following reason

1. You are now a paying customer and have a proper voice.
2. No social experimenting.
3. The shoe is on the other foot
4. They are far more accountable to you when they take the money directly from you.

Whether children get a "better" education is open to debate.

MidniteScribbler Mon 04-Feb-13 11:20:08

YABU because you are focusing your anger in the wrong place. It's not your SILs fault that she has chosen to spend her money on providing the best education she can afford for her children.

You would not be unreasonable however if you asked why the government doesn't make education a priority and ensure that all schools have top quality resources and access to support for children with sn as required.

JuliaScurr Mon 04-Feb-13 11:21:31

of course it's unfair. The croneyism engendered is corrupting - how many in current govt went to Eton? These people are running our country because their parents bought their way to power. Fair??? Don't make me laugh

Abra1d Mon 04-Feb-13 11:22:02

Stop moaning and start investigating bursaries, of which there are lots, at many excellent private schools.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Feb-13 11:24:59

Yanbu

Yes I get that people have bigger houses etc(believe me I've got several friends better off than us living in masseeeeeve houses)and I couldn't give a stuff however education is different.

All kids should be given a level paying field.I read that rich parents are spending thousands on tutoring on top of prep school fees to get their kids into the top schools.I strongly suspect that the vast majority of kids with a prep school education coupled with hours of tutoring could pass the 11+ so parents are simply buying advantages.It's wrong which is why I think anti private school measures are vital.

I think privately schooled kids should be penalised when applying for uni and banned from applying to state grammars.If parents don't like it then they always have the easy option- put them into the state system.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:25:25

"Is it unfair that some people have bigger houses than others or go on better holidays? Do you want to live in a society where no matter how hard you or your children work you or they can never have anything more than anyone else? I don't."

But this isn't about adults.

This is about children.

The children haven't earned their privileged education. They've been given it.

Is that the lesson to be taught to children: you don't get what you deserve based on your own efforts and ability. You get better or worse depending on your parents' faith, or them having rich grandparents, or your parents being born into the right social class.

Imagine having to explain to two children why it was fair that one child was going to have much better experience of education and probably better life chances, dependent on whether their parents were rich or not.

Seriously - imagine trying to justify it to a child. You would find yourself saying 'I know it's not fair'. And it isn't.

"And I always a think a child from state school getting top grades has done better than a child from private school because they have done that without the privileges"

Yes - this is true. And I'm glad universities are staring to acknowledge this in their admissions procedures.

"How about investigating scholarships for a music school for your middle child"

Unfortunately we have the sort of household budget means we couldn't get a meaningful bursary, but we really don't have enough to be shelling out 10K a year on private school fees. Most music scholarships still require middle earners to pay a massive chunk of school fees. And it's so stupidly competitive. DS is talented, but he's not a prodigy. I looked at a couple of local private schools music bursaries and basically the standard they're looking for is about grade 5 in one instrument, and at least grade 3 in a second. DS will be grade 4 (at a push) by the end of primary. He'd get on faster if we could afford more than one 45 minute lesson a week, but we can't. We also can't afford for him to learn a second instrument at the moment.

Maybe I wouldn't feel so gutted about the whole thing if I didn't have a child with sn getting inadequate support in the state system, and didn't live in an area which is full of over subscribed faith schools or rough comprehensives.

I DO believe in state education. The teaching I had at A-level when I went to a state FE college was outstanding, and there are so many amazing teachers working in the state system. But secondary state education in the UK is so socially polarised in some parts of the country (like the bit I live in unfortunately). Add private schools into the mix along with postcode issues, grammar schools and faith schools, and the whole system can end up being incredibly unfair to some children. And in my particular case it's my kids who are the losers in an unfair system.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 11:25:45

Jealousy is a very ugly trait.

I don't feel the need to explain your perceived unfairness to my children who go to state schools, because they are in charge of their own destiny. I tell them children who go to private schools have parents that can afford to pay for their schooling. That's all. Unfairness doesn't come into it.

Plenty of children thrive in state schools and make the most of the opportunities presented to them, and plenty of children in state schools waste the academic chances they have been given. I'd rather teach my children to make the most of what they have, rather than tell them that they are being treated unfairly.

And don't think that grammar school isn't accessible to you because you can't afford prep school or private tutors. It is perfectly possible to do the preparation work yourself for very little money.

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 04-Feb-13 11:27:01

I really understand where you're coming from. I know that you would like to give your children every opportunity you can and make their lives as full and interesting as possible.

I can share my experiences with you if you'd like. It is possible to succeed in education and in work and get to the top even if you don't have the private school and/or grammar school opportunities as a child. Granted, it can seem more difficult, but its certainly possible.

I went to the local primary school and local comprehensive and local tertiary colege after that (local comp didn't have a 6th form). My schools were ofsted good/satisfactory, full to bursting with kids, and there was a culture of not trying too hard as you were made fun of for being interested in what was being taught and it simply wasn't cool to try and do well. I hated school, but I had no option but to attend - my parents couldn't have afforded a private school either and I just had to get on with it.

I basically did only just well enough to get into university to do a degree in a subject I absolutely loved, and then worked my arse off at university to get a good degree and then a good masters degree in the same subject. And that put me in the best position to apply for jobs in my sectory (Law). I got a training contract to be a solicitor at a top City firm, who gave me a grant and paid ny tuition fees to do a Legal Practice Certificate qualification, and then worked my arse off again during my two year training contract and was given a job at the same firm at the end of it.

Ten years on, I'm still at the same firm, and I have enjoyed my career and been rewarded for it.

We all do the best for our children. My parents supported me and stimulated me at home -we always had a good newspaper lying around, talked about what was going on in the world etc. They broadened my horizons all the time, even when I didn't realise it. They tried their best to be good role models, and make me see the opportunities out there. And then it was up to me to do the work.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:28:08

"It's not your SILs fault"

No. I don't 'blame her'.

It's not the fault of individual parents. It's the system that is at fault.

Miggsie Mon 04-Feb-13 11:31:10

I think your PIL are very insensitive if they go on and on about the boys being at private school knowing yours are not.

Sounds a bit like rubbing it in.

I would avoid the PIL.

Many many people are better off than you (and me) and life is unfair.

Also, lots of kids at private schools never see their parents - who work all hours to earn the money to pay for private school.

My brother pays more in tax than DH and I earn - and I have to sit through him whinging about paying tax on all his earnings and how it isn't fair. He isn't a happy person - all he cares about is money.
I'm disabled, but that's irrelevant apparently...him having to pay tax is far worse. Some people are just pains. I just tune it out now. Used to drive me bonkers.
I have learned to make the best of what I have. SOmetimes it is a bitter pill.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 11:31:33

Yes, life isn't fair. Some children have parents who are better educated, more loving, more pushy, more wealthy. Some children are healthier than others, some have complex needs, and some are innately bright.

Wouldn't it be nice if education mitigated that, just a bit, just tried to, rather than entrenching it? If, with all the manifold unfairnesses there are at the age of five, just during the school day, just where children learn about the world outside their own families and their own circle, could all be together on the same footing?

YANBU to feel its unfair, op, but don't let it get you down. Private school isn't a ticket to a better life.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:31:46

It is unfair but that's life. My DH refuses to pay child support so I can't afford all the extras such as extra tuition, or sending him to the stage school DS wants to go to....but that's life. It's natural to want the best for your child(ren) but that's al you can do...your best with what you got. |If it's any consolation my parents nearly bankrupted themselves putting me through private school..I'm a huge disappointment to them.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Feb-13 11:32:13

Clouds if you go to a private school you have advantages to get into a uni along with contacts.You then go to the best unis and get the best jobs.You can then ensure your kids get the same because you earn the money to do so and so it goes on.

This is only going to get worse as more middle class parents are going to be priced out.

Imagine having to explain to two children why it was fair that one child was going to have much better experience of education and probably better life chances, dependent on whether their parents were rich or not

Well, maybe it will give them the drive and determination to do well for themselves......my DS understands if we can't afford something he wants. That's life and it may seem unfair but that is just the way it is.

As I said before, it sounds like the school are at fault as lots of state schools are brilliant.

HelpOneAnother Mon 04-Feb-13 11:33:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:33:44

"I'd rather teach my children to make the most of what they have, rather than tell them that they are being treated unfairly."

Absoluty.

"Imagine having to explain to two children why it was fair that one child was going to have much better experience of education and probably better life chances, dependent on whether their parents were rich or not."

Nothing in life is a level playing field and you have no idea whats going on behind closed doors at anyone elses house.

The best you can do is make the best of what you have - and create a stable and happy home for your child, and dont let them be exposed in anyway to how you feel about this.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:33:59

"because they are in charge of their own destiny"

Does that mean that children who go to private schools, who are much more likely to go to top universities and get highly paid jobs, are successful SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY'RE MORE CLEVER AND HARD WORKING than children who have been through the state system?

Of course not.

"Jealousy is a very ugly trait"

It is. But I'm a human being. It's hard to accept that my children have got a shitter hand in life, through no fault of their own, and through no fault of mine or DH's - it's just the system we live in.

orangepudding Mon 04-Feb-13 11:34:38

I really think you need to stop feeling so bitter. Plenty of people can do well if they have great support at home, concentrate your efforts on helping your children.

Not all private schools are great. The one local to me got a 50% pass A-C at GCSEs this year!

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:36:54

"The best you can do is make the best of what you have - and create a stable and happy home for your child, and dont let them be exposed in anyway to how you feel about this"

Of course we do this.

Unfortunately ds1 has already expressed a wish to go to his cousin's school - has heard about all the things his cousin gets to do and what a fantastic school it is. I've told him he won't be able to go there.

MerylStrop Mon 04-Feb-13 11:37:02

Hully's post at 11.00.51.

If I had my way all private and church schools would be abolished.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 11:37:23

Of course it 's unfair.

GrendelsMum Mon 04-Feb-13 11:38:23

Oh dear, it does sound stressful for you, particularly if you feel you're always being told what a wonderful time your DNs are having.

Thinking practically about what you can do - can you and your DH start looking round for jobs in other areas where you'd feel happier about the quality of education? Could you identify target areas where you could both find jobs, and ask MNers about their experience of the schools there?

re. the music - ironically, as a keen musician, I wouldn't worry about it. Music is an interest and a talent for the whole of somone's life, not something that is restricted to the ages of 4 to 18. Your DS probably isn't going to become a professional musician (very few people do, including most people that study music for a degree, and it's a very hard life), but he can continue to get a great deal of joy out of playing as an amateur throughout his whole life. He can take up new instruments and learn them in the future, he can join a choir and sing, he can practice his current instrument to the best of his ability and play it with a local youth orchestra. Maybe he'll end up enjoying it more in the long term for not being endlessly pushed now?

lljkk Mon 04-Feb-13 11:38:50

Why does PIL tell you these things, are they trying to make you feel bad?

It is possible that the PILs are always telling SIL how hard you work, how brilliant you do with much less support than some, how your kids are challenged but you support them brilliantly, you are very committed and involved , enabling them to make most of their lives. All subtle digs that SIL could change her ways for the better, too. I've heard a few stories of PIL who do that kind of thing to different sets of offspring. You might be surprised what SIL had to say on what she hears about your family.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 11:39:26

Clouds if you go to a private school you have advantages to get into a uni along with contacts.You then go to the best unis and get the best jobs

Only if you make the most of it, which plenty of people don't. I went to private school, and wouldn't have got into uni with contacts over someone who went to state school and had better grades because I was a bit of a bum. The people I went to school with vary massively. A few have amazing jobs, many don't. But those that do still worked their arses off to get where they are.

It does not automatically follow that someone who is privately educated will always be successful in life, just the same as someone from state school won't automatically be unsuccessful.

It is much more important to teach children that you get out of life what you put in to it (whether that is always true or not is a different matter - no point in pissing all over their enthusiasm before they even get to secondary school). I don't think the OP is doing her children any favours with the attitude she has, and that attitude is far more detrimental to children than having cousins that go to private school.

WorraLiberty Mon 04-Feb-13 11:39:39

There are some fantastic state schools though OP

WRT music lessons, my DS (year 9) has been learning the violin since he was in year 5. He's done/is doing remarkably well and has been given the opportunity to play with the London Symphony Orchestra amongst others 3 times now.

Yet I've never paid a penny for his music lessons, it's provided for free by the LA for all pupils.

I think it's a bit of a postcode lottery though, so maybe it's more to do with the fact not all state schools provide the same opportunities...rather than looking at the private/state school debate.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:41:03

"Could you or your spouse ask the ILs to stop going on about private school"

It's MIL mainly. I'll NEVER tell her this. I'm frightened of her.

However, my other SIL, who has two very talented and lovely children at the local state school did unleash her tongue a bit last night when MIL went into one about it.... she also feels it's unfair but isn't as unhappy as me because her children are really thriving at their state school. I think I'm unhappier because I don't think my ds's are getting a good deal at their school (particularly my ds with sn).

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Feb-13 11:41:17

You can have 2 kids of equal ability.The privately educated child will have far more chance of getting into a top uni than the state. Privately educated children less able than a state child will have more chance of getting into a top uni-utter madness and very,very wrong.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:51

Worra - you are right. There are some superb state schools. And amazing teachers in the state system.

But it is a postcode lottery.

Re: music lessons, they do provide 2:1 instrumental lessons for the last two years of primary at ds's school, but the quality of teaching is dire. DD made less progress in piano in 2 years with the school (not for lack of talent) than DS made in one term with an external teacher.

ouryve Mon 04-Feb-13 11:44:11

We want to move DS1 into a non-maintained (ie independent) specialist school for bright boys with ASD and ADHD. Will that be unfair, then?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:45:31

In terms of lifes social contacts there is a big difference between schools like Marlbough stowe - eton etc and your local independant school.

Yermina, all of us who cant afford to send children where we want could feel like this. I have seen this attitude persoanlly and it was devestating the child in question who then grew up with a massive chip on his shoulder and " IF ONLY" he had got into x school he wouldnt have any problems and would have done better in life.

You have made me realise that my DD's cousins = when DSIL has children will also 99% go to private school....as a human I imagine I will feel a slight prick of " what if" too.

But it honeslty doesnt matter.

I have a group of friends some private and some state - when we were younger - some were sent on expensive journalist courses - and one girl the one who had least family money didnt....she used to look a bit sad etc but guess what - SHE is now top of a very popular magazine - has an incredibly glamourous lifestyle, and yet she is the one whose family couldnt afford to send her to expensive courses BUT her mother DRUMMED it into her all the time..." you can do whatever you want to do". she had confidence basically the others didnt have it nor the nautural talent.

Funnily enough when she was quite low down on the mag, she used to complain it was full of public school types. Her talent and confidence however have served her well.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 11:45:47

Actually one 45min lesson a week is pretty good - it's more than my DC got - and she managed to get into a specialist music school.

Specialist music schools usually take potential into account as well as the technical ability reached. Many schools stress this. My DC's school also ask very specific questions about the amount of tuition the child has had, teacher, individual or group lessons.

It goes without saying that children from families who can afford private tutors etc are advantaged, but you are coming across in a poor light by just dismissing people's suggestions out of hand (without even thanking them by the way). If you encourage your children to enjoy educational things - reading, taking an interest in the news, useful hobbies etc you will be helping them to get good grades. Another possibility might be to reduce the cost of a private tutor by sharing with one or two other children. DD's tutor gives her and her friend a session for no extra fee once a fortnight.

I really do sympathise - I'm lucky enough to live in the catchment area of an excellent state school, but you won't do your children any favours by failing to investigate all the options.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:46:32

"but he can continue to get a great deal of joy out of playing as an amateur throughout his whole life. He can take up new instruments and learn them in the future, he can join a choir and sing, he can practice his current instrument to the best of his ability and play it with a local youth orchestra"

The thing is though Grendel, is there are so few children at his school learning instruments that he already feels like a fish out of water. If he was at a school with a really thriving music department, and lots of other kids who were learning instruments and enjoying music, it would make a difference to his wanting to participate in group music activities, which are really important.

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 11:47:18

All systems of privilege based on ability to pay are unfair

^ ^ that ( welcome back hully)

op let your jealousy go though it will eat you up honestly it will, can you get scholarships or bursaries in your area if you really want your children to go

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:48:26

"We want to move DS1 into a non-maintained (ie independent) specialist school for bright boys with ASD and ADHD. Will that be unfair, then?"

It's unfair that children with ASD (like my ds) won't generally get the educational provision they need to thrive unless their parents have got deep pockets.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 11:48:50

YANBU about it being unfair. It is unfair that private education is generally better than state. That's why private education exists.

YABU with your defeatist attitude. You have 2 grammar schools your dc could apply for. This is a golden opportunity but you seem to have thrown in the towel assuming other people's dc at the private school are cleverer than your dc. They are NOT. I mean this in the nicest way OP but stop the toddler tantrums and start fighting for your dc to get the best education they can get. Start today.

Flobbadobs Mon 04-Feb-13 11:51:02

My MIL constantly goes on (and on) at us about how well my nephew is doing at his very exclusive private school, how clever he is, how much more he gets than children at state school. Am I jealous? No.
I'm glad he's doing well and enjoying himself there. Having a child who actually likes school is a bit of an acheivement in itself ime and if his parents want to pay through the nose for the privilege then so be it.
They haven't had a holiday since he started school. His Dad works all the hours sent to pay for the extra bits and pieces he just has to have for lessons and out of hours activities.
My Ds is a year younger than him. He is in bigger classes, the school is rated good rather than outstanding (an acheivement as it was in special measures 6 years ago!), the building is in bits although they are getting a new school building next year and they are in desperate need of new equiptment in some departments.
But he's happy and thriving there. It's an excellent school with dedicated professional staff who support the students and their families all the way through.
I don't see that my nephew got a better deal in life, he got a different one. Both boys will make of that what they will. No one can tell my son that he can't do something because of the school he attended. At 12 years old he knows what he wants to do and how to go about getting there. A state school on its own will not prevent this.
YABU.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:51:09

chocoluvva - I'm going to apply for state schools with good music provision for ds1. There are two within travelling distance (though we are nowhere near their catchment areas) which have a specialist stream of entry for children with ability in music. They are both massively oversubscribed though so I'm not pinning my hopes on him getting in.

3littlefrogs Mon 04-Feb-13 11:52:13

I took on an extra job to send my 8 year old to a prep school because he was suicidal due to bullying at his state primary. I wasn't about to let him jump off the roof in the name of fairness/political correctness.

If all state schools were good, and all HTs competent, and parents actually had a choice of good state schools (which they don't at the moment), that would be fair.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Feb-13 11:52:51

Just grammar schools are only an option if you can buy tuition.Many rich parents send their kids to private prep and /or spend thousands on tuition.There are only a few places so the rich cream them off and end up sending kids no more bright than your average Tom,Dick or Harry.As I said the vast maj of my ds's class I'm sure if given the benefits of a prep education and thousands on tuition could wangle into a grammar given half a chance.

It's utter madness.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 11:54:02

"so few children at his school learning instruments that he already feels like a fish out of water"

DD's 'specialist music school' is actually a unit of 50 pupils within a state secondary school which has an excellent music dept (boosted by the music unit). Even there the pupils who get instrumental tuition are made fun off. "Nancy boy" being the most recent one I heard of.

FantasticDay Mon 04-Feb-13 11:54:44

Yes, of course it's unfair that some kids get a better start in life than others. (And I think it's qualitatively different from the bigger house thing - you can take steps yourself to earn money when you are an adult, but as a kid you don't really have any choice over your school). Having said that, some state schools are excellent - including one outstanding one near me in one of the most deprived areas of the country, and with an exceptionally high free school meals intake. It sounds like you are a caring and committed parent. Do you have the time/capacity to get on the PTA at the school your kids provide? Can you suggest after school enrichment activities? (My dd's infants' school offers French lessons and after school clubs in Spanish and Mandarin, as well as a chess club). Btw, my ex's cousin was funded by the council to attend a private school with excellent provision for Dyslexia as the support wasn't available in local schools. Could you look into this? (Assuming there is no better support than you are currently getting, nearby).

HelpOneAnother Mon 04-Feb-13 11:54:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 11:56:10

I feel for you. I don't think you're being unreasonable. I really hope this doesn't sound trite, but I think your kid is lucky that you're so concerned about his education. Have you considered either getting trained in special needs or even just reading up on it, and spending X minutes per night with your kid (can't tell if it's a boy or girl)? Are you a SAHM?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 11:57:36

PolkadotCircus I have a friend whose ds has just sat for a highly selective independent school. They have limited resources (to say the least) so have applied for a bursary. They didn't have the money for a tutor so did it themselves. I have no doubt whatsoever he'll get in. Not being able to afford a tutor would never put me off letting my dc sit for a selective school because I have a brain in my head and I would move hell and high water to at least give it a shot.

I get it. I've had the same jealously when it comes to my niece, who is currently in a very posh private school doing advanced track math (although struggling with it), music lessons every day, organized sports, before school and after school clubs, music competitions in the city and a chance to perform in a school musical and school Christmas show twice per year, with costumes, sets and music tailored to the kids. IIRC, there are specialists at her school teaching music, art and gym.

Meanwhile, my DSD is at a state school, where the head had to choose between hiring an experienced primary teacher and hiring a part-time music teacher (she chose the experienced classroom teacher). The experienced primary teacher had to be the all-singing, all-dancing type and somehow conduct gym class, art lessons and music. This year, the school managed to get an instructor to teach violin and viola during school hours (hooray!), but DSD is not interested at all - she wants to play the piano, and the school can't offer that. The Christmas show this year had very, very little to work with - the best they could do for the older kids' show was a pop concert set to a karaoke machine.

My state school school education was a lot more like my niece's than my stepdaughter's. I sometimes feel like the best I can give my kids is worse than what I had. It's frustrating.

However, the other side of the coin is that my DSD's teachers do seem to listen to us. You can tell they really care about her, and they have adjusted her workload according to her abilities. They turn up at events like school discos, school book fairs, etc. I doubt the teachers running DSD's school Christmas show were paid any extra to do it, but there they were, putting the time in. My niece's teachers, unfortunately, have been nigh on incompetent sometimes - they have criticized my niece in the past for not picking up math as quickly as her classmates and one actually told my SIL at a parent-teacher conference what a struggle it was to manage a class size of 12. So, there are good points and bad points.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:58:15

The absoluty biggest thing that will undermine your own children compared to your dsils is not lack of money but a defeatist attitude, your writing them off before they have even started.

ask your dh to have a quiet word to mil about going on about it - or if your that upset tell her yourself. she may not have realised its upsetting, and is just happy some gc are going private.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:58:57

"This is a golden opportunity but you seem to have thrown in the towel assuming other people's dc at the private school are cleverer than your dc. They are NOT."

No - I agree. But many have been taught in classes of 15 since nursery, have had years of tutoring, get 11+ booster classes at school, go on 11+ summer camps etc, so do have a pretty good head start. Grammar school entrance is so fiercely competitive around here - I know 5 children who've sat and not got in in the past two years, despite several years of tutoring, and despite being bright enough to have gone on to secure places at private schools which are considered some of the best in the UK.

It's a MASSIVE bun-fight, it really is.

My ds is bright enough to get on in a grammar school and enjoy it. But he's not a genius. There are hundreds and hundreds of kids applying whose parents and teachers consider them very bright, who will be sitting the test alongside my ds. And many of these children have had a better start educationally than he has, because they've been taught in very small classes since nursery.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 11:59:21

Sorry for cross posting - slow typing.

I totally agree that the system is unfair and glad you're investigating options for your children.

FWIW, my DS (diagnosed as mildly ASD) had a very rough three years at his otherwise good primary school. IME, children like him often find primary school more challenging than secondary school. Many secondary schools have a 'quiet' room for children who need it at lunchtime - that might be worth finding out about.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 12:00:50

Well, what is to stop you from going to church and getting your children into a faith based school?

Or renting in a better catchment area?

Or changing jobs and moving to a town with better schooling?

Or taking a second job to pay for private school?

Or setting up your own business?

Or having only one child so you could give it the best?

Or home tutoring your children?

All these are within your ability. I don't understand the 'it's not fair' whining.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:01:14

YABU - all kids in this country are so lucky that they get state education. Stop whining about what other children have & make the best for your own.

You could have forced yourself to go to church every Sunday like thousands of other parents do, if you were that bothered about a church school.

Lots of kids from state schools do really, really well. Given that the majority of kids in the UK go to state school - they must do, otherwise we'd be up shit creek (well even more up shit creek).

How you haven't got a statement for your SN child? Have you tried? One of my DCs is SN & it can be a real battle (it certainly was for me) but if you don't try you won't get one - ever!

What about all the afterschool clubs or local clubs that you could make use of for your DCs? There is heaps of stuff out there.

Stop being jealous & make your own kids education as broad and fantastic as it can be.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 12:02:00

Probably - I agree that there are many amazing teachers working in the state system.

smile

I suspect on the whole that many of the most dynamic and talented people work in the state sector.

It's just shit that they have to work with such massive classes.

It is not really that unfair.

If I had worked harder in school. If I had studied harder for my degree and gotten a 2.1 rather than a 2.2. If I had enough sense to study something other that Classics, like business, politics, or hey, medicine or law, rather than follow my dream da da dooda. If I had made the right choices to go for a highly paid job, to further my career. If I had chosen a different husband, a lawyer, or a doctor, rather than the lovely man I married. If If If. Then I too would have been able to afford private education for my children.

The fact is, I can only blame my own life choices for not being in a position to afford private schooling for my children. Nobody elses fault.

This means I cannot be jealous of those who can afford it. Only angry with myself for not having had more ambition and drive when I was younger.

Little does it help to sit on my 40 year old arse and moan. I do after all have a friggin useless Classics degree that I worked hard for, which in hindsight, was my first big mistake in adult life.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 12:02:07

Totally justified OP

A two tier system of education is fundamental to the perpetuation of the class system. Liberals will tell you that you can mitigate against the very worst inequalities by indebting yourself through mortgages, paying for extra curricular activities or misleading you to believe that we have social mobility. Bare in mind that this liberal view is also necessary to keep the workers blind to their reality.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 12:04:37

Yermina Don't believe the lie that is all privately educated dc are super bright. They're not! They may have a head start but don't let that worry you. At least give it a go and then if your dc get a gs education your sil will be the envious one.
I realise this may be hard but just do it and never worry about the competition. That's what I would do anyway but I'm the sort of person who loves a fight and proving people wrong.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 12:07:23

Don't worry, Yermina, Flatbread has the solution - you must travel back in time then remember to only have 1 child. That way you'll be able to buy him/her a good education and devote your life to extra-curricular activities!

dikkertjedap Mon 04-Feb-13 12:09:49

Lost of learning takes place at home not at school. So it may be more worthwhile to concentrate on that as it is something you CAN influence.

I would not be so hung up about private music lessons either. As another poster mentioned a love for music can last a lifetime. You don't need to do it all whilst at primary school.

The fact that your child doesn't qualify for bursaries must mean you are reasonably well off, so spare a thought for all the kids who literally have nothing.

No point being jealous, it is not helping you, it won't help your children either.

Use your vote wisely next time when there is an election.

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 12:12:23

FWIW I think children get amazing opportunities at state schools and you can get music lessons in high school anyway for free, dont be hung up on what they dont have now it is what they can have in the future but I do agree paying into things does have an unfair advantage sometimes,

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 12:15:24

"Or having only one child so you could give it the best?" "All these are within your ability"

What do you suggest I do with the other 2? Sell them to pay for school fees for the cleverest one?

grin

FlouncingMintyy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:16:55

I do think its unfair. Actually, unfair is the wrong word, its a bit too childish, but I can't think of the right word (darned 70s comprehensive education wink).

Imagine how much fun it was explaining to my Year 6 dd that she wouldn't be going to one of the many private schools with amazing facilities and rolling playing fields that surround us, but instead she would have to be shipped out to a different borough to go to an all girl's school because we do not live in the miniscule catchment area of the good mixed school here.

On top of that, my best friend's son H is going to one of these schools, even though they are noticeably worse off than us.

"So Mum if we can't afford for me to go to that private school, how come H can go there?"

"Well, his Mum and Dad can apply for a bursary which pays his fees for them as they don't have enough money"

"Right, so why can't I have a bursary?"

"Well, we earn too much money to get a bursary"

"So how come we can't afford the fees?"

"Well because we earn too much for a bursary but not enough to be able to pay for you to go to school ..."

ad infinitum

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 12:17:13

What do you suggest I do with the other 2? Sell them to pay for school fees for the cleverest one?

shove them back in like they never happened grin oh and i have read some do send 1 private and another not confused

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 12:17:14

YANBU. It is unfair.

Also, I wish that going to private school wasn't a big deal, but looking at how vastly over-represented privately educated people are in the professional classes and positions of authority, it obviously does make a big difference.

I'm not having that privately educated people are "harder-working" or any other boot-strappy nonsense either.

A good quality of education should be a right for all children, not a privilege.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 12:18:54

I dont get this private tutor thing I really dont.

I am not well educated at all - I have four GCSE's and anyone who reads my posts will know I cannot spell!!! HOwver

I am hoping to get my DD into local grammer schools - and I doubt there will be an option for private tutors already I am envisionoing buying the books and finding out what the exams are what they want and doing it ourselves.

Luckliy I am more humanities and DH is sciences so hopefully we have got her covered.

I will find out from the exam papers the kind of things they want - make sure DD is covered and send her for the exam?

TwinTum Mon 04-Feb-13 12:18:57

Getting rid of private schools is not the answer (or the whole answer) - I just dont think you can ever have a fully level playing field. If there were no private schools, I bet your SIL would be using the money to pay for tutors, extra-curricular music lessons etc, or moving house to get access to a great state school. I think a much bigger issue is the difference between state schools. I send my DC to private school, but would be more than happy to send them to state if our local state schools were as good as the one I went to in a different part of the country or the ones my nieces and nephews go to. Our other option was to move house to be in catchment of a really good school, but that would be depriving someone else of a place at that school (and we like where we live for all sorts of reasons).

Also, money and differences in the quality of state schools are not the only reason why there is not a level playing field. Parental interest and involvement makes a massive difference. So your children are in a much better position than many in the country.

Viviennemary Mon 04-Feb-13 12:21:54

I do see your point. But going to private school doesn't absolutely guarantee success in life or a happier life. I would have considered private school but we simply couldn't have afforded it at the time. So it wasn't an option for us. We moved to an area where the schools were good. Not grammar schools though. I think it's wrong that the schools vary so much in different parts of the country or even in quite near areas.

I am even more against the grammar school system than private schools.

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 12:22:25

. Parental interest and involvement makes a massive difference. So your children are in a much better position than many in the country.

I agree with you it is what you put in that you get out of them ime

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 12:23:11

I feel sorry for some of the children at fee-paying schools. They're under such a lot of pressure to achieve academically and their lives revolve completely around school. Woe betide them if they forget their lacrosse net (what with rushing off in the morning to make a long trip past the closer state schools, hastily grabbing themselves something to eat) talking to their DF as it's his only window what with having a stressful job that eats up almost all his time).

Also - it's usually the private schools who favour the truly hideous uniforms (am thinking of one school I know here who have a brown uniform, including compulsory brown knickers!). My DD feels sorry for anyone who has to wear that!

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 12:23:32

<Puts on 'Eton rifles'>

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 12:23:57

But chocoluvva,

Don't people think about the cost of having children when they have them?

If you value private education, then make the right decisions to get it for your child, rather than whining about others who can afford it.

I honestly don't get the envy. It seems op is looking for some magic silver bullet that would magically make her children's lives wonderful...only if they were in private school, only if class sizes were smaller, only if he was in a similar musical cohort, blah blah.

There is no magic bullet. Being successful involves hard graft, determination, focusing on math, sciences and harder subjects and a belief in oneself. It is within OP's reach to inculcate good values, focus on math and science and tutor her children herself.

But instead she would rather moan and be jealous at the 'state' for not making things 'fair'

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 12:25:36

ubik Listen to Eton Rifles all you like but do so in the knowledge Paul Weller sent his dc to private school wink

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 12:27:07

so in the knowledge Paul Weller sent his dc to private school

fab grin

Collaborate Mon 04-Feb-13 12:28:16

We could afford to send our kids to private school but choose not to. We'd rather spend our money elsewhere. Why should my choice mean that I limit what others do with their money? I'd prefer to live in a free society where parents can spend whatever they want on their children, rather than one in which the spending habits of the majority set the spending ceiling for all.

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 12:28:38

Of course it's unfair. But this is AIBU, so you will get people queuing up to tell you black is white.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 12:28:54

The OP doesn't particularly value private education, Flatbread - she values good quality education.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:28:59

I went to a rubbish sec modern where there were no aspirations for anyone... I have done Ok but nothing to do with my schooling. Both my DS's go to private schools. Where people get the view that somehow this has all landed in our laps with no effort is beyond me.

I got married late and no previous relationships with children. Decided to have just two children.

We both work full time and always have. I didnt choose to stay at home. If you want to stay at home that is fine but unless your DP is an investment banker or similar you just wont be able to have some of the options that I have. I have missed lots of things that SAHM's attend as a matter of course. That is the price I pay and the consequence of what we have chosen to do.

We have stopped at 2 children. Any more and we would not have been able to afforded the fees!

We live in the SE where there are more opportunities.

We all have our own cirucmstances. Some people make daft decisions around men, some choose to stay at home and not work, some choose to leave school at 16 with no qualifications, some feel they want 4 plus children, these are YOUR decisions. My decision is to spend money on school fees and I have never regreted it!

mindosa Mon 04-Feb-13 12:30:59

Life is sadly unfair but not being able to give our children what is best for them is particularly hard for any parent to stomach

FlouncingMintyy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:36:49

Should just put my cards on the table and say we wouldn't chose private schools either, even if we had tons of money.

The real unfairness is why state schools are so varied.

FeistyLass Mon 04-Feb-13 12:39:44

I think, as others have said, the problem is the variation in state schools, not that private schools exist.
I went to a brilliant state primary and high school. I worked hard and was the first person in my family to go to university.
I didn't realise we lived in a deprived area or that my family was 'poor' until I went to university. It was a genuine shock to me because, despite all my parents' faults (and there were many!) they never told me I couldn't do something. They didn't teach me that other people had better chances or more opportunities. They didn't limit what I could achieve because of where I was born or how much money we had. They did instil an ethos of hard work and a love of learning.
I've had a brilliant career which I love and sometimes one of my aunties will say 'Imagine a wee lassie from here doing all that' but you see, my parents never ever gave me the attitude that I was a 'wee lassie' from a certain area or a certain class and that's probably why I was able to achieve.
Now, I'm faced with deciding where to send my ds to school and our local state schools are awful. For my ds to have the same opportunities that I had, I'll have to move to a different catchment area or send him to a private school. My preference would always be to send him to a state school. Sorry I've went on for so long - I guess what I'm saying is don't let your children feel that they start life at a disadvantage. And if you want to get angry about schooling in this country then focus on improving the local state schools or/and enrol your dcs in as many extra curricular clubs as you can manage.The Brownies/Guides gave me opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise.

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Feb-13 12:39:59

YABU

and I know that when it comes to children, it fucking eats you up inside

but dont let it, please

such is life, and its such a negative corroding emotion

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 12:42:39

There are plenty of one-child families who can't afford private education. Should that child's parents not have had children at all?

The OP is in a situation where she feels that the only way to get a good education is to pay for it. How can that possibly be fair?

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:43:11

mindosa - the point is that you do the "best" that you can do as a parent.

For some that means sitting through church every sunday, even though they aren't that committed because they want their DC to get into a church school.

For some it means living in a rented house or flat near what they think is a good school, rather than buying a house.

For some it means volunteering after they've spent a day at work to help out with football club or band practice or dancing class - because that way the club keeps running & their DC can take part.

For some it means spending every penny they earn on a private school.

Some people are loaded (although these days, usually because they made good career choices, rather than it just landed on their laps) and they just pay the money.

Every single one of us has choices to make all the time & most of us hope to do their best for their children.

Even in countries where there is almost no private education, you will still get children who surpass others, children whose parents will find time to do more with them, children who are just naturally gifted, you'll find pretty children too & those wishing they were pretty. Life isn't ever fair - you just have to make the best of it.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 12:43:49

Yabu,

Its a fairly simple explanation,

There children have xyz because there parents pay for it, you are not able to pay for it so your children do. Go private.

And there are things you can do to get kids with SN a good education and support children with there education that cost nothing.

In my experance the parents who long term bitch and wail about there children not getting good help are in that position because they dont do the legwork in or they expect the LA to do everything with little or no input from them so let the LA get away with not doing what they should obviously that does not include cases where the parents are or have taken steps to challenge the LA ( but again in my experance ones who do that,tend not to bitch they tend to be a bit more rational and practical in how they try to approach it)

Mosman Mon 04-Feb-13 12:45:26

Since I was 18 years old every decision I made was made with the fact that my children's education would be private and the absolute best I could afford.
Everything from where we live to what car I bought as a 20 year old, to what job I took, all based on what I wanted for my DC should they ever arrive.

However 7 years into private education I can honestly say having a involved set of parents is THE key. The school really plays a pretty small part.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 12:47:04

Op are you educated at all, can you not help your dc yourself?

maddening Mon 04-Feb-13 12:48:08

Could any of your dc apply for a scholarship or bursery?

grotbagz Mon 04-Feb-13 12:48:09

I was given the choice between the two but chose to go to the state school and still got into one of the best universities in the country as did many of those I knew, and a lot of the people there were also from state schools so don't see this as relevant as long as your child is prepared to earn merit regardless of background.

Top universities very often have 'access to' places available where people locally from state schools get given a lower entry grade to achieve to get a place also, so there are a lot of options available, bursaries etc. Some top universities bend over backwards to encourage people from less advantaged backgrounds that they think have potential to get them through their doors, specifically unis like Leeds and Sheffield where many people I know from private schools with the same predicted grades didn't get a conditional place while others from state schools did.

While I sympathise with you in terms of discrepancies between state schools (I went to two VERY different ones) that is no fault of the private schools. You can't begrudge those who are able to send their children to private schools when I'm sure given the opportunity most parents would do this if they thought it would help their children. If I was paying for a type of service that I could get for free I would expect that service I was paying for to be of a better standard or there would be no reason to pay for it.

Faxthatpam Mon 04-Feb-13 12:49:59

I am fed up with hearing that tired old line about "hard work" getting you what you want... tell that to a nurse and a fireman working shifts - they work harder than most, doing jobs that are more important than most, and would never be able to afford private school fees. They have just as much right to a good education for their children as a lawyer or city trader. A good education can be had in the state sector - and ime a far broader and frankly better one in a good state school than in a 'spoon fed' private one. The problem is that not all state schools are good ones and sometimes there is NO choice. YANBU,it is unfair, and the postcode lottery affecting state education is hugely unfair. Life is sometimes a bit crap and it is good to have a rant!

To those who suggest 'forcing themselves' to go to church every week to get into a faith school - I think that is morally wrong. If I had a faith and had attended church all my life I would be horrified by that idea, and very angry with parents who got away with it.
Having said that, I do not think state faith schools should exist - how is it right that I pay towards a school from which my children are excluded? Why should my children's choice of school be narrower than that of the Catholic or CofE child next door? That is unjustifiable IMO. Children of all faiths should be educated together and learn about each others faiths and belief systems. Religious apartheid is a bad idea and will only promote intolerance. IMHO.
Rant over. smile.

Renniehorta Mon 04-Feb-13 12:50:14

If education was valued by all sections of society issues like class sizes would be much less of an issue. In many successful countries class sizes are much bigger. However it is not an issue as the students there go to school determined to learn.

It can never be a level playing field whilst so many schools are infused with antagonistic/ can't be bothered attitudes from many of their students. This is in great part what people pay to escape from.

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 12:51:27

Why don't you quit whining and do something about it.

grotbagz Mon 04-Feb-13 12:53:39

'Better standard' is perhaps the wrong wording on my last post

MorrisZapp Mon 04-Feb-13 12:55:19

Personally I think you probably are BU but I can see where you're coming from.

To me, it's a MN fallacy that kids feel bad/smug depending on what schools they go to. I was state educated and never even gave it a milisecond of thought. I knew that private schools existed, and that they cost money to go to. But it never once entered my mind that i was getting something less than the private school kids.

Once your kids have got their friend group at school, they'd refuse to move anyway. I couldn't have given a toss about statistics, future life success etc and unless the average teenager has changed dramatically since my day, I shouldn't think many other people's kids analyse it either.

It's about parental aspirations, not kids being all gutted because they're not getting 'the best'. Kids don't know or care.

SunflowersSmile Mon 04-Feb-13 12:56:05

I sympathise Yermina as we are church mice of our family.
1st cousins children at private school and my brother's at middle class state and private tutors used by majority of parents.
My children at a state primary that many so called MC avoid.
HOWEVER- I don't feel my children are deprived. Their school is a kind school that is excellent for children with special needs. No parent I know at the school uses private tutors and thus I sense teachers work harder to enthuse children.
My SIL complains that teachers at her children's school coast on the tails of home tutored children.
I am involved in the school and invested in it timewise and have become proud of it.
Maybe try and get more involved in the school- parent governor?
Good luck.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 12:56:08

Faxthatpam, you're quite right that someone working shifts can't possibly afford private school. But, they could possibly afford to homeschool their kids. It gets a bad rap because the people who homeschool do tend to be nutjobs - but if done well, and for the right reasons, these kids will rival privately educated ones.

PessaryPam Mon 04-Feb-13 12:57:31

Go and live in Cuba OP. You can have all the education you want. But you can only work for the government at a flat rate independent of skill.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 12:59:13

I would very much agree with what mosman said - while private schools do offer important benefits such as smaller class sizes and a broader curriculum, still a lot of it comes down to having involved parents

I also scrimped and saved (and made life/career choices) so that I could afford to send my child(ren) to private school. I am very glad that I did (not least because Labour saw fit to get rid of assisted places, which helped many children from non wealthy backgrounds attend private schools) as my DS has severe dyscalculia and mild dyslexia and it was immediately obvious from the two years he initially spent in state education (at a good state primary) that he would suffer greatly in an environment where one teacher struggled to give attention to 30+ pupils.

Every penny of disposal income I make goes into funding his private schooling, and that means obvious "sacrifices" elsewhere - things that other families might consider a greater priority (second car, multiple foreign holidays etc). But even though he goes to a very good school, which offers learning support in lessons and also individual LS three times a week, he would still be severely struggling without me sitting down every night with him to help him make sense of what he is taught and deal with his homework.

YANBU to wish you afford to send your children, but there are things you can do which will help them achieve even outside the private education system. There are fantastic learning resources online and in print which, with your input, will give your children a helping hand

Whyamihere Mon 04-Feb-13 12:59:21

I send dd to private school, she is delibrately an only, we had her late and built up our careers before we had her, everything we did was because we wanted to privately educate (both dh and myself had a lack lustre education in state schools).

If all schools were equal and I knew that she would get the same opportunity as a child in a school down the road then I would send her to state school, but as it is I would have to send her to a failing school, and I feared she would get overlooked - as I did at school. In the area I live the GCSE results for state schools range from 35% getting 5 A* - C's to 75%, how can this be fair?

Education should be equal for everyone, but it's not, not even in state schools, until the equality in state schools is sorted out it's a bit unfair to say that privately educated are the only ones with the advantage.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 12:59:42

This isn't about individuals- it's about the system being inherently unfair. The OP could sell an kidney and send her children to private school- that wouldn't make the system any fairer.

One of the most unpleasant characteristics of mumsnet is the assumption that if you feel strongly about something it must be because it affects you personally. Hence the shrieks of "jealousy" and "envy" that always abound on topics like this.There are people who look at the broader picture and have a strong sense of social justice.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 12:59:57

"t's about parental aspirations, not kids being all gutted because they're not getting 'the best'. Kids don't know or care. "

True but if ops poor children are aware of her feeling they are missing out and disadvantaged they may well care.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 13:02:07

However 7 years into private education I can honestly say having a involved set of parents is THE key. The school really plays a pretty small part.

Yes, I agree with this totally. I went to private school and did only okay, because my mother never pushed me and my dad, who would've done so, was no longer living with us. My DH, OTOH, went to a state school and had a father who pushed him constantly and took the time to give him extra coaching at home, rewarded him for good grades, took away privileges for bad ones, constantly encouraged and expected excellence. Guess who's done much better in life? My DH. The one without the fancy education.

I do not think state faith schools should exist - how is it right that I pay towards a school from which my children are excluded? Why should my children's choice of school be narrower than that of the Catholic or CofE child next door? That is unjustifiable IMO. Children of all faiths should be educated together and learn about each others faiths and belief systems. Religious apartheid is a bad idea and will only promote intolerance. IMHO.

This! State funded schools should be open to all.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 13:03:41

seeker the OP stated that she was jealous and bitter. Read the OP again if you don't believe me.

Sausageandmash Mon 04-Feb-13 13:04:23

OP - I see your point but wonder, if a long-lost relative died leaving you lots of cash in a will, what would you do with that money?

Would you say 'thanks but no thanks', it's money I didn't earn through my own efforts, so it would give me/my family an unfair advantage over others etc?

Or would you accept it, choosing to use it to buy extra music classes/get extra one-to-one tuition etc, to help your DC. In this case, would you not be guilty of giving them a leg up, of providing privilege?

I just wonder what we'd all do in that situation and whether, hand on heart, we could turn down a chance to help our children even though it brings advantage which is not through your own effort (easier for those whose children are happy at school/doing well but trickier for those who are not so happy).

PessaryPam Mon 04-Feb-13 13:04:42

seeker the OP wrote
Is it wrong of me to feel eaten up with jealousy and anger at the unfairness of a school system which privileges the children of well-off people so openly and seemingly without anyone else seeing it as something that's wrong or deeply, deeply unfair?

The OP is eaten up with jealousy.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:05:35

OP - I think I have the solution for you.

It will need a bit of financial re-organisation, but it might work. Swap your usual food shop for the cheapest possible food - value sausage rolls, burgers,tinned hot-dogs, scotch pies, pot-noodles etc. Get your middle child a bursary for somewhere good and us what you save on good quality food to pay the remainder of the fees.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:06:17

'us' - should be 'use'. Sorry.

PessaryPam Mon 04-Feb-13 13:06:39

choco is this how you did it? I sense this from your post grin

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 04-Feb-13 13:07:19

Actually, a single mother on a low salary would be able to get a bursary if their child was bright enough. Very few people in that situation apply though which is sad.

The OPs household has too much income for a bursary and the cutoff point for that at my nearest indie day school is 60k. So they may not be badly off by any stretch of the imagination but they have chosen to have 3 dc which will automatically preclude all but the highest earners from private education.

Its the children who are below the poverty line who have no parental input at all that life is unfair for really. And thats even before you start talking about the life chances of the developing worlds children.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 13:07:25

You are fucking kidding me

<sob>

<strokes Jam CD>

Why are you so convinced private will be better for your children? If your youngest needs special support they will be absolutely crucified by the other kids in a private environment. Kids are cruel, and bright kids are competitive and despise the less able. Also private schools aim to get top results, so any kid that may spoil their record is gently encouraged to leave.

I can afford to send my kids to private school (lucky me), but I won't be. They will attend the local primary, and secondary schools in the village. My husband an I are both products of state education. He has a top first from Cambridge, and I was top of my year (with a first) from a blue chip uni, have never had less than a grade A in any exam, and was a national prize winner in my professional exams.

Stop whinging about how unfair life is, and get a grip. Instil a strong work ethic in your children, so that they learn how to work for themselves. No one will spoon feed them in the work place, so self motivation will stand them in good stead for life. Teaching them that they should be handed everything on a plate, and to tantrum if they are not, will guarantee they never make anything of themselves.

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:09:28

What people don't seem to get is that you could ban private schools tomorrow and it wouldn't make any difference. People with money who care about their DCs education would set up 'home schooling' groups complete with fully qualified teachers. Or buy houses in the catchment of the best state schools sending prices rocketing and pushing everyone else out of the area. And they'd use tutors to fill any gaps. And those without the money who care would continue to do what they've always done - read with their DC from them being tiny, DIY tutor them at home and move to get the best state option.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:10:55

I'm sorry, but that I cannot agree with "bright kids are competitive and despise the less able" - talk about a sweeping generalisation!

The children at DS's school have been nothing but welcoming and supportive - and he is well nigh bottom of the class in most subjects and has SEN. Children generally can be cruel, but to say its worse at private schools is daft

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:12:16

'Its the children who are below the poverty line who have no parental input at all that life is unfair for really'

Agreed. Parental involvement is the biggest factor in determining how well a child will do academically. And you can't make people care.

BubaMarra Mon 04-Feb-13 13:12:19

Grammar school entrance is so fiercely competitive around here - I know 5 children who've sat and not got in in the past two years, despite several years of tutoring, and despite being bright enough to have gone on to secure places at private schools which are considered some of the best in the UK.

Well OP maybe the point is not in the money then?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 13:12:27

I understand where the OP is coming from but I don't think being eaten up with jelousy will help.
I also agree with the point made about parental involvement being the most important thing in a childs education.
I don't think the system is unfair, those that can afford to will always consider a private education as they see it as better. As for the music lessons, they are not automatically better quality because the teacher agrees to teach at their school. In fact you can often get the same teacher cheaper as the school charge more to parents to help fund buildings etc.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:14:02

Would they really Narked?

The sort of changes that would need to happen in society for a situation where private schools might be banned, would mean that people with money might not be able purchase privilege.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 13:14:40

"No one will spoon feed them in the work place, so self motivation will stand them in good stead for life."

This is very true I have heard many self starters say that businesses are littered with types who have absoluty no get up and go and are useless.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:16:00

"crucified by the other kids in a private environment. Kids are cruel, and bright kids are competitive and despise the less able"

well isn't that a great endorsement of the divide and rule principle.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:17:08

Narked is correct, there's no way that private school parents would just accept sending their kids to the roughest comprehensives in (for example) London if private schools were banned. They would start homeschooling, then start supplementing with tutors, and their friends would be doing the same, they would consolidate, and voila.

Tryharder Mon 04-Feb-13 13:17:26

Ah yes, a good old MN private school bunfight. Haven't read the whole thread yet but has someone already suggested that you too could afford private school if only you gave up those foreign holidays and Marks & Sparks ready meals ? wink

FWIW OP, I agree with you. It's not fair and I suspect those saying it is are ones who have the ability to pay for private education or have managed to get their kids into good state schools.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:17:42

And there was me wondering why Osborne and Cameron despised the poor and those with disabilities, they were born and educated to rule over those they despise.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:18:25

My 2 are at state schools PessaryPam smile

There probably are some children at private schools who go without to be there though. I suspect they're in the minority.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:18:47

If the political will was to banish state schools then the rich could be compelled to use what ever school was available to them.

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:20:26

When you strip away the money, what's left is people going out of their way to help their DC get the best education possible. Unless these parents are seriously wealthy, they feel the cost of the fees. Why do you think the majority of them do it?

Even if you took every penny from them, the majority of private school parents are just like those without the cash who DIY tutor, spend time teaching their DC things they are struggling with and start their education from the day they're born. The money allows them to pay people to do it, but if you stopped that they'd do it themselves!

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:07

But life isn't fair and it's a route to personal unhappiness to think it is. I really don't see why some people choosing to spend their income on private schooling is such a terrible thing. Frankly, by doing so, I'm not taking up a place in the state system

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:11

Tryharder,

those defending private, I suspect are actually blinded by liberal rhetoric about trying harder and failure being an individuals fault.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:16

Maybe the solution is to make every school a fee paying private one, and all parents pay for schooling, unless you get an income-based exemption or a bursary?

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:22:03

^^ Agreed. I would homeschool my kids before sending them to my local comprehensive.

PessaryPam Mon 04-Feb-13 13:22:31

chocoluvva My 2 are at state schools PessaryPam
Mine went to state school too but we moved to an area with great schools.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:22:34

I disagree Narked, many people I know send their children to private school precisely because they have no or little interest in little Johnies education over and above paying for privilege.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:15

"If the political will was to banish state schools then the rich could be compelled to use what ever school was available to them"

And just what kind of political system would that be? One that compels people to do things which most people would say comes down to personal choice. Sounds like some kind of vile communist dictatorship, and hardly "fair"

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:18

TheOriginalLady, you're not helping the state system either.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:24

A teacher told me that more is spent on kids in state school than private. I can't remember the full details but as he explained it to me, it made sense at the time.

I suppose because private are run like businesses, corners and cut and any expenses passed onto the parents.

I am jealous of my friends kids school - tennis courts, athletics track, fab school trips, great results... It's a religious school, so we couldn't get in there! Jealousy is a waste of energy though.

You can't really judge what other people do. Some people choose to go private and make sacrifices - size of family, home, holidays, clothes, car... It's not all full of little Cameron's and Osborne's

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:38

MiniTheMinx: I think the point is, these uncaring parents of whom you speak can also outsource homeschooling. So the idea of banning private schools is daft.

Levantine Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:42

OP yanbu. It isn't fair. Lots of people seem to frame it as it is about the adults, their aspirations, their decisions, their disappointments.

It isn't. It's about some children accessing teaching and facilities that others can only dream of simply because their parents have money.

And all this we make sacrifices and don't go on several expensive holidays a year - puh-lease. Who the hell does?

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:25:00

Saski

I did for two years, thoroughly recommend it. Didn't change the structural problems though of having a two tier education system or the fact that private education is a privileged education. So although it conveyed academic advantage it doesn't convey social advantage.

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:25:41

Governments know it too. The reason they've given free nursery hours to under 3s and under 2s in some cases is to try to address the imbalance that exists when children start school. Those with uninvolved parents are behind before they set foot in the classroom! The whole 'early years foundation stage' is stuff that most parents have always done with their DC.

RattyRoland Mon 04-Feb-13 13:26:28

Yabu. Most children go to state schools so you are the same as the majority. If it means that much to you that your kids get private education, why don't you retrain/work more hours/all hours to pay for them to go?

State schools suit most of us fine.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:26:34

MiniTheMinx - if rich people had to use state schools how would that improve state schools? Most rich people I know are working full time to make their money - they don't have the time to be volunteers to help make a school better.

Do you not think those rich people would still not be paying for extra curricular activities, extra tuition etc?

In a capitalist society, the playing field will never be level or fair.

However, every single child in this country has access to free education from nursery to 18. If all the children going to school only took advantage of that, then that might change the playing field a bit>

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:26:56

No (economic) value in women caring for their own children though is there Narked?

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 13:26:59

"t's about parental aspirations, not kids being all gutted because they're not getting 'the best'. Kids don't know or care"

DS2 doesn't enjoy school a lot of the time - he won't because he's not getting the help he needs. He has ASD and has no allocated one to one time. His teacher is really lovely, as is the TA. But they have 31 children in the class and DS spends a lot of the day in a state of stress because of not having adult support, and because like a lot of children with ASD, he doesn't cope well working in a room crowded with lots of other kids

DS1 is bored a lot of the time. He complains about school a lot. His teacher is fairly young and newly qualified and I think struggles to differentiate - there is a MASSIVE range of abilities of the children in the class. And of course there are 31 of them, two or three of them who have quite significant behavioural issues. In a portakabin in the school playing field. It's not a particularly lovely environment for a bright, artistic and sensitive little boy.

If they were both really happy and doing fantastically well I might feel differently about it.

"seeker the OP stated that she was jealous and bitter"

Why is is considered incredbily WRONG to feel angry and jealous in a situation like this? I know it's not a GOOD thing for me personally to feel like this and I wouldn't want to foster these feelings in my children, but they're an honest response to a bloody unfair situation.

"However 7 years into private education I can honestly say having a involved set of parents is THE key"

Two sets of equally involved parents, two sets of equally bright children. One set of those children going being educated in a class of 15 and the other set of children being educated in a class of 30, which includes children with emotional and behavioural problems, with half the resources available. Which children are likely to do best?

Parents taking an interest in their child's education is key to optimising a child's potential. But so is having enough individualised attention from your teacher, a good learning environment, and a flexible curriculum.

It's not a game of 'top trumps'. Having loving, involved parents doesn't negate a substandard school experience. What ever is going on at home, children still have to spend 30 hours a week in a classroom. And if, during that 30 hours they're getting massively less teacher input than a child in a different learning environment they ARE disadvantaged and it IS unfair.

"Every penny of disposal income I make goes into funding his private schooling, and that means obvious "sacrifices" elsewhere - things that other families might consider a greater priority (second car, multiple foreign holidays etc)"

Unfortunately the things we'd have to 'skimp' on would be food, heating and paying the mortgage. And I already shop at Aldi and home cook all food from scratch!

coldethyl Mon 04-Feb-13 13:27:00

At a basic level, yes, this seems unfair. But life isn't fair, so all you can do is work with it.

I know you say you will never be able to improve any of your children's chances because you can't afford to move, or send them all private. So, that means you don't have £30,000 stashed under the mattress right now. Nor do many people.

However... 11+ tutoring can be done at home. We did, in a ridiculously competitive area where dropping two marks can be the difference between passing and failing. We still are and will need to do it twice more. It need not cost a great deal.

Additionally, if you can pay for one child's music lesson of 45 minutes a week, then you can target the assistance the others need in the same way. The key if all your wants for your children don't fall into your lap is to spread the money around. As long as you can honestly say everyone got their go, you've done all you can. My parents put all of us through some private education (and have the debt to prove it) but never more than one at a time. Could you son drop to a 45 minute lesson once a fortnight and the 'off week' money be used to support one of the others? Could you find a student music teacher for DD? Or even arrange a skill swap?

There are many, many ways to give your children the leg up you think they deserve; but if you don't have the cash to do it, the only other options are time or skills, to spend or swap. Then you are back into the good/quick/cheap triangle and since cheap is vital you have to decide if you want good or quick.

It strikes me that the OP is actually an animal howl that SIL can just throw money at it and apparently solve the problem. But rich as never equalled bright or happy or successful, and the single thing private schooling can confer is self-possession and a firm handshake. You can instill those yourself.

MariusEarlobe Mon 04-Feb-13 13:28:01

Haven't read all thread, I do think all children should receive the same standard of brilliant education that supports their needs no matter what their wealth or lack of.

Houses, cars , holidays or whatever fair enough but no child should be condemned to a rubbish heap because they can't afford to pay for the best education.

The education in state schools should match the education available in the best private schools. The only difference should be the extra non curric stuff a private school can afford.

I admit I am living in a dream world though, my dd has stumbled through primary in a class of 31 with her needs not being met because I can't afford 15k a year for the one with an Sen teacher in every class.

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:28:11

The only way private schools would be banished is under communism.

Capitalism thrives where there is inequality, so why create equality under capitalism.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 13:28:32

Mini - I'm going to have to dust down my cultural capital link before too long, I think.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:30:07

MiniTheMinx: Of course it doesn't remediate the social disadvantages, but a home-schooled child of relatively "poor" parents can accumulate much of the same "cultural capital" as their private school counterparts. In fact, having parents who have little money but prioritize education to the point of home-schooling could be considered cultural capital in an of itself (to be crass).

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:30:54

Why should I be "helping the state system"? In what way? I work hard, pay taxes and try to be a decent member of the community - am I supposed to be doing something for the state education sector as well?!

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:30:56

grin Even if you work 12 hours a day, it's how you are when you're with your DC that has a much bigger impact. And the parents I know who send their DC private generally have one less child than they would like - a very conscious sacrifice.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:31:26

So did we PessaryPam. I feel so sorry for people like the OP who don't have that option. My friend's DH got a fantastic job at Oxford Uni -very prestigious, he did extremely well to get it, but they can't afford to get their (bright) children into a good school. It's awful. I know I'm lucky to be in my small house in a great catchment area.

OP's MIL though.... oh dear. I wonder if she realises how insensitive she's being.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 13:32:21

"if rich people had to use state schools how would that improve state schools?"

Because parents don't actually contribute to the running of schools at all do they? hmm

And it makes no difference to children whether they're educated in group which reflects the diversity of society, or whether they're taught in socially exclusive groups?

Anyone who has their children in a high achieving school with a massive middle-class intake will know the social intake of the school makes a difference.

My dc's school can't even get a PTA up and running. Not enough parents willing or able to get involved. (before anyone asks - I've tried. I really have!)

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 13:34:43

Also, I agree that uneven standards in state schools is a huge issue.

However, it still doesn't account for people from private schools being so overrepresented in terms of wages.

I would also like to know how a couple who both have to work full time to keep a roof over their heads would be able to homeschool.

Narked Mon 04-Feb-13 13:35:23

Time and again children from certain ethnic groups outperform their counterparts academically in some of the most deprived areas of London. These are DC who go to the same schools, live next door to each other and have identical household incomes. The difference is parental attitude to education.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:36:04

TheOriginalLadyFT, the argument that you're doing the state ed sector a favour by taking one child out of it doesn't work. You can't justify your decision to buy your child a good education by that.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:36:55

I would also like to know how a couple who both have to work full time to keep a roof over their heads would be able to homeschool.

If it's a priority, you can do it - particularly with older kids. Mother could do 3 hours, father could do 3 hours.

Certainly many of the parents here who wish their kids had better educational opportunities are SAHP's. For those who aren't, it's certainly harder.

PartTimeModel Mon 04-Feb-13 13:36:58

Life isn't fair (sure someone may have said this already up thread).

A quick way to make yourself feel like shit is to compare what you and your family have with what another family has. Still you will be the 'rich' person someone else is making themselves feel miserable by comparing themselves to you. No good will come of it.

Count your blessings. Stop comparing your family with other families. Support your kids.

If not fair that some children have to drink filthy puddle water every day/are dying of AIDS/get raped and sent into war zones. That really not fair.

Get a grip. Do the best that you can with what you have got. teach your kids to do the same. Since when has life been fair?

melika Mon 04-Feb-13 13:37:43

My DC did and one is still in a state school, I have faith in those schools that they have done their very best to attain the utmost achievements in my DC.

I am happy with their education. I feel sorry for those who do not get great education but I also feel sorry for those who feel they have to pay £3k a term to ensure they can get it. Also private schools cannot guarantee results either. I must say I as a parent have had input, ie, helping out and funding and I do think that counts towards a great school.

DewDr0p Mon 04-Feb-13 13:38:50

OP you are right it isn't fair but it's not going to dramatically change overnight either. So you might be better served focussing your energies on the stuff you can change.

For a start, if your ds is diagnosed but not statemented - what can you do about that? I assume you have challenged the school on this? Also lack of a statement does not equal not getting support. My ds has (different) SN, no statement either - and gets plenty of support in school. Perhaps you should look into becoming a school governor and raise this issue?

If your ds's current school simply can't offer what he needs then maybe you need to look at the other options available. A friend of mine moved her dyslexic son last year from one local state primary to another - on paper they look like very similar schools but the new one is a totally different experience.

I wouldn't assume a private school would be better wrt SN anyway. I spoke to another mum last summer whose dc is at our local very highly regarded prep school and tbh I was totally shocked at the way they had handled him. He has similar issues to my youngest and their main strategy seemed to be to keep him down a year - their next suggestion was that his parents could pay for 1-2-1 support for him. (I do know btw that there are private schools with excellent SN provision)

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:39:04

^^ Just because there are people starving in the world does not meant that parents won't feel the sting of a bad education for their child. The OP isn't wishing she had a nicer car.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:40:16

TheOriginalLadyFT, the problem is that some people "work hard, pay taxes and try to be a decent member of the community" but still can't get their children into good schools. How is that fair?

MiniTheMinx Mon 04-Feb-13 13:41:12

Actually if wealthy individuals want to pay for education, let them, let them pay into the state system then it will improve for every child.

I agree with you Saski to some extent. DCs did very well at home.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:41:32

I don't have to justify anything - I work hard to give my son the best education I can because it's what I believe to be right for him. By doing so, he's not taking a place at a state school, that's a straight fact

FreudiansSlipper Mon 04-Feb-13 13:41:35

I totally agree with you it is totally unfair that you can buy a better (not always) education for children though those with ld do not always get better support at private schools and bullying is not always dealt with as it is sometimes not in state schools

ds attends a private school, I feel lucky that we can provide that for him though my first choice would be the state school here that everyone wants their children to go to. The state school he first attended had 33 in a class (18 in his class now) the teachers seemed overwhelmed. Luckily we could move him within a few days but it is not something that I feel is right but it is right for ds and he is thriving at this school he wouldn't have at the other school and a number of children from his class have left

I wished we lived in a society where this was not the case but sadly we don't

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:42:56

Life isn't fair, but I fail to see how stopping all private schools would make it fairer! It's not like I withhold a portion of my taxes because I don't use the state system - I still pay into it, whether I use it or not

BubaMarra Mon 04-Feb-13 13:43:05

I don't see why grammar schools are frowned upon. They are merit based. A child can secure entrance only if s/he does good at the test. Yes, some achieve that through paid tutoring, but many achieve it through the tutoring from parents or by just studying on their own. So it's not like there's no option for a bright child that doesn't come from a rich family to get a good education. They will just need to take different route to it. And yes, it will probably need more parental input, but there's no need to hide behind unfair system for that.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 13:45:54

There was help for families on low income to send their children to private schools - it was called assisted places. Labour got rid of them (despite many Labour MPs sending their children to private schools)

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:46:46

Parental involvement is obviously important. I don't understand why parents complain about tutoring, rather than just tutoring their own kids - I hear even private school parents complain about this as in, "we are stretched to the max financially and can't afford tutoring so X is falling behind". Is it so hard to brush up on geometry and do it yourself? I tutor my oldest relentlessly, and it's actually fun at times (not always).

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 13:47:09

why wouold labour get rid the original?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:47:58

BubuMarra, it seems that grammar schools in some areas are in such demand that only very bright children who also get private tuition get a place.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 13:49:09

I hear a lot of back and forth about who dismantled Britain's educational system - was it Labour or the Tories?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 13:49:48

bura forgive me - but an A is an A is an A surely>

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:51:27

The OP feels that her children won't be able to access as good an education as their cousins because they can't afford it. Education - not housing, holidays, luxury consumables.

adeucalione Mon 04-Feb-13 13:56:28

OP, I greatly resent the fact that you are in a position to pay for private music lessons for one of your children. One of my children is interested in learning an instrument, but we can't afford to pay for lessons. I am seething with jealousy and think it would be fairer if private music lessons were scrapped altogether, to level the playing field as it were; hardly fair for the privileged few who can afford it to benefit when others cannot.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Feb-13 13:59:43

Have you actively investigated what is available or simply gone on info on websites? How do you know your SIL is paying school fees and not relying on a bursary/scholarship?

It is horrible to be on the receiving end of jealousy. I've had that. I made different choices to my db and my poor mum is left unable to talk about her gds's achievements for fear of the reaction it causes. Finances weren't an issue - my db decided to be mortgage free rather than pay school fees. His choice but I'm made to feel like I'm in the wrong for putting my ds's education as my first priority.

eliza Labour got rid of selective education. My db was a staunch Labour supporter and chose to send his dcs to failing comprehensive schools rather than look at other options. Recently he has admitted he wished he had made different choices but it is too late for his dcs unfortunately.

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 04-Feb-13 14:04:48

Oh honestly, stop whining. Turn your indignation into positive action if you must.

Stand up to your MIL. Talk up your own DC's achievements. Stop being such a doormat.

Get down to your kids school and demand explanations as to why in your opinion they aren't providing what your DC needs.

ComposHat Mon 04-Feb-13 14:10:24

Being angry with your sister in law is a waste of time. She is playing a fucked up system, a system that teaches children that you can buy privilege and educational advantage.

The anger should be reserved for a system that offers a massive subsidy to the private schools in the form of (unearned) charitable status and the tax-funded training of teachers who work in their schools.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 14:11:06

Saski In fact, having parents who have little money but prioritize education to the point of home-schooling could be considered cultural capital in an of itself (to be crass).

Could you expand on why that would be, and explain why it's crass, please?

The only way to make it fairer is to improve state schools so that there are no really crap ones and they all offer the same level of education. (yes, I know, pie in the sky)

Banning private schools will solve nothing. The very wealthy will simply send their children abroad or pay for private "home" education, whichever offers the best result. Where do you think all the other currently privately educated children are going to go to school? What effect do you think this will have on the current state system, because it won't be good.

In the OPs case, the problem really is that their local state schools are poor. That is the real problem with the education system as it stands.

the tax-funded training of teachers who work in their schools.

Well, all the parents of pupils in those private schools are still paying the portion of tax that goes towards state education so they are, in effect, paying for that training.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 14:21:53

JustGettingOnWithIt when I said crass, I was referring not to homeschooling itself being crass. Rather, that some people might find it crass to say "this would increase your cultural capital", because cultural capital is more or less a proxy for class.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 14:22:44

The majority of people paying for private eduction are of course paying for state as well - where on earth do you think their tax goes hmm. The majority of these households will be high earners and therefore high tax payers so putting a lot more in the pot than those that are actually using it.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 14:23:16

Isn't all (or maybe most) training tax-funded, then?

Lostonthemoors Mon 04-Feb-13 14:24:55

Yermina, it is thoroughly unfair and I am so sorry.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 14:28:24

Being tax free isn't quite the same as a subsidy and all those who take teacher training have that training subsidised by the state - so every tax payer in the country is helping to fund that.

All state school teachers have to be formally trained - but at private schools that isn't necessarily the case. So you could say more fool the private school parents who may be paying to have their kids educted by teachers who may not be formally trained as teachers. wink

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 14:28:53

Saski thanks, it's interesting that people do often assume Home ed is the preserve of the middle class and yes it can be used to imply a set of things that don't actually exist, so in that sense yes it can be included if my understanding of cultural capital's correct.

BubaMarra Mon 04-Feb-13 14:29:44

BubuMarra, it seems that grammar schools in some areas are in such demand that only very bright children who also get private tuition get a place.

Thanks, chocoluvva.
As I see it, in addition to paid tutoring, parents can provide tuition as well or a child can be that bright that s/he studies on their own. It is still meritocracy. And I actually think that it's quite fair to have state of the art education that is free (at least at the point of entry) and that is what grammar schools are. But sometimes people just seem to view them as just a bit less evil than private schools which puzzles me. (Not referring to you here, just a general observation).

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 14:31:04

JustGettingOnWithIt that is interesting because in the US it's considered more the domain of religious extremists i.e. negative "cultural capital" points! I think you just have less of that in the UK.

SignoraStronza Mon 04-Feb-13 14:31:17

No YANBU. I think it is totally unfair that private schools are, in effect, subsidised by having charitable status. Yes I know that there are a handful of bursaries and scholarships available, or the state school kids are occasionally bestowed a visit to their luxurious sports facilities in a half hearted attempt to justify this status but, IMO, it is a joke. They should be taxed as per any other business.

For what it's worth, I know three people who teach at private secondaries, none of whom can spell or string a grammatically correct sentence together so am dubious about the teaching being superior.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 14:32:52

Yermina life isn't fair on many levels. It isn't possible to make a level playing field out it and I have sympathy but can't see much point by being eaten up with jealousy over what others have.

If lone parents can work nights and home educate, there must be ways for two parents sharing the load to manage if they wanted that. That’s assuming the LP’s don’t feel it’s unfair that someone with the advantge of a husband is competing with them and starting to demand they shouldn’t be allowed to, and that’s why I don’t like banning choice, because whose choices will we ban?

SanityClause Mon 04-Feb-13 14:33:06

It's unfair that my children live in a country which provides free education and healthcare, and has relatively efficient public transport, and a reasonably fair justice system, and a safety net for them if I should die, or be otherwise unable to provide for them, and the vast majority of children in the world have no such advantages.

I think that people from European countries should not be given the best jobs in multinational companies, as that would CREATE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD!

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 14:37:07

Our local state primary is pretty bad. It wasn't great in the past, but ok. My friend sends his daughter. He's a relatively recent immigrant and was pleased initially. He now says that it as just a temporary dumping ground for refugee kid - quite a few have serious behavioural issues (kids with weapons - and these are small kids). We have a lot of hostels here now (over the last 15 years or so, and we have 4 very large ones within half a dozen streets now) and people are moved in and out regularly. Teachers come and go with regularity, and some of the parents there work hard to pay rent somewhere else to get out of it.

I've lived here over 25 years, DH all his life. The council won't change its messed up policy of placing families in b+bs until they find them a home (which there are too few of because of the sale of council stock and lack or replenishment of the stock).

We chose private. My own state primary school was, like most of yours probably are now, ok. Dad was a real Labour man and also a lecturer. He held education up as the main target for us kids. Mum always said that he would be happy at our choice - he was fiercly protective of his family too. We didn't have weapons or police at the door at our schools. Its not about rich and poor. We don't want to have to move to god knows where to find a half decent state school.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 14:37:40

hmm at being able to home-school for 3 hours after a full time job. even if I could do it (and it would kill me) DH couldn't as he doesn't have 3 hours to spare every evening. And who would look after the children during the day confused

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 14:38:09

Our local state primary is pretty bad. It wasn't great in the past, but ok. My friend sends his daughter. He's a relatively recent immigrant and was pleased initially. He now says that it as just a temporary dumping ground for refugee kid - quite a few have serious behavioural issues (kids with weapons - and these are small kids). We have a lot of hostels here now (over the last 15 years or so, and we have 4 very large ones within half a dozen streets now) and people are moved in and out regularly. Teachers come and go with regularity, and some of the parents there work hard to pay rent somewhere else to get out of it.

I've lived here over 25 years, DH all his life. The council won't change its messed up policy of placing families in b+bs until they find them a home (which there are too few of because of the sale of council stock and lack or replenishment of the stock).

We chose private. My own state primary school was, like most of yours probably are now, ok. Dad was a real Labour man and also a lecturer. He held education up as the main target for us kids. Mum always said that he would be happy at our choice - he was fiercly protective of his family too. We didn't have weapons or police at the door at our schools. Its not about rich and poor. We don't want to have to move to god knows where to find a half decent state school.

adeucalione Mon 04-Feb-13 14:39:59

Yes, in the interests of a level playing field we also need to ban private health insurance, private tuition, the purchase of workbooks and other homework aids, nutritional food, horizon-expanding holidays, and maybe educational toys too - unless all children can have all of these, they're history I reckon.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 14:41:36

Saski Unfortunately all minority activities attract stereotypes, our view of US home ed is of specifically more extreme Christian groups, structured and very religious curriculum based, as the majority, here it is Middle Class, financially secure, and autonomous as a majority.

Private schools seem very stereotyped too.

Willabywallaby Mon 04-Feb-13 14:44:31

Sorry I've not read all of this, but want to make my point. Will come back and reread when have time blush

By sending my sons to a private school I feel I am helping the state system by putting less children into it. Our local state school is bursting at the seams (another reason we use the private school, we didn't get into our local one 0.98 miles away).

Now where is that hard hat...

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 14:47:03

You'll need that hard hat, I've already been told off for using that argument willaby

Apparently it's not good enough not to be a burden, you should also be helping out these state schools as well. Not been told how so far, but just so you know

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 14:49:52

Willabywallaby I disagree. Part of the reason that schools become shite is because anyone wants better for their kid AND can afford it goes private. If the middle classes were forced to send their children to public schools, they would improve. This is not to say that I agree with outlawing private, because of the draconian laws that would be required in order to do so - but I don't think you're really helping by opting out.

MrsBethel Mon 04-Feb-13 14:50:06

No, it's not fair.

But you can't ban it, not unless you want some sort of totalitarian socialism, where you criminalise people doing the best for their children, and use the force of law to bring everyone down to the level the state can afford. If you ban private schools, then logically you should probably ban people buying children books with their own money.

I went to a comprehensive. It was fine, but I'm sure I'd have learnt much more at a top fee-paying school. Doesn't bother me.

One thing I would do, though, is stick a bit of VAT on school fees.

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 14:50:17

YABU.
However, I do understand your frustration. It would be wonderful if all children could receive first class education, with specialist teachers, small class sizes and no interruptions from unruly classmates.
Unfortunately, it's not possible, for so many reasons.
You can't blame parents who work very hard to pay for the private education, though.
Bringing everybody down to the lowest common denominator would not be the solution.

BigSilky Mon 04-Feb-13 14:50:52

My niece has just started at a private school with all the facilities, all the after school clubs, 12 children per class, everything. The change in her has been absolutely terrifying- she seems like a little soldier.

The grass isn't always greener.

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 14:52:02

'' Part of the reason that schools become shite is because anyone wants better for their kid AND can afford it goes private. If the middle classes were forced to send their children to public schools, they would improve.''

Disagree. If we were forced to send our children to state schools, we would either home-educate or emigrate.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 14:52:19

I don't see why people object to grammar schools in principle. They are supposed to provide a curriculum that is particularly suited to academically able children and therefore not as well suited to less academic children, who will benefit from a mix of academic and vocational subjects or from going at a slower pace.
But where children are the same except for family ability to provide tuition in entrance exams, usually by buying it, the child who has had tuiton is more likely to perform better on the tests and is therefore at an unfair advantage.

So, in oversubscribed areas even some of the bright children are disadvantaged.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 14:55:39

Disagree. If we were forced to send our children to state schools, we would either home-educate or emigrate.
I agree, and that's why I chose the word force - most people would home- school in the face of a choice. This talk of banning private schools is silly for this reason; you'd have to pass a set of fascist laws to actually achieve the intended effect.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Feb-13 14:57:05

Labour got rid of selective education.

No they didn't, although people find it convenient to blame them. Mrs Thatcher, when Education secretary, got rid of more grammar schools than Labour did. Nor did Labour abolish the remaining grammar schools between 1997-2010.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 14:58:38

They did however abolish assisted places, something specifically designed to allow children from less well off back grounds to attend selective, fee-paying schools

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 14:59:38

Letting a few selected poor kids go to private school doesn't make it fair, either!

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 15:01:17

"You can't blame parents who work very hard to pay for the private education, though"

Ummm, I don't!

I don't even blame those who have inherited enough money not to have mortgages, and who therefore have lots of disposable cash to spend on school fees.

Or bankers spending their giant bonuses on private schools.

Or the rich grandparents putting their children through private schools.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:02:25

"A few selected poor kids" - 80,000+ children from a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds benefitted!

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 15:04:48

"I don't see why people object to grammar schools in principle. They are supposed to provide a curriculum that is particularly suited to academically able children and therefore not as well suited to less academic children"

If there was any fool proof and accurate way of working out at 11 which children were actually able to benefit from an academically focused education and which children were just a bit immature, late developers, or the victims of a poor primary education or educationally unsupportive home environment then there would be a better argument for grammar schools.

Unfortunately there's not.

whois Mon 04-Feb-13 15:05:41

YABU

The biggest determining factor in a child's educational success is the home environment and involvement of parents.

So stop being so bitter and start being positive. Read with your children, help with their homework, take them for interesting days out and talk about it afterwards. Do craft projects with them. Take them to the theatre, to music, to art galleries. Inspire a love of learning. Pony up some cash for music lessons, I don't see why one on one music tuition should be provided to you for free? Take your DCs to sports clubs after school, to cubs and other activities.

YOU can make a huge difference to your DCs outcome and privately educating them or not isn't the factor at play here.

kerala Mon 04-Feb-13 15:05:53

Looking around our friends who were state educated are doctors/lawyers Oxbridge live in big houses. Our privately educated friends are not professional and are struggling financially. At my sisters recent wedding her school friends (blond flicky haired good fun, all with interesting very successful careers) seemed different to her husbands school friends (in the main struggling not having achieved much, under confident). She went to state school he was privately educated.

Its not a golden ticket.

Phineyj Mon 04-Feb-13 15:06:42

OP, sorry if this has been mentioned upthread but have you checked out the youth music trust or LA music dept in your area? There's normally subsidised lessons and instrument rental on offer. If your DCs' school aren't enthusiastic about music you'll need to do the research yourself. If you are in a city check out the outreach programme of the symphony orchestra, family concerts etc.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 15:07:21

"A few selected poor kids" - 80,000+ children from a wide variety of social and economic backgrounds benefitted"

Yes - the very brightest children who are well supported at home. In fact exactly those children who do the best of all children at state schools, and who raise the standards of learning in every classroom they bless with their hard working and lively minded presence!

My heart sinks at the thought of all these clever, hard working children being 'skimmed off' and sent to selective and private schools. It makes for a poorer experience for the ones left behind.

Anyone who has ever spent time in a classroom will know that the more bright and focused people you share your learning space with, the better the standard of education you get.

the thing is it isn't fair.... at all....
however....
we live in a capitalist country and things aren't fair or equal at all.

woozlebear Mon 04-Feb-13 15:09:07

YANBU to think it's unfair. Maybe YAB a little U in the sense that it sounds like you're focussing on how unfair it is that some fee-paying schools are so good, rather than the fact that some state schools are so awful. That's the real scandal.

I went to private school, and I do get really fed up with the almost universally accepted thought (and I know you didn't say this) that private schools and bad and wicked and elitist, and people who go there and bad and wicked and privileged, and the parents who send their kids there and bad and wicked and snobby. Everyone focusses on that, and, it seems, would mostly be happy if they were banned tomorrow. Few seem to put the same emotion and effort into decrying the state system for ITS part in the huge gap between the two. (Nor, for that matter do I ever hear similar rants about private medical insurance or pensions).

Denmark has a system whereby you get given vouchers for the cost of state education and you can use them at private schools and just top up the difference with their own money. A system like that would eradicate a huge portion of the unfairness.

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 15:10:15

There is no grammar school anywhere near where we live now. There were no grammar schools in the area where I grew up. They are not available to all children, regardless of whether they could pass the exam to get in, so it is also unfair that your children have the opportunity to get into a grammar school, and mine don't. But I am not going to let it get me down. My girls WILL succeed in a state primary and comprehensive, because I am determined that they will.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 15:15:06

Themo, love your attitude smile Imo, Your children have the biggest advantage compared to others, a positive and determined mother!

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:18:18

Yes - the very brightest children who are well supported at home. In fact exactly those children who do the best of all children at state schools, and who raise the standards of learning in every classroom they bless with their hard working and lively minded presence!

My heart sinks at the thought of all these clever, hard working children being 'skimmed off' and sent to selective and private schools. It makes for a poorer experience for the ones left behind.

I was one of those children - we did not have much money, came from a working class background and my mother was a single parent for much of my childhood.

I'll tell you what happens to children like that - they get held back, inevitably, by the children who need more help and input. My mum was told I was naughty and disruptive at primary school - when she looked into it, turns out I was bored because I was forging ahead and needed more stimulation, but (quite rightly) the teacher needed to tailor teaching to every child in that 30+ class and that meant working to the lowest common denominator.

My heart sinks at the thought of bright children dragged down by a state system. It is not their job to make school a better experience for those "left behind" like some kind of foot soldiers for the left

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 15:20:15

Themobstersknife That's a brilliant attitude.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 15:23:11

YABU.

The government is free to ban privately schooled kids from applying to state grammars as long as they don't have to pay taxes towards it You can't get fairer than that.

We don't have GSs here and the local comps aren't great. So not only do I have to pay lots of tax to finance schools I'm not using, I now have to pay twice for a private education. On top of that i have to listen to you lot go on about how pissed you are at people like me. <rolls eyes> grin

If your school is crap then do something about it. Try to get elected as a governor. Volunteer at the school. Organise an afterschool club. Lobby your council and or MP. Do something other than blame your lot in life on me.

Your bitterness is such that you aren't going to go hmmmm Totally has a valid point. So further engagement is a waste of my time so <reaches for HIDE button>

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 15:24:20

TheOriginalLadyFT
Well put! So very well put.
So very sad though.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:40

Yamina - you seem to just be focussing on the negative. What about all the after school clubs, what about everything you can do yourself? Nothing in life is handed to us on a plate. Even kids at private schools have to sit exams.

If you really want your kids to go to grammar school, stop thinking about the kids from the private school who may or may not get in - but get the 11+ books from WHSmith & start going through them with your DC. Ask the teacher in his current school if she would be prepared to do any extra lessons, or if they run a lunchtime club for kids who want to try for the 11+. Maybe you could find a few other parents interested & club together for a private tutor after school or on the weekends.

Not all the clever kids are skimmed off - that has to be nonsense. There simply isn't room for all the clever ones to be skimmed off. Check out the results of your local state school - I bet you'll find that they have plenty of students getting A grades.

Willabywallaby Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:56

My secondary school had assisted places. We had children from all economic backgrounds, but you did has to pass the exam. No grammar schools though..

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 15:28:09

I feel the same Themo I can't see another " succesful" way of feeling and going about it - if you want positive results.

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 15:28:35

Quoting kerala:
''Looking around our friends who were state educated are doctors/lawyers Oxbridge live in big houses. Our privately educated friends are not professional and are struggling financially. At my sisters recent wedding her school friends (blond flicky haired good fun, all with interesting very successful careers) seemed different to her husbands school friends (in the main struggling not having achieved much, under confident). She went to state school he was privately educated.''

You do realise, your little eloquenthmm anecdote is just that, an anecdote and irrelevant to the discussion?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 15:32:05

TheOriginal, I was sometimes bored when I was at primary school too, as I was a very quick reader - not exceptionally clever, especially at maths. We shared reading books and text books, so I was waiting for my partner to finish reading. My teacher didn't tell my very hard up mum that I was naughty - because I wasn't, I daydreamed while waiting to turn the page. I wonder what you did.

You and I are examples of why grammar schools or setting are a good idea - not private schools though.

OP, I see what you mean about entrance exams not necessarily catching the most suitable children, but no system would be perfect.

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 15:32:42

OP it's not fair, of course it's not.

But is it any more unfair than your DC having a loving, supportive, articulate mother when so many DC do not have that advantage?

Life is not a level playing field. It never will be thus. No point in letting it corrode you or passing the corrosion on to your DC. Instead concentrate on what you can do for your DC.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 15:37:16

"If your school is crap, do something about it..." - the OP is trying to start a PTA.

Anyway, buying a private education is doing the opposite - it's washing your hands of the state system.

kerala Mon 04-Feb-13 15:37:21

Sorry rollmopses hadnt realised you were in charge of the discussion hmm hmm doffs cap. I think it is relevant - of course anecdotal hmm but the OP was feeling miserable I wanted her to understand that a state education does not mean you cannot succeed in life. How rude you are.

lisac99 Mon 04-Feb-13 15:40:07

Has anyone read the book 'freakanomics?' it basically demonstrated that the school your children attend actually has very little to do with how well they do in life compared to what the parents are like and oddly, how many books they have in their house confused. I'm assuming that's something to do with 'More books = more educated parents' if I remember correctly.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 15:40:15

That's why I was pointing out the downside of private schools for some of their pupils too, kerala - we don't seem to be making the OP feel any better though.

grovel Mon 04-Feb-13 15:42:51

Imagine spending £150,000 putting your son through Eton and he drops out at age 18. How unfair would that be!

My heart sinks at the thought of all these clever, hard working children being 'skimmed off' and sent to selective and private schools. It makes for a poorer experience for the ones left behind.

So, the bright children who thrive in a selective academic environment should be forced to go to a one-size-fits-all school in order to enrich the experience of those who can't get in to a grammar? Is that any fairer?

The only thing giving a "poor experience" is the quality of teaching at any given school.

kerala Mon 04-Feb-13 15:45:51

Surely any sentient person knows that there are great private schools and less good ones. Its not as simple as private = superior state = inferior. My state school had better results than several of the local private schools, along with lots of activities etc. In some areas I am sure the private schools are eons better than the state alternative. Where I live there are excellent single sex state schools, if we lived in the next city along I would seriously consider private for my DC.

Totally agree with lisac99.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 15:46:41

no that book sounds interesting lisac.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 15:46:56

I would just like to echo the statement of another poster who said that if all of the kids in state schools actually appreciated and used properly their (free at the point of delivery) state education we would be in very different position to the one that we are now. I can state with confidence that many children come from families who have zero interest in education and who are not bothered when their child merrily wrecks the education of a whole class of children. This and a slack Labour govt (and I voted them in) and then they set about wrecking my profession) have steadily brought some state schools to their knees - and many decent, hardworking and lovely kids have to attend these schools which is a great shame. THAT is what is unfair.

For me the problem is not that the private sector should be abolished but that the state sector should be sorted out and quickly. Private education will always exist as will private healthcare - as long as the state provided alternative is good, why would anyone be envious of how richer people spend their money? Bitterness is not a quality to harbour.

Some of the comments about private ed are breathtakingly ignorant and display more than a hint of envy and blind prejudice about them which is sad. It is almost as if people dismiss them and feel like they should rubbish them simply because they are unable to access them. I teach in a highly selective private school but we have very many bursaries available to the brightest children - has the OP thought of going down that route? Or would it then be 'unfair' because her children may not be bright enough? Question not assumption btw.

Yes on the whole private schools are better but this is for a myriad of reasons and there are some damn good state schools out there doing a bloody fantastic job in spite of the crap that successive govts have thrown at them.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 04-Feb-13 15:47:54

It's unfair that children with ASD (like my ds) won't generally get the educational provision they need to thrive unless their parents have got deep pockets

Bollocks. Children with ASD can do very very well in the state system if there parents can be arsed to get them the help they need via that system.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 15:49:00

All you people going on about bright children being "dragged down" by the state system- you do know how very few children are educated privately, don't you? Do you really think that every state educated child leaves school disaffected, qualificationless and dragging their knuckles down to the benefit office?

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 15:50:35

And good post woozlebear.

Do you really think that every state educated child leaves school disaffected, qualificationless and dragging their knuckles down to the benefit office?

No. Of course I don't because that would be narrow minded and stupid.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 15:53:16

chocluvva - going private does not mean washing your hands of the state system at all. Taxes??

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:53:19

"My teacher didn't tell my very hard up mum that I was naughty - because I wasn't, I daydreamed while waiting to turn the page. I wonder what you did."

I fidgeted and was a chatterbox, I would imagine, as when my brain's not engaged my mouth goes into gear some things never change

"You and I are examples of why grammar schools or setting are a good idea - not private schools though"

Why? Private school worked fine for me in my circumstances.

I truly don't see why parents who opt to pay for their child's education are "washing their hands of the state system", anymore than people who choose to pay for private healthcare are "washing their hands" of the NHS. You can believe in a better state system - across all sorts of services - without making your child some kind of sacrificial lamb on the alter of Lefty idealism

Xenia Mon 04-Feb-13 15:54:34

Plenty of children do fine in state schools. If ou find it hard to pay for music lessons can you not do that yourselves with them at home? Ours did their music theory exams and singing to grade 8 taught by parents at home - buy a book, do it yourself, or get a theory book from the library. Parental effort can make up for a poor school. Do music every day at home - play the piano to the child's instrument on a daily basis, put in the hours as a parent. You cannot simply blame schools.

Also may be it's your own fault? Why do you earn so little you cannot afford fees? Did you spend your teens going out not getting really good exam results after hours and hours of effort? Did you pick a low paid career? We cannot be jealous of people all the time as it does not make us happy. I worked for 30 years and work 50 weeks a year. I took no maternity leaves. Not surprisingly I earn a lot and pay school fees. Plenty of women mess around at school adn with boys, do not go to university, pick low paid work so they have time to socialise and then whinge when they earn not enough to pay fees.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 15:54:54

I think the biggest learning comes outside the classroom.

From the age of 6 onwards I spent 2 hrs a day doing homework and extra assignments. For math and science, it is essential to do lots of daily practice to understand concepts and really learn the subject. Classroom teaching is but an introduction.

I went to a top 5 university in the US. At the undergrad level, there were often 100 students to a lecture. Again, the main learning happened after class. Doing the assignments (and extra work) thoroughly and methodically and following-up with the TA was the single most important thing to mastering the subject and getting good grades

I agree jt is wonderful to get a good teacher who can really communicate her subject, but there is no guarantee of that in a state or private school. The best is to rely on your own system of learning and practice after school.

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 15:56:28

OP, I am not convinced by the 'unfairness' of the system (though obviously it would be marvellous if all schools were equally fantastic).

However, I do have some sympathy for you.

My children are at private junior schools. If I couldn't afford private schools and was not in the catchment area for a decent state alternative, I would very miserable indeed. However, I would try the following:

Investigate scholarships for anything remotely resembling an aptitude in the children.

Investigate bursaries to go with them.

If I were in the catchment for grammar schools (and you're very lucky if you are), I would coach my children myself. I would make damn sure I knew every possible subject (YouTube has tutorials on all sorts of bizarre school-type things), and I would make even more damn sure I passed this on to my children. I would not be fretting about all the children who've been tutored/privately educated: I would be making sure that mine were the very best they could be.

My DS recently visited a secondary school that we can't remotely afford. He is desperate to go there, and DH and I will find some way to send him there because there is no way he's going to the local comprehensive. So while I understand why you feel the way you do, I think your only real solution is to give yourself a good talking to and find a way to change your/your children's situation if you're not happy with the way it is.

FWIW, we can't afford any extras (music, sport, trips, holidays etc etc etc) as we are paying school fees!

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 15:57:48

I do find it odd when people say those that use the private system don't care.

I mean most of us here care about children who are looked after by the state. We want good outcomes for them. But we're not about to put our kids in care are we?

And those of us who own our own homes still care that council tenants aren't living in hovels.

Or that pensioners wihtout private income don't starve.

Where does this foolish idea come from?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:58:10

And I'm not "going on about" children being "dragged down" - that was in response to someone who believes bright children should be kept in state schools to make it a better experience for all the rest - and be damned if that child doesn't achieve their potential as a result

My OH, several family members and most of my friends went to state schools and none of them are "knuckle draggers" - and no-one is saying they are

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:59:36

"Also may be it's your own fault? Why do you earn so little you cannot afford fees? Did you spend your teens going out not getting really good exam results after hours and hours of effort? Did you pick a low paid career? We cannot be jealous of people all the time as it does not make us happy. I worked for 30 years and work 50 weeks a year. I took no maternity leaves. Not surprisingly I earn a lot and pay school fees. Plenty of women mess around at school adn with boys, do not go to university, pick low paid work so they have time to socialise and then whinge when they earn not enough to pay fees."

Bloody hell, xenia hard hat time shock

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:00:59

What I think is unfair is how poor some state schools get away with being. Instead of being forced to improve or close because nobodybwants to use them, they are filled up with children who couldn't get a place elsewhere, regardless of whether or not the children or their parents want them to go there.

Have a look at the number of teachers who have been dismissed for incompetence over the last, say, ten years. I've met more incompetent teachers than that through being involved with a few schools. I have, however, seen poorly performing teachers encouraged to leave independent schools.

It's a myth about getting on through contacts in independent schools. Of the many people I've known well enough to get an idea of how they got where they are, I'm aware of two who got started in their careers through school contacts: one through the parents of a friend from state primary and one through a contact at a comprehensive.

It's also a myth that if only concerned parents would involve themselves in local schools, they would improve. I have direct experience of trying to turn around a poor school (in a good year 5 C+ grades at GCSE would get into double figures). Years of effort by a group of us, including some joining the board of governors, couldn't over-ride the persistent low expectations and charges that we were aiming for elitism and were not considering the needs of the low-performers, from the SMT.

There is nothing stopping anyone going and sitting in a church service on Sundays. You could even listen to your iPod, I supose, but it would be polite to be subtle. I am a regular and a) I wouldn't mind and b) it's none of my business why anyone else goes. Or you could not go and moan that the people who do have an extra school choice that is, if you wish, open to you.

I have experience of several independent schools. Although it varies, a lot of the children are on bursaries. At one I know bursaries are available for incomes up to £60, 000. You don't know until you ask.

I think it's so sad that people would like to get rid of the really good schools - mostly private or grammar. I would like to get rid of the bad schools.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 16:09:28

Xenia if private schools only took the dc of intelligent well educated highly qualified parents they would be empty.
Money buys such a good education not intelligence.
I look at alot of these dc tbh and see "Tim, rich but dim".

OP you could try and get a music scholarship for a specialist school. My dh said his best pupil ever came from a single Dad who saw his dds talent, they lived on a canal barge but she attended a top boarding school on scholarship. She was obviously the least entitled, very appreciative and really succeded where many others failed.

11Plustrauma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:12:39

How is your SIL paying for the private schooling? Did she and her DP work their socks off for the money to pay for it or did it come handed to them on a plate?

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 16:13:13

Willaby I don't think you're helping by not adding your children, but I do think your unused contribution to the state system helps.

I find the idea that rich parents rocking up and enrolling their children at sink schools would change everything, incredibly patronising. Many crap schools used to be good and have a mixed intake. In those schools generally the MC didn’t just sod of on mass, it was push pull factors.

A school doesn’t become shite through the MC not sending their children, it becomes shite by LEA’s SLT’s deciding, (and governors allowing) to use the easiest, cheapest lowest hanging fruit methods of getting government funding when it has a mixed intake of kids, until it loses everyone that has a better choice, which starts with the MC.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 16:16:15

morethapotatoptints - Tim, rich but dim. Really?

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 16:17:42

11Plustrauma - why on earth does this matter? It's their money and they are spending it how they wish!

11Plustrauma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:20:10

Because its less unfair if sil and partner have worked their socks off for it than if the op's in-laws are funding one set of grandchildren to go to private schools and not funding the other set (ie the ops)

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Mon 04-Feb-13 16:20:13

Xenia, it is NOT that simple. I went to private school, great uni etc. I did work hard but so do loads of people. I earn about 4 times the national average, even before bonus. I don't work harder or do anything more deserving than most. It's just well paid. It isn't bloody fair and even though it's not fair in my favour I'm not about to pretend it is.

Early life advantage is a huge deal (look at any analysis you like on the benefits of sure start). Yes parents can help fill a gap but they can't do it all.

Who do you have more respect for of these two:
Kid a, privately hothoused in classes of 8-10. Not bright but given buckets of support. Scraped through to humberside university with 2 E's at a level
Kid b, the only kid in his school ever to get an A at A level. Classes of 30. Got 5 grade A A levels and went to top uni.

Both of them work fairly hard. I know which one I think deserves their success more.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 16:20:56

Sockreturningpixie Bollocks. Children with ASD can do very very well in the state system if there parents can be arsed to get them the help they need via that system.

Errmm sorry, but equal bollocks in some LEA's. Unless you include using the system all the way to the courts, winning and using court judgements to police daily provision, and scrutinise the LEA, in which case OK, but a bit more than 'can be arsed to get the help they need' is required.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:21:26

The country is full of people who work their socks off who still couldn't come near paying private school fees.

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 16:22:26

A school doesn’t become shite through the MC not sending their children, it becomes shite by LEA’s SLT’s deciding, (and governors allowing) to use the easiest, cheapest lowest hanging fruit methods of getting government funding when it has a mixed intake of kids, until it loses everyone that has a better choice, which starts with the MC.

I think you might be referring to my post re: middle class drain - the distinction you make here here is possibly too subtle for me to grasp.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 16:23:53

We can all accept life isn't fair. Whether a child's schooling ought to entrench that or mitigate it somewhat is another question.

There are some harsh attitudes to those with less on this thread. Like the idea that these children's lack of 'advantage' will toughen them up to earn more, or OP should have fewer children (what, now??) or pick herself a better job.... I have to observe there is an overlap between these rather 'sink or swim' attitudes to children and those in favour of private education.

There is nothing stopping anyone going and sitting in a church service on Sundays.

Well, apart from the fact that it won't help unless you had the children baptised within a certain time of their birth. I believe you have to be active in the church in some cases too.

Faith schools are, perhaps, the most unfair of all.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 16:24:10

Country.

Yes, I have seen quite alot of Tims in my time.

I accompanied my dh to many school events, met parents and their dc. Its amazing what you pick up as an out sider.
I have nothing against the Tims of this world, nor the academic type whose parents pay for a private education.
It is wrong however to assume these parents are intelligent, hard working, or any other label, as they are all different types having made money or been given money through many sources.

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 16:25:43

Yes it is. Its also full of people who work their socks off but can't afford their own home let alone choose a good catchement and can't afford to be a SAHP or whatever.

lisac99 Mon 04-Feb-13 16:26:47

elizaregina - It was a very interesting book, full of really weird and interesting facts, such as 'Why did the Crime rate in the US go down?' - apparently due to Roe vs Wade and the fact abortions were legalised...

In regards to the Private school discussion...

http://www.freakonomics.com/2007/10/04/more-evidence-on-the-lack-of-impact-of-school-choice/

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:26:57

And faith schools only get better results if they are over subscribed and therefore back door selective. Faith schools which take on catchment only qnre no better or worse than any other school with a similar intake.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:28:24

Work harder, earn more, put up or shut up, have fewer children.....devil take the hindmost.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 16:31:22

The country is full of people who work their socks off who still couldn't come near paying private school fees

Private school fees, on average are around £11k a year. You can get decent schools at £9 a year.

Two people on minimum wage can afford to send one child to private school, if they cut back on everything else (assuming they live outside the SE)

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 16:32:32

But why pick on private education as the major ishoo? Why not houses or SAHPs or access to organic food?

LesBOFerables Mon 04-Feb-13 16:33:46

Like food, you mean? Rent? Heating?

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:36:53

Because that's what this thread is about?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 16:36:53

I am bothered about all the issues which make life unfair. However, since you can't make all jobs pay the same, and you can't make all parents as educated/interested/loving/committed, I just think it would be quite good if, just for the time they're away from their families and seeing other bits of life and different people, children could learn in the same building on the same footing. In common with everyone who pays for schooling, I think that where children spend their days, and with whom, is very important for the sort of adult they grow up to be.

And yes, if I like communist Russia so much why don't I just go and live there etc etc.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 16:37:02

Saski, no you've probably put it better elsewhere, I just came back in to see lots of posts suggesting crap schools would be fixed by an influx of the MC, and having fought to get into places 'good enough' for some MC, know it to not be true.

seeker Mon 04-Feb-13 16:38:35

And apropos of an earlier post- the thought of people deliberately deciding not to have a child if it would mean having to send it to state school makes my skin crawl.

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 16:42:00

I wish more people would see Home Education as a real option.Its not something the government will ever promote as it means you have to have one parent at home which mean you wont be out there working and paying them lots of tax,plus they dont like the idea ofkids learning anything other than what they see as an education,but it really can work ifyou are willing to put the effort in and theres a great community of home educators out there,i would solve a lot of peoples problems imo.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 16:42:07

would add that the govenors of mixed intake schools are usually MC, who seem to have been either ok, or powerless with systematic downgrading of schools.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 04-Feb-13 16:43:33

Some children will grow up in private mansions and others in inner city council shit holes. Some children will have the best clothes, others grow up constantly wearing almost rags. Some have a fantastic diet and others grow up on beans and pasta every night because it's all the parents can afford.
Some will go to private schools, some have to make do with the nearest state school. You get what you pay for...and some people can afford more. No point in bursting a blood vessel over it really. It's called life.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 16:43:53

Well crawl away, because that's one of the reasons I didn't have a second child.

The state secondary school near us is horrific, and has some serious issues which some well meaning middle class participation isn't going to solve. We can't move as we work in a land-based sector specific to this area, and I can't afford another set of fees and I wouldn't send my child to that school as it is now.

So shoot me

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 16:44:35

Actually, I don't think the issue is with private schools but Yermina's boasty PIL. Another thread should be started asking for guidance on how to deal with insensitive boasting by PIL!

How does that Desiderata thing go:

"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself."

There you go - you could be worse of Yermina!

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 16:45:23

I'm afraid that I still don't get why the existence of private schools is unfair. Private education, like private healthcare, is a consumer product of a kind, one that people can choose to 'upgrade to' if they can afford it. It's like flying business class rather than economy - it's yours for the taking if you can afford to do it and choose to spend your money on that.

What's 'unfair' IMO is what many others have already said - that state provision is not equally good throughout the country. It's a postcode lottery and if you don't live in the right postcode you can end up with a shit school. Now that is unfair in the way that ending up with your local hospital being shit is also unfair. If the state provides a supposed 'one size fits all' system, then that system should provide a product that is basically the same wherever you happen to be. Like McDonalds.

Well yabu, but I don't blame you one bit. We all want the best for our children and its awful when you can't give them the best sad

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 16:48:27

Ambersocks, HE doesn't mean you have to have a parent at at home not working and paying tax, it can mean that, just like being a mum or dad can mean being a SAHP.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 04-Feb-13 16:49:02

Amber, I'd rather poke my own eyes with sticks than home educate! grin

I have no patience & I'm not clever enough. I can just about help my 11 year old with maths homework, the stuff my 13 year old is doing might as well be martian! I'd be just the same with music, chemistry & physics stuff too. The thought of spending 6+ hours a day for 15 years would send me into a state of depression & I know that my DCs would be very poorly educated as a result.

woozlebear Mon 04-Feb-13 16:51:44

Seeker I'll almost certainly only have 1, because I can only vaguely afford the lifestyle I want for 1 child, and that includes school fees. Do I make your skin crawl? (And before I get jumped on for being spoiled and materialistic, I specifically mean a life involving interesting travel and the option of interesting and fairly expensive hobbies should child want them, not material posessions.)

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 16:51:53

seeker isn't the thread really about how poor the OP's state provision is?

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 16:52:41

bugsy that is exactly what i mean,its not about how clever you are and there is no need to "teach" you dont have to register with anyone or have checks theres a lot of misconceptions

I guess its something you have to already have an interest in to findthese things out,most people just think of sitting at a table all day doing school stuff,in reality its not like that at all, unless you or your kids want it to be..

HollyBerryBush Mon 04-Feb-13 16:53:02

I started reading this this morning, and knew it would develop into a fair/unfair debate.

Fact of the matter is, we live in a capitalist democracy.

We get paid according to our education, skill set, perhaps entrepreneurial skills. Some people of course inherit money.

You can apply the OPs upset/unfair stance to

housing
medical
schooling
designer clothes
flash cars
holidays

People have the right to choose how to spend their income. They make decisions based on what is important to them and their family.

If the Op chooses to carry the mantle of martyredom then she will make her children feel disadvantaged by their cousins opportunities afforded to them by their parents.

I would point out something that is oft forgotten - those people paying for private school or education are in effect paying twice, they get no tax rebate for subsidising state school places their children don't take up or operations covered by insurance. In Germany you do (or did) get a a reduction in the equivalency of NI contributions for private medical as you reduce the burden on the state system.

According to a report in the Guardian (april 2012) there are over 1/2 million children privately educated. Now what would happen if the have-nots forced all these children into the state sector? Well schools wouldnt cope with the influx. Resources would be at an all time low. Insufficient class rooms to house them. Class sizes would increase dramatically in the short term.

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 16:55:32

you do need an adult at home all the time though.they might work at home of course,i should of said that,but you also need to make sure you are there for your kids which i think could be an issue if you worked from home and it was demanding.you could both work around each other which could work,but its easier for everyone if its one person at home.

and its not the same as just any mum and dad,in all the families i know that home ed -about 50-only one works from home and she is emigrating to america soon as its too much.

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 16:56:39

TOSN so what you're actually saying is that you can't make life fair for DC...but you would try to redress the balance by insisting everyone have the same schooling even if that means a worse schooling for some?

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 16:56:50

Well said, HollyBerry.

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 16:57:16

i hate this fair un fair thing though,if everyone was really clever and got great jobs and earnt loads of money then where would we be?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 16:57:35

Doesn't count hollyberrybush - it's not good enough not to be a burden, by taking your bright child out of the state system you are depriving the others of their uplifting presence, not to mention not helping out yourself by being on the PTA etc hmm

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:59:38

NotADragon, none of the church schools I've looked at mention baptism. Attendence is all. They're CofE, if that makes a difference.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 04-Feb-13 17:01:00

*Do music every day at home - play the piano to the child's instrument on a daily basis, put in the hours as a parent. You cannot simply blame schools.

I worked for 30 years and work 50 weeks a year. I took no maternity leaves*.

If that is the case, where on earth did you personally find the time to "put in the hours".

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 17:02:01

They both deserve their success.

One thing is to be thankful that our children have a safe home, a roof over their head, aren't hungry, have clean water, free health care, and free and good education - in other words not just comparing with those better off in this country, but also stopping to compare with those worse off, especially in other countries ?

But comparisons within families can be annoying I agree smile

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 17:02:56

An undergraduate education in a good university can cost £150k. Most of the people I know start saving

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 17:03:15

Amber A HE child needs responsible adult supervision, which is the same as any private or state schooled child.
How that is achieved can be done in many different ways. Many home edders including myself are lone parents without respite and unable to be at home all day.

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 17:03:22

Hollyberrybush, ref your last paragraph, how many of the displaced independent school children would end up in failing schools, improving them, according to some? How many would somehow turn up in the high-acieving schools, presumably at the expense of someone else?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:19

"one that people can choose to 'upgrade to' if they can afford to" - that's not a choice for the majority of the population then.

"Two people on minimum wage can afford to send on child to private school if they cut back on everything else". Flatbread would you like to explain how that's possible?

timidviper Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:28

It is unfair but it would be equally unfair if your SIL couldn't spend her money on education if she so chooses.

We put 2 DCs through private school and for most of that time had far less disposable income than most friends whose DCs went to state schools. Was it fair that they had new cars, holidays and nice clothes that I didn't?

Is it fair that friends in some other parts of the country have access to state schools that are far better than the independent school that was the highest achieving near us yet universities discriminate on the type of school rather than the standards achieved.

You can go on forever OP finding unfairness in life, we all just have to get on with that.

HollyBerryBush Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:32

amber thae ideal would be that the state system was upto par with the private sector.

It isn't. I think most of us are probably in the state sector, some in better areas than others, some with access to better schools. But what we are really saying is 'ah, a crap school has disadvantaged people in it I don't want to mix with' - that in its self is snobbery. Opposite with faith schools - if you want a faith education, start believing and join in - if you don't, how about you set up a free school and educate your child with the advantages you want?

People will always be jealous. I often drive past Dulwich College - oh how I dreamed I would have a distant aunty I'd never met to leave me several hundreds of thousands of pounds so I could put my children through there sigh Aint gonna happen though! But I can dream.

But it doesn't mean I think the place should be closed because my child cant access it. If I were driven enough I would have has fewer children, gone for more promotions, but sadly I'm not motivated enough - my aspiration isn't enough.

That is the difference - aspiration. Some people have it, some don't.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:06:30

That's a good question ami

Where would those children end up if private schools were closed and the children forced to go to state schools? Unless you also legislated that people weren't allowed to move to a better school catchment area (and hey, if we're infringing on people's liberties, let's really go for it) then presumably they would be required to go to their nearest school

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 17:06:31

Sorry posted too soon.

Most of the people I know start saving from before their children are born and have a serious look at what they can afford while planning children.

This is the norm for the mc in most of the world. Only the very rich and very poor procreate prolifically.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 17:07:00

seeker - I have only had two children and one of the reasons for this was that we could not possibly afford to send more than two to private school. Not sure why this makes your skin crawl though....weird thing to post.

HollyBerryBush Mon 04-Feb-13 17:07:23

"Two people on minimum wage can afford to send on child to private school if they cut back on everything else". Flatbread would you like to explain how that's possible?

Yup, I know someone like this. One child, a one bedroomed flat. Everything was invested in that childs education, at the expense of holidays, takeaways, treats, most things we would take forgranted. I thought that was a little OTT, but those parents felt their child was worth the investment in her future.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 17:08:12

Agree flatbread.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 17:11:00

Flatbread, people get loans as well as saving to pay for university.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 17:11:54

The only 'decent' CofE school around here needs 2 or 3 years regular church attendance for starters. Since its where that 'Man of the People' David Cameron send his kids, getting in for mere mortals is pretty tough (even though there were closer schools to him). Where's the level playing field there?

I hate the idea that people assume that state schools are ok/adequate and private are all like Eton. Inner City schools are a hell of a lot different. That's what is really unfair. The other 'good' schools near me are Catholic, Jewish and Arabic. How's that for fairness? I have a pigs chance in a mosque of getting my child into any of those, but CofE schools will (and rightly so) accept my child, regardless of religion (apart from Dave's school).

Fairness? Don't talk to me about fairness. The powerful send their kids to state schools to show how 'down to earth' they are. So Tony and Cherie's kids did ok from State? Nothing to do with the family connections then? Life isn't fair. No it isn't but there's no point bleating about it. If you don't like your child's education, get on the Board of Governors, move house, or baton the hatches, save every bloody penny and go private.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:12:51

With the greatest of respect to those who think Private Schools should be abolished...exactly how far do you want to take this? With al that spare cash from not paying for private school are you going to also try to legislate that these parents cannot pay for extra tuition, or Summer School, or Equestrian lessons, or any number of other extra-curricular activities available to enrich the lives of children with parent's fortunate to be able to afford it?

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 17:13:26

There are some amazing generalisations on this thread
I am the person that everyone criticised
I have children at both state and private
It does mean that I am also have experience of both and probably less biased than most
I don't even know where to start with some of the comments made on here. The thing that stands out the most are the assumptions that are made about children who I to private school. I can only assume some are said out of bitterness

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 17:13:50

*go to

LaVolcan Mon 04-Feb-13 17:14:56

but (quite rightly) the teacher needed to tailor teaching to every child in that 30+ class and that meant working to the lowest common denominator.

Not so: when I was doing a PGCE back in the mid nineties the big thing was 'differentiation' so that you had to prepare work which stretched all abilities.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 17:15:54

trustissues there was a very intersesting thing about trying to lower 'shadow education' as they named it.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:16:48

JustGetting...you're kidding right?

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 17:18:10

I agree Tom. I am not a fan of private schools and will not send my children to one, even though I can afford to. But some of the generalisations made about kids at private schools are bang out of order!
In fairness though, not so much on this thread, but there is a fair bit of bashing the other way around elsewhere on mn.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 17:18:31

Two people on minimum wage can afford to send on child to private school if they cut back on everything else". Flatbread would you like to explain how that's possible?

Assume two people on min wage get £21k a year combined.

After school fees, £12k a year or £1,000 a month.

In the north, you can get a one bed apartment for rent at £450 a month. Council tax and utilities for £150 a month. £250 a month for groceries. £150 a month for emergencies or savings or clothes.

This is not taking into account any subsidies or child benefits from the government.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:18:32

Never terribly keen on being told what I'm 'actually saying'... What I'm actually saying is not to do with 'better' or 'worse' education, because I don't particularly perceive private schools as offering the latter. I'm saying life isn't fair for all the derailing reasons people try to reduce this thread to ('oh ho! So you disagree with private education? I expect you'd like everyone to eat gruel in your foolish pursuit of fairness....').

I think (as I may have said on other occasions) that everyone would be better off if everyone went to school together. Even though some things will always be unfair. An eminently scoffable-at idea, but nonetheless, I do.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:19:16

As far as I can see there are many people on this thread who don't think of children as people in their own right - with a right to equality of opportunity, or the chance to grow up in a meritocracy.

As long as we have one of the most divided and unequal systems of education in any developed country, we'll continue to fail children.

I'm incredibly sad at the number of people who approach this subject from the view of 'I work hard and I've got the right to spend my money how I want' and 'Life's unfair - so what. Suck it up'.

I thought that most people wanted society to be fairer.

Clearly not.

Private school fees, on average are around £11k a year. You can get decent schools at £9 a year.

"Two people on minimum wage can afford to send one child to private school, if they cut back on everything else (assuming they live outside the SE)"

Well, I'm in the SE so it doesn't apply.

Incidentally - what are you assuming this imaginary couple would pay in rent? Commuting costs? Council tax? What about their other children? The cost of childcare for them if the parents are both out at work all day?

hmm

Hobbitation Mon 04-Feb-13 17:20:33

Assume two people on min wage get £21k a year combined.

But they don't. Ever heard of tax and national insurance?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 04-Feb-13 17:21:19

I think it really is a postcode lottery. I thank my lucky stars I landed where I did, because my DD is in the catchment for a wonderful school with an equally wonderful secondary school to follow.

They are the kind of schools were people rent in the area without living there just to get in. Although it may sound it, the area itself is not inordinately expensive, and I have paid more to live in dire places.

There is a private school in our village, but it would have been to much of an expense for not enough gain IMO (all of DD's friends are going to the school she is, only one is going to the private school). I did however have a conversation with 2 teachers from the private school who harped on about children reading young etc. but I believe that as previously stated on this thread, that support and learning time at home are what sets children apart.

I am lucky in that I only want one child, so it is most likely she will have a tutor outside of school, and that I will pay for to have music and language lessons. However if I couldn't afford to pay for this, I would teach her it myself. I can play instruments, speak other languages and teach lessons apart from maths obviously I would rather have someone qualified to do it, but if money was tight I could do it myself.

Yemina

Is there anyway you could teach your DC's a bit more at home on top of what they are learning? Do day trips that reinforce what they are being taught at school? My SM is a teacher and she said the ones that do best are the ones who have it reinforced at home.

Also are there any teenagers that you know that play the instrument your DS does? You could pay them a bit of money to help teach him. Youtube can also be great for learning an instrument.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:22:28

Right flatbread, so this couple are supposed to live in a one bedroomed apartment with their one child ...? If I was that kid, I think I'd rather go to a normal school to be honest!

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 17:22:33

I simply cannot see how removing choice will result in fairness.

I mean no one advocates banning owning property to improve, social housing do they?
No one suggests that banning private pensions will result in a better state provision...because that would be absurd.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:22:34

I'm really not trying to derail, Original, if it's me you're referring to. It's a reasonable question. If we're going to talk about fairness is it fair to legislate those who are financially better off on how they spend their money? I find that an appalling idea. Just like I find the notion that people who are on benefits should be legislated on how they spend their money equally appalling.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Feb-13 17:23:09

There's a reason why things are so much cheaper in the north - lack of work means that's all the market can bear.

Who in London would be able to rent a flat for £450?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 17:23:51

Flatbread, what if your minimum wage couple don't live "In the north"?

A one bed appartment - for a family which includes a secondary school-age child?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:25:29

You could share a bedroom with mum and dad here but unfortunately they'd still be quite far short of the £16k it would take per year to send you as a day pupil at the nearest private school.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:25:33

Equality of opportunity though doesnt just equate to access to education.

Alot of it - which has been echoed throughout this thread - is the parents attitudes, and the home life of the child.

Going to a private school doesnt shield any child from problems at home which will hamper his/her school life.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:26:40

Op seeing as you feel so upset - what about tackling the problem of your in laws first and stop them running salt into your wounds?

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 17:26:45

Trustissues, no, it was on the Education topic some time ago and fascinating.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:28:40

JustGetting - any chance you have a link? I'd love to take a look.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:30:54

Incidentally - I don't think that private schools should be abolished.

But that we should massively lower the ratio of children to teachers in schools where many children are disadvantaged. Perhaps so the ratios are nearer those in the schools that practically all members of the cabinet send their children to. hmm

Also that all children in state schools should have better access to arts and sports education.

And that this should be funded by removing the charitable status of private schools, imposing VAT on private school fees (if they don't have VAT already. After all - private education is a luxury item.... wink) and raising rates of tax on people earning 100K a year. Oh, and means testing the winter fuel allowance.

What ever it takes to make our education system more equal.

Private schools could always lower their fees by increasing the ratio or child to teacher after all. Because where the vast majority of children are bright, compliant and well supported (as they are in private schools) classes of 40+ wouldn't really be a problem. They're not in Korea anyway. It's just in settings where you have issues surrounding behaviour, a very wide spectrum of ability, and significant numbers of children with SN that small classes make a really big difference.

smile

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 17:30:54
Faxthatpam Mon 04-Feb-13 17:31:20

I am sorry Flatbread but the notion that two people on the minimum wage could afford to send their one child to private school is hilarious. Really. grin

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:20

TheOriginalSteamingNit - isn't it nice to read on your link that there may be a tax break for parents of pupils at fee-paying schools seeing as they're paying twice for their children's education? grin

Yorkpud Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:48

Life is unfair. Instead of comparing yourself to others be happy with what you have got. Lots of people will look at you and be jealous of having a family etc. At least we live in a country where every child has the opportunity to have an education.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:51

I think flatbread probably realises that her one bedroom flat plan is not really a go-er....

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:27

imnot sure i would want to put my kids into a private school,the school my kids tried for a bit was a state school was great,it wasnt for us but it was more school life rather than the actual school,how are privateschoolsactuallydifferent?whatactuallymakes them better?iknow youprobably get less riff raff :-) but what else?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:39

Christ, didn't even get started on that choc. What a bloody joke.

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:42

bloodyspacebar.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 17:34:04

Hmm would the school get some of the tax break then in the case of my dcs as the vast majority of their fee is paid by scholarship and bursaries.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 04-Feb-13 17:36:33

trustissues "private tutoring dominates children’s lives and restricts their leisure times in ways that are psychologically and educationally undesirable.
And it can be perceived in some settings as a form of corruption that undermines
social trust." Oo er missus!

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:37:11

Is the OP's PIL really "rubbing salt in the wound"? elizaregina - from the OP, it merely says she'd heard about her SILs children when visiting her PIL. My mother talks about all her grandchildren to her children, some of which are oprivately educated, some of which are not. She's not rubbing salt in the wound, she's talking about her grandchildren

My siblings would love to send their children to private school - and they tell me so. But not in a "it's not fair way" - one has chosen to live in a bigger house and have foreign holidays which they all enjoy as a family rather than divert resources into private education, the other asked me for advice on how she might start to save for private education at 11+, and also what she can do at home to help her child along

Faxthatpam Mon 04-Feb-13 17:37:22

Charitable status for private schools is also utterly ridiculous. Quite a shocker.

poozlepants Mon 04-Feb-13 17:37:41

I've only managed to wade my way throught half this thread but OP if I were you I would save as much money as you can and get private tutoring if you think your kids need extra support. Quite a few of the parents I know who send their kids to private schools- both secondary and primary are all complaining that their kids aren't on a level playing field because some parents can afford more private tutoring than others. One friend admitted their money would be have been better spent on tutoring instead of school fees.
Not all independent schools are good - my MIL taught at a few and said they had small class sizes and extra curricular activities but academically they were pretty poor.

Salbertina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:39:49

On that basis is it fair that we have to pay as no decent local state alternative (full?) we are having to pay £8k of a net income for a basic but good private sch with few facilities.. Its way beyond theoretical debate of rights & wrongs of private education (fairly senseless imho). But put it this way, dc2 goes to a crap state school over my dead body when i can pay for something better!

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 17:40:02

I think some people in UK have a very entitled attitude.

I know of friends in Japan, Mumbai and NY where families of 4 grew up in a one bed (children slept in the living room).

If you really want to give a child a private education, you can. It means cutting back, but it is possible. Some of the top performing private secondary schools have annual fees of £10k. You can find cheaper ones.

It can be done, but it means making major sacrifices. But you can still have a roof, food and heat.

People all over the world do it, what makes us in the UK so soft that we need a bedroom per child? And if you are in a min paid job, forgive me for saying it, but it is probably not such a specialised career track that you have to live in the SE.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:40:05

"academically they were pretty poor. " ]
I can imagine that - just because your parents can afford a private education doesnt mean you are bright.

In a small class of non bright pupils they will struggle accademically, in a state school there will be all abilites in a larger class so more chance for brighter pupils to be there.
the ultimate in selection is the grammer school where peers WILL be bright regardless of background

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:43:14

"Every time I go to my PIL's and have to hear about all the amazing thing SIL's dcs are doing at their school, their academic achievements, I want to go home and hide under the duvet and cry. "

YES PILS are rubbing salt into the wound.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 17:44:15

Flatbread, sorry, but you are being ridiculous.

Writehand Mon 04-Feb-13 17:46:03

Yanbu, but I would stay away from personal resentment. It just eats you up. I have a DB whose 3 kids are all privately educated and my God it shows! They've achieved much more. One of them plays rugby for the county, another's got into a top university. But I love my DB, his wife and his kids, and there's no point in grieving over what is, after all, a very understandable choice.

Because you're right. Private education, unlike houses & holidays, provides the children who get it with a massive lifelong advantage and the statistics are there to prove it.

My DSs secondary school is supposed to be excellent, but I was privately educated and frankly I am seriously unimpressed by state education. It's so impersonal, and as a parent, there's a huge difference in how much you're told, how much you're respected, to be blunt.

The whole situation has changed dramatically since I was at school. In the 1980s private schools were attended by the kids of doctors, solicitors - professionals. Now, with fees of £20,000 a year per child after tax, the middle classes are priced right out of private education. It's changed the tone of the schools -- and not for the better.

I think public schools should be, if not banned, at least deprived entirely of their charitable status. This would make their fees even more unaffordable.

Salbertina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:47:08

Flatbread is speaking perfect sense- seen the same myself from living overseas

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:47:10

I disagree - she doesn't weep in front of her PILs or shout "stop, you wicked old biddies, you're rubbing salt into my wound" - she goes home and fumes about it (and rants on here)

You're assuming her PIL know it upsets her

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:48:00

Flat - you are so right. I have missed sports events etc due to work committments but I do get tired of people whinning about how it isnt fair they cannot afford school fees! Well go and do something about it. Go and get extra qualifications. Of course the excuses will come out, I am a single parent, I dont want to move house because all my friends are here, and most importantly I dont want to do the hours!

High paid jobs almost always involve long hours, there are certainly people who refuse to do them (My DS is one and earns less than half of what I do and moans continually!). Well you make your choices. Have one child, pick your man carefully (thank goodness that in this country you do the picking!) and dont complain when things that you have chosen to do dont work out.

I am finding more and more that despite people making daft decisions they wash their hands of their choice and start complaining about other people who are seamingly more 'lucky' than them.

Well learn from your mistakes and move on.

And with an attitude like 'we will never' you never will.....

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:48:14

"I've only managed to wade my way throught half this thread but OP if I were you I would save as much money as you can and get private tutoring if you think your kids need extra support."

Can't afford any more tutoring on top of ds's piano lessons.

It's as simple as that.

TheOriginalLadyFT - if your siblings have the money to afford private school for their dc's but choose to spend it on holidays and a big house, it must be because they already have good state schooling for their children, so no wonder they're not jealous. Or at least, not openly jealous (who knows what's going on in their heads).

I try not to show that I'm jealous of my SIL's children's privileges. I always make a point of asking how they're getting on, show an interest, congratulate them on their successes. It's not hard - they're really lovely kids.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 17:49:39

This always upsets me because if you take away their charitable status the only change would be that the children who get bursaries will no longer get them. Children like my ds who has been to three schools prior to the one he goes to now.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:51:18

writehand that's a rather odd post

Why would you want to price more middle class people out of private education, which previously you said was a change not for the better? Why too would you not want children to have the advantage of a good education?

As as for £20k - my DS's school is £12,000k, we're lower middle class and work long hours to scrape the money together.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:51:50

"but I do get tired of people whinning about how it isnt fair they cannot afford school fees! Well go and do something about it. Go and get extra qualifications."

What other qualifications are those then? DH has a PHD. I've got a masters degree. The work that I do is well paid, I just can't do much of it because I have to be here for my dc who has special needs.

We live in the South East and can't move because we have elderly infirm parents who need us close by. Also need to be where DH can commute to work.

But maybe you've got a good idea of how we can massively reduce our living costs, and retrain for free in our 40's, then get jobs in banking or something, so that our children can have a reasonable chance of reaching their potential in education?

Do tell!

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:52:39

If you get rid of their charitable status you will remove the option for bursaries. You will be surprised how many kids have them...

And they really will be the perserve of the upper classes!

And I pay for two places for my DS's. Can I have my money back as I am not using them....

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 17:54:59

"This always upsets me because if you take away their charitable status the only change would be that the children who get bursaries will no longer get them."

Children who get bursaries tend to be the brightest and the best supported children in the entire country. Those are the children who do well in decent state schools, so no need to worry!

Or private schools could just have classes the same size as state schools. Then there would be extra money to cover the costs of educating those who can't afford to pay.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 17:55:00

Yermina - I am taking your suggestion that my classes (currently a maximum of 20 in the Lower School, 12 at GCSE and 6 at A Level) suddenly becoming 40+ is a joke? Although it's not really very funny is it....?

One of the worst things state schools did was try and have mixed ability teaching elizaregina - it suits no one and teachers have to teach to the middle thus disadvantaging the bright and the weaker and also imo the middle ability.

Setting is and always has been the best way to teach differing abilities - Grammar schools and Indies have always known this and it is a huge factor in their academic success. Successful differentiation in mixed ability classes is actually impossible to do properly and teachers die in the trying.

Labelled as 'traditional' and therefore inherently evil apparently, setted teaching is what parents tell us time and time again that they look for in Grammars and Indies.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:55:05

The sister who has chosen a bigger house (and by that I mean one extra bedroom than her previous house, not a mansion!) says the local school is a decent one, and that because both her kids appear to be fairly bright and have no SEN, she thinks they will do OK there. She feels that the extra space in the house, plus the chance to travel, is a fair trade off.

She'd tell me if she was jealous - we're northerners and don't hold back

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:55:51

But you are stating the reasons why you cannot doing something. We all have those reasons and more.... And you dont need to choose banking.... There are plenty of other options but rather than give a raft of reasons why you cannot do something think of a reasons how you can achieve....

Otherwise what's the alternative - give up??

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 17:56:49

"Or private schools could just have classes the same size as state schools. Then there would be extra money to cover the costs of educating those who can't afford to pay. "

how does that work then?

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 17:59:07

poozlepants - well if your MIL says that private schools are academically poor then they must all be absolutely crap! Can't believe the amount of nonsense I am reading tonight about private education. It's becoming funny!

Saski Mon 04-Feb-13 17:59:59

countrykitten does setting also mean streaming?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:01:28

I am not blamimg the PILS but I think they could be a little more diplomatic than to go on about thier other GC's school and success.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 18:02:09

writehand - so you had a great private education but would deny that to others...eh?

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 18:02:23

Yermina
My sons has been to 2-3 schools prior to this prep school. They are 8&9.
We have moved a couple of times because of schools. In a rural county you can't just try another school because there aren't any without moving. I assume they are the brightest as they are scholar material but to assume they'll just do well where ever they are is rubbish. They won't do well if they are being ridiculed by a ta, they won't do well if they are being bullied by other children, they won't do well if they are getting bored and then their parents are told by the head that they have severe behavioural problems and the parents asking for them to be pushed a bit more are making excuses as to the bad behaviour. All things we have had at the various other schools they have attended.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:03:16

tbh the GPS need to be reigned in anyway and made to be aware of this so ops children dont feel inferior

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:03:33

"And they really will be the perserve of the upper classes!"

The VAST majority of children on bursaries are bright, hard working and come from highly supportive families.

Bright and hard working children with supportive families on the whole do very well in the state sector as long as the state sector is decent. If it's not decent then why on earth should tax payers money (because that's what charitable status provides - the chance for schools to pay less tax) go to allow the children who already do best of all in the state sector, to escape into the private system instead of going towards solving the problems in state education which disadvantage other less bright, less well supported children far, far more.

I'd be all for bursaries if they were used to send children who are failing in state schools, into successful private schools.

Use the money to remove all the really disruptive children from classes who really thrive on good teacher/child ratios, and send them into private schools. wink

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:06:17

Couldn't agree more tomd - I find this idea that bright children should be left in state schools to help lift the overall experience quite offensive. Some of those children will still do OK but others will be severely disadvantaged by being held back - how in god's name is that fair, seeing as we're talking about fairness?!

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:07:05

wow

You have a Ma, and your DH has a PHD?!

Id say private or not your DC already have a huge advantage over lots of other DC.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 18:07:10

Streaming is a much broader based system Saski and loosely puts pupils of the same ability in to large groups. Setting means that pupils are tested in each subject and put in to a set commensurate with their ability at that time. You could be in Set 1 for English and Set 3 for Maths and would receive teaching suited to your level in each subject.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:08:52

maisie - you are absolutely BONKERS if you think that DH and I could retrain in our 40's to do something that pays a lot better than we do now. We both have professional jobs. But in the SE even people in professional jobs can't usually afford private schooling if they also have high housing costs and other children.

Seriously - you are talking out of your backside.

The only way we could afford private education would be to move into a tent with our children. That would save us the 1K a month it would cost to send ONE of our THREE children to a private school.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 18:08:57

Tom - bullied by a TA? That is absolutely appalling.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:08:58

Swings and roundabouts - the so-called tax breaks that charitable status provides and cost to the tax payer are balanced out by the fact that parents sending their kids to private school still fund a state sector they don't use. I'd wager as well they pay plenty of bloody tax into the system

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 18:10:32

Yermina - we get that you can't afford private eduation, many people are in the same boat. What do you do proactively to make your children's education better - moaning on here that you are not rich enough will not do them much good.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 18:12:16

It was fucking awful kitten. He actually ran out of the school aged 6 or 7 to get away from her. It went to county level with our complaints but the head shit is down as much as she could and though we were told she had been reprimanded, we could never find out much because of privacy/data laws. Anyway by the by

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:15:24

Bet the parents paying at private schools would be delighted to hear their children were to be joined by disruptive or 'failing' children from the state schools! The nurturing and the getting the best out and the pushing and the care don't extend to the challenging pupils. But then it's quite easy to nurture and care for and push and support a bright child or one who's parents are committed to paying £16k a year for its education!

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:17:45

"What do you do proactively to make your children's education better - moaning on here that you are not rich enough will not do them much good."

It's not about what I do with them outside school. Like all loving parents I do what I can.

That makes no difference to the fact that they are disadvantaged in terms of their mainstream education in relation to their richer peers at private schools.

countrykitten Mon 04-Feb-13 18:17:52

TOSN - try looking beyond your prejudices.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:18:15

<<whose!>>

Phineyj Mon 04-Feb-13 18:18:54

I do think OP that you should consider talking to your PILs about this, or asking your DH to do so, as neutrally as possible. My DPs constantly talk me up to my DSis and vice versa, and it has caused a lot of jealousy and difficulties in our relationship. But I think they think they are just making conversation. They were astonished when I said it would be helpful if they could stop telling DSis how wonderful my job is etc etc.

I also don't think that generation always realise the difficulties now with some state schools or how polarised, competitive and expensive everything has got, especially in the SE.

Who knows, if they were aware of the situation perhaps they'd offer to pay for those music lessons...

If you give your DCs a good work ethic they may well grow up more resilient than their cousins anyway.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:19:23

Ok, I'm looking. Show me the private school which takes children with poor academic and behavioural records?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 18:20:15

I beg to differ - they have two highly edcuated parents at home who can do alot for them.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:20:43

TheOriginal - my child was a "failing" pupil from a state school with SEN. Not one parent or child has been anything less than supportive, and the school has bent over backwards to help him and support me in the work I do at home with him. So how does that fit your view of private schools?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:21:30

Ok, I'm looking. Show me the private school which takes children with poor academic and behavioural records?

Mine - my child had both

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:21:30

And they took him for free, original? Ok, I stand corrected.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:22:24

As I said, I was referring to OP's post about the schools giving free places in such circumstances.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Feb-13 18:23:15

Yes ds1 had a statement at the first school
The second school said it would look into it and never bothered
His school now haven't needed to as he has flown

My child with ASD has been taken from a state school too. The kindness shown to her has been incredible. She was isolated and bullied at two state schools, I wasn't prepared to try a third on the basis of 'principles'.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:24:54

No, because it is a fee paying school. It is also, however, a selective school and for a variety of reasons (none of which were due to money) they agreed to take him on. The school has utterly transformed him from being a very unhappy child to someone who has confidence in himself again - as it has many children who were failing in their previous schools (whether private or state)

Keep telling yourself that all private schools are elitist and snobbish. It is as ridiculous as saying all state schools are rubbish and filled with disruptive children

Phineyj Mon 04-Feb-13 18:25:37

Here's one, Theoriginalsteamingnit. I visited recently while I was training to be a teacher. It was an inspiring place.

westheathschool.com/

Phineyj Mon 04-Feb-13 18:26:43

Oops that was for TheOriginalLadyFT sorry!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:27:12

Ah yes, see I was responding to Op's suggestion that assisted places, or scholarhsips, instead of being given to children with proven strong academic records, were given to children who might benefit from a free private education because thus far they haven't thrived. Not whether or not some private schools will take money from all parents.

Phineyj Mon 04-Feb-13 18:28:49

Argh I was right first time, never mind.

Anyway, I found it interesting that West Heath were managing to educate children well who had been written off by the mainstream.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 18:29:25

Assisted places no longer exist. The Labour govt got rid of them

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 18:33:00

Yermina.

I sympathise with you as we have experienced the same type of thing but not academically. However, you have got options although they may not be the ones you want to take.
My ex bil used to be horrible to me and dh and flaunt his BMW and rich life style, although kids didn't go to private school. It used to upset me so much because we couldn't afford the material goods they bought for their dc and they used to make us aware of this at every opportunity. Material goods however don't appeal to us, but had they done I would have done whatever it took to achieve these things.
If a private education is so important, you either need to be pro active in sourcing the means or give up on the idea.
Being jelous is not a good emotion and will eat you up making you ill.
I am not judging you as I know what it feels like, but do yourself and your kids a favour as they will if they haven't already pick up on this.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 18:33:45

Yeah, I think her point was if they did, they could be given to challenging children rather than very very bright ones.

I know some private schools are not academically selective though, yes. And it's great if people feel the service they're paying for is good.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 18:38:27

Theoriginal.

New Eccles Hall, Norfolk.

This is a real proper special school. Can't link but google.
Dh worked here many many many years ago, before it got the "New" title, lol.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:38:29

Instead of offloading kids who disrupt lessons for others in state or private why not special schools where they can specialise in handling these sorts of kids who if left alone will end up hanging around in gangs or worse in prison!

cuillereasoupe Mon 04-Feb-13 18:38:52

Could this place be an option?

www.christs-hospital.org.uk/

ukatlast Mon 04-Feb-13 18:39:54

'What people don't seem to get is that you could ban private schools tomorrow and it wouldn't make any difference. People with money who care about their DCs education would set up 'home schooling' groups complete with fully qualified teachers. Or buy houses in the catchment of the best state schools sending prices rocketing and pushing everyone else out of the area. And they'd use tutors to fill any gaps. And those without the money who care would continue to do what they've always done - read with their DC from them being tiny, DIY tutor them at home and move to get the best state option'.

THIS above...so true..in a free society you will never stop parents doing what they perceive to be best for their children, so you shouldn't try. Even under Communism some (party members') schools would be more equal than others lol.

It is however reasonable to campaign for state schools to be brought up to scratch but the fact remains that usually state schools' GCSE results will reflect the deprivation index for the area..why...probably the parental involvement factor...the Universities have been making allowances for years...it is more impressive to get 3 As at A'Level from a mid-range state comp than from a private sector hothouse.

I agree that religious schools should not be allowed to discriminate if in the state sector and I wouldn't choose to live in a Grammar area since in such an area, the Comps are doomed to be sink comps having had the brightest kids creamed off.

Tell MIL to shut up unless she wants to fund said education she raves about for you and lose the jealousy, just make the best of the deal you have been dealt/exploit your options. Good luck.

BTW YANBU it isn't fair but nothing would change if you banned private schools tomorrow.
With healthcare you can argue that if everyone uses the NHS, the NHS system will have higher standards as rich will insist on them but it is much harder for the middle classes to set up their own A&Es than it is their own home schools.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 18:42:37

Yermina, how much time do you spend considering how significantly advantaged your children are in relation to some others.

You don't like that other children have advantage over your children, but what about the advantage your children have other others? That matters too.

And it's not like your children have no chance of success in life. They have every chance of being happy and fulfilled and of having a good career.

Copthallresident Mon 04-Feb-13 18:58:55

Yermina Don't assume that ultimately your children will be disadvantaged in terms of their education over their richer peers at private schools. Doubtless with your support your DCs will achieve and then the contextual information on the average results for their school and diagnosed SpLDs will be taken into account and your DCs given credit for their disadvantage in the university admissions process. The reason for that is that DCs who achieve in spite of poor schooling, SpLDs etc. out perform their peers from "good" schools , state and private. They learn a lot about resilience and self motivation, as well as mixing with the diversity of society. Some private school pupils for all their advantages, crash and burn because they do not have those vital skills for life. Universities are learning all the time how to better level the playing field, they may not be there yet but hopefully, politicians allowing, they will. I am sure as an MA and PhD you understand that the will is there.

You should share your feelings with your PILs and ILs. Perhaps the grass on the other side of the fence is not as green as you think, it rarely is. We are lucky that Mum was a teacher so she has never seen the state / private divide as black and white. She has had DCs as well as Grandchildren in both sectors so we discuss the problems and the good things and we are all fond of all the DCs and proud of their achievements. I would hate to have had jealousies get in the way of those relationships.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:00:10

"I also don't think that generation always realise the difficulties now with some state schools or how polarised, competitive and expensive everything has got, especially in the SE."

I think this is really true.

But I need to just get a bit ZEN over it. I think if my children were happy where they were I wouldn't feel it in the way I do.

I'm feeling very trapped and powerless about the whole thing at the moment which doesn't help.

On another note - I really want to HE. Sadly DH doesn't agree with it, and 'school' seems to be the default mode when two parents can't agree on HE or not. :-(

I may end up HE my sn child one day - secondary schools round here are brutal enough for neurotypical children, let alone kids with asd. I can see big, big problems on the horizon for him in adolescence if other local parents' experiences of secondary provision for sn is anything to go by.

I find the idea that we keep them in mainstream and do loads with them after school problematic. Has been suggested a lot on this thread. We do all the normal stuff - reading, taking them to the cinema and to the theatre when we can afford it (not often). They do martial arts and one ds does piano. But any sort of formal learning is very tough outside of school hours because ds2 who has ASD is so hyped up after and before school, that home is more like a 'holding pen' sometimes. This doesn't leave me much energy and time to doing things with ds1.

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 19:01:07

Yermina, with a PhD and a Masters between you, surely you and your DH ought to be able to tutor a reasonably bright child to well above 11+ level for grammar school entry?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 19:01:15

Posters who claim that it's a choice to not have a very well paid job must be forgetting about those people who have a vocation eg teaching, vicar.....

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 19:02:26

(and I know about ASD: one of mine has it too. This, to my mind, is all the more reason why I am going to make sure they end up at the best possible secondary schools).

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 19:04:49

Vicars children get private schooling, don't they?

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 19:06:21

Not that I know of.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 19:08:36

Our local vicar in a leafy village school has his children in the local primary.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 19:09:18

I thought teachers did too. Or at least discounts. I'm sure..... I'll ask the vicar next time I see him.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:12:09

"Yermina, how much time do you spend considering how significantly advantaged your children are in relation to some others.

You don't like that other children have advantage over your children, but what about the advantage your children have other others? That matters too"

Yes - my children are advantaged by having loving and involved parents. There are many children whose parents aren't educated and who don't take much of an interest in their education, and who, even if they did take an interest, aren't equipped to help them.

I acknowledge this.

"and then the contextual information on the average results for their school and diagnosed SpLDs will be taken into account and your DCs given credit for their disadvantage in the university admissions process"

My children will be educated in secondary school alongside a high proportion of children who WON'T go to university. I know we all like to think that our children will carry on upholding their family values above those of their peers throughout the crucial teenage years, but experience tells me that this isn't always the case. I never 'assume' my children will go to university. My bright little boy with ASD has gone up into juniors with a level one in his writing. Unless something really drastic happens to his learning between now and 16, he may not even get GCSE's, let alone A-levels.

Writehand Mon 04-Feb-13 19:12:32

Countrykitten: so you had a great private education but would deny that to others...eh?

Yes. I think public schools should be banned or, if not banned, taxed to nth. If we didn't have private schools wealthy parents would give their input to the state system. You imagine all those highly motivated rich buggers trying to improve their local school...

There was a bit in the news recently about a Canadian banker who said he'd never leave England while his kids were in school here. He said you couldn't purchase the various lifelong benefits of a public school education where he came from. Gave his kids an immeasurable advantage.

TheOriginalLadyFT my DS's school is £12,000k, we're lower middle class and work long hours to scrape the money together.

I was thinking of the big public schools. Day schools are cheaper and, generally speaking, not so old boy network friendly, so the social benefits are perhaps a little less. As for your sums -- I have never had, and never could have had -- £12,000 left over after essentials -- not including holidays or any luxuries. To call yourself lower middle class when you can scrape that sort of sum out the back of your sofa seems a little over modest. Mind you, I'm a widow with a disabled DS, so my working hours capacity is limited.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 19:13:12

'Discounts for children in the teaching, clergy, armed forces professions'. That rules me out then... Should've made better career choices.

My sister has four on full bursaries at a private school in London ( vicars wife).

persimmon Mon 04-Feb-13 19:16:02

I wouldn't want to live in a communist state BUT I think education is different to houses, cars, holidays etc. Our children's schooling should not be dependent on their parents' income level. That is clearly crap and wrong. It perpetuates inequality.
The bottom line is that every single school should have ENOUGH MONEY to provide a top quality education for its pupils. This should be non-negotiable.
The OP is right when she says that most people simply accept that 5% of kids get a much better education than the other 95%. But eduaction is the foundation of life, it's not like one person driving a BMW and another person driving a Mini Metro!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 04-Feb-13 19:16:39

Yes there are schools that have special bursaries for children of the clergy. And if you are a teacher and really want that education for your children then working in the school will see you getting a discount. Especially at boarding schools.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:16:44

"surely you and your DH ought to be able to tutor a reasonably bright child to well above 11+ level for grammar school entry?"

You'd think it wouldn't you?

But I know plenty of very bright professional people with very bright kids who haven't got a grammar school place locally.

One of my friends is a primary teacher and is very sharp indeed. Her ds (the oldest and brightest in his year) didn't get a place after sitting the exam, despite performing well enough in the Dulwich College exams to secure an interview (not sure if he's got a place there, haven't heard). Go figure. Not only did she tutor him herself, but they also paid an experienced 11+ tutor to help too. It's VERY competitive.

But we'll be giving it our best shot anyway.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 19:18:15

So what is the school doing for your ds who has ASD?

Is he at least on SA+ if he hasn't got a statement?

Sooty if you have already said - it's a long thread!

Corygal Mon 04-Feb-13 19:18:43

Haven't ploughed through the whole thread, but IMO any child with SN is way better off in the state system.

Private schools are set up to get pupils through exams, whereas even the smallest local primary will have access to SENCO, funding, specialists and medics automatically. Procedures and paths are well known in a state school - in a private school, not that many people are clued up, and the parents have got to find 200 an hour for everyone involved.

No, just first dibs at a faith school place. Unless they're the youngest son of an Earl or whatever - but then they'd still have to pay.

DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 19:21:33

ok - i get what your saying and agree it is unfair. However the hard fact is we need kids in private school as there are not enough places, or money to pay for those places in state education if private schools were to close. The education system would sink - right or wrong that is just the way it is.

Let them get on with it, ignore the gloating (if there is any) and as advised above investigate every bursary/scholarship available if that is what you would like. If not remember loads of children fly and achieve very highly in sate school with a little help and support at home!

Corygal Mon 04-Feb-13 19:22:05

Oh, and private schools aren't the preserve of the upper classes - they're the preserve of wealthy foreigners.

What no prospectus ever tells you is that nowadays 58 per cent of pupils are foreign. The UK's middle and upper classes can't afford private schools either.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:22:33

Persimmon - it's also the case that the UK has a real problem with inequality of education that goes way beyond what happens in other European countries.

Particularly Finland which has one of the best education systems in the world: here

By the way - Finland has a pretty much completely comprehensive system. Children of all abilities and backgrounds educated alongside each other. Apparently Finland scores the highest average results for science and reading in the developed world.

Oh, and their children don't start formal schooling until they're 7!

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:24:31

"Is he at least on SA+ if he hasn't got a statement?"

He is on SA+. He hasn't got a statement. Many children on SA+ do not have and will not be given a statement.

His teacher is lovely but neither she nor the TA have any specific training on supporting children with ASD. He is one of 31 in his class.

adeucalione Mon 04-Feb-13 19:24:38

I'm bored of hearing about the charitable status thing - it is only worth about £200 per pupil.

Incidentally if private schools were abolished tomorrow the taxpayer would have to find £2.5 billion to educate those children forced back into state education.

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 19:26:36

"But I know plenty of very bright professional people with very bright kids who haven't got a grammar school place locally."

In that case, when yours do, you'll be able to boast like anything to your PIL. wink

If I were you and had grammar schools nearby, I would make sure that no child was better prepared than mine. You seem to have given up even before you've started. I think you want to assume that your children will be successful, then go about making sure that they are.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:28:23

Yermina -you keep saying yes but, yes but...

If you actually looked on it as a glass half full as opposed to glass half empty you might find things are actually working in your favour.

Corgal - I would disagree. At both DS's schools - prep and senior there are no more than 10% of pupils from abroad. I dont know where you are getting your figures from. And in the SE there is money for these schools.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 19:29:23

I know that, I probably didn't come across very clearly in my post. My ds also has ASD and was on SA+ when he was still at primary school. I was wondering what they are doing to help his learning and improve his writing level.

Do you think they are doing anything worthwhile with your ds? If not, there are other things you can do to help get him the support he deserves.

I don't actually think teachers or TAs need to have specific ASD training to be able to effectively support children with ASD. They need a good understanding and awareness of course, but that's not the same as formal training. There is only so much input training can give anyway, as the spectrum is so wide that what works for one will actively work against another.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:29:35

I would love all people who 'scrape together' full fees for their children to put all the sums down so we can see just what sort of sacrifices they make. You know - salaries, mortgage, rent, council tax etc.

Because DH and I have a reasonable income (way above national average) but couldn't pay our mortage and keep food on the table if we were paying school fees. And that's with no foreign holidays, one fairly crap car, no other massive debts (apart from the mortgage). I really don't know how people with more than one child living in the SE do it. Unless they're earning A LOT more than we are and have very, very low housing costs (maybe because someone has given them a house or something).

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 19:33:32

How has your SIL managed to send her three dc to private school?

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:35:10

"you might find things are actually working in your favour"

If my children were enjoying school more and were achieving really well I might feel differently, I'll give you that.

Clouds - it's his emotional difficulties that are the biggest barrier to his learning. He really does need an adult to sit with him when he's writing, and to take him away from the other children when he's struggling. But they just can't always do this - he's not the only child who needs help in class. I agree that TA's don't necessarily need a massive amount of training, but it can really help.

Last year his TA was an ignorant cow, who clearly despised ds and thought he was just a bloody nuisance. His teacher wrote on his report 'DS needs to learn to understand other children's feelings'. No shit Sherlock! He was a very, very unhappy little boy by the end of the academic year.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:35:30

Wondering if you are misunderstanding what way above national average is.

I can tell you how we do it.

1. No expensive hobbies

2. Both parents working full time

3. No previous relationships and maintenance payments

4. No looking at things as a negative or quoting stories about people that have tried and failed

5. Limiting the number of children you choose to have. Three children would have seen us go in a completely different direction.

6. Council tax is payable by all who are considering school fees. Ours are £250 per moht

7. We have foreign holidays and two cars (one company and the other 10+ years old)

8. Having children late in life. Bit daft but you do tend to be more settled in your career and have more money.

scottishmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 19:38:03

it's unfair yes,but end if day up to them.they're using financial advantage
in same way way house prices elevate in good school catchment
plenty mc parents cough up via mortgage by squeezing into catchment creating mc enclaves

We've paid off our mortgage and don't live in South East, DH has good job, I usually work P/T in pre-school. But no way we could contemplate it. We can just about afford for them to go to the clubs they are most interested in, and have a weeks family holiday a year in Norfolk - either camping or youth hostel.
It's fine, I'm happy with their schools, and they're doing OK - but scraping together a spare £12k a year from modest incomes ? - don't make me laugh grin

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 19:42:06

Yermina.

My ds1 attended the worst school you could imagine. There were hardly any who came out with a GCSE in Eng and Maths, but he got 10. He then did A levels at college, pretty similar in terms of culture. Then onto University where he did equally well and now in full time employment.
The difference between him and many of his peers were both dh and I are educated, and supported his education.

I was not happy with many aspects of dds education, the constraints of the teachers and curriculum especially. Since September she has been H.ed so we can provide her with the education we feel will suit her. Have you and your dh considered H.ed at all?

Chandon Mon 04-Feb-13 19:44:00

Yabu, it is a free country, and I think you would put your own kids in private school, if you could afford it ( that is hw your op comes across, may be wrong).

You do not want anyone else to have a better education than your kids. So all schools better than yours should be banned? Wat if your school is better tan someone elses, should yours be banned? Otherwise it would really not be fair.

So, should we all aim for that lowest common denominator? Or give up freedom of education? Enforce a communist model?

Also, take heart that often state schools do a very good job, and most people are state school educated and do well.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:47:11

I think to ensure that you can realistically afford fees you have to both be working in well paid jobs. Part time work and the like (unless your DH is a investment banker!) will just not allow you to do it. But a SAHM can do lots. Volunteer at the school, improve things, rather than just sitting back and complaining will help. Choose where you live carefully to ensure that you have options. And if you really really feel that your school is not doing it for your children- then think the unthinkable.

My older DS is at a very well know boarding school. One of the younger boys mother said to me a while ago about her son who is very unhappy boarding 'well what can I do...' Well you silly woman, you can move house, you can choose a day school. She doesnt want to do that because moving house would be too much like hard work. So, she has a son who will be scarred for life because she cannot see the wider picture. Her DH who is working away has the fees paid by his company so again she has said she doesnt want to lose that benefit.

I just want to shake her....

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:49:16

Chandon, I think you are right. The OP wants it all. However the communist model doesnt work. If one feels that is the way to go, move to a communist country - no - I didnt think so.....

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 19:53:36

The only things that are unfair about private schools are their charitable status and the fact that their teachers get the state teachers' pension. If they had to contribute to private pensions, as they should, fees would rise.

Private should be private. All the way.

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 19:55:32

where were you and your DH educated op = state or private.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 19:58:12

And presume that you didnt pay for your universtiy degree. Something both my DS's will now have to pay for. Have I complained it is 'unfair'

Writehand Mon 04-Feb-13 20:05:18

I think it's very unfair that kids today have to pay for university. The rot set in when they tried to lower the standards to get avalanches of students in, basically trying to give degrees to people who weren't up to them.

If the bar was higher -- as it was back in the Middle Ages when I got a grant -- there wouldn't be so many students to fund. Only really bright people got in back in the day.

Because of the need to repay the loan, it seriously worries me that non-money generating subjects just won't get applicants any more. I can see a world in which the only people with a History of Art or a Philosophy degree will be the offspring of the very wealthy. Botany? Where's the money in that? Agribusiness, I suppose. Theology?

Mind you, this intern stuff horrifies me. I'd never have got into journalism as I did, through nous and talent. Who can pay for an adult child's rent & keep in London?

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 20:08:43

Education costs 13% of the UK budget. That to me equates to £6,500 of tax I paid for last year alone and probably a total of approximately £90-£100K for the whole of my daughters education. I don't use that space, I pay for many other people to be state educated but I choose to pay a further £15K a year to have my child educated.

Why - because in my "affluent" area the primary school did not suit my child. The school concentrates on the top 5% and the bottom 5% but anyone in between is overlooked IMHO. My daughter was heading in the direction of being unable to read, write and have any basic maths skills at 8 just because she could hide in class and although she is very bright she is dyslexic and the school refused to accept or acknowledge this. When your 8 year old is coming home crying saying she is thick is really not a good thing.

My very good friend who has never worked, takes more out of the system than they put in has the most fantastic school that her son attends. I am gobsmacked by the facilities and quality of schooling that is available in an area that is less affluent - it is really not very fair at all, most definately a postcode lottery whereby the less fortunate get the best.

So no life is not fair. I would very much like that £85K tax back as a credit to spend on other things but I doubt that will ever happen as I am "rich" and therefore have no choice how to spend 40% of my hard earned money.

And yes I am "lucky" to earn over 6 figures but I have a work ethic that I don't encounter very often. I left state school at 15 with no qualifications whatsoever and had a very basic shop job. I have managed through hard work and effort to get myself in the position I am in now, a good job with a major corporate company. Many others could do this but they choose not to.

All these people paying for private schooling are keeping state education in place and to say they are doing nothing to help state is an outrage.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 20:10:13

The conservative way to figure out financials would be to look at one partner's income and base all housing/outgoings on that.

We, as many others, based all our mortgage and other financial decisions on one income. It is safest, as if one of us were to lose our job, we would still be ok.

The second income is for savings/ education/holiday homes.

Fwiw, most bankers on one income cannot afford three children in private school.

Op it seems you want it all. Stay close to parents, have a decent house, have three children, work part-time and send them all to private school.

And then get jealous because you can't.

Yadbvu

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:18:54

Yes, it's unfair but life isn't always fair.

90% of the UK population are in the same situation as you in terms of not being able to afford private education.

Instead of letting yourself get eaten up with feelings of jealousy, which may have a further negative impact on your children, put your energies into supporting them with their education and extra curricular activities as much as you can. Encourage them to work hard, learn as many skills as they can, become effective learners as well as overall happy, pleasant people.
Those things are much more important than sending them to private school.

With regards your DS with the SEN, are there any other schools which may suit him better in the area? Could you stretch to a private tutor to help him with his confidence and emotional difficulties?

It would also definitely be worth you or your DH having a polite word with MIL about SIL's children's education if it upsets you so much.

thebody Mon 04-Feb-13 20:19:49

My sils kids both went to good private schools. The lad flunked A levels and had to resit and the girl dropped out if 6th form and now dosses around sponsored by her doting parents when they should kick her entitled arse.

My kids went to comps and managed to get good degrees.

Life's a journey not a race.

Chin up and stop bloody bowing to your sil, boast about your kids as sure they are bloody fantastic!!!!!

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:25:04

Yes exactly the body. Private school isn't everything and doesn't guarantee success. Teaching your children other skills and values is much more important.

scottishmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 20:25:21

it's not easy to worry about your kids op,the what ifs,school worries
don't compare self to sil,youre not in similar circumstances and paths v different
give kids big hug,gather em close make best what you've got.no more comparisons

mrsbunnylove Mon 04-Feb-13 20:46:37

options:

a) sell your house, get something smaller and cheaper, make your investment in your children's education.
b) settle for state, focus on enrichment. ie do the good things about education yourself.
c) continue whining.

NuclearStandoff Mon 04-Feb-13 20:49:37

YABU

Research shows consistently that it is not education that is the key determinant of a child's outcome in life, but their home and family background.

In other words, middle-class children from stable and supportive family tend to do better in life - regardless of whether they were educated in the state or private system.

All that would happen if we didn't have private schools is that the'wealthy parents would move to the areas with the best state schools and flood them with their "privileged" children. Then housing prices would hike further and these would become your state run private school equivalents.
I have every sympathy with you op I really do. I was privately educated, and thank God I was; I would have been eaten alive in our local state schools. Unfortunately there is little chance we'll be able to put our DCs into private education as we can't afford it. The area where we live was rated the worst in the country by Ofsted for primary education, so we don't stand much chance.
However, my mum has been a teacher for 30 years and I have for nearly 10. The last five years of which have been spent at one of the most deprived secondarys in the country. We sent one of our girls to Cambridge last year (our average A-level grade is a D). The biggest difference in a child's education in my experience, my mum's experience and most teacher's is parental support. Stand by the school you have chosen in front of your DCs, but don't stop fighting for them behind the scenes. Parents who make a fuss get what they want in the end, it's a pain but it's worth it. Push for that statement, push for SEN support, push the music dept to work with your son. Spend time with your children on hwk (if you need support talk to their teachers/form tutors). It's the kids with these parents, the one's who care, who praise their achievements and who support them through the bad times at school, who excel and achieve to their capabilities, not the ones with parent with loads of cash, but who don't spend time with them at the end of the day.

Good luck and hope things improve x

thebody Mon 04-Feb-13 20:52:34

Indeed agree Scottish and mummy

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 20:55:55

Yourdaughter - so you "know" everyone personally with "loads of cash" do you? you know exactly how much time they spend with their children each day? Are you saying that everyone with "loads of cash" doesn't see or care for their children?

Ha ha ha - yours has got to be one of the most idiotic posts on this thread which is worrying given that you are supposed to be educating our young hmm

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:00:10

Mrs Bunny - I think she will go for Option C. For all her education - who does she think funded it and also her DH's PHD - she has a big chip on her shoulder.

I left at 17 from a rubbish school. It was blooming useless. My regret is that there was no expectation to go to uni. The OP has had all of this and clearly parents who saw the value.

I recently went to a presentation at my older son's school about university choices. In the 70's 5% went to uni. Due to Labour's stupid policy of degrees for everyone it was ramped up to 50% plus.

If I was running the education system I would make vocational subjects, plumbers, electricans etc a really valued trade. After all if water is pouring through your ceiling you dont ring the Chairman of M&S!

We have horrendous school fees. We are now in the very expensive years. My plan B (should we need it) for the last few years is sell the house and move somewhere smaller. We are lucky we have a lot of equity. It isnt ideal but its my Plan B. I wont be coming on here moaning that I cannot afford it.

Always have a Plan B and Plan C.....

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 21:01:30

Scottishmummy

What a lovely post, and here was I thinking you didn't have a heart. Well I'm truly [embarrassed] about my past impression of your posts. thanks

Coralanne Mon 04-Feb-13 21:04:00

Both my DCs were educated at exclusive private single sex schools.

DS doesn't have any DC and DD home schools her DC.

I think you have to remember that the school they attend isn't the be all and end all. DC actually spend more time in the home then at school. So put in the effort at home to make up for the so called shortfalls in their state school.

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 21:07:23

I think that is a bit harsh Spam. Some of what she says - about standing behind the school but fighting behind the scenes - makes sense. I don't think she is saying that ALL parents with loads of cash couldn't care less - but it is the children whose parents do care - regardless of whether they are private or state educated - who will succeed educationally. I think the comma makes it read slightly ambiguously.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:07:46

Your daughter - you have fallen into the trap of thinking that everyone who pays for private education can afford anything at all!

Have you been around a private school recently, even the most famous. No, I didnt think so. You will see all sorts from the few who can afford the fees without blinking to extended families funding a child's education -to grandparents who have done well in the housing boom paying the fees, to parents both working and funding their children.

And everything in between.... have you ever thought that your private education brought you the ability to fight for what you consider important?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 21:12:02

It's just easier to believe the myth that people who use private schools are rich, entitled snobs

We certainly don't have lots of cash - we live in a rented house, drive an 11yr old car and work 12-hr days to ensure we can prioritise DS's education. Still, let's not let the truth get in the way of a blinkered view

Spam of course I'm not suggesting that! Just making the point that no matter how much money you have it's about time you spend with your children that counts. The point that my parents sent both my brother and I to private school denotes that I come from a family that's not too badly off and yet my parents spent as much time with us as they could. Kids at school with me who were plenty better off, but whose parents had little time for them (note that's parents who choose not to spend time with their kids, not the ones who can't for whatever reason) were the ones with behavioural issues and often the ones who didn't succeed. Anyway, point was that op shouldn't give up heart, she obviously cares for her DCs and ultimately in my experience that's the deciding factor in your child's success

difficultpickle Mon 04-Feb-13 21:14:07

There are plenty of people who could afford school fees but choose not to. My db is one of those and yet he and my sil look at the educational choices I have made for ds with envy. They don't seem to notice that they change their cars every two years; I keep mine until they die. They spend a fortune on the latest gadget, designer clothes for themselves and their dcs etc etc. I spend mine on ds's education (which I couldn't afford if I had to pay full fees). Not always, but sometimes, it is about choice.

Maisie I'm exceptionally proud of my education and all that it has given me. If my post has been taken that I'm attacking private education I'm sorry, I meant just the opposite. I was simply trying to point out that really all the research and educational experience points that the deciding factor on a child's success in life is their parental input,not what school they go to, how much money they have etc.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:18:04

I think for most people (the OP very much included) if they won the lottery or came into some money it is a blinkered person who doesnt at least take a peek at a private school....

Will it be fair that they come into some money that they havent 'earned'. I wish sometimes that grandparents would help out but funds dont allow them and why should they. It is our choice and we have to work out the right way to allow us to fund it ourselves. Our decision and our consequence.

And someone quoting the fact that nearly 60% of pupils are from overseas - where has that come from!!! I saw a lot of senior day and boarding schools when looking around a few years ago. Unoffically the schools will take no more than 10-15% from abroad.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 21:22:19

maisie you are right about that smile

There is this assumption that all paying for private are swanning about with loads of money which is simply not true. There are more white vans/second hand cars in my private school car park than there is in the local state. When I walk my dog past local state school, they are all swanning about walking dogs, grabbing coffee, going to pilates etc, however at school drop off in private most mums are rushing about trying to get to work. When I was in State school I was one of the only working women in my daughters year group. Surely that's got to be wrong? All of these swathes of perfectly capable women choosing not to work, not putting into the pot but taking out of the system...

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 21:22:26

It's not much of a choice if you have to have a certain amount of income in order to make that choice. I mean, there are plenty of people who don't have that choice at all. It's kind of like saying that holidaying in the Bahamas is just a matter of choice as well - well, yes, sure it is in the sense that you decide whether you go there or not. But first off you have to have the money to be able to get there, don't you?

Fwiw, I don't think it's unreasonable at all to recognise that there is a system of privilege in this country and that familiy money buys you an easier ride through school and indeed life. To pretend otherwise is stupid. Just look at the educational background of the cabinet and the directors of FTSE companies and tell me that they got there through chance.

However, short of a revolution (and we're not very good at those) that is not going to change. What you can do is maximise your own children's chances, by providing opportunities to them outside of school and supporting them in the learning that they do in school. You can take the to the theatre, and concerts, and introduce them to good books, and do everything to help them to soak up knowledge and culture and things that will enrich their lives.

It still won't make for a level playing-field, but at least you will have done what you can.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:23:04

I agree parental input is key. Look at some of the state schools, parents not bothering to turn up to parents evening, storming into school demanding their child be given their mobile back even though they were using it when they shouldnt.

And why do you need a mobile at school. They should be banned from classes. Why is that so difficult for the state system to grasp, its all about rights and entitlement and the behavior just seems to be tolerated now and allowed.

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 21:24:04

I don't think it is blinkered not to look at private schools if you have the money, but I seem to be in the minority in thinking that. I definitely think OP would send her kids to private if she could, judging by her posts, so it is interesting for her to start a post about it not being fair. Or OP have I misinterpreted?

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 21:25:27

Yes, spamspamspam, I'm sure that private schools up and down the country are populated by working-class people.

Ffs.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 21:26:45

maisiejoe, you have made some points that I agree with but I am having a wry smile at the notion that the state education system is 'all about rights and entitlement' while private education is not.

WhatKindofFool Mon 04-Feb-13 21:29:18

I can see how galling it must be for you and it would irk me if I were in your situation. I can't afford a private education for my kids but if I had the money I would probably buy one just like I'd buy a better car, house , holidays etc.

I'd rather live in a capitalist society than a communist one.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 21:35:38

Wallison - working class = working yes?

Then yes private schools are populated by working people because the majority of them have to fund the private schools through their wages.

Simple economics surely?

I know a lot of people who are "working class" but choose not to work, choose not to have my work ethic and life and choose a much easier way of life for themselves but then can't afford things and expect "someone" "somewhere" to pay for it - this I find most bizarre.

I am convinced at least 70% of the population think there is some little room somewhere printing out new £ notes to pay for all of this idealistic entitlement.

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:39:01

I dont have family money sadly. My DH and myself have funded this. We made some choices, some not particularly attracive. He would like to live in the middle of nowhere (I wouldnt!) but he knows that wont fund the lifestyle we want.

I know that I will work 50 plus hours per week until I retire (although some I can do from home) working for a large corporate. . Again not particularly nice and I can think of better things to do with my time but that is the price I pay. My retirement age has gone up again and I wont get my state pension until I am 68 despite having paid in since I was 18. And yes, I agree the state system has a lot of SAHM's probably bitching about how they cannot afford and wouldnt want to go to a snobby private school. Give them a lottery win and they will be first through the door methinks...

I have lost child benefit yet people coming from Eastern Europe who havent paid a penny in will come in next year and be entitled to it. Is that fair? I think not - if my CB was going towards hardworking families that would be fine but to people who havent paid anything in.....

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 21:40:26

I wouldn't look at private school if I won every lottery there is.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 04-Feb-13 21:43:21

YABU, its one of those things in life. If everyone was automatically entitled to the same things in life there would be no incentive to do well.

People make their own choices in life, some limit their children to provide the life they want for them, others prefer more children and less material things.

We cant afford private but i dont begrudge those that can. We are lucky that although semi rural the head ensures lots of variety and outside provision and parents can pay for extras.

You can always out some extra work in with them at home or find local music tutors or clubs if the school doesnt offer it.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 21:43:25

Well, there's lots of things in life that people find bizarre, Spamspamspam.

I, for example, find bizarre the notion that state schools (which educate 94% of the country's children) are wholly populated by children of parents who don't work, given that most adults of working age do work; if the only people who earn an honest day's crust are the parents of children in private schools then, given that they amount to a very small section of the population, the country must be in dire straits indeed.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 21:45:57

^ If everyone was automatically entitled to the same things in life there would be no incentive to do well.

And how, exactly, have children whose parents can afford to buy them education and privilege "done well"?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 21:50:27

You're joking, right? How have we done well?! God give me strength - how about overcoming a difficult childhood incl losing your father as a child, working like a dog through school and Uni, clawing your way up through a career populated with sexist pigs then starting two small businesses which will eventually employ local people. Not to mention being a lifelong tax payer as an adult to actually contributing to the economy, rather than sponging off it.

Really, it's a good job some of us work hard and make money, cos god only knows who would be paying for things otherwise

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:52:19

|Wallison, these parents have made choices, not always the most attractive to some. The woman go back to work full time, they limit their family, they dont always demand the latest of everything. - 3 would have finished us off!

You make choices and what I find most irriating about the OP is she claims to have a degree and her partner a PHD yet she doesnt seem to get that they are ideal to help nuture their children. She is full of 'yes, but I cannot do this, yes, but I need to be near elderly parents, yes but I cannot re-train, and so it goes on. I havent read the whole post but I am wondering what it is she does do for a living. I could say that having the tax payer funding her education and then her choosing to work part time is a waste of money but I fear a load of 'yes but's.....

maisiejoe123 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:58:16

I see on various posts people who wont leave their little village in Wales (sorry Wales!) because it would mean leaving their best friend, family etc, who claim to not have time to study for extra qualifcations even though they are not working, who wont do the hours required to earn the larger salaries, who wont travel more than 15 mins to work, who make mistake after mistake with men and never learn and then complain about the fact that people paying for private education are snobs, have somehow come across this money and dont deserve it.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:01:35

Wallison - you have no idea of my history and if I told you it would make your eyes water.

"Done well"???? So it's a lottery is it? No it is bloody not, I have worked harder than anyone else I know. I know an awful lot of lazy people who can't be arsed, have no imagination, have no drive, determination, self esteem, work ethic, care, consideration or thoughtfulness for what is going on around them, let alone the consideration to what they are taking/contributing to society.

I have all of the above and have not "done well" I am been bloody determined and have contributed an outstanding amount to society. There are people I know who can't fathom how I do what I do with the energy I deliver , the level of laziness I come across every day is astounding - people dont just "do well" they usually work bloody hard and make sacrifices for it and they are the ones paying for the lazy feckers who can't be arsed.

SignoraStronza Mon 04-Feb-13 22:03:05

To all those who compare buying private education to affording nice cars, decent holidays, designer clothing and other luxury goods and services...

I am never envious or critical of people who have the money to spend in any way they choose. However, private education is the only thing that does not attract VAT and, instead of being treated as a business, is classed as a 'charity'.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:04:23

Come on spam you're a rich, lazy entitled snob like me. Fess up, you'll feel better for it grin

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:07

Signora - and??

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:13

"yes, but I need to be near elderly parents"....

She wants tohelp look after them?

Her DS has special needs remember. I agree that everyone deserves a great credit for being hardworking, but it doesn't make you better than other people who have equally valuable qualities. You sound a bit lacking in compassion.

whateveritakes Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:13

I would like to point out that even if I made "good choices" I still wouldn't be able to find £12,000 a year for my son to go private.
Perhaps having a baby though was my "poor choice".
Sorry son.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:05:52

Why should private education attract VAT? Parents sending their children there already pay a back door tax by paying for a state education we don't use

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:07:42

Fair enough whateverittakes - we all have things we can't have no matter how much we might wish it.

Does that mean no one else should be allowed it either?

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:09:26

Lady - ha you outed me......smile

difficultpickle Mon 04-Feb-13 22:13:20

I'd happily pay VAT on school fees if the LEA rebated to me the £5,500 a year they don't pay to educate ds. I'd be quids in!

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:13:36

Why shouldn't it attract VAT? To say that such parents pay a back door tax is disingenuous, rather like saying car owners subsidise public transport users. They are merely exercising their choice to go private (fine), then let it be private, and make them bear the full cost.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:14:24

I knew it spam - bet you're slurping champers and beating the butler as you type

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:14:50

Everybody who has a job works hard. If they don't, they get fired. The idea that people on minimum wage (who do jobs like cleaning and caring for the terminally ill in nursing homes for example) do not work hard, or that people who earn more than them work harder, is pretty repugnant. Working hard is just something that you have to do. It's not a badge of honour.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:16:28

Rubbish, car owners use the transport system - roads etc. I don't use the state system but still pay for it.

Like bisjo says, I'll happily pay VAT if I get that rebate on state education allowance

sittinginthesun Mon 04-Feb-13 22:16:52

Interesting thread. I think we do make choices, often subconsciously, and it jealously is an unhelpful emotion.

I was comp school educated, but with a very good degree, and professional qualification and job. Yet I choose to work part time, and am not brilliantly paid - partly for job satisfaction, and because I genuinely believe that I can have a positive input in my children's education.

My alternative was to work far more hours, and privately educate.

So far, my plan appears to be working. Both dcs are thriving at their state primary, and have a good out of school social life.

I think there has to be a pay off somewhere along the line. Even my very wealthy friends who privately educate, whilst being SAHMs, have other concerns - husbands working abroad for months at a time, having to literally drop everything to move overseas, then back again at short notice.

I'm afraid I agree that the OP is BU.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:18:18

And how does that argument relate to your question about how people who send their children to private school have "done well"? That's an entirely different argument

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:18:21

TheOriginalLadyFT, your taxes are not just paying for state education. They are also (just thinking about education for a moment) paying for all of the teachers who educate your children to go through school and then university. You are, in other words, paying your taxes to enable you to live in a country where there is a pool of available talent which takes advantage of a state education system and which then allows for a number of the people who have been through that system to work in the private sector. I think that is pretty generous, all told.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 04-Feb-13 22:18:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:21:06

My taxes also pay for lazy sods who can't be arsed to work and would rather claim benefits, which I think is pretty generous all told

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 22:21:41

I'm not sure that taking away independent schools' charitable status would help (it would also be very complicated as many are centuries-old trusts).

As charities they are non-profit-making. As businesses they would not only have to find 20% VAT, but also be looking to make a profit, so surely fees would go up. This would mean that even fewer people would be able to afford them and there would be less bursary money available. The choice of state or independent would be available to only the very wealthiest few.

OTOH, if parents were given a voucher for the value of their child's state education, far more people would be able to afford £3000 - £5000 a year to top up, and there would be more money available for the smaller bursaries. The choice of state or independent would then open up to far more people, possibly everybody.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:21:54

^ about how people who send their children to private school have "done well"

I didn't say it was about the parents 'doing well'. I queried whether the children who are at private schools have 'done well'. My question wasn't about the parents but about the children, as it is the children who have this advantage. I thought that HappyMummy's post was saying that people who have 'done well' should have this advantage, and was asking just how the children have 'done well', because they are the ones that have the advantage.

There, I've basically said the same thing about four times there. Hopefully now my meaning is clear.

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:22:03

TheOriginalLadyFT - taxes are not hypothecated. It is part of general taxation for a humane society.

It's more than likely that the person wiping your arse when you're drooling will have been state-educated.

And Drs who train at vast expense and then work in the private sector.

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:24:04

Taking away charitable status WOULD make a difference, otherwise they'd all have given it up years ago. But they haven't.

The voucher system wouldn't work because private schools want to select, and not just on the basis of ability to pay.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:24:30

^ My taxes also pay for lazy sods who can't be arsed to work and would rather claim benefits, which I think is pretty generous all told

All working people do that. I don't think it's particularly generous of you.

If we're going to get into one-upmanship, my taxes have paid for the education and training of the teachers at private schools, when my son hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of participating in said education. Also they fund the tax breaks of private schools which are passed onto parents.

So really, I'm subsidising your kids.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:25:23

echt - make them bear the full cost, errmmm I think most of us in private are paying the full cost, plus the full cost of at least one if not two or three in state [hmmm]

The whole message in this country is bloody wrong - you "do well" (i.e. work as apposed to sitting on your arse expecting shit and eating hob nobs) and you are a snob. This I find really difficult, I come from working class stock and have happened to work very hard in order to command a good salary. Out of that salary I paid £34K in tax last year and my husband paid a further £16K, not only did I pay that in tax I also took my child out of state school hence saving a place for someone else, my company gives me private medical insurance so I don't need to use the NHS and bog down their dwindling resources, I also hire a cleaner, gardener, decorator who then pay another lot of tax on what I pay them. I work bloody hard, pay people well, don't take what I don't need but still I am a social pariah? Weird....

HeadFairy Mon 04-Feb-13 22:27:03

I'm very late to the farm on this one but OP I'm totally with you. It's a shitty lesson in life to teach our children it's not hard work that gets you on in life it's your parent's money. Really shitty. And we wonder why we live in a selfish self absorbed society. Because children learn at a very young age that everything boils down to how much cash your parents had.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:27:42

You're right spam there is a very weird reverse snobbery about people who work hard and do well. It's a good job we do, because that is what keeps the economy afloat

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:28:55

Wallison - I employ a LOT of people and to say that they all work hard is a complete and utter lie/understatment/misnomer.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 04-Feb-13 22:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whateveritakes Mon 04-Feb-13 22:30:29

Fair enough whateverittakes - we all have things we can't have no matter how much we might wish it.

Does that mean no one else should be allowed it either?

Sometimes everyone should be allowed. I don't think poor people should be worse off because they can't afford food or healthcare. I don't their children should receive a worse education either (especially as education is compulsory). Choice is fine but schools are not really a choice for most.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:30:40

There are plenty of people who work hard. They may not earn as much money as you, but they work hard. As I said, working hard is nothing special; we all do it. And using private education and private medicine doesn't mean you aren't taking something - who do you think trains doctors and teachers who work in the private sector? That's right, the public sector. Which we all pay into.

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 22:30:52

echt, all schools select, by ability to pay, by area of parents' residence, by various faith-themed criteria, by ability to pass a certain type of test. Not all independent schools are academically selective.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:31:29

But we can't - for whatever reason. So again, does that mean that no one should have access to it?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:32:44

I think you'll find that not everybody works hard. Would that it were so

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 04-Feb-13 22:34:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Feb-13 22:34:01

In the past I have had private health insurance. My taxes pay for the NHS that I didn't use most of the time. However I did have access to it and could see a NHS GP even if I then pay to see a consultant privately. That isn't the same with the LEA.

Once you choose private education the only way you can access any of the services provided by the LEA for free is to pay. Ds had developmental problems from being a prem. His NHS GP wanted to refer him to an Ed Psych via the Child Development Centre. The consultant at the CDC said that because ds was at private school he did not have access to anything that was paid by the LEA. This was despite ds's issues being directly related to being a prem and despite the fact that he had been under the continual care of a consultant from birth. I didn't have private health insurance and would have had to pay for something that in a state school ds would have got for free. That made me very cross indeed as I couldn't afford to pay and there was no way round it that the GP or consultant could do (unless it was suspected autism, which it wasn't).

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 04-Feb-13 22:34:17

I think the OP needs to have a word with her PILS and ask them to lay off the overt praising of the other grandkids in front of her...

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:34:22

spamspam- you don't seem to like other posters generalisations but your own posts are full of generalisations coloured by your own experience and the fact that you appear to feel that you have worked incredibly hard.

Some parents at state schools work very hard and still can't afford private school. They are certainly not all SAHMs. Equally, at our local private school, very few (probably less than 10%) of the mothers work at all. They just happen to be married to v high earning men and a lot of them (the men) don't work especially hard either. Earning a high salary is not always linked to how hard you work.

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:37:24

mummy - I don't like generalisations as such but I do like sharing my experiences

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:37:44

lisa, the original point I was responding to was this, from HappyMummy:

"If everyone was automatically entitled to the same things in life there would be no incentive to do well."

which made me wonder if the children who have the benefit of private education (and it is a benefit, and it is the children who receive it) are the ones who are 'doing well', or if it is just the fact that their parents have 'done well' (ie earned a lot of money, which doesn't necessarily involve doing a job well) that gives them this privilege. Because you can't exactly say that a five year-old has 'done well' enough to allow them the benefit of a private education.

The OriginalLadyFT - do you really think that hard work = money? Really? You think that cleaners don't work hard? Or carers working in homes for the terminally ill? Or nursery nurses? Or binmen? There are plenty of people who work hard but don't have a lot of money.

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:37:54

Being private should mean bearing the full cost, otherwise it's not private, is it?
It's state-subsidised, with the advantage of keeping costs down via charitable status and teachers being a part of the state teachers' pension scheme. While controlling entry to the school.

I've already made the point about unhypothecated taxes upthread. If you want to see a society where everyone only pays what they imagine to be what they benefit for, then say so. You ARE using the NHS - who trained the doctors? I don't think you're a social pariah, I just object to the claims of private education when it's far from it. Spare me the bit about "saving a place" for someone else by taking your child out of the state system; you did it because you wanted to and perceived an advantage for you child. No problem with that, but see my second para as to why it's not really private.

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:39:19

Oh and- toughasold boots. FYI

No doctor can leave university and go straight into the private sector. It takes somewhere roughly between 12 and 20 years after graduating to become a Consultant (only Consultants can work in the private sector) and all that time would be spent working for the NHS so plenty of pay back for the expensive training.

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:39:53

and even then very very few work exclusively in the private sector. Most continue NHS work if they do private at all.

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:41:53

Fair enough spam spam. I 100% believe in hard work and think a lot of people in this country are pretty work shy but hard work doesn't always lead to significant financial gain.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:42:36

I don't doubt that cleaners work hard, but does that automatically mean people who earn a good salary are not working hard/jammy bastards/privileged sods? Really, what an odd argument

You asked how it was that people like me had "done well". I answered, and in my case it wasn't a privileged background, it was hard work

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:42:41

^ I don't like generalisations as such but I do like sharing my experiences

You certainly do. You also seem to like extrapolating huge generalised so-called 'truths' from your own experiences and thinking that what you have experienced is the same for everyone. Still, you earn lots of money so obviously you're more clever than us mere mortals who have different lives to you.

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:42:58

amicissima. All schools do NOT select. The last two schools I worked in in the UK took whatever the LEA sent them.

While I'll have to take your word for it that some independents don't select by ability; they can, and do, chuck out whenever they like. And the state sector HAS to take that child and educate (which they should, of course).

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 22:43:25

Manual labour is rather hard work. but does it require years and years of study and numerous degrees?
It does come down to choices we all make early on, and then pure tenacity, determination and aspiration.
Xenia could give lectures (and should) on the subject.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:44:15

^ but does that automatically mean people who earn a good salary are not working hard/jammy bastards/privileged sods? Really, what an odd argument

I didn't say that.

^ You asked how it was that people like me had "done well".

No I fucking didn't. I've explained twice now what I was saying. Come on, you've got lots of money so you're obviously clever. Surely you can do that old trick of looking at words, reading them and getting meaning from them.

Thanks mummyplum but luckily my years of nursing mean that I am very well informed about the private work of Drs. You can do private work without being a consultant BTW and it is debatable whether ten years post qualification covers the cost of training. One cannot comment about the cost of teacher training without referring to other tax payer funded occupations.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 22:45:23

Ok, not sure if this has been said yet but here we go.

I don't mind that there are many people better off in life than me, nor that money can buy a private education. I was offered hugely discounted private education at a fantastic day and boarding school, for all 3 of our dc, but refused.
It isn't right for everybody and it may seem unfair to some that others can afford this, but thats life. No its not necessarily about hard work but money speaks volumes in life. Some people are motivated by huge amounts of money and others aren't, we are all different. Why are people so intent on wanting things that are beyond their means? its madness.
I know the state education system isn't very good at times but it is a public service, its meant to be basic as is the NHS. Its just the way it is unfortunately. Personally I just about trust my local authority to empty my bins. If people have money and can afford a private education, good for them it is no use complaining it isn't fair because you can't afford to.

echt Mon 04-Feb-13 22:47:07

I think the point about "hard work", OLFT is the claim, often made, that "I got where I am by hard work, not anything else". It's the by-passing luck, being in the right place at the right time, being white/black, a man, woman.

I never assume because someone is well-paid that they work hard, nor that they don't.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:18

I agree, echt. It's the underlying assumption that other people aren't as rich because they just aren't working hard enough. As though capitalism worked like that in the slightest.

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:27

tough- you can perhaps be an RMO in a private hospital perhaps but that doesn't get paid well and I don't know of anyone who has done that for more than 6 months and then only to top up their NHS income (I know a lot of doctors). Seriously, I v much doubt that you know many doctors who have solely worked in the private sector because I don't know a single one.

If you want to talk about paying back costs of education, why stick to teachers or doctors or nurses? Why not anyone who had a degree funded and doesn't use it/ becomes a SAHM or whatever.

rollmopses Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:29

Wallison, pray tell, which sectors/professions/companies/etc, would pay 'a lot of money' to, obviously, herds of people, who don't do their jobs well?

''(ie earned a lot of money, which doesn't necessarily involve doing a job well)

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 22:52:32

echt - why should I pay full stop?

Is it not bad enough that my salary is taxed at the top most bracket and the services I am paying for I don't use?

Why should I pay? Why can't I roll around in the money I have earnt, why should I give away my money to people who cant be arse and have no desire to do well?

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:52:49

Well as you're either a man or a woman, I'm not sure what that has to do with it. As for luck, well I didn't feel super lucky having my father die when I was a child or watching my mother struggle to raise three children alone, but hey uk sure there was some luck along the way. Just felt like hard work most of the time

Mummyplum- I might be married to one for all you know. I am really not getting into your derailing of the main thread ( whatever reasons you may have). The beauty of the Internet is that you can say whatever you like and no one can challenge it especially if it is based on you 'knowing lots of Drs!'. I would also query how you know that 'less than 10% of the local private school mothers work'? You have done a survey then- a detailed questionnaire? Utter fabrication.

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 22:56:06

'Why can't I roll around in the money I have earnt, why should I give away my money to people who cant be arse and have no desire to do well?'

I'm assuming that you mean people on benefits? Do you have to turn this into a benefit bashing thread?

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:56:07

^ Wallison, pray tell, which sectors/professions/companies/etc, would pay 'a lot of money' to, obviously, herds of people, who don't do their jobs well?

I don't know, because I've never said that people who earn a lot of money don't do their jobs well. You'd be better off addressing the question to TOLFT, as she seems to think that there are a lot of people who don't work hard.

I have consistently said that everyone works hard, regardless of what they earn.

lafelizateo Mon 04-Feb-13 22:57:23

A colleague whose daughter has dyslexia paid to get her diagnosed as such by the National Dyslexia Society (I think that's the name of the national organisation). It cost about £300 but she said it was worth every penny. She took the diagnosis into school and her child was given masses of support and concessions in the classroom. Without this, she would have struggled with just about every aspect of her learning. Of course it depends on the school as to whether they are willing to make these concessions, but in the end, they will want your child to do their best and if they can make changes to ensure that happens, they should be happy to.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 22:58:24

^ If you want to talk about paying back costs of education, why stick to teachers or doctors or nurses?

Because the people on here who are saying that they put more into the system are patting themselves on the back for not using state education or healthcare. While blithely ignoring the fact that the private sector education and healthcare systems they use wouldn't exist if were it not for the state education system that trains the people who work in it.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 22:58:44

Spam.

You can do well in life and be very successful in life without earning any money. It depends on how you choose to define success and doing well.
There are people in life who have been dealt a rough deal and through no fault of their own require help and assistance, thats why you should give away some of your money. Its called compassion.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 22:59:48

I'm afraid there are plenty of people who don't work hard and you must be joking if you think otherwise. I worked in the corporate environment for years, and managed a large team and there were always people who slacked off, took sickies, let others take the strain. It's human nature, which of course is a concept champagne socialist find inconvenient as they prefer to live in some utopia where everyone is equal and equally deserving

belsize77 Mon 04-Feb-13 23:00:49

What are these jobs that are incredibly well paid - enough for multiple children at private school - but don't require incredibly long/pressured hours or years of specialised study? With the exception of people with unusual artistic, creative or sporting talents (or perhaps non exec directors who have normally had other high level jobs beforehand) I am struggling to think of many examples. Perhaps I might go for a career change...

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 23:01:10

tough- obviously I don't know whether or not you are married to one but I do know that I am a doctor who is married to a doctor who has studied and worked with 100s of doctors over the years and, as I said, I don't know a single one who works or has worked solely in the private sector since graduation. I therefore think that I have plenty of experience on which to base an opinion. You may or may not have but it doesn't appear to me that you have, I'm afraid.

It's not really fair of you to accuse me of trying to derail the thread when I was simply responding to your remark which was fairly irrelevant to the discussion.

My child attended said private school and I got to know the mothers in her year group enough to know whether or not they worked or were SAHMs.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:01:19

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Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 23:02:14

Wallison - do you actually work? Do you employ people or work alongside people? I find it odd that you have this assumption that everyone works hard? Yes people work their hours and yes that can sometimes be hard but I have only met a handful of people in my life that truly get what it is that makes you a leader/high earner.

Pray tell your industry and the type of people you are working with.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 04-Feb-13 23:03:21

I havent read the full thread here but I would like to add one thing to this mix. I work in a state secondary which has had 3 outstanding Ofsteds. We have around 95'/, turnout at every parent's
evening. Many of my friends are equally good teachers at a school about a mile away as the crow flies (2.2 miles by car). It is in the same local authority, less affluent catchment and their turnout at a recent parents evening was 24'/,. Catchment & parental support have so much to do with this thread. It isn't just the schools that differ. I feel for you if you are in one of these areas and are among the 24'/, who care deeply about your child and their education.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:03:35

Really, are you being deliberately provocative? hmm I managed those sort of people with the help of HR, usually out the door, because I'll be damned if the genuinely hard working team members should pick up the slack

Spamspamspam Mon 04-Feb-13 23:04:41

Morethan - I probably have more compassion that you could shake a stick at but you will never know that -how much "compassion" have you had this year?

Mummyplum- the only threads that you have posted on are a sahm bashing post and this one. Who knows what you do or do not do. Luckily, I have already highlighted that one of your original statements is untrue and were you a regular poster, I would be happy to pm you the consultants names, but as you are not someone that I 'know' around the forum, I won't. Enough derailing about Drs now, the thread isn't about that and it has been explained to you why the example of Drs and teachers was used.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:06:08

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TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:07:32

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Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 23:07:42

All children are equally deserving of a first rate education.

And the least able children and poorest children who come from the least supportive backgrounds need it more than the most able children from the most supportive backgrounds.

That's the truth, and the rest of this discussion about what adults deserve or don't deserve is just piss in the wind.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 23:09:30

Spam, talking about not wanting to pay for those not working is hardly showing compassion, by anybodies standards

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:10:48

Nice

So, do tell, if you had the money OP would you send your children to private school?

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:13:00

Oh noes, I did a swear. Which is much much worse than telling the entire internet that only rich people work hard and therefore should be able to buy privilege for their children.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Feb-13 23:13:05

Oh look
A link to our guidelines
Do have a look
Thanks

mummyplum1 Mon 04-Feb-13 23:13:08

tough- I have no idea which of my statements you feel is untrue. You certainly haven't high lighted it to me. I certainly didn't do any SAHM bashing as you put it and I find it more than a bit odd that you feel the need to check my posting history.
These Consultants that you supposedly know couldn't have become Cs without going through NHS training so you are clearly talking total rubbish.
I suggest that you try to get your facts right in future.

Can I just point out that under the current laws private schools can't give up charitable status as some people have suggested. It would take a significant re-writing of the laws covering charities. IIRC One of only practical ways they can give up charitable status would be to wind up the charity and give the assets to another charity that performs the same purpose.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 23:15:37

Sometimes threads like this really challenge me to try to argue hard and argue well, and to be very clear in my own head about what I think and why.

Not the OP's fault, but this one seems to have drowned in a lot of crap that's just difficult to engage with.

Nhs training- there is the clue....

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:17:17

Add message | Report | Message poster Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:13:00
Oh noes, I did a swear. Which is much much worse than telling the entire internet that only rich people work hard and therefore should be able to buy privilege for their children.

Try not to be childish, I said no such thing. You said all people work hard, I disagreed using my own workplace experience, you resounded by being insulting. Then swearing. Nice

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 23:18:02

All children are equally deserving of a first rate education

Yes, and it is up to the parents to provide it.

The state provides basic services, but if you want first rate, then pay for it from your own pocket.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 23:18:04

TheOriginal - I might well do, or use the money to move somewhere with better schools.

But then I wouldn't go around trumpeting that it was FAIR that our children were getting a better deal than the kids from poor families we'd left behind in the old school, and tick their worried parents off for being jealous of our good fortune, or tell them they should just work harder or eat less or something, even when it was patently obvious that no amount of budgeting would bring them within a mile of paying for a private school.

Why can't people just say 'Yes it's bloody unfair, it's shit for those children who are losing out, and I wish it wasn't so'. And then not vote for a government who perpetuates inequality in society and in education which impacts on the emotional and social welfare of ALL children, rich and poor.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:18:05

<responded>

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:20:10

Because that's not what I think, so I'm not going to say it. And as for voting Conservative, well 13 years of a Labour administration didn't fill me with overwhelming delight about their capacity to improve the education system so I'll stick with the Tories thanks

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 04-Feb-13 23:20:35

OP, it's not 'shit' not to go to private school.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:20:46

But why shouldn't state education be first rate? What happened to wanting equality of opportunity (which is all that it's about)? Even the most rabid-sounding of Tories would agree that this is what is should be happening.

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 23:20:46

It is really strange to say " look I produced three children, but I don't owe them an education. It is the state and society which owes them the very best. Nothing to do with me"

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:21:52

Oh ffs flatbread, everyone who works pays taxes. Those taxes fund the education system. It should be the very best there is.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:24:44

You know, I do agree with that wallison - but I don't think wanting things to be better and voting for a party you think will do that is mutually exclusive to sending your child to private school in the meantime.

My child is not a social experiment

Flatbread Mon 04-Feb-13 23:27:12

So what? We all pay taxes for social housing. Doesn't mean those houses have to be the very best in the housing market.

State education is just that, a basic education. Supplement it with home learning, tuition and extracurricular activities if you cannot afford private.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 23:27:30

Yermina.

Yes that is true, but until things change its a waste of time moaning about the unfairness of it all.
As I said up thread, try doing something proactive rather than just reacting. Ok, it may not change a damn thing but it will make you feel better. Please don't be bitter, take one step towards making your dcs education better, tomorrow. I know how you feel because I and many others have been there, but it is not the fault of the parents using Private education.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 23:27:38

"Yes, and it is up to the parents to provide it.

So basically the children of the poor and uneducated will continue, by and large, to be poor and uneducated, because inequality perpetuates itself.

Unless the state steps in and attempts to redress the balance.

Which most people on this thread, particularly the well off people with children at private schools, seem very unenthusiastic about.

Inequality is great for those people who are winning in an unfair system. (and from a child's point of view it IS massively unfair. Massively. No child has done anything to deserve being given a great education or a shit one).

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 04-Feb-13 23:28:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 04-Feb-13 23:29:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOriginalLadyFT Mon 04-Feb-13 23:24:44
You know, I do agree with that wallison - but I don't think wanting things to be better and voting for a party you think will do that is mutually exclusive to sending your child to private school in the meantime.

My child is not a social experiment

^^
This, completely is what I agree with.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 23:33:10

"try doing something proactive rather than just reacting"

I am.

"Supplement it with home learning, tuition and extracurricular activities if you cannot afford private."

And what do you say to the children whose parents can't pay for these things, and can't provide them themselves because they themselves are uneducated? 'Tough luck?' You're happy that the state - roughly - should adopt this stance towards the children of the poor in relation to education? You think it's good for the UK as a whole to take this laissez fair attitude towards education?

Do you really think this is morally acceptable?

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 23:33:32

I have to admit I am slightly horrified at this idea that just because it is something provided by the state it should be in some way inferior. 94% of people in this country go through the state education system. They are the workforce of the future, and they will make up the majority of that workforce by a long chalk. If this country is going to make it at all, it needs bright, committed, focused people who can cut it in an international market-place, not drones who function at the lowest level because they have never had their potentional teased out and fully realised in the way that a proper education can.

I am also horrified that teachers in the state education system should be aspiring to no more than this, just because they are funded through taxes. Fortunately, most of the teachers that I know both as friends and at my son's (state) school also do not subscribe to this view depressing, limited view of the potential that a good state education can unlock.

Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 23:35:15

Children's centres were GREAT.

They've closed about half of them down in my borough.