Private school vs state school - the two tribes

(98 Posts)
UrbanDad Tue 19-Oct-10 14:17:53

I have been walking DCs to their (state) junior school and have noticed a marked difference in the two tribes on either side of the road (girls' independent and prep school on one side, state junior and comprehensive secondary on the other).

These two streams of humanity mark themselves out in the following way:

1. Private school kids hop out of SUVs, whereas there are scooters, bicycles and shanks' pony for the state school kids.
2. No dads or grannies taking private school kids to school - it's almost all mums and nannies.
3. Private school kids look like pack-horses with sports kit with hockey stick, racquet etc., school book bag and occasionally a monstrous musical instrument (sometimes several times the size of the child) whereas the state school kids carry a book bag or nothing at all.
4. Private school girls' skirts are so short they would not be acceptable in the state school (which is odd - there are no boys to impress at the private schools anyway - maybe a girly competitive thing?).
5. Immaculately coiffed hair is de rigeur for the girls' schools, although state school kids have more adventurous hairstyles (e.g. corn-braids, spiky hair).
6. Private school girls are much more diverse in height (some very little, some very tall), but state school kids seem to cluster around the mean.

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 14:45:07

Fantastic thread grin.

My heart kind of sank when I saw your post as we are proably changing from private to state after a great deal of thinking (4 children - say no more). I assumed you were going to say that the state children were not presenting as many manners as the prep children (I apologise for such an assumption and am glad I was wrong).

Your post made me chuckle as I can so relate to what you say; particularly point one which made me laugh out loud.

Will enjoy following this thread.....

minipie Tue 19-Oct-10 15:07:26

Interesting. I went to a private girls' school and we definitely fitted the state school characteristics you describe way more than the private ones.

Mind you it was in London, very academically selective and gave lots of bursaries/assisted places etc, so maybe it was an atypical private school.

emy72 Tue 19-Oct-10 15:12:17

mmm I guess this is meant to be tongue in cheek ;o)

You should see the length of the skirts at our local state secondary, I often wonder whether they are just wearing tights and a blazer!

thirtysomething Tue 19-Oct-10 15:22:30

At my DD's private school skirts have to be knee-length (no exceptions!) and far more dads and grandparents collect the girls from school than was the case at the state school DD used to go to, where it was all mums and nannies.

Plus the cars were far smarter (and bigger!) at the state DD's private school everyone seems to be using their last bit of cash to pay the fees; therefore many parents use the public bus to/from school. I obviously don't live in the same part of the country as you!

JeffVadar Tue 19-Oct-10 16:04:03

Private school kids do have a lot of clobber smile!

On Monday mornings DS goes into school with:

Tuba in large black case
Music case
Net bag bulging with games kit (plus cricket bag in summer)
Zip up A4 ring binder
2 or 3 excercise books for prep, plus corresponding text books
Reading book

The days in between are OK, but obviously it all comes home again on Friday.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 16:14:24

And the bitter OP's attitude is exactly why I wouldn't send my kids to state school! hmm

If you were talking about someone's religion or race you would probably be banned from this site. To have such a mean attitude towards children is pretty cruel.

Litchick Tue 19-Oct-10 16:15:43

Gotta admit that my kids are weighed down with kit...instruments, music bags LAX sticks, kits bags, rucksacks etc

But apart from that, DD goes on the bus and is religiously told to unravel the waistband of her skirt and bloody brush her hair wink

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 16:16:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Litchick Tue 19-Oct-10 16:17:53

Do state schooled kids not play music or sports in your neck of the woods OP?

singersgirl Tue 19-Oct-10 16:21:40

I guess it's tongue in cheek, particularly the bit about height! Have one at private prep, one at state primary and there are SUVs and scooters at both, dads, grannies and nannies at both, musical instruments at both (though much less sports kit at the state primary) and children of vastly different heights at both.

<considers the variety of height of children in DS's class. Looks at his guitar. Consider the look of pack horse that happens on Mondays.>

Not sure why I am letting myself post on this thread. DS at state school obviously.

exexpat Tue 19-Oct-10 16:42:38

Aha - so that's why my two DCs were always a head taller than their classmates at their state school - they were obviously always destined to go private.... hmm

exexpat Tue 19-Oct-10 16:44:09

... but it sounds like I need to neaten up their hair and stop walking to school buy myself a bigger car.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 16:49:00

UrbanDad, you are one of those parents who turn up really early to collect their kids, and have time to observe the differences, aren't you.

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:54:36

Yes I noticed the vast amount of paraphernalia the private school kids lug about.

Also some are dressed up in some sort of combat gear sometimes - obviously private school is more dangerous than state school.

Private school uniforms always seem horrific to me - huge blazers and tartan calf-length skirts.

In terms of height, local private school kids are ENORMOUS!

Hence the SUVs.

UrbanDad Tue 19-Oct-10 16:56:06

GollyMissMolly - confused by your posts. I'm bitter about nothing and may even send my DCs to private school later in life. I just thought I'd share my observations - not drawing any conclusions from them and it looks from some of the other posts that they may be atypical (except the pack-horse thing - that seems to be well-founded wink).

threetimespink Tue 19-Oct-10 16:58:09

Mummy: Darling lets do our homework
5y.o DS.: Mummy, why bother if nobody wants to see it
Mummy: How many teachers did you see today (class of 30)
DS: Just one, and yesterday
(there are 3 on payroll)

Enough said, moving to a private school next year from what is "one of the best state schools around"

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:58:48

I fort you was just havin a larf

<state school educated>

sue52 Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:10

Depends where you live. In London that's probably par for the course, but here in Kent you are just as likely to be knocked over by a hard faced bottle blonde driving a brand new 4x4 emerging from either a state school or a private one.

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:29

And here we go again...

preghead Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:57

I agree generally apart from the paraphenalia, in our area there are lots of both types of school and they all seem to have a lot of stuff but it is the local state junior that seems to have the most, and the most ridiculously massive book bags on their backs.

sue52 Tue 19-Oct-10 17:02:29

Gollymissmolly Leave Arizonagirl alone, she's just a bit stressed out and pregnant.

boyanddogs Tue 19-Oct-10 17:06:35

The private (and alternative) school my son goes to presents a very different picture! There are some SUVs and well-groomed mums, a few dads in definitely up-market cars, most arrive walking or by bike or brought by either parent in rather shabby old cars. My son complains that some of the mothers (and some teachers) "wear curtains", as he puts it. No uniform, so kids generally wear "whatever" -- I'm glad to say there doesn't seem to be a lot of showing off when it comes to the kiddies' clothes. As there is a lot of emphasis on music, we do see little 'uns staggering under their cello or bassoon, but equally some just have a recorder stuffed in their bag. No sports gear at all ... everything is played in ordinary gym kit: shorts or sweat pants, tee-shirt and sweatshirt (colour is specified by the school). So I don't think one can really categorise!

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 17:06:58

What is it with the uniforms? Can someone explain?

Why not just wear a polo shirt and a skirt/trousers? cheap and practical? Why wear all this stuff?

jonicomelately Tue 19-Oct-10 17:07:09

There is a grain of truth I suppose in what you say but what is the point of this thread. It seems to me you can only offend both sides of the argument.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 19-Oct-10 17:11:18

DD goes to a bog standard comp and carts all sorts of crap with her - hockey stick, football kit, guitar, bags full of folders and massive great big portfolios.

You can generally tell apart a lot of the private school children around here because a lot of them trip through town with CHELTENHAM COLLEGE emblazoned on sweatshirts,.

MenorcaFan Tue 19-Oct-10 18:08:03

Superb - another thread bashing public schools / children / mums. Just what the world needs.


ampere Tue 19-Oct-10 18:16:15

Is the OP 'bashing' it or observing it, Menorca ?

mummytime Tue 19-Oct-10 18:23:20

I didn't think this was a bashing thread. I would say, sixth formers at most schools around here are indistinguishable, except the boys grammar where they were suits.
The others you can tell by their blazers and ties. Outside the posh girls school the ones at the bus stop are going to the Comp. But then you can almost tell the comps apart by th skirt length, some are much shorter than others.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 18:33:23

A child should not be defined by the school it goes to. Shame on parents that do this...

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 18:33:25

Ahhh - sweet sue52 - please don't worry - suspect Gollymissmolly is just having a bad day.

And Golly, Miss Molly....deep breaths - I don't think I have actually expressed a strong preference for either (perhaps slightly for private due to resources and class sizes). I certainly remain open-minded - ds was at an assessment prep day this week whilst we are also looking at our options for state. I know for a fact that some state schools are better than some preps and vice versa. As you obviously know (having read all my posts smile I have taught in both sectors and still remain unsure about my next career move. Obviously if I take your advice I will stay at home and not unleash myself on all those poor innocent children wink.

Urbandad - think you are getting a bit of a hard time for a light hearted bit of banter. I think some mums need to lighten up a bit - I didn't find your post at all critical or offensive. And I have been into more than 30 prep schools (both on a work and parental basis) and probably about 20 state schools. And the range rovers and volvo XC90's all heading for the prep schools is true (in this area anyway), not necessarily a good or bad thing... and I apologise if this made me laugh. {grin} [grin}

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 18:35:30

Shall I try again grin grin. Oh, Golly Miss Molly....what an idiot.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 18:53:35

For someone that has sooo much experience with state and private schools you don't seem to have a clue what to choose or why and base your opinions on a picture in a website. Another poster mentioned that a few schools you looked at like Twyford were mainly day and not boarding and you still didn't believe it. I hope you never teach in my DC's prep schools - if you even are a teacher!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 19-Oct-10 18:58:42

IF state schools want to up their ratings, they should just get a uniform of stripey blazer for boys, and kilt skirts for girls...

alicatte Tue 19-Oct-10 19:05:32

Umm ...

Seriously there is a different ethos. It is nothing to do with uniform, music or size. It is just a more traditional style of education in the independent sector and a different style of education in state. You choose. If you want a traditional education where more demands are placed on the children (and parents) you, most likely, will have to pay now.

Obviously this is not true in every case it is just an overall view I have formed over the years.

ragged Tue 19-Oct-10 19:31:07

What is a "traditional" style of education? DS (yr6) very recently started at a private school which I'm told teaches using "traditional" methods; not that I can figure out what the heck that means (I just sent him there because he gets bullied easily in large class situations).

DS says that the other pupils seem to all read quite badly (aloud very slowly), that as before he reckons he's the cleverest in the class (no change there, lol), that the work is much easier than at his Yr5 was at state school, but he ends up doing much more of it (less time spent faffing, not least due to smaller class size).

Oh, and almost no homework and no SATs. Are those Hallmarks of a "traditional style of education"? If not, what is?

alicatte Tue 19-Oct-10 19:38:29

You are obviously an exception. A year 5 where I am would get 2/3 subjects a night at 30 minutes per subject. We are generally teaching a year ahead of the state sector - its true, I came from there. We use text books and direct teaching a lot more - some children who have moved do say that they understand the work more easily because of this.

Like I said, its not all schools. If the children are not fluent/free readers in year six perhaps that is why they don't do SATs. How's the maths? Do they do other 'subjects' like French, History etc.?

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 20:17:42

GollyMissMolly - Twyford IS predominantly boarding with 80 percent boarding later on. And rather than focusing on the pretty pictures on the rather eye-catching website, I rang the headteacher to check this was indeed the case (which it was). I rest my case.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 21:49:10

Why is GollyMissMolly being so nasty and rude? confused

Have I missed something, or is she always like this?

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 21:51:33

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 19-Oct-10 18:58:42
"IF state schools want to up their ratings, they should just get a uniform of stripey blazer for boys, and kilt skirts for girls..."

Yes indeed, and encourage the pupils to play large instaments such as cello or tuba.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 21:56:30

No, just a tad frustrated with a certain member. All out my system now! blush

Sorry arizonagirl - I genuinely hope you find the best route for your DC's although I suspect that your bright child will not do well at state school and you will have him out within a term. I hope I am wrong but am speaking from experience.

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 23:12:35

No problems. As I said previously, my preference would be for private - simply because of the smaller class sizes, extra resources etc. However, as pointed out by another member (don't think it was you?) I should take my head out of the sand and realistically assess whether we can afford to fund four children through private and onto university. We have done that and realise that the answer is very likely to be 'no' - hence a decision made on acceptance, logistics and an acknowledgement that there are some very good state schools out there. If I end up frustrated after one term, as may be the case, I will have to think further - BUT there is no point going down a path we can not sustain. And again, I reiterate - I do believe that children can flourish in a state school given the right support at home; probably more of a challenge with budget restraints etc but possible.

Anyhows, sorry urbanDad - we seem to have usurped your thread. Off to bed incase baby arrives tonight grin

zanzibarmum Tue 19-Oct-10 23:28:28

Is there not as much difference between state schools and between private schools, as between state and private. Kids are Kids surely?

ForMashGetSmash Tue 19-Oct-10 23:36:22

My DD has a uniform almost exactly like the local state...cotton check frock in Summer, grey pinafore in winter...the only difference is the blazer. She does carry more crap friend came with me and said "Whay does she need all THAT!? She's SIX!"

Seperate bag for PE kit, book bag, snack bag and dance gear bag. I walk....we live over the road and other locals do too....more locals have begun to enquire since the school re-located here. Hardly any parents at ours hav really posh cars...we're the cheapest private school in the county! We're all "trade" dahling!

belledechocolatefluffybunny Tue 19-Oct-10 23:40:45

We catch the bus and a tram. The uniform is the same as any other secondary (black trousers, blazer). I take him and pick him up but I'm a single mother so do everything for him anyway. His hair is always a mess, he's untidy and he's at a priate school.

Your theory doesn't apply to us. wink

MollieO Tue 19-Oct-10 23:43:45

Your ds is at pirate school, belle? How fab is that?! wink

belledechocolatefluffybunny Wed 20-Oct-10 00:31:33

grin The blardy V is sticky so will only work if I smack it.

Oh argh! wink

seeker Wed 20-Oct-10 01:03:24

Well, my ds fits the stereotype in terms of instrument size - he's at state school and plays the ukelele!

thirtysomething Wed 20-Oct-10 08:52:29

<<apologies for hijack>> how is DS getting on belle? Is he happy at his new school? I remember which school he is at (same as my DS!)

Litchick Wed 20-Oct-10 08:53:56

Must admit I have mixed feelings on the uniform issue.
I actually burst out laughing in the changing rooms when DD tried on her kilt and blardy blouse. It looked very sweet but sooooo old fashioned.
DD on the other hand loves it and says she feels very proud in it.

I guess it does set a standard. It says from the outset, that this is a traditional school with a long history that it's proud of.
For well over a hundred years girls have walked though those doors and received a fabulous education, which is something to celebrate.

At least the endless sports kits can be slung in the tumble dry.

Litchick Wed 20-Oct-10 08:55:28

Oh and urbandad, it was a serious question upthread. Do state schoolers not play sport or music in your area?

belledechocolatefluffybunny Wed 20-Oct-10 10:51:43

Have sent you a PM thirty smile

My DS1 is between the 91st and 98th centile for height so obviously I was obliged to send him to private school wink

dilemma456 Wed 20-Oct-10 13:10:29

Message withdrawn

Lizcat Wed 20-Oct-10 13:39:00

As a working Mum I am delighted to send DD off like a pack horse as it means that everything is happening at school - over 8 'extras' happening in the school day. At the end of the (slightly longer) day we come home, no other activites to go to.
Very strict rules on skirt length and a number are to the floor due to a large number of muslim girls in the school.
Uniform days yes hair is tie back neatly, non-uniform days the variation in styles is amazing.
What I have noticed regardless of whether it is a state or private school is that some schools breed a culture where children feel the need to conform to a set style and other schools breed a culture where individuality is the norm.

stillfeel18inside Wed 20-Oct-10 14:27:55

Well we had six fun posts before someone inevitably had to get serious....think that must be a mumsnet record. Here's what I've observed: primary level - private school kids seem really overdressed with blazers etc and loads of clobber generally, state school kids look much more carefree and scruffy (but mine were state so maybe I'm biassed!!) Secondary level - can't see a massive difference tbh, they all wear micro-skirts, loads of hair (boys and girls) and not a coat in sight!

MenorcaFan Wed 20-Oct-10 16:37:57

Can you all imagine the fury and vitriol that would be directed at the OP if he were a public school dad making these comparisons?

amicissima Wed 20-Oct-10 18:25:45

I think the dropping off v. walking/biking thing could be a reflection on the fact that in many areas the catchment area for the state school is so tiny that it's easy to get to. Private school catchment areas often larger and may be used by people who couldn't get a place at the local state school of their choice. That said I used to drive DD to state school sometimes when DS was a baby, but my DCs have had to make their own way to their private schools.

Uniform: the local comp has blazers, ties, special skirt/trousers, similar to the boys' private, but the girls' private has just stipulates colour of skirt/trousers with a sweatshirt. Waistbands wound up obligatory at all schools.

raceystacey Thu 21-Oct-10 08:06:14

Intersted in the mean height at your school, do you think it is a nutrition thing?
Skirts in our neck of the woods are a constant source of amazement at local comp
musical instruments are carried by all kids? Ds uses the same case to carry trumpet and running spikes and famously arrived at music exam with wrong contents!

seeker Thu 21-Oct-10 09:55:03

Mean height? That's about 3 feet, isn't it? That's when they get really mean, regardless of educational establishment.......

Mind you, they are pretty mean at 5ft6 - particularly the girls........

Litchick Thu 21-Oct-10 10:17:08

stillfeel18 - I don't think taking the piss out of kids is ever going to be lighthearted is it?

maggiethecat Thu 21-Oct-10 10:59:01

definitely never lighthearted when it comes to the state/private issue, people too easily offended at what they see as an attack on their choice.

seeker Thu 21-Oct-10 11:09:12

Then "people" should lighten up.

maggiethecat Thu 21-Oct-10 11:17:18

True. Even Little Miss Uptight here had to crack a smile at the OP.

UrbanDad Thu 21-Oct-10 14:18:03

CommanderCool - I'd forgotten the camouflage gear thing - either those kids are really, really shy and don't want to be seen or venture scouts just isn't hard-core enough for them.

On the huge musical instrument thing, I suspect that it's just part of the weight training thing to get them into the paras anyway.

The catchment area around the state school is microscopic whereas the private school is highly sought after, selective, academically-rigorous, prestigious, learning-focussed, helps gifted children attain their maximum potential (and so on...[yawn]) and kids who are both very intelligent and have well-heeled parents are quite thin on the ground, so parents herd their children there from miles away, hence the large motorised transport.

JeffVadar Fri 22-Oct-10 08:10:50

The parents of kids who play huge instruments have realised that it gives them a slight advantage when going for music scholarships for the next school.

Naturally parents will prefer small and neat instruments, but the schools don't want an orchestra consisting solely of violins and flutes.

We weren't that cynical when DS chose the tuba, but it did reconcile us to the first fews years of listening to him practice grin.

And finally, at the other private school in our town the girls wear ankle length kilts - and yes they do look different - and not in a good way!

Trying2bgd Fri 22-Oct-10 17:34:50

My dds go to a prep school which I think would throw your observations upside down! We take the bus to school, and every other child is dropped off by their dad. Have to say I know nothing about the heights, they all look small and cute to me! With regards to hair, I assume it is because private schools are quite strict about haircuts rather than because the parents belong to a different 'tribe'.
And I am more than sure that if you stood outside the school gates at lunch time, you would find all the skirts have suddenly shot up! Once parents are gone, the roll up begins!

Still18atheart Tue 26-Feb-13 18:11:21

Went private defo agree with op about the short skirts. Even though there was a strict rule on skirts being on the knee it was never enforced. There was a correlation between the popular the girl was the shorter the skirt.

Clobber, YYYYYY tennis racket or hockey stick depending on term, the amount of p.e kit to last a week on holiday. Own clothes for after school rehersal and music lesson stuff. As well as the many folders for lessons. Mum used to joke I was a pack mual about to trek the himalayas.

Of course this was to be carted to and from school every day

Still18atheart Tue 26-Feb-13 18:12:41

Also there was a huge variation is height.

But both mums and dads dropped off and picked up depending on who was working

Tasmania Tue 26-Feb-13 19:32:00

I think this varies a lot, depending on where you live. At a lot of state schools (seen this with SIL), there was a lot of "keeping up with the Jones's", and parents arriving via SUV at a not so nice school (the entrance is therefore grander), whereas at many of the girls' private schools in my area, there's not much parking, and they tend to be on small roads or main roads were parking is nigh impossible... so kids tend to arrive unceremoniously on the school bus.

LaVolcan Tue 26-Feb-13 20:09:56

IF state schools want to up their ratings, they should just get a uniform of stripey blazer for boys, and kilt skirts for girls...

Now isn't that the first thing the head does when the school becomes an Academy?

SanityClause Tue 26-Feb-13 20:14:45

This thread is over two years old!

surreygoldfish Tue 26-Feb-13 20:25:43

This made me smile - gosh some people are touchy.....

YYYY to the clobber - particularly at prep v state primary. Net bags - clothes, hockey sticks, trainers, astro boots, football boots etc plus cricket bags in summer, book bags, plus instruments of varying size. Local juniors - one rucksack.

YYYY to SUVs - generally large - parking a nightmare (most drive) we feel smug as walk - but the amount of kit does stop some walking relatively small distances....

YYYY to daft uniform at prep (berets and boaters and blazers over cricket whites in summer really is daft and i hated these trapping at first but have got used to it.) More variation in secondary round here.

Mixed bag in terms of who drops off - will also look out for the height thing!

We've done both state and private, have friends locally in both, so don't have an axe to grind either way.....From what I have seen locally, have no doubt that they are worked harder in the private system from an earlier age and have less free time....but that's part of the offering from the schools here....(pre secondary a mixed ability bunch in both state and independent locally)

LaVolcan Tue 26-Feb-13 20:26:18

Never noticed that! That's the trouble, once a thread gets resurrected you tend not to look at the date. I thought it was possibly a light hearted response to the thread about whether you would go to state school if you could afford private, which got to 1000 posts.

surreygoldfish Tue 26-Feb-13 20:26:54

SC - hadn't noticed this was old - hey ho - mild diversion whilst cooking dinner!

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Feb-13 21:04:19

having been at private, lots of friends kids are private, my kids are state
I thought the OP was really funny
inaccurate but funnyte

racingheart Tue 26-Feb-13 22:51:12

OP I'm surprised any parents at all are taking their DC to secondary school. Round here, state or private, they make their own way by train, bus or on foot.

Your number 3 on the list is also surprising. Round here the comps also provide loads of chances for people to play monstrous musical instruments and different sports. I'd not be keen on any school that had pupils who couldn't be bothered to play a range of sport and instruments, or read a lot of books. Walking like packhorses from the SUVs they've just hopped out of into the school grounds can't be too arduous. wink

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Feb-13 22:53:49

I drive mine to school - out of catchment, buses at wrong times and cost lots, no trains, 4.5 miles away.
they get the bus home

outtolunchagain Wed 27-Feb-13 10:24:32

You obviously have better public transport than us Racing, the earliest bus from our village is 10.15am.There are school buses but I work next door to the school so drive.

Not much difference in terms of smartness here , if anything I think the local state school is neater ,skirts tend to be shorter but a more flattering style than the independent . There are a lot more designer labels on display at state though , practically all the girls seem to have Jack Wills and Abercrombie sweatshirts on to walk to school.

It does puzzle me that the teens have such small bags though, even the 15 and 16 year olds seem to have a small drawstring or just a handbag . Do they do all their homework online? The independents seem have huge rucksacks full of books , and I know because ds 1 was at the I dependent that they do store stuff at school so don't need to bring everything home, it is homework.

State high performing by the way so not implying that they don't do homework or not work as hard etc, just puzzled.

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:52:10

A large heavy duty bag stuffed with books is part of my DCs standard daily 'uniform' at their indie. Most days they have extra luggage like sports bag and instrument case. Less books I can understand but why arent the state kids laden down with sports bags???

I don't have a SUV but I accept that many others do, probably so that they can transport all the kids plus the above mentioned 'luggage'.

Fashion? No difference. Girls are girls regardless of type of school. And since when girls let limited funds determine what clothes to buy? smile

Learningtoread101 Wed 27-Feb-13 11:25:33

Cor OP, chip on shoulder much?!

EducationalAppStore Wed 27-Feb-13 11:48:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Naranji Wed 27-Feb-13 16:50:30

That OP was a bit bitter wasn't it? I have two at private, one at state. They all have nice hair smile. Yes, the private school kids have loads of kit - that's because they all learn an instrument and all play loads of sport. They work hard at both, its not a fashion statement. State school dd also learns an instrument but the only music lessons they do at her school are recorder and piano - the recorder fits in her book bag and they don't expect her to carry the piano around wink.

You've generalised, so so shall I. None of the state school comprehensive kids wear coats here as they don't have pegs, if they wear coats they have to carry them around all day. When they tried to introduce lockers, stuff kept getting vandalised and nicked. I think I'll take the extra violin cases.

diabolo Wed 27-Feb-13 18:12:27

Sorry OP - your "observations" are not typical of the independents I know and use. The everyone drives an SUV stuff is nonsense and as far only mummies and nannies taking the kids to school - really? Are you being truthful here? Do you live in Chelsea? Are they all the children of oligarchs?

The only things I would agree with is that more children (at Junior level anyway) are driven to school, (as the privates draw their custom from a 10/20 mile or so radius - not exactly walk-able) and yes - they certainly do carry more kit.

diabolo Wed 27-Feb-13 18:15:11

I've just realised I posted on this thread 2 years ago under a previous name! grin

It still pisses me off a bit though.

hardboiled Wed 27-Feb-13 18:52:43

OP, not in London. Not at all. Somewhere else I dunno.

The height comment is though.

Amber2 Fri 01-Mar-13 08:55:09

Think it depends on the private school- DS is not heavily laden at prep school - ...1) sports kit (clothes, boots, sticks etc) for whole term is taken in large holdall on first day of term, and I don't see it again til last day of term - it's all labelled in the right places and sports clothes laundered and sorted weekly by school laundry (which is great)

2) prep (i.e. homework) is done/supervised daily in school after lessons - which is why he has a longer day so not a lot of folders come home.

Rest is musical instruments to and fro and rucksack with a couple of books and pencil case.

Amber2 Fri 01-Mar-13 08:56:20

Sorry - SUVs are standard and Range Rovers even more so.. but this is a country prep

hardboiled Fri 01-Mar-13 09:28:12

OP My post was edited somehow I meant your height comment was very very silly and flippant. Really.

Amber2 Fri 01-Mar-13 09:35:12

yes height comment is ridiculous...didn't bother to take bait on that one

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 01-Mar-13 09:38:17

I second the kit. My 5 yo DS looks like he's going on an expedition on a Monday. I just hang bags off him and push him through the gate in the hope his own momentum will get him in the class before he topples over.

On the skirt front our girls grammar school has to be the worst offender. But it was the same when I went there 25 years ago. We had GIANT perms though where now there is ironed barnets.

seeker Fri 01-Mar-13 09:44:00

No, OP, everyone knows that state school kids and their parents are clad from head to toe in designer gear, drive 4by4s and are tanned from their regular long haul holidays. Oh and are massively fat because they spend all their time watching Sky. While private school kids and parents wqlk 10 miles to school because their beaten up old Volvo has broken down, wear second hand uniform and clothes from charity shops and are still recovering from the trench foot they got on their camping holiday in Cornwall.

DadOnIce Fri 01-Mar-13 09:56:17

The idea of it being "two tribes" is an exaggeration anyway, which one only finds on places like... predominantly middle-class parenting chat fora hmm It's easy to get the impression that parents are divided 50-50, into those who have made one "choice" and those who have made another. In reality, an very small percentage of pupils go to private schools (about 7% nationally, and as low as under 1% in some towns). It isn't even an option for the vast majority of parents. For most normal, working, middle-class people.

To put it into context, 7% is about the proportion of the population which is left-handed smile

Xenia Fri 01-Mar-13 10:47:00

Heights... varies. My daughter at North London Collegiate (academic private, lots of Indian and Jewish girls i.e. fairly short) who did loads of sport said in lacrosse when they played posh country private schools the girls were all very tall and blonde. When they played largely Afro Caribbean/African origina state school pupils at netball they could be really tall (good for goal shooting). I assume Somali girls are tall but not sure how much they pay netball if they have to be covered etc.

I do agree that you can classify people. You can do it anywhere and amongst adults too. People seem to like their badges of class or group, their public affirmation that they belong to XYZ. In a good few private schools it is a bit common and nouveau riche to drive a ridiculously expensive car. That Perry artist did a good 3 part TV series on class and in his upper class programme the last one the family had a very old car as a matter of course. The middle class trying to look richer than they are lot in their 4 bed new estate homes had the trying to show off kind of cars.

Agree with the being weighed down point. Our 5 children (yes I pay 5 sets of school fees or did and yes women can earn enough to fund that alone plus other costs if they pick careers wisely) are pretty musical (3 won music scholarships). The biggest instruments have been french horn and 'cello and loads of sports bags. I could hardly pick up the bag of one this morning but that's because he obviously is carrying around more than he needs.

CecilyP Fri 01-Mar-13 11:13:35

Where did you say your DD went to school again, Xenia?

Amber2 Fri 01-Mar-13 11:17:47

Xenia, you must be a magic circle law firm partner or hedge fund manager ....but no need to tell us...keep them guessing!

Missbopeep Fri 01-Mar-13 11:43:23

This is a pretty narrow view. In my town the 2 state schools' kids look like the ones you describe from your private school- the boys and girls here play hockey, learn musical instruments, have loads of kit, etc etc.

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