Private schooling options...(22 Posts)
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If you decided to go the private route, how did you do it?
Did you do it from Day 1? If so, how many months/years prior to your child's entry did you register your DC at the school?
Did you do it later on? How did DC cope with leaving old friends (who remained in state school) behind? Did it make things awkward with the other mums?
I teach in a prep school, we have children who join in almost every year group, they soon fit in and make new friends. Some keep in touch with old friends, others don't, it can depend on the age of the child as to whether they have formed a strong enough bond to want to communicate electronically with friends and keep up with them.
Hi there ..
We waited until we felt we could afford it, and then started the search. We chose our school, did the visit, put the deposit down and then played the waiting game. (there was quite a large waiting list). In the mean time our children attended the local primary school.
We got the phone call just over 2 years later. we knew the waiting list was large and we actually thought we would have to wait a lot longer.
So then it was entrance exam time, the waiting game to see if they were ok, and then we spoke to our primary school head, who was very supportive of our decision.
Our Children adjusted very well. Our eldest was more wary, as we did the swap mid school year. It helped that they went together as they knew they were in the same boat. They havnt looked back, they settled very well and we couldn't be more proud of how they adjusted.
Most of our immediate friends knew our long term plans, we never hid the fact that as soon as we could afford it, we were going down the private road, and they were very supportive, a few made some tongue in cheek remarks, but their opinions realy don't make any difference. One made some pretty spiteful remarks that have got back to me, which hurt at first. (usual petty snob remarks, comments about our children's intelligence etc) but it was her alone not a majorty.
We were lucky that the friends our children counted as close friends have stayed in touch, 1 or 2 have fizzled but in all fairness I think they would of anycase.
Hope that helps.
OP, we assumed our DC would attend state school until the owner of their nursery recommended a local prep school.
We went to have a look, assuming it wouldn't be for us.
But it was. So we put names down there and then. Assessment was the following week. When I say assessment, it was just sittinmg in a room listening to a story then answering a few questions (what more could it be at 3 years old?).
A few friends I had made in toddler groups were a bit at our decision. One never forgave us. Most didn't give a flying flip.
We planned for private for sec as we thought that was more important. DS1 went to our local state school and we were quite pleased in YR (just to add that myself and DH did not grow up in the UK so a bit ignorant as to education here).
Anyway as DS1 progressed to YR1 we started feeling a bit uncomfortable with the info/report we were getting. We did not understand them and his Y1 teacher wasn't very good with parents (so we were told by other parents).
Then in Y2 he had 2 job share teachers. One of them was really good but she struggled to follow through on some of the plans we had for DS1. The head of school also changed at this point to a more leftist, liberal type that just watered down the ethos of the school.
We spoke to other friends living elsewhere (namely London & Solihull) who had switched to private and they encouraged us to move. So we looked at about 5 schools and narrowed it down to 2 (non selective and selective), we prefered the selective and DS1 & DS2 went for assessment and got offered places. They are both doing so well. DS1 has settled down quickly and already has a new best friend!! So thats about it.
DS1 was sad to leave his friends, parents were ok about it and most said they would do same if they had the money as they were all unhappy with new head. We have tried to keep in touch but it hasn't been easy.
DS moved during the 2nd term of Y3. We made the decision only a few weeks before and we started looking at possible options straightaway. Most of them had very long waiting list, but we went to visit one which very luckily had one vacancy in Y3. We loved the school and signed that same day. He moved 2 weeks after and settled in very quickly.
DS has kept in touch with friends from the old school thanks to a club that he attends once per week, but he did find it quite difficult. They only see each other one hour per week at this club and the friendships have fizzled away quite rapidly.
We did it from day 1, but many of DCs friends joined later down the line - there have been joiners every year so far and they fit in pretty quickly. Saying that, the school is now full and I know people worrying because they now have to wait.
Weekends are spent doing clubs with friends from state schools. DCs envy them slightly because they have shorter school days, but that's it really. I feel a bit like a fish out of water at some of their birthday parties because there is a huge age difference (most of the mums in the indie are around 15 years older than the mums of equivalent aged kids for the state school), but the kids themselves muck along pretty well together. I probably spend more time ensuring they keep up friendships outside of school than I do thinking about them maintaining friends inside school, but that's because I personally find the elitism aspect of the indie school a big downside, and try to kick against it.
As years go by we see some friends join the indie, some leave. They stay friends/disappear in the same way that others stay friends/disappear.
We started to look last year and then realised from the schools we visited that there was more flexibility than we realised. We do not live in the SE. Decided to let DS, then in yr2, to continue at his good state primary. After further discussion put him in for 8+ exam and he has passed so will move for the beginning of yr5.
I think he will keep up with his good friends but we do not live in the same village as his primary school and shortage of boys in the class is one of the reasons for us moving him. He is lucky to know a few children already at the indie from sports clubs so we hope for a smooth change.
Both daughters went to maintained school Nursery units, which were outstanding but sadly eldest did not get a primary school place so went indie from Reception (we had been made aware it would be unlikely she would get her choice of school so did indie open days and made applications around September/October the year before she was due to start. They assessed in Dec/Jan and we received offers before state primary schools were confirmed and accepted one. We figured losing the cost of a deposit was a small price to pay if we miraculously got the state school of choice, but we didn't so they have both gone to the same indie school as each other since youngest started school. Amazing clubs provision, smaller classes, and two thoroughly happy and motivated children later we are glad we do it, but if we could get similar standard education and extracurricular provision at a local state we would take it in a flash!
Ds was set for state school until the time came to apply for schools. His CM changed her mind on doing the school run. Big surprise as she had been doing the nursery run and seemed happy (she later changed her mind but by then I was committed). Looked at childcare alternatives, all of which were complicated. Local private school offered great wraparound care hours and took away the hassle for the same cost the CM quoted.
Ds started in Reception. He moved to another prep for year 4 on a scholarship and now does weekly boarding (not every weekday as yet). He has stayed in touch with some of his old school friends but not many and doesn't seem particularly bothered about it. The life at his new school is completely different so that takes up his time and focus. He went to his old school holiday club today for the first time since he left. He said he prefers his new school.
No criticism from nursery friends for choosing private over state schoo. A few comments from private school friends for choosing boarding over day. Nothing that bothers me as our true friends know the reasons why.
We started off with the local state primary school (which wasn't much cop IMO, although 'Good' rated by Ofsted), and then when we moved house, we had a bit more money and were not at normal admissions period, so just went private rather than going for whatever had a free place in state.
When it was time for the next child to start school, we just sent her to the same private school, since it had been so much better than our experience of the state sector and plus DS was already there, and they suck you in to an extent with the free/subsidised nursery places scheme initially, and then intransigence keeps them there as the fees go up to full rate.
DD went to a state school to start with, but we moved at 7 to a local girls' independent school. DS sat a 7+ exam for the boys' school and although he got a place, he stayed at his state school until the end of Y5 when we decided to move him. Luckily there was a place! Second daughter is still at a state school.
We always wanted to, but couldn't afford it from Day 1, so DS went to the local Ofsted outstanding Primary.
During the course of Year 2, our financial plans came good and we looked around 2 of the local Preps, falling in love with one of them. He had a taster day, loved it, so we registered him to start at Year 3. (Not London, so no 30 children for every place thank goodness).
For a few months, DS kept in touch with some of his old friends, but as many of their parents had been a bit at our going Independent, that soon stopped (as indeed it did with our adult friendships). DS's friends are all from his current school, or from the several sports he does out of school, or from our village. All walks of life / schools.
It took DS a few weeks to break into existing friendship groups, but he has loved it from Day 1 and now he is in his final year of Prep with a position of responsibility, school colours in lots of sports, doing brilliantly academically and has lots of friends.
I know several people who've gone state to private and managed to keep their "mum" friends, but I only managed it with one, and she now lives in USA. Many of my old friends did seem to take the rejection of the Primary school rather personally, even though I never criticised it, only saying that DH had been to private school, adored it and wanted the same for our DS.
all of my children have been to state school, except the youngest who at 3 is in nursery daycare.
However this coming september the middle two will be starting at fee paying schools, with youngest joining as soon as she is old enough.
This is partly due to my eldest not fulfilling his potential at a state school and looking likely to leave school in the summer scraping by on c's and partly becasue an inheritance is now at the level that it will pay for all dc's fees until the end of university years.
Ds1' will attending college on the course of his choice (IT) in september, but i will always feel slightly guilty that we didnt take up the offer of unding sooner.
sorry should have said the middle 2 will be 7 (yr3) and 11 (yr7), yr7 also will be in receipt of a sports scholarship for part of his fees.
I have noticed that a number of people say they tried state and for them it didnt work.
Interesting, another thread I am on got quite heated, apparently parents who send their children private are hooray henry's, not living in the real world and taught by odd ball teachers. Very strange as I havent seen it and I am actually using private ed with the boys and have been for the last 12 yrs.
maisie I know the thread you are talking about and frankly I think that OP is barking and deliberately trying to wind people up.
Considering I know people who ended up teaching at both, private and state ssecondary schools, ... no offense to the latter... I would definitely go with the first, if the money is there.
Better qualified in my opinion, though state school affecionados will say that isn't true.
I just want a good school that matches my expectations, and while I have seen a few state infant schools that were good... anything beyond that seemed to disappoint.
There is also a very strong indication from some that somehow people who go private for whatever reason are stupid, wasting their money, dont know what they are doing, not living in the real world etc.
These people have never been in a private school, where on earth are they getting all their info from.
If I started a thread saying 'Why on earth would you use the state system when you have the money to go private' I would be flamed probably quite rightly.
But it's Ok for people opposed to private to trash the schools having NEVER been in one. If they had said that they tried private and for them it didnt work for xxx reasons that's fine but they dont.
Ask someone who is using private as to what they think about it - not people that have had no experience. And the view that someone people buying private are all hooray henrys with no idea of the real world is laughable. Many many parents make scarifces to send their children and work to afford the fees. Sadly they are not just sitting there.
I even tried at one point to say that we all have different opinions and we should be allowed to make our own decisions. But no, one poster in particular came back again and again with all sorts of rude comments about private schools when it was clear she had never been in one
maisie I agree it is absolutely ok for us all to have different opinions and make our own decisions. Go on do start a thread:
'Why on earth would you use the state system when you have the money to go private'
I dare you!!
DS1 went to our local state primary school then sat the entrance exam for one of the local independent senior schools. He passed, really liked the school when he visited and is doing really well there (Y9 now) having made a nice group of friends (he was the only one out of his primary school to attend). He hasnt really kept in touch with anyone from his old school.
DS2 also attended the local primary school for nursery, reception and Y1. Unfortunately, Y1 was disrupted by alot of different supply teachers because of his teacher's sickness plus his teacher had just taken on the responsibility of Key Stage leader and was out of the classroom alot attending meetings. DS2 started to become very unhappy at going into school, he said he couldnt concentrate, he couldnt write properly. After talking to his teacher and seeing the work he was producing, the school nurse referred him to the community paediatrician and OT. We felt we needed to do more and went to look at the prep school that fed the senior school DS1 attended. We liked what we saw, in particular the smaller class sizes.
DS2 was less impressed as he had a very close circle of friends and didnt want to move. However, we made the decision, he went for a taster day (assessment), was offered a place and started in September Y2. The children were all very friendly and welcoming and he has come on in leaps and bounds. He had a couple of OT sessions and the school took on the suggestions of using a sloped writing board, pencil grips and a Moven' Sit cushion. It took him a good couple of months before he stopped saying that he wished he could still go to school with his old friends but we have made a big effort to keep in touch and he still sees his best friend from his old school every other week or so.
There was no awkwardness with other mums, one or two commented that they would like to do the same if they could afford it others that they were perfectly happy how there child was getting on where they were. I had one very short conversation with DS2's best friend's mum who stated that she did not believe in private education etc etc. but I just didnt allow myself to get drawn in.
Some would say MRS JWR that you should have fought harder for your rights. Dont go to the big bad private system, you are deluded, a hooray henry and will be taught by odd ball teachers. You dont live in the real world and other equally unhelpful rude comments.
In fact we recongise that for SOME the private system is right. The state in many areas cannot cater for them. They try it and its not suitable for whatever reason. So, please everyone, let us make our own decisions about what we choose to do with our money.
I would have to post that thread and then make a run for it Happy never to be seen again.....