If you can afford it, would you send your children to an independent school?

(517 Posts)
Fiona2011231 Mon 04-Nov-13 20:50:54

This is a hypothetical question, and I would greatly appreciate your insight.

My question is based on this assumption: In England, if you want your children to have a better chance in life (great success, joining the elites, etc), a good independent school is a requirement. Of course, few have enough money to afford it.

But suppose you have enough money, would you send your children to an independent school? Or would a grammar or a comprehensive school be good enough?

Thank you.

Are you a journalist?

elportodelgato Mon 04-Nov-13 20:57:30

We can afford it and we would never do it. Does that answer your question?

I'm sure a whole lot of people will turn up in a minute to say that it borders on child abuse not to pay for 'the best' for your child if you can afford it, but I don't think independent schooling is 'the best' frankly and am a firm believer in the benefits of the state system.

rabbitstew Mon 04-Nov-13 20:58:25

Society is really going to the dogs if you can now only be viewed as having a successful life if you join "the elites."

NorthernShores Mon 04-Nov-13 21:00:23

Can't afford it but yes I would if it was a good school and offered more than our local.

mummy1973 Mon 04-Nov-13 21:00:30

I don't think I would on principle. We don't have grammar schools in this area either and I don't think I would go that route either as the idea of selection doesn't sit well with me. However I think it depends on the child and their needs. If there was a school they really wanted to go to for a specific reason or they had special needs I wouldn't rule it out just because it was private (if I had the money).

FantasticDay Mon 04-Nov-13 21:10:47

We have enough money, but I wouldn't. Dd and ds both go to outstanding state schools in socially and ethnically mixed inner city area. I think they are nicer, more open and understanding people for having friends from different backgrounds - hijabi, teen parents, recent migrants as well as uni lecturere and scientists. I wouldn't want them pushed academically more than they already are being (which is plenty)!. I don't think 'joining the elite' is 'better' than being a good citizen and a decent person.

BikeRunSki Mon 04-Nov-13 21:12:16

Money would allow me to consider a wider range of schools for my children tram otherwise, independent and otherwise.

Chottie Mon 04-Nov-13 21:13:38

Yes, in a heart beat.

Yermina Mon 04-Nov-13 21:16:46

No. I think private schools damage society by being divisive and anti-meritocratic.

I think their existence harms us as a society because they perpetuate inequality.

If my children stood NO chance of going to university or having a great career without a private education I'd probably find myself unwillingly compromising my principles in relation to this. Luckily bright and motivated children in the state sector with supportive and involved parents appear on the whole to achieve highly and go on to career success, so I don't need to be conflicted on this one.

I accept that private schools, like most other types of privilege and unfairness, will always be with us, but I feel strongly that they should lose their charitable status unless they showed willing to offer bursaries to disadvantaged and UNDERACHIEVING children, as these are the ones who really need small class sizes and strong pastoral care to thrive, rather than extremely bright children with pushy but impoverished parents, as these children seem to thrive in state schools.

elportodelgato Mon 04-Nov-13 21:18:16

I luffs you FantasticDay, I feel EXACTLY the same smile

CelticPromise Mon 04-Nov-13 21:19:47

We could at a stretch but we would not consider it. I wouldn't want to move anywhere with 11+ either.

Bowlersarm Mon 04-Nov-13 21:21:07

We can (just about), and we do.

FantasticDay Mon 04-Nov-13 21:21:24

thanks to elporto

BikeRunSki Mon 04-Nov-13 21:22:15

My dad could have written fantastic's post, 30 years ago. I am outstandingly grateful to him for it. On terms of social and cultural education, I reckon my siblings and I had the "best" education in London at the time. My school prided itself on having pupils with 46 first languages. My form had the son of a hereditary peer and the janitors' daughter and every other drop in the socioeconomic ocean in between. Academically ok too.

AndHarry Mon 04-Nov-13 21:22:49

We can't afford it but if I could then I would send them to a state primary school and then an independent secondary school, purely because by then I'd have a better idea of what sort of school would suit them.

Ecuador Mon 04-Nov-13 21:25:49

Mine are at private.

They went to a little village school before that. Far greater ethnic mix at the private school. Village school was all white and middle class.

They are not academic that is why they are there as it isn't particularly selective in that way. I live in Kent so grammars rule and we are denied entry to that type of school as they wouldn't pass the 11+ much less cope afterwards. I won't pretend to be religious to get into a faith school.

Don't give a rat's a* about the elitist aspect of the school.

Everyone says that bright, motivated children will do fine wherever they are and are generally stumped when I ask what happens to the mediocre not so bright ones like mine.

So yes I would and do pay but would rather not to be honest if there were a half decent alternative open to us.

Doodledumdums Mon 04-Nov-13 21:27:37

A million percent yes. Though we could never afford it unfortunately. I experienced both state and private, and I would definitely send my children to private if I could possibly manage it.

NoComet Mon 04-Nov-13 21:30:25

DD1 would in a heart beat, because her BF does. (Wealthy GPs, DDs don't have).

Me may be, It would be a very long day, we are not on the bus route.

I'd have to be able to afford it very easily and it would have to provide all sport, music, dance and gymnastics as DDs wouldn't get home in time.

I'm not convinced that her very bright (year older) DF wouldn't have got much the same GCSE grades at their local, good comprehensive. She musical and her school charges far more than DD pays privately and not particularly sporty so I'm not sure private school is that good a value for money.

For some sport mad DCs, I think it can offer things that are very hard to organise otherwise.

AbiRoad Mon 04-Nov-13 21:31:20

I can and do, but if I lived in a different place I might not -depends on the options.

Doodledumdums Mon 04-Nov-13 21:35:00

Ecuador - I grew up in Kent and my parents sent me and my brother to Private schools for exactly the reasons you describe in your post. Kent is a terrible place to go to school unless you are religious or academic enough for grammar.

Mintyy Mon 04-Nov-13 21:35:14

No. I hate the idea of private education. Its just one of those things I feel very strongly about.

curiousgeorgie Mon 04-Nov-13 21:42:00

I think it depends on your area. Our most local schools are amazing, so regardless of money I would send my children there. If I lived somewhere where the schools weren't so good then I would pay for private.

Could afford it but would rather not.

Would depend on the alternative though. If I felt the state option was hugely disadvantageous.

I went private and did not enjoy school. Kids were very entitled and not too nice. It was also a small school which made it hard to find a clique to fit into.

DP was state all the way and has been more successful than me. That said I have grudgingly caught myself wondering where he would be if he had gone private. Pretty sure Oxbridge then even bigger career. But doubt he would be happier.

Talkinpeace Mon 04-Nov-13 21:57:07

No grammars here.
I could have afforded private for the DCs but I prefer holidays and good food.
OP which paper do you write for?

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