Private primary school??(14 Posts)
I'm a bit new to all this school stuff and I'm planning ahead a bit, one kid is 14 months and the other is still in the oven!
The in laws have offered to pay for private education for all grand children. I'm not 100% convinced they will follow through but we would be interested in the possibility anyway.
Do people normally bother with a private primary school? Are there many benefits over a decent state primary school? We live in a rural area so there are a few small village schools around with private schools further a field.
I just went to the local primary and then the local comprehensive so this is all new to me! Any advice appreciated..
We're at a private primary, wasn't something we'd planned but we moved and couldn't get into the good local state primary.
There's a complete mix, ime, there are a few who started there in reception but a lot more who have joined at various stages all the way through.
The main benefits for me are class sizes, staffing levels and the breadth of subjects offered. Class sizes don't go above 12/14, and in lower years that's with a teacher and full time teaching assistant. They do loads of sport, 4 times a week, and a big variety of sports too. They have a swimming pool so have weekly swimming lessons.
On the flip side, uniform is crazy expensive, plus trips get added on top. Check if lunches etc are included. Some schools also charge for books in the higher years.
There does seem to be an expectation that school is all-important (at least at ours!) and you're expected to attend things like sporting fixtures/concerts etc at weekends.
It's all very individual to the school however, I love ours and the kids are very happy there but I've looked at other private primary schools I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. Private doesn't automatically mean better.
Thanks Mongoose. I guess it's best to go round and see a good mix of schools and see which one we like best.
But then i hear people saying you need to get booked in early and not getting in places.. when do you have to start worrying about these things??
You probably need to start looking at private schools now, OP. I know where we are the waiting lists start at 6-9 months old.
From before birth here!
It really depends on what schools are available to you- it will be different for each family. For us, we did private primary and have been very happy.
To start in reception, our school still has spaces for September. It will depend on yor local area! Ours is totally full further up the years though, but basically if they get more children, to a certain extent they will just hire more teachers.
We went with private primary to avoid 7+/11+ entrance exams.
Ours has 18 in a class from YR-Y2 then 24 from Y3-6, not sure about Y7 and beyond.
The private schools around our way are excellent and oversubscribed. So, not a case of whether it is a good primary but whether it suits the child and if you are fortunate to get a place.
They all have differing deadlines and are assessment based, so order of registration is not a factor.
We ended up drawing up a table with each school, age of entry, deadline for applications, fees, pros, cons etc.
I defiantly think private primary pays off. My DS went to state primary until it was time to move to secondary and then went private. On starting he had a lot of catching up to do, his state primary is allegedly a very good school but he was miles behind his class at private secondary.
DD on the other hand started at private primary age 5 she has never had to try and catch up despite being dyslexic and seems a lot more confident in her abilities. Almost all the children that come into her school from state primary need a good few months of learning support to help them catch up.
Round us all the state primaries are good or outstanding. Lots of choice although most over subscribed. Private primaries are used by those not getting into any of their choices of schools. Our local private prep always has spaces. Others including the best regarded academically, have assessments at age 4 and make out that it's hard to get in, however everyone I know who chose that route got in ha ha.
There is a lot of smoke and mirrors so go lol round lots and don't assume all state are poor and all private are better
Do the in-laws know how much it costs? Out of London probably £150,000 each per child until they leave school.
It depends so much on the schools you have around you. There are good state schools, good private schools and others that are not a good fit. I would go and visit the private schools you are interested in and see how you feel about them. Consider before you go what you want from the school for your children too - academic pressure, good sports facilities, wide appreciation of the arts, pastoral care priority? It's easy to get blown away by nice facilities and good results being presented but I know in our case my children need different things. I have two at the same school and one in another school that suits her learning situation so much better, but then that wouldn't suit the other two at all.
Consider the private secondary you would likely use and whether it is common to accept state educated kids at age 11 in which case if it is, and state primaries are good or outstanding, then I would stick with state primaries and then go to secondary.
I know of a parent whose children attend private secondary but actually said there was no measurable or definite advantage to going to a private primary.
I think you need to be clear with th grandparents, when they say they will pay for it do they mean 4-18 years old, this could be £150k per child or more. Fees go up significantly every year. If they stop paying for any reason csn you afford to continue? Will there be insurances for if they are ill or die so fees can continue?Will they be paying for all the extras eg music lessons, trips, extra curricular? If not, what is the likley cost of these and csn you pay for it? Who will pay for out of hours care if you work? Are they expecting anything in return? How will uni be funded, may be better to see if they would help with that if you have good state schools,locally. Will the school fees effectively come from your inheritance?
Lots of questions.
Whether it is worth the money depends on what your local schools are like. There are good and bad private schools. There are good and bad state schools. Go and have a look is the best option.
I think you're right to worry about strings being attached.
You need to check that support is through to age 18 and includes extras and that it's not with strings attached like they have to get certain grades or visit the grandparents more.
It really depends on your local schools. Private ranges from exam factory to business that will collect fees from any parent.
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