Have an only child with private education or have another child and send them both to state school

(39 Posts)
NW2013 Mon 20-May-13 13:54:36

We have one child (18 months) now and we are planning on sending him to private school as the schools where we live are not at all good. If we have another child then we could not afford for them both to go to private school and I do not like the idea of sending one to private school and the other to state school because the schools near me are so bad.
So my question is, have any of you made a concious decision to only have one child and give them a private education and holidays abroad each year rather than having more children and them having a state education? I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts, for and against on this.

CaptainJamesTKirk Mon 20-May-13 13:58:27

Not consciously stopped at 1 for private education as such... But... Yes we decided to stop at 1 because we were happy with 1, we will have more disposable income to enjoy as a family (holidays etc...), it will be easier re: schooling (likely to be private), university and helping out when he's an adult if we are needed.

I wouldn't stop at 1 if all your thinking about is state v private education. You've got to think about your family, your child and how you may feel in the future.

TheLordOfTheDanceSettee Mon 20-May-13 13:59:53

For me I'd have another child and state education. However, although I live in a 'deprived' area, the school is great.

We have, however, decided to limit or family to two children so that we can afford holidays abroad, after school clubs and the like.

NW2013 Mon 20-May-13 14:03:44

Thanks for the responses so far, I probably didn't explain the situation too well, but yes other factors are equally important too regarding the ability to have holidays, more disposable income etc. if we only have one child.

calypso2008 Mon 20-May-13 14:07:23

I have one DD. That is it - I grew up with 2 other siblings, never had my own room, went to a terrible school - managed, by the skin of my teeth to get to university (only girl in my year to do so)

I am sending my DD to private school and giving her the advantages I never had.

Oh - and my siblings don't like me and never did. So I have never gone with the 'lonely only' thing.

Elibean Mon 20-May-13 14:10:50

Personally, I'd have another child and move when they were older if the state schools were still that bad.

But, and it is a big 'but', school can and do change hugely in that time frame. Your child is very very young. We have a local secondary school that I would not have sent dd1 to in a million years - five years ago. Now, it is looking good. By the time she is 11 (two more years), I suspect it will be outstanding.

So I would focus more on family and relationships at this point, myself, than on local schools.

Then again, I went to private school, and have two siblings, and wouldn't have swapped the latter for the former for anything in the world. It is all a bit of a gamble, really - as you can't predict future sibling relationships, or the impact of future education, IME.

calypso2008 Mon 20-May-13 14:15:02

Good points Elibean smile

springlamb Mon 20-May-13 14:17:32

You could also consider moving to an area where the state schools are better, or there are more options. For example, Kent has comps, grammars and a good selection of privates at secondary level.
You have time on your side to research etc if you are concerned to be in the right place/make the right decision by primary time. In my view there are two windows where it's best to make a move like this - in time for primary applications, or when your eldest is in Yr 4/5 in order to apply for secondary school places.

mrsshackleton Mon 20-May-13 14:18:11

Entirely depends on how much you want a 2nd child vs how much you value private education. I would go for the second child, but that's me. At my dc1's private school I've noticed there are A LOT more only children than at dc2's state school, so I'd guess this is a factor for many parents.

BackforGood Mon 20-May-13 14:21:28

What Elibean said.
Have you done the maths of moving to near a state school you approve of and increasing your mortgage, rather than paying fees - that way it wouldn't matter if you had 7 children, they could all go to the school, and you'd have an asset to sell at the end of it.

HabbaDabba Mon 20-May-13 14:25:35

I have a friend whose husband has four mortgage-free London properties. They live in one and rent out other three.

To summarise, about £3m assets in bricks and mortars, and rental income of about 4k pm and they can only afford one child <rolls eyes in a massively exaggerated manner>

I really wouldn't use schooling as the deciding factor. No form of education would be worth missing out on a child if you want to have more than one.

If you, truely only want one child, then only have one and send you only child to a private school if that is the best school option.

I always wanted more than one child so for me private school was the optional element. I am fortunate that I've been able to have my cake and eat it as we are lucky enough to be able to afford private school for 2 but if we couldn't I would have looked to moving close to a good state school.

rabbitstew Mon 20-May-13 14:34:39

The only only children I know who are women never married and stayed near their parents/carried on living with them in order to look after them in their old age. Hopefully in the modern era this is less likely to happen... but I wouldn't want to be an only child!!!!! Particularly not one who thought they owed their parents something for having sacrificed having more children in order to devote more time, money and attention on them.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 20-May-13 14:51:50

I choose to have one child.
I then choose to educate her privately.
Really for me they are two independent decisions.

Quangle Mon 20-May-13 14:54:59

I really wouldn't use schooling as the deciding factor. No form of education would be worth missing out on a child if you want to have more than one

Totally agree with this from Chaz who does indeed have a brilliant attitude.

I have two and they go to state school. One of them is not taking up valuable resources that could have gone towards private school education. I can't really think of them like that. But perhaps I'm not reading your question right. If you want more you should have more. If you want one then you should have one. The fact that with one you'd have the benefit of more spare cash or that with two you'd have the benefit of two people to look after you in old age is secondary - it's not why you have them iyswim.

ZZZenagain Mon 20-May-13 14:55:21

can't you look into moving somewhere else if you really want to have another dc?

Save what you would have spent on private school from Reception onwards for ONE of them, to private school from Y4/Y5 onwards for both of them...

noramum Mon 20-May-13 16:11:47

We have only one child, for various reasons, financial ones were never into our thoughts though.

But: we moved to another area as the school in our area was bad and if oversubscribed DD could have ended up everywhere and we didn't want to take this risk.

But DH and I are also from a country where public education is not normal at all unless you count boarding schools or selected international ones. Everybody went to their local state school. So this never really came into our mind when we have 4 great state schools to choose from in the area we are now.

NW2013 Mon 20-May-13 16:12:26

Thanks again for all the responses.
Moving is not an option as we currently are close to both sets of grandparents and other close relatives which to us is of most importance. If we were certain that we wanted more children then this of course would not be such an issue, but we are on the fence. We both are only children so the idea is not strange to us, it's just that at some point you have to make a decision (or mother nature makes it for you) and I just wondered if other people had thought about this.................

Zigster Mon 20-May-13 16:20:32

Not sure the maths works for that one. Fees tend to increase a lot through independent schools - starting low and increasingly dramatically once you're hooked. By my estimates, State to year 4 would only save you less than one-quarter of total fees. The half-way mark (by fees) probably mean State school up to and including Yr 8 - i.e. up to senior school.

Personally (to the OP), I'd decide whether or not to have the second child and then worry about whether or not to go for private education. That you're even seriously considering private education for one child means you must have a sufficiently good income to be able to provide a very comfortable childhood for two children.

Mandy21 Mon 20-May-13 16:21:30

I think its a very personal decision and as I'm getting older, I realise lots of my choices in life are governed by what I had (and what my H had). I had a twin sister (very close indeed) and went to a very good state (grammar school).

I would never choose to have one child, thats simply my view, because I have gained so much in life from having a sibling. I can't imagine on any scale that compares to going to a better school. But like I say, thats just my choice.

We have 3 children - and have moved to an area where the state grammar schools are in the top 10 of schools nationally, including private schools. However, the house prices reflect that so we're paying way over the odds on a mortgage, but it is do-able at the moment, whereas 3 lots of private school fees isn't on the radar and never will be.

As others have said, it depends what you want for your child - a private education on the assumption that it will be better and lead to more opportunities in life, or another child. Whilst people can give you their opinion, only you can answer the question.

MrsMelons Mon 20-May-13 18:28:11

My friend has just one child and made a decision to have jsut one so they could send them to private school.

We decided to stop at 2 due to many factors - holidays, hobbies, schooling just to name a few. It was definitely a big factor, at times I wish those things weren't important to us as would have like more children but I have a feeling I only feel that way because we stopped at 2, I wonder if we would have actually had any more in reality.

Pyrrah Mon 20-May-13 19:02:04

We are stopping at one child. Affording private school fees was not a reason for having an only - there were many other factors.

But, as an only she will have the option of a private secondary school - if she had siblings then that option would cease to exist.

Zoomania Mon 20-May-13 19:16:21

Nw, just a thought from reading your last post- sorry if i am making assumptions. You place a lot of importance on being close to family. Remember that sadly over time this family will reduce in number especially if you don't have siblings, nieces etc. you also need to think about how your family will look in 30 yrs. I personally would prioritise siblings over education but then I come from a big family and did very well at a state school.

pinkdelight Tue 21-May-13 09:09:04

"Moving is not an option as we currently are close to both sets of grandparents and other close relatives which to us is of most importance."

Is there really not a good state school anywhere in the region? That seems very unlikely. It sounds to me less a matter of schooling and more just the indecision about having another DC, which is totally understandable when yours is only 18months. Why not wait another six months? IME you start to feel much more like yourself again when DC is over two, and you get a different perspective. When they're your first and so little, you have these PFB thoughts about how only private school will do etc but then the possibility of another DC gets more feasible and you start thinking more practically i.e. maybe if you moved to town X then school Y is nice and you'd still be near family. You can also start to visit some of the 'not good' state schools and maybe find out they are good.

MammaMedusa Tue 21-May-13 13:20:47

Do you think a state school child's life is a life worth having? If so, then if you want two children, have two children.

mnistooaddictive Tue 21-May-13 13:26:56

What a horrible concept that being state schooled is so horrendous that you are better off not being born. Over 90% of children in this country are state educated. Do you think they would all be better off not existing too?

People like you make me shudder and fear for the future of our country.

MrsMelons Tue 21-May-13 13:31:58

I cannot see how the OP has suggested that being state schooled is so horrendous, what a nasty post, the OP has just asked for people's thoughts for and aganist. You have not actually given that at all.

Some people only have one child because they feel they could not provide properly for 2, 'properly' varies from one person to another, my thought would be we could provide a nice house, holidays and various hobbies, someone elses may simply be being able to put food on the table for the family, it is essentially no different!

mnistooaddictive Tue 21-May-13 13:36:04

I think I have very clearly given my thoughts against. I find the op's view offensive. You don't have to agree with me, I am big enough to take it.

Timetoask Tue 21-May-13 16:42:04

OP, I have a child at private school. I can categorically say that it will be much better long term for your little one to have a brother or sister than to go to private school.

If you are really not happy with our schools, then maybe consider moving area, but, PLEASE don't deprive your child of a sibling.

BackforGood Tue 21-May-13 17:04:13

I too think it's interesting that you have posted that being close to your family is "of most importance" to you. Perhaps you should add that into the equation for your little one growing up, and then as an adult, if they then don't get to be surrounded by close family.

Quangle Tue 21-May-13 17:32:57

I think to be fair to the OP it sounds as though she is not at all sure she wants 2 and might want to stick with 1. So is trying out what this might mean and various different ways of "measuring" that decision.

It's probably the backwards way to do it - if you want 1 have 1 but if you want 2 have 2. I can understand trying to find different ways to check your instinct for sense and practicality but probably the answer is already in the OP's head.

MadameSin Tue 21-May-13 22:15:47

NW I have one in private where they have been since year 4. Reason was his state primary were merging classes and there would have been 37 .. YES 37!! in his class. We bottled it and took him out. My other child has SEN and attends mainstream state school where he is 'catered' for. So, yes one in each sector, but never planned that way, just happened and seems to work for the mo. For what it's worth, we will try and get SEN child into private senior school as we think they will do better there at that age.

Elibean Tue 21-May-13 22:36:29

NW....it's ok being on the fence about having one or two. I honestly wouldn't let schooling be the thing to tip you one way or t'other though, because it really is such a gamble.

I think, in the end, you just have to decide what you both really want for your family and trust in the rest smile

purpleroses Tue 21-May-13 22:42:42

If you're not too old for it, why not wait a few years then have another? That's probably less of a shock than having two close in age when you and DP are both onlies and not used to sibling squabbles. And it also means you could probably afford to send both private for secondary at least as there wouldn't be much of an overlap.

Can't imagine actually foregoing a second child that you'd like just for the sake of private schooling. Schools change, you can often go out of catchment, and some schools with a bit of a rough reputation are actually great schools. They always seem a bit big and scary when you have a toddler.

TwasBrillig Tue 21-May-13 22:43:37

I'd have 2 and use the money you would have spent on fees on the holidays and experiences for all of you!

As everyone else has said though, don't let yourself believe schooling is the deciding factor. Decide for yourself what you would like long term and which you would regret more - looking back and only having one child, or looking back and not having privately educated?

Holliewantstobehot Tue 21-May-13 22:47:39

I would have another child, but only because I am really close to my lovely sister - both our parents died and we are in our thirties with similar aged kids, we do a lot together, even go on holiday together and I couldn't imagine being without her as then I really would be all on my own (am a single parent).
I went to a private school on a scholarship but wish I had gone to a state school and have no intention of sending either of my dcs to private school.

We are probably going to stick with one DD and an advantage of that will be being able to afford things like private school. But it certainly isn't the reason we aren't planning any more. If we yearned for a baby or felt that our family wasn't complete then we would try for another and worry about the finances and education later.

Lasvegas Wed 22-May-13 14:16:00

I have one child. DH sterilized when DD was 3 years old. Private school, hobbies, holidays etc was a big factor in having one child. More important was not having time and the emotional energy to give to more than one child - due to long commute.

Ironically DD has turned out to be very dramatic/musical as opposed to academic, so she will be going to a state secondary which meets her needs better than any private schools do in the area.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now