State for 1 Child, Private for the other - should I consider?

(57 Posts)
ConfusedofCamden Mon 12-Nov-12 22:46:14

So I'm being a little premature here as only one of my children is yet in school and is still in infants BUT never to early to start obsessing thinking about secondary schools eh?

I've got a son and a daughter. My son is currently in the state system but I have at the back of my mind potential move to independent school at 7+ or (preferably) 11+

One dilemma I have is about whether to make the move at 7 or 11, but that's a whole other thread!

Today's dilemma is that my eldest child is a boy. Where we live there aren't really any great options for boys and so I'm definitely veering towards the idea of an independent school for him (at least from 11, if not before, see above!). HOWEVER, my youngest (who is not even at school yet - see, I told you I was being premature!) is a girl. We live close enough to Camden School for Girls that she would (in a typical year) be likely to get it. In many ways, it sounds like my perfect kind of school.

I just worry that it seems really "off" to send one child to private and not the other. It may be that I'm just being shallow and worrying what other people would think (eg that I'm favouring one child - especially as it's a boy/girl thing) or that there is a genuine sense that I would be acting unfairly. Then again, it does seem slightly insane to be shelling out for 2 lots of school fees when we are lucky enough to live so close to CSG.

If I had 2 girls, I doubt I'd be even considering private education (to be honest, it's been DP that's gradually chipped away at me on that front and as time goes on I've been more open to the idea of private education whereas once I'd have baulked totally).

It's probably too early to be dwelling on these things - who knows what needs my children will have or what schools they would fit into, but it's on my mind now particularly as it's all wrapped up in a jigsaw of decisions including whether we stay where we live or move.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sat 17-Nov-12 21:45:31

I find the inference that private education equals success odd. Passing the CE is fairly meaningless since it is an exam designed to look at how a child has been educated rather than their ability. My DBs were educated in the private sector and myself and my sisters were educated in the state sector. This was because my parents were deeply religious and there was a very good Catholic state school for girls in the area but the only equivalent boys school was private. The result was that all three of us girls went to either Oxford/Cambridge but only one of my brothers did. My children all went to a bog standard comp and two are currently studying medicine and the third is currently applying to study the same. The fact she comes from a comp with outstanding grades is actually seen to be an advantage. It is more about the child than the school and you need to base any decision on that. BTW all my siblings have happy lives and there is no resentment at all, just a few family jokes about the appalling uniform the boys had to wear.....boaters ffs!!!!

ConfusedofCamden Sat 17-Nov-12 23:23:16

Ilovegeorgeclooney (and lets face it, who doesn't!) - I agree - it's not about me wanted a private education for my kids above all other considerations - just finding a good school which is right for them. As I say - if I had 2 girls - I wouldn't even be considering private - all being equal and them getting in to somewhere like CSG. It's just that there isn't an option for my son that I feel would be as good. I'd be more relaxed if we were closer to William Ellis and Acland Burghley but we aren't (and if we were, we wouldn't be close enough to CSG so it's swings and roundabouts really!)

HappyTurquoise Sat 17-Nov-12 23:55:05

My brother went to a (boy's) top private school on a scholarship at 11. I won't deny that it has been very hard to have grown up with such a completely different experience of life, but then there's a huge age gap between us and a huge difference in personality as well, so we are not really like brother & sister. While I'd never want to deprive DB of his great academic achievements, and the wonderful facilities and teachers he had at school and university, I really don't feel we are 'family' with so little in common iyswim. I'd lay my life down for that daft sod, but just have no clue what to talk to him about!

I was sure my DCs would go to the same school, but did not know we would be living in a grammar school region until DC1 was in year 5. So, while DC1 is at a single sex grammar, the younger then sailed into a mixed super selective grammar and after a lot of soul searching, we decided that it was more important that each child went to the right school for them, and giving each the best opportunities they could get, rather than insisting they went to the same school. DC1 is hoping to go to the super selective for A levels (and predicted grades are looking promising).

horsemadmom Sun 18-Nov-12 16:12:15

CofC- If you are in the swwet spot for CSG, you ARE ALSO in catchment for AB and WE. Look at the Camden website. There aren't any closer boys' options. Unless you are in Crowndale and SCCS is closest- if so, apologies. Do hang around Swains Lane at chucking out time before you throw your lot in with AB and WE, though.

losingtrust Sun 18-Nov-12 16:49:50

I don't see it as an issue and here many send their academic children to the comp which they will do well at in the top stream and their academic strugglers private. My ds currently at state comp in top stream and doing very well and it also caters well for his music. He is not in the least sporty and the indies near me pride themselves on their sport facility which would be a waste in his card with my younger dd who struggles more at school I am keeping a watchful eye as there is a very good girls indie which is non-selective but gets really good results and does a lot more dance and drama which may suit her better so I will wait and see. If I told ds he was going private he would moan as he loves school and doing well so do not want to change that.

losingtrust Sun 18-Nov-12 17:03:53

Having said that ds only showed up as being a non-struggler in year 6 so hopefully dd may follow

ConfusedofCamden Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:42

Horsemadmom - not near Crowndale Road - we are much nearer to CSG than that. Although we are likely to be close enough for CSG that doesn't mean that we'd necessarily be close enough to WE and AB. I have looked at the Camden website and rang them up to get distances going further back than the most recent 2 years that they publish on the website. We'd have qualified for WE and AB this year but not in any of the previous 5 or 6 years (well, we would have one year a few years ago for WE but it doesn't seem to be the norm). Don't worry - I have no illusions about WE and AB - just considering all options! Probably wouldn't be my first choice (I think we will probably try for an independent school at 11) but it would be good to have a state back up - and Haverstock doesn't appeal.

losingtrust - your post sums up why I'm being a bit premature - I don't know what the different strengths/needs of my children will be yet, when they get to that age. I need to let it unfold a bit I think! I think my overthinking of this now is because, as I said at the outset, it's all wrapped up with a jigsaw of decisions including whether we stay where we are or move.

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