Private education - would you?(77 Posts)
If you could easily afford private education, would you choose it for your kids? Have a son starting secondary school in September, husband is keen on private, I'm not so sure but worried I'm making the wrong choice I might regret. The local high school we have applied for is fine with a relatively good rep, not considered crap and son is quite happy with it. Hate that we are running out of time.
is it a selective school?
a lot have already had their exams -you may not have the decision to make anymore
TBH, we don't have any particular school in mind, just thinking about private verses state.
I wouldn't choose it. But I think every child is entitled to a decent state education and I'm a teacher in a state school. Having said that, I am fortunate that my children go/went to state schools I was very happy with - and I suspect that if my choice had been a truly appalling school or funding decent private education I'd have had a re-think. (Although I could never have afforded to send them private TBH - I'd have possibly pulled them out and home educated. 5 DCs and a teaching salary does not give you the option of private schooling ). However, in your case it sounds like the high school is fine and your son is happy at the idea of it. I would let him go there - and if at any point in the future he is thoroughly miserable (or you feel it is doing an appalling job) then you could look at private later on.
Totally depends on quality of available state vs available private schools where you live. Some state schools knock spots off their fee-paying equivalents and vice versa. There's a lot of info out there - look for school inspection reports, most likely on school website, regarding quality of school, class sizes etc.
As previously mentioned though, I think a lot of private schools will be doing their entrance exams for September entry now.
You really need to get your research hat on big time. I sounds like at the moment a move to a private school (especially if local state is good) would be a bit knee-jerk without considering everything. Education is too big a deal to go on the basis that your DH is 'keen' - maybe he needs to weigh in with some research!
Husband has ideas but not too big on research. I've always been the one traipsing round primaries, reading the ofstead property's etc.
The school we have applied for was recently downgraded form outstanding to good by ofstead, though take ofstead with a pinch of salt.
It would depend on the difference between the schools available for me. If I much preferred the independent and thought it suited my child better (and the child agreed) then yes.
But you may have left it a bit late to look around and apply for a private school for a September start.
Though in a recession they may still have some spaces (beware if too many spaces or they may be in financial difficulties though).
I think what sowornout said. Fair enough to go private if you'd been looking at it for the last couple of years and visited possible schools etc. Sounds a bit like your DH likes the idea of it TBH but I think you both need to consider it fully with DC and share the research burden.
So perhaps state in Sept with private as an option if it doesn't work out?
I'd take Ofsted with a BIG pinch of salt! Our primary school has been 'outstanding' for years - and was downgraded to 'good' this year, purely on attendance levels. But it's a small village primary and chicken pox raged through it with about 80% of the kids off for a week or so, and then a very nasty flu/sickness bug. It's ridiculous to down grade the school for something they have no control over - if pupils are off sick there is really nothing the school can do about it!
As others have pointed out, the chances of getting a September place at a popular indie is virtually zero at this late stage. So a rehash of private v state is a bit of a waste of time.
On that note, I'll leave you peeps to it.
You may be lucky and find a school willing to test your son in March/April , after the current admissions process has finished and acceptances have been made. However really you are at least a few months late to have him considered on an even footing.
We have DC's at both state and private. Paying does not guarantee its going to better for your individual DS. The DS at the state school would be utterly miserable at my other DS's school. As everyone has said you've left it very late for entry into yr 7 if you were serious you would probably be better finding a prep that goes to 13+ as you do have time to find a school for yr 9 and many preps are often looking for your DS's age group as many girls leave at the end of yr 6, you would also get advise from a head about where to look at that's suitable for your DS's interests and academic ability. The other advantage of this is that if you or your DS hated it you could move back into the state sector assuming they had a vacancy in an acceptable school. You would also then have the time to consider other factors for example fees vary enourmously some charge around £4000 a term other schools with a large number of boarders can charge around £8000 per term for day children, some are super selective and others may have results broadly similar to a good state school facilities and even class sizes also vary considerably and other things to consider are 6 th form options. The next two years in a good prep will not do your DS any harm and would then give you the time to consider all options.
Private vs. state secondary depends on so many factors besides money. DS1 was better off at a particular school (state) for the social circle he would inherit. DD is better off not commuting for 2 hours a day with an hour of homework on top (what selective private secondary would mean for her). DS2 has so many problems we don't understand, I need to learn how to cope with them first. Etc.
We can afford it but chose to live where the state schools are top notch so use them.
Every school is different, some good, some bad and some in the middle and some suit some kids and not others. Some of those schools will be fee paying , some won't. Find the school that suits you and your child.
Consider saving the money, use for tutors, extracurricular, and nearer the time research further for choices at sixth form.
As others have said if you had a private school in mind (and assuming you hadn't missed the boat for applications), it might be a tougher decision. But as a general notion that any private is better than all state, I don't think that stacks up and certainly not in terms of where your son would be happiest or do best.
I suppose since time is running out you could explore the options. Many private schools have a 13+ intake anyway for children from prep school.
As your DH hasn't put any energy into research, but just has a vague feeling that private is somehow "better" i wouldn't really give his views too much weight!
As many have said above, private is definitely NOT automatically better. There is good and bad in both sectors, it entirely depends on what is on offer in your area.
You HAVE done the research and have found a school you are happy with. No point in scrabbling around for late placement at private schools at this stage. If you find you are not happy with the school for any reason after your DC has been there for a while you could look into occasional vacancies at private schools at that stage. Places probably open up more often at private schools than at popular state schools, as there are more expats etc in private schools who are more likely to move on to new posts.
In the meantime don't worry about the school unless there is a problem.
Private primary only if local state weren't good.
Our local rural primaries are lovely and it's far nicer for DCs to have local friends and be involved in village events.
Secondary. If I could truly afford it yes without a backwards glance.
The level of political interference undermining state schools efforts to improve, poor MFL and indifferent science teaching have all left me feeling disillusioned with state education.
"Lovely" OFSTED are just the last straw.
If I lived in an area with amazing comprehensive schools with proper setting and a decent cohort of bright kids going every year then I would save my money and go for state education and top up with extras.
If the comprehensives are good but not amazing then I would pay for a good selective indie.
Since they are dire in our area, I will be looking at super-selective indies and then as back-up either moving house or a selective indie.
If money was absolutely no issue then I would pay for private the whole way through.
Have a good and critical look at both types of school in your area. Also remember to think of them in terms of suiting your child.
Issues such as commute time, can be a deciding factor.
No school is right for every child.
Thanks, was just asking regarding the money factor as many on Mn are very anti private education, many I imagine couldn't afford it, just wonder if money was no issue if many people would still be so against the idea of private education.
Just hate that high school is just around the corner, so it's sort of now or never. Have been happy enough with a nice little state primary, just more concerned with high school. There are no grammars so the brightest kids haven't been creamed off but go to the local comps which seem to do quite well and not many private that close by. As someone says I think my husband likes the idea of private but hasn't really thought it through. He has done very well coming from a dodgy comp and working class background but feels his accent and lack of private education etc has hampered him.
i must admit I love the idea of beautiful grounds, good facilities, smaller classes and hopefully good sports and music provision. Sounds like it could be a lovely experience. Husband and I went to an ugly comp with crap facilities and low expectations with some really rough kids who really impacted on the school experience and the education. 30 yrs later we are so out of touch with high school but hope the local school would be a big improvement on what we experienced.
We have moved around a bit but the kids are now settled with friends and clubs, I feel if we bus them off to a further away private school it will really effect the life we have now and any friends made will live miles away etc. Guess I worry that as they already are quite privileged and lucky in the nice life they have, I still want to keep them grounded a little that their life isn't normal for everyone if that makes sense. Maybe a part of me wonders if we will fit in (not that worried) or if it will further remove the kids from their parents poorish WC background. don't really think husband has really thought it out, impact on friends, family life and the true cost with all the extras and trips.
Sorry for rambling but so many thoughts going round in my head, don't want husband to turn round later and say it's my fault if anything goes wrong with the local school.
Key issue here is that you may have left it too late for local independet schools. You meet to find out
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