Ok, just to add to all the other threads like this today.
DS1 got into the private school he/we liked, but no scholarship. We will also almost certainly have a place at the local state school.
PS is lovely, not super-hot house, but high-achieving. Fees are a lot though & would have an impact on our family life (and we'd really feel it if DC2 went private too). It's about 45 mins, an hour journey each way. He would probably enjoy it there & hopefully it would polish him off a bit. I'm slightly worried that it leans more towards humanities than sciences (not good for DS1) BUT I could be wrong about this as it was just an impression I got on Open Day.
SS is great. Streaming. Latin. It has a very mixed intake but those who do well, do well IYSWIM. It's only been good for 2-3 years though, before that it was awful. If he knuckled down DS1 would do well (that is a big 'if' BTW). I do like the idea of sticking within the local community though, & we could afford tutoring if we felt he needed topping-up.
But are we just being stingy at not taking up the opportunity for the private school? The thought of not having to worry abut school fees is very very tempting...
Even though I cook reasonably well I'd still like my DS to learn basic cooking skills at school. I have gone through my whole life unable to put up a shelf and frankly dont see why he needs to be able to do this but can wire up a plug at a pinch and can not only change a wheel on a car I doubt few can change the tyre as this requires specialist equipment I can also do the oil water check the brake pads air filter oil filter and much to the surprise of the RAC man check and correctly change the fuses oh and let's not forget the essential for all clapped out car drivers correctly jump it! I'm an expert at basic car first aid!! I think all children before they leave school should undertake a basic child protection course (level 1) because as a society we have a moral requirement to protect children so therefore we all need to know what to look out for and what do to if we're concerned. Again enthusiastic parents/teachers/local do gooders could teach many of these skills I don't see that money is necessarily required.
I HATE cookery or home economics or whatever its called - total waste of time IMO, it is perfectly poissible to learn to cook at home or, heavens above, when you leave home and have to fend for yourself as I did. We have a lovely cookery teacher and she seems very good but I, and dd, still resent the fact that dd has no choice over doing it. Ditto IT.