Private education - would you?

(77 Posts)
BegoniaBampot Mon 28-Jan-13 23:22:48

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.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 28-Jan-13 23:32:24

is it a selective school?

a lot have already had their exams -you may not have the decision to make anymore

BegoniaBampot Mon 28-Jan-13 23:35:42

TBH, we don't have any particular school in mind, just thinking about private verses state.

deleted203 Mon 28-Jan-13 23:40:44

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 grin). 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.

DupontetDupond Mon 28-Jan-13 23:48:39

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!

BegoniaBampot Mon 28-Jan-13 23:51:42

Husband has ideas but not too big on research. I've always been the one traipsing round primaries, reading the ofstead property's etc.

BegoniaBampot Mon 28-Jan-13 23:53:52

The school we have applied for was recently downgraded form outstanding to good by ofstead, though take ofstead with a pinch of salt.

gelo Mon 28-Jan-13 23:56:36

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.

gelo Mon 28-Jan-13 23:59:34

Though in a recession they may still have some spaces (beware if too many spaces or they may be in financial difficulties though).

DupontetDupond Tue 29-Jan-13 00:09:17

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?

deleted203 Tue 29-Jan-13 00:15:53

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!

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 07:15:06

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.

LIZS Tue 29-Jan-13 07:18:35

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.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 07:37:48

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.

lljkk Tue 29-Jan-13 07:40:22

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.

Skittish Tue 29-Jan-13 07:43:26

Totally depends.

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.

TheWave Tue 29-Jan-13 10:04:09

Consider saving the money, use for tutors, extracurricular, and nearer the time research further for choices at sixth form.

tiggytape Tue 29-Jan-13 10:27:50

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.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 29-Jan-13 10:32:02

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.

Startail Tue 29-Jan-13 11:15:29

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.

Pyrrah Tue 29-Jan-13 11:24:03

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.

mummytime Tue 29-Jan-13 11:43:08

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.

Reaa Tue 29-Jan-13 12:39:31

If I had the money yes

BegoniaBampot Tue 29-Jan-13 12:51:17

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.

givemeaclue Tue 29-Jan-13 13:00:13

Key issue here is that you may have left it too late for local independet schools. You meet to find out

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:27

Sounds to me like your DC will very likely be very happy and successful at the local comp, will have lots of local friends and can take part in lots of local activities. Why upset that? Why throw money at an alternative which leads to a less happy, stressed life for you all? Don't try to solve a problem that doesn't exist!

If anything goes wrong with the school, look at private schools then. Even in the high pressure SE, places do regularly come up even at the top academic schools in-year as people move away. It is a lot harder to move from private to a heavily oversubscribed school after the main intake as, once they are in, parents will go to great lengths to avoid letting the place go.

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:18:00

DS recently made the water polo squad. Their coach was part of the Olympic coaching team so we are expecting great things for the team. Last year DS and his senior school orchestra performed at the Barbican in London and in the summer they will be touring Germany. The senior players are Grade 8 or Diploma level so the concerts are usually quite impressive. It's a different world from my WC comp all those decades ago

As for the parents, ours isn't one of those favoured by the Chelsea crowd so the parents tend to be rich but 'normal'. To be honest, after reading regular threads on bitchy (state) school gate politics I laugh whenever anti private posters go on about the so called snobby indie parents.

Anyway, if you can afford it then you should go for it.

BegoniaBampot Tue 29-Jan-13 13:29:12

Totally - I was hoping you were going to say they were at the local comp!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:38:18

If money was no object, mine would be at Boarding school and I'd be off galavanting around the world actually.

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:41:33

smile at Begonia. In a few years time I may look at the sad state of my so-called retirement fund and wish that they were at the local comp.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:46:25

"sad state of my so-called retirement fund and wish that they were at the local comp."
Congratulations Totally at last you have a retirement fund!!

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:47:29

Sorry Totally meant to say at least you have a retirement fund!!

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:55:17

happy - you obviously didn't pick up on the 'so-called' bit smile Who knows? One day they might find oil under the patch of sand that I own in Dubai. Until then I suspect that my 'fund' isn't too dissimilar to yours.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:59:01

Just keep telling yourself that its only till 18 and of course that its worth every penny.

HormonalHousewife Tue 29-Jan-13 13:59:29

this september ?

I think you have left things a bit late tbh.

Iff your last statement comes true and I hope it doesnt then you can always review your options then.

Succubi Tue 29-Jan-13 14:01:57

OP in answer to your question, yes and I do.

Elibean Tue 29-Jan-13 14:17:15

I would, if it was a better school for my particular dc.

Personally, I plan on taking my (now Y4) dd1 to visit a few schools that dh and I are ok with, both private and local state, and see what she feels. But she's the kind of child who wants lots of information and knows what she wants!

I wouldn't put her in a crappy state secondary if I could avoid it, or in a crappy private school if I could avoid it. BUT I would not choose private over state per se (and haven't, so far) even though we can afford it.

racingheart Tue 29-Jan-13 16:50:48

begonia I would/am. I looked at all the schools, state and private, and chose the schools I liked best for DS to apply to. The best were private.
Like you I went to a big inner city comp. Looking back, I see the teachers were good and some were excellent. I was very lucky in that respect. What wore me down was the low expectation of fellow pupils, their hatred of any overt enthusiasm for learning and their aggression to anyone who succeeds.
When I got into Oxford (with no help from school at all - helped by boyfriend and a private tutor) I was amazed when I took part in a uni wide event and people from my college turned up to cheer me on, people I didn't know. That sort of support was unthinkable at my school.
I don't believe my DS will do significantly better academically at an indie, I just think he'll have a happier and more supportive environment, where staff and pupils encourage each other to aim high and work hard.
It's the academic atmosphere, not the social one, or the exam results, which I am paying for.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 16:55:51

I would... but only if we could comfortably afford it.
We could sacrifice our standard of living and do it now but we don't.
Perhaps we are selfish? But on the other hand I wouldn't want to put that much pressure on my dds.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:31

"We could sacrifice our standard of living and do it now but we don't."
I suspect the vast majority of parents make some sort if sacrifice to pay school fees. Not many people have £34 000 a year (and thats for one child) kicking around that they just don't know what to do with although obviously I accept that some do.
Assuming you still putting food on the table, paying the bills etc, able to afford clothes etc even an annual cheap holiday then is it that much of a "sacrifice" if your child is getting a fantastic all round education? If we weren't paying maybe I'd have a couple oif expensive holidays, pay into a pension scheme (showing my age here) DH would go to the opera and maybe I'd go back to horses, eat out in restaurants more often but none of these things really matter in fact not owning horses any more is a positive blessing. By paying and not having these things I ensure one of the people in my life who I absolutely adore and who matters a million times more than all this other stuff mentioned above gets a fantastic once in a life time education. To me its a no brainer and as I've said above only goes on for a short period of time relatively speaking.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:33

Happy ...my children are getting a fantastic all round education! They also travel the world, take part in lots of activities, have their uni fees in an account waiting for them. They are happy and achieving well in a comp grin

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:42:08

Actually the big sacrifice would be where we live. Where we live housing is expensive partially because of school catchment areas. In this respect we DO pay for dd's education.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:52:54

On our current incomes, to pay for both ours to go to the selective day school, we'd have to give up all holidays, shop ONLY at Aldi, give up booze, give up music lessons, sports lessons, the gym and stop paying down the mortgage.
I could somehow find extra work but mine is seasonal so its tricky. And I'm already VERY tight on fripperies.
So I have them at the comp but with all the MC trimmings and they have lots of friends at the fee paying schools.

On the other hand if I had the funds I would probably move them.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 17:55:56

Impty it all depends how you as an individual define a fantastic all round education and what your expectations are and also what you want from education. There is no right or wrong definition/expectation its what you want and are happy with and maybe something different to me.
I do know the opportunities available for my DS are not available in any state school how ever good and thats what we as parents want and we're happy to spend the money make the sacrifices and not "travel the world". So for us its worth every penny. Ok no uni fees in an account waiting for him but we'll meet that issue when we get there I suppose ultimately we'll just carry on paying as we have done for the last 9 years.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 18:14:29

Happy... You are right to choose what works best for you, of course.
We cannot afford to send our dd's to private schools without huge sacrifice. We can provide them with other things. We travel when we can, but this can reflect our income year on year. Fees each and every year are beyond our means.
Ultimately if I in the lottery on Saturday I will be looking at private schools on Monday.
However, my dd's are doing really well, are happy and high achieving despite a state education. wink

TheFallenNinja Tue 29-Jan-13 18:16:11

Yes. Without hesitation.

BegoniaBampot Tue 29-Jan-13 20:28:22

Thing is I know they won't necessarily do better private rather than at a comp, maybe more likely to do well and encouraged with lovely facilities and grounds and that the kids will naturally have high expectations. Guess part of it is about the experience. I was impressed at the comp we applied for though. The head boy and girl gave very heartfelt and articulate speeches as did younger children. The pupils showed us round and were so polite and enthusiastic it was a million years away from my old comp. buildings are tired though, sports facilities basic and obviously bigger class sizes.

TBh, would be much easier not to have the choice.

Umeboshi Tue 29-Jan-13 22:06:09

Begonia, I'd say the important thing is to look at the ethos of the schools on offer. Treat each school individually: it's not about state versus independent; it's about which school is the most perfect fit for your child.

happygardening Wed 30-Jan-13 09:41:50

Begonia if you and your DC like your chosen school be it state or independent were impressed by the children and staff you met go for it. As they say "if it ain't broke don't fix it". There is no perfect school out there regardless of how much you pay and every school will have fantastic teachers good teachers and the odd crap teacher this is life and as your DC goes through his senior school career you may have periods where you fall out of love with his school this too is life. As parents we make mistakes the school we thought was going to be wonderful doesn't meet our expectations or the school we were unsure about turns out to be fab. If your chosen school doesn't meet your expectations then move your DC if you can afford it try independent ed. Chosing schools is hard hence so many postings on MN where one child thrives another is miserable you can stand in any school and find happy parents but even at the best there will be unhappy parents too. Trust your gut instinct.

WentworthMillerMad Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:21

Great posts happygardening!
Luckily I live in Glasgow where it is a bit cheaper on the fees! 7k rather than 34k!

amck5700 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:51:40

Not if I had all the money would I send my kids to private school - I'd rather spend the money moving somewhere with a decent state school if that was the issue.

That might be coloured by the fact that most of the kids I have encountered from the local private schools have been entitled morons- probably just been unlucky and sure the state school has morons too.....i've just not come across so many grin

GreatUncleEddie Fri 01-Feb-13 14:57:56

Here we go again. You can't just look at private versus state, you have to look at the various schools and compare what they can offer your child. And work out how paying the fees will impact upon the rest of your finances. It's a sterile debate - like should I go to France or Germany on holiday

Timetoask Fri 01-Feb-13 15:10:13

I there is an EXCELLENT state school that the child can get into for secondary, then I wouldn't. If not, then I wouldn't hesitate to pay. You only get one chance at education.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:51:36

I was at day private, my sister was a public boarding, DH was at state comp. The kids are at state comp. Financially neither the selective private or the non selective private are an option.
BUT
if I had the money, I'd move them to the selective private like a shot, with DH's support.
I think both of us are still pleased with having done state primary as it gave the kids a breadth of world view that kids in prep schools (like I was) never get till they hit the real world at 21 (or enter politics to avoid).

SanityClause Fri 01-Feb-13 17:28:02

You can't make a generalisation about whether private schools are better than state, or vice versa. You need to look at the options available to you, and choose a school from them (or hope they choose you!)

If you can afford private, it just gives more options.

I have one DC at a state school, and two currently at private. I am confident that I have chosen the best schools for them from the options available.

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 17:33:55

Yip, damn choices, sometimes having choices can be a real pain in the arse (half joking)!

HelpOneAnother Fri 01-Feb-13 17:56:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HelpOneAnother Fri 01-Feb-13 18:19:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 01-Feb-13 18:32:48

No, I would resist private education for as long as I possibly could. The only reasons why I might capitulate would be a) if we were absolutely loaded, not just wealthy enough to be able to afford it and b) if there was a particular local school that my dd or ds had set their hearts on and could give me really good reasons for wanting to go there. But even then I would only be letting them go out of a sense of fear that they might resent me in later life.

OneLieIn Fri 01-Feb-13 18:41:34

Yes private every time.

Have just sent ds private and would send dd but can't take on the fight of a comp educated dh. There's some famous economist on tv that dh went to school with and he constantly says "he didn't need private" as though that's a real argument.

We are busy parents that work hard and we are not on our kids cases about homework etc and need the school to do that. That's why we pay for private for ds. One of the reasons.

I will say that I really resent the fact that I work hard, earn a ton and can afford to send dd to private but have to have a massive fight to do this and be made to feel like I am letting her down in some way by not letting her go to state and achieve without "help".

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 18:50:37

help. dh and i went to the same low achieving comp. the head's office got petrol bombed, the school buses used to get driven to the police station etc. it was ugly with crap facilities but a few kids still went on to uni (not me, i bombed out)i sixth year). i would definitely go private if that was the option. hoping the comp we have chosen is a vast improvement. i hear good things about it and it's exam pass rate is much better.

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 18:54:06

oneliein - curious, why is your son at private but your daughter state?

OneLieIn Fri 01-Feb-13 19:00:08

Ds needs more "help" and dd is "naturally bright"

Ds has just got a report card that is fab and such a move forwards. It is worth every penny. Parents evenings where they don't just know who he is, they know how he is and talk about how he can improve and they take action immediately.

Dd naturally bright but I phoned and asked to speak to the teacher twice about a problem and never got a call back. She gets by because she is bright but she isn't pushed and they definitely don't make the most of her abilities.

It will involve a huge disagreement between dh and I. His priorities are 1. House and 2. Education. Mine are the opposite. I want really well educated kids who get great jobs so they can earn loads and look after me in my dotage gringringrin

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 19:06:05

wht does your daughter want? must be hard having one in each and hoping you're doing the right thing by them. sounds like your son is thriving, how did your husband agree to send him private?

OneLieIn Fri 01-Feb-13 19:08:49

Well when I take dd to look at some great private schools so she has a choice, hopefully she will love it grin

It's not hard, it's just annoying. Dd was bullied recently and the school did NOTHING other than one teacher who spoke to her kindly when she was crying.

She will go private. State over my dead body or maybe my out of work or divorced body winkwink

OneLieIn Fri 01-Feb-13 19:10:43

And dh agreed because I wouldn't let it go. Then he went to look around, saw the climbing wall, the pool, the rugby pitches, the sports hall, the well behaved boys and that kind of did it too.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Sat 02-Feb-13 11:08:11

OneLieIn, not dealing with bullying is not resticted to state, believe me. Plenty of private schools out there refuse to deal with the issue.

Honestyisbest Sat 02-Feb-13 11:12:57

Both DH and I went to large state comprehensives. Have sent both of our private for secondary. Need I say more!
We are delighted with the inde's our kids are at, they are sooooooo lucky and I wish I had had the chance of the kind of rounded education they are getting. It is costing us hugely and we can't do all the other things we might have wanted to, but for us it's worth it.

Elibean Sat 02-Feb-13 15:05:07

I totally get the 'would go private rather than have petrol bombed low achieving comp' thing.

But 'private every time' I don't get. There are some dire private schools, and some great comps, and vice versa.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:15:34

The size of the school should not be an issue.
Eton has 1300 pupils after all - larger than many comps.
Round here the schools are huge and the sixth form college even larger but aspirations are high
(but declining as Gove's stupid Baccalaureate means schools will not get credit for teaching extra subjects so they will stop stretching bright kids and as the schools are Academies the LEA cannot lean on them)

Honestyisbest Sat 02-Feb-13 18:40:28

Talkin - I dont think the comp I went to had quite the same teacher/pupil ratio at Eton, surely thats the issue rather than the size of the school per se. We didn't have quite the same budget per pupil either!

TalkinPeace2 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:43:02

grin
If you include the SEN support staff, the pupil : teacher ratio at a comp is not far off that in many private schools!
and indeed, the resource budget makes a huge difference.
But the biggest difference is the fact that NONE of the children at a school like Eton will have parents who do not care whether they get an education ....

Honestyisbest Sat 02-Feb-13 18:45:57

That is true Talkin. Both DH and I got away with soooooo much in a large comp. Not taking the risk with my two DCs. Not with our genes!

Schmedz Sun 03-Feb-13 18:55:20

I work so we can afford to send our two girls to a private school. If I did not work we could not afford the fees.
In primary school I think there are more options for a reasonable state education but our local secondary schools are DIRE and eldest did not pass her 11+ so GS Not an option (hopefully will be for the younger one though) Thankfully she has received a scholarship offer to a great senior school which helps with the money side!
Hubby and I both consider the money well spent as the children are in small classes, have an enormous amount of clubs based at school to choose from and are doing really well academically.

JollyRedGiant Sun 03-Feb-13 18:59:26

I haven't read the whole thread.

I would send my child to the private school I went to. Or to various other selective private schools. But no boarding. And no single-sex schools. My DC would also have to be relatively academic and self confident to cope in that environment so it would depend on my DC (at the moment DC1 is 21mo and DC2 is due in August.)

wordfactory Mon 04-Feb-13 09:07:31

OP you've left it too late to do the 11+ to be honest.
And if you were to think of entrance to public school at 13, what will you do with your son in the meantime? You might get a place at prep if you're lucky, I suppose.

Anyhoo, for what it's worth, DH and I went to...^ahem^...challenging comprehensives and did well (got to Oxbridge, earned a buck etc). We decided to go private for our DC. Had misgivings prior. Big ones actually...but not any more. They're teenagers and doing wonderfully well.

teta Tue 05-Feb-13 12:49:53

You have probably left it too late for this year.See how you feel about your high school a year down the line and apply a year or two later.I did this with my dd1.I have to say i am so glad i did this.Her very bright previous compatriots are all choosing drama/woodwork/art gcse's [some doing no foreign languages] even though they are well able to get good university degrees.The so called 'good' local comp.doesn't seem to care about their pupils futures.The phrase 'poverty of aspirations' really does echo in my mind at the moment.But there are some good state schools and some bad private schools[dd1 was in a very bad one overseas for several years].Your ds will learn tenacity and perseverance and how to push himself forward.These are valuable lessons and will help him if you transfer schools at a later date.

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