private school opportunity

(32 Posts)
waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 05:39:57

First of all I know this is an extremely first world problem but would like to hear your opinions.
I am a teacher and I have been offered a job in a private school starting next year. With this job offer comes very heavily subsidised school places for my daughter (who will start reception Sep 17) and my son when he reaches reception age (currently a toddler).
Our original plan was to send her and then him to the local state primary, which is good and we would always be happy for her to go.

My WWYD is, would you take up the offer of the places at the private school? My main reservation is should I leave this job, we would not be able to keep up the cost of the school fees and they would have to transfer into state school - this may be very disruptive to their education and friendship group.
My husband thinks we should take the opportunity for them to learn in smaller class sizes/have more resources and I of course would like them to have that opportunity too. He thinks it is worth it even if it is not forever. I do not feel so sure as I worry about having to take them out at some point.

SaltyMyDear Fri 04-Nov-16 05:57:11

You're also forgetting secondary. They'll have to transfer to state for secondary, possibly with none of their friends, and that could also be disruptive for them.

BikeRunSki Fri 04-Nov-16 05:57:46

From a purely practical point of view, of your DC travelling to school with you in the mornings, and having the same holidays, then I would definitely consider it.

If your dd doesn't start until Sept 2017, then I guess you have, or will shortly apply for her state schol place (if in England). When would you have to decide if you are going to send her to the private school? Can you delay until you've had her state school offer, so you can think about which school she'd be must suited to?

BusterGonad Fri 04-Nov-16 05:58:44

Live for the moment and go for it. Your children will adapt when or if changes happen.

SaltyMyDear Fri 04-Nov-16 06:02:10

Oh and you're forgetting all the issues about them being in the same school as you. What if you think their teacher is not very good? What if your child is the disruptive one? What if they do well / get a part in the play etc / and everyone accuses you of favouritism? What if they really struggle and school doesn't support them well? What if no one will invite them over because you're their mum? What if people invite them over because your their mum? How will you cope with parties?

waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 06:05:31

BikeRunSki yes we're in England, I've already applied for her state school place. I am not sure when I would have to make a decision about the private school place - this is something I should find out, thank you!

BikeRunSki Fri 04-Nov-16 06:07:44

Actually salty has made some very good points.

waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 06:08:08

Salty I attended the same school that my mum taught it for many years and had none of the possible issues you outline. I'm not particularly worried about it because they would be in the infants/juniors and I would be in secondary which would last for a long time yet!

SaltyMyDear Fri 04-Nov-16 06:17:45

That does change things smile

attheendoftheline Fri 04-Nov-16 06:39:23

Dh worked in a private school and our children went to the school. After a while we realised that the school actually wasn't that good and it wouldn't of been where we would have chosen but we were swept up in the 'private school' ideal. It was handy for travel etc but a very weird situation to be in. Work and home lines were blurred too much for my liking.

In the end DH hated it so much he had to leave and work elsewhere even though we had committed to working there for at least 7 years so the children could see out their schooling. There are also lots of rumours the school will close due to money problems which had me worrying constantly as there are few state places here. We made the leap and got some of the few last places around.

The children were devastated and didn't want to leave but it has been a far better schooling in state and we have some separation back.

Generally I would say it looks like a good idea but in reality it was a really bad decision for us.

waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 07:09:10

thanks attheendoftheline that's really interesting to hear. Glad you were able to get school places right for you in the end.

rainyinnovember Fri 04-Nov-16 07:11:01

No, I wouldn't. I'd never have my children attend a school I worked at anyway, but not private if I couldn't "really" afford it.

MaybeDoctor Fri 04-Nov-16 07:17:14

Go for a tour of the lower part of the school as a prospective parent - would you like to send your children there? Try to think about it as objectively as possible.

MaybeDoctor Fri 04-Nov-16 07:20:36

I'm an ex teacher and have never been keen on the idea of my own child attending where I taught. Plus I have often seen that the children just end up sitting in the corner of a classroom, staffroom or hall while their parent wades through tons of work!

waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 07:20:45

MaybeDoctor I've been round yesterday. No doubt the facilities are way above what she will get at our local school, and the atmosphere of the infant/primary section are lovely. They are in a separate building from the senior so it's quite contained and the teaching I saw was good although obviously only a snapshot. The children seemed very happy. As a prospective parent it is seemingly a lovely school but my main worry is that we may not be able to afford to upkeep the fees if I was not working there.

I have also toured the local infants school and the children are also happy and the school has a nice atmosphere.

atticusclaw2 Fri 04-Nov-16 07:24:02

Surely its one of the main perks of working at the school.

I am a lawyer. I said to DH he other day that it would be well worth us both taking on a cleaner's job in the evenings at the school for the 25% discount in school fees (only half tongue in cheek!)

rainyinnovember Fri 04-Nov-16 07:41:39

Atticus, but you would be educating your children privately anyway, I presume. For a more relevant example, would you take a post with a discount but you had to move your children from their existing private school to a differ one?

SpotTheDuck Fri 04-Nov-16 07:48:56

I went to private school, and one of my friends' mothers taught there (I believe she moved to that job for the discount on fees).

That was secondary, so the school made sure the mum didn't teach her daughter directly. I assume this school could make sure of the same when your kids get to secondary?

There were occasional minor embarrassments (eg there was one time we were being a bit rowdy in a classroom over a rainy lunch, and it happened to be the mum who came in to tell us off, obv not knowing her daughter would be there - the mum just spoke to us all as a group, and didn't single out her daughter at all) and sometimes the daughter was a bit pissed off about her mum being right there.

But overall she has a good school experience, enjoyed it, got good grades, benefitted from small class sizes etc.

So it's not perfect, but it worked well for them.

atticusclaw2 Fri 04-Nov-16 07:51:59

I am, it wasn't entirely serious as a post.

The OP is taking the job anyway. The only question is whether to use the discount for her children.

My point was more that for most its part of the remuneration package. Therefore in taking the job without using the place it's effectively 25ish percent less lucrative for her than for others (although of course she saves the school fees entirely if she uses state).

In general I would say that if you have a good state primary OP and your children would get a secondary place anyway at your school then you might as well save your money and not put them in until later. Mine have been in a selective independent school since reception and whilst I don't have complaints about their eduction, I suspect they'd have done well anywhere and I would rather have had an extra £30k per year and have a much lower mortgage.

For secondary the private school would win every time though.

ImLadybird Fri 04-Nov-16 07:56:20

My DD went to a private school that took children from 2-18 and loads of the teachers had their own children there. It wasn't a problem for any of them. Go for it and count your blessings!

waitingforsomething Fri 04-Nov-16 07:56:30

Thanks Atticus. I will indeed take the job regardless.

The state primary does have a good reputation locally, and as I say I am happy for my children to attend this school if they get a place there (it's a bit of a competitive area but we are pretty close the to the school)

. If I am still there by the time they are secondary school age they would get the discount anyway and you are right, it is a lot of money that could be spent on holidays, mortgage or whatever. I am leaning towards this version in any case but DH feels we'd be missing a trick not to allow them to benefit from the facilities/class sizes that we wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. Back to chatting about it tonight I guess!

whirlwinds Fri 04-Nov-16 08:05:50

Carpe diem, children change schools all the time and now you have the chance for your children to attend school in a private setting. Things change, things don't go to plan, moves are made and right now you are sat with a potentially great offer for your children. You may even stay there for much longer then planned or not as long, but right now you have the cards dealt and from my experience I found private and small classes much better then big stately schools.

If things change, you might move away and the need for a new school will be on the agenda regardless. Life is too short and sometimes it is best to grab the chances when presented to you.I have been to schools where parent and child attend, there was never an issue as I can recall, the parents did their job and did not interfere with the child's teachers and very rarely had any contact during school hours.

Best of luck on your decision 😉

tankerdale Fri 04-Nov-16 08:09:36

If there's an intake at junior level in year 3 I would maybe do state infants for your daughter then move them. I don't think private infants makes that much difference and that would give you a chance to make really sure it would be the best place for them and to know whether you like the job enough to be likely to stay long term.

NC1nightstand Fri 04-Nov-16 08:14:22

Unless I won the lottery and I never play it anyway my children don't have a snowball's chance at attending private school (namely The Montessori school I would love to send them too) and although their current primary is ok ish we live in the catchment area for literally the worst secondary school in the whole of the city. I will be moving heaven and earth to move us before they go there! I know my experience may not be relevant to your question but I think I would jump at the chance to send them to private school.
My stepfather taught at my school and it wasn't a problem, he even taught me for a term.
I hope you find the solution that suits you and congratulations on the new job!

JoJoSM2 Fri 04-Nov-16 08:28:28

I'd probably decide depending on the discount and family finances. If you feel you are able to easily afford the discounted fees and still live comfortably + you feel there is a lot of added value in the indie, then I'd consider.

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