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To really want to send DC's to private school even though we can't really afford it?

(81 Posts)
DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:26:41

DH and I both went to state school and neither of us had very good experiences or were really pushed to our full potential. I can actually count on one hand the amount of people I know from state school who have done well academically and gone on to have sucessful careers. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that in my experience private school pupils seem to go on to achieve more.

Everyone I know who went to private school has managed to achieve academically and go on to have sucessful careers and also seem to have a real air of confidence and drive to suceed that I don't often see in other people.

I desperately want my children to go to private school even though we aren't well off at all. Am I being really unreasonable & naive to think they will achieve more at private school?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Oct-11 21:28:39

Depends what sort of private schools and what state schools are available in your area. My DH would have traded his private for my GS in an instant.

marriedinwhite Wed 12-Oct-11 21:32:37

No, not naive in the slightest but the most important factor in relation to confidence is that children have parents who build them up, give them the opportunity and grit to be open minded and to aim for the stars, and to equip them with the foundation skills and life skills to hold their heads high. No one has to go to private school to learn how to hold a knife and fork properly, order a round of drinks or ask assertively for what they want.

The stark reality too is that when the children are teenagers the bottom line is finding at least 30,000 a year after tax and all other expenses to pay the fees after funding all other living expenses. A few thousand spent on comfort and a bit of tuition where required is much easier to find. If they're sporty a good sports club subscription works wonders too!

motherinferior Wed 12-Oct-11 21:35:28

I think you have built up an idea of 'state' and 'private' which has attributed large parts of your life, perhaps inappropriately, to the type of schooling your received.

FWIW I went to a comprehensive school, I have two degrees - one of them from Oxford - and appear to have a perfectly successful job.

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:36:19

The one I would like them to go to costs around £4000 a term

ColdToast Wed 12-Oct-11 21:38:14

Have you visited any of the local state schools?

Schools have changed a lot over the years. I would have loved my old school to be more like the one my children go to now. It's a different world.

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:38:44

My mum is a state school teacher and very pro the state system. My step sister went to state school then onto Cambridge, got a great degree and is now a teacher in a state school... My step dad is also a state school teacher! I am just very disillusioned with it TBH after seeing the difference in the way the majority of people achieve.

motherinferior Wed 12-Oct-11 21:38:50

I have, incidentally, a 'better' degree from a 'better' university than my expensively educated partner and all his expensively educated brothers. Nor am I exactly lacking in social confidence.

Tryharder Wed 12-Oct-11 21:39:03

Obviously YANBU. I would send my kids to private school if I could afford it. If private schools were not "better" than most state schools then presumably noone would send their kids there and they would go out of business.

I think privately educated children are more confident and sociable and are pushed to the limit of their capabilities. Plus they are given automatic entry into a network where jobs and opportunities are put at their disposal in later life. Sad, but true.

However, you say you aren't well off. Therein, I suspect, lies the problem....

However, a friend of mine sends 1 of her 3 children to a private school (youngest child, the family had money later in life so couldn't afford it for the older 2...). She privately admitted to me the other day that her daughter has become a raging snob and can be really nasty and condescending to those she considers lesser beings.

Hassled Wed 12-Oct-11 21:39:10

I think so much depends a) on the child and b) on the level of support and encouragement they get at home. I know some very successful ex-public school adults, some who are much less successful and exactly the same with state schools. A private education is never going to be a guarantee - it's not a golden ticket. Yes, I think you are being a bit naive.

You have to look at everything, though - if you manage to find the money, will that mean you won't afford a car/a holiday/a big enough house? How will that impact your children? Will it impact your DCs more than the State/Private thing? And aside from academic/career success, what sort of school would suit your child best - where would they actually be happiest?

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Oct-11 21:39:31

If you really cannot afford it, yes I am afraid YABU to desperately want to do it. That way frustration lies

If you can somehow afford it, go and look at the specific schools you have, they vary considerably.

If you cannot afford it, you must try and let the idea go and think about perhaps what your own parents could have done in your opinion to have made your own state school experience more successful.

grumplestilskin Wed 12-Oct-11 21:39:45

it depends on how the state schools in your area compaire to the private schools in your area in relation to your childs aptitudes/weaknesses/needs/interests

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:40:07

No I haven't visited any yet. My DC's are at state primary school and the school is absolutely fantastic, it would be for secondary school I would send them private.

grumplestilskin Wed 12-Oct-11 21:41:11

YABVU to desperately want something you've not looked into yet.

squeakytoy Wed 12-Oct-11 21:42:21

If you cant afford it, you cant afford it, and thats that. The opportunity to achieve is available to every child who has the ability, regardless of which school they go to.

I dont agree with parents who put every penny into sending their child to a school that they really cant afford, and have miserable lives of poverty themselves for the sake of it, or get into massive amounts of debt. Education is important, but not at the expense of a more comfortable life for the whole family.

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Oct-11 21:43:17

if their state primary is absolutely fantastic, maybe the secondary is not so bad

mummytotwoboys Wed 12-Oct-11 21:43:43

YANBU to have aspirations for your kids, however maybe the school near you is really good. Out local state school is brilliant and Im pretty sure I would send my kids there even if we COULD afford private schools. (can walk there, local friends etc.) The only person I know who went to private school is now a teaching assistant, whereas I know a laywer, banker, vet and doctor who all went to the local state school with me smile I think school really is what you make it and a clever kid will do well wherever they go. Private schools can be really good but if you are going to struggle to pay the fees please think about all the extras. (extra curricular stuff, sports, trips - they will all be way more expensive at a private school)

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 12-Oct-11 21:43:57

We were in your position and we sent our DD to private prep from three to 7 ....we have left and gone to an outstanding state school because the pressure for fees was horrendous. I'm talking nightmares.

you think you won't mind that your child is the only one not in Pony Club and the only one not doing the expensive extra science clubs....but you DO mind. DD had also strted to notice that her mates have huge houses and she felt different.

I adivse you to move to an area where there are outstanding schools. We have met the same kind of people with the same aspirations and they are all keen for private that instead. We were given a bursary at our old school but the thought of DD2 going up was too much.

DD has settled very well in her new school

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:44:52

I think DD would benefit greatly, she is very confident, fiesty and bright. I think she needs her energy to be channelled positively so she won't get bored and go off the rails like I did. DS is only 4 so I'm not sure yet. We could probably find the money but it would mean going without in other areas, something I'm not too bothered about.. I'm already saving blush

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 12-Oct-11 21:45:10

I ddn't realise you wanted it for secondary! I adivse you to get tutors and go for a scolarship.

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Oct-11 21:47:17

well if you have some time to prepare the dc, to look into and to try and save/make financial arrangements, maybe it is the right thing for you. How does dh feel about it all?

hairylights Wed 12-Oct-11 21:47:34

Yabu. To know so few people from school who have been successful your school must have been spectacularly shit.

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:47:58

Oh yes just secondary, state primary schools are great here!

DarlingDuck Wed 12-Oct-11 21:49:49

DH is really keen on it. He won a scholarship to private school but refused to go and always wishes he'd been made to go!

SazZaVoom Wed 12-Oct-11 21:52:28

It is a HUGE committment, especially if you are unsure at the outset as to whether or not you can afford it.

FWIW I went to Comprehensive, DH went to Wellington. His career is good. Mine is better (and with higher earning potential). We could have gone private, however i decided to go PT to spend more time with my DC - I help out at DD1's state school one morning a week.

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