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to pretend that state school is not so bad...

(503 Posts)
RichTeas Tue 23-Oct-12 16:46:53

We are in an area with no shortage of preps and indies; the state schools are not bad, but for us, definitely not the preferred option. Yet it looks like it's going to be state all the way through. So far DS (Y3) doesn't have any idea of the types of schools that exist, as we have never openly discussed it, but I expect soon he will be clued up enough to question the system he finds himself in. It feels disingenuous to fib that we're happy with just a state education (when we're not), yet we don't want him to grow up feeling he's missed out by over-egging the independents. I suppose it could be worse, he could be in private and then forced to come out, but the issues is the same I wonder how others explain this kind of mismatch...

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Oct-12 16:47:55

So why are you sending him to a state school if it's not your preferred option? Confused...

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 23-Oct-12 16:49:30

Presumably cost?

StillIRise Tue 23-Oct-12 16:50:00

Tell people that it is against your socialist principals to pay for education.

pictish Tue 23-Oct-12 16:51:19

Doubt you're going to get a lot of sympathy on here - most of us use state schools. wink

CecilyP Tue 23-Oct-12 16:51:35

Rather than admit you can't afford it.

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Oct-12 16:52:31

Yeah, that's what I thought, but it still makes no sense to me. Probably because I really can't imagine a situation when my DS comes in and says 'Gosh Mummy, I'm severely ticked off you didn't send me to St. Posh's down the way.'

If you'd rather send your son to private school and you're not doing so because you can't afford it and he is at all bothered then that's what you tell him. I would have thought that's obvious, hence I'm puzzled that I'm missing something?

WileyRoadRunner Tue 23-Oct-12 16:53:20

I don't really understand, if you cannot afford it why discuss it?

Your DS will only think he's missing out if you constantly talk about it within earshot surely?

My DD also in year 3 started at an independent this September. To us the difference is huge but to her it is just another school. Yes, she prefers it but she does not know I pay a termly fee for it. To her it is just another school. She doesn't feel that up until this point she had missed out.

If state is your only option you have to work within that. What is it that you think he's missing out on?

(I do sympathise with wanting something for your child that you cannot have but I fear you might get flamed on AIBU)

Floggingmolly Tue 23-Oct-12 16:56:25

Why would you "over egg the independents" when you've chosen a state school, albeit for financial reasons?
Maybe he won't question the system he finds himself in if you stop all the angst and just let him be? hmm

KittyFane1 Tue 23-Oct-12 16:57:02

If you can't afford to pay fees then independent schools aren't an option. Put them out of your mind, don't waste time considering something out of your league. Such is life. I would like to drive an Audi 4x4, be a SAHM and send DD to the Local independent school. It's a shame we don't earn enough!! Concentrate on getting to know the local state schools and be positive about them.

KittyFane1 Tue 23-Oct-12 16:59:28

Oh and tell your DC (and everyone else who asks) you can't afford it.
Why hide that? There's no shame in it.

BigusBumus Tue 23-Oct-12 17:00:20

I went to a very good fee-paying school and had a great education and all the opportunities that goes along with it. I know that I was very lucky. I don't think we will be able to afford for my DSs to go to the same public school however.

So we looked at the local state school, (which is Ofsted Outstanding incidently) at their open evening recently. I went with huge enthusiasm and a very open mind and fully and completely expected it to be great. (I have never been inside a state school before). I was so disappointed and completely underwhelmed. My DP called me a snob, but I am not, I think I just had unrealistically high expectations as to what a state school offers as I genuinely and naively didn't know.

In answer to your question Richteas, perhaps when your child is in Y6 and ready to move on (like mine) they will have more of an understanding of what can and can't be afforded. My son in happy to go to the state school, he liked it at the open day. He knows we would love to send him to the other school but knows we can't afford too and understands and accepts that. (Now I just have to learn to as well grin)

spicandspan Tue 23-Oct-12 17:02:17

But use a tiny % of the money you save to give him as many interesting, horizon-broadening opportunities as you can.

pictish Tue 23-Oct-12 17:02:35

Does any kid 'question the system he finds himself in'?

JakeBullet Tue 23-Oct-12 17:02:52

YABU to "pretend" anything. If your DS is happy in the school he is in then it's a win win situation for everyone. I doubt your DS will even mention it but if he ever does just point out that non state funded schools cost lots of money and not everyone is able to afford it. End of discussion.m

Pumpster Tue 23-Oct-12 17:03:55


usualsuspect3 Tue 23-Oct-12 17:05:28

You don't have to pretend that state school is not so bad, because ,errrr, it's not.


RichTeas Tue 23-Oct-12 17:06:02

Thanks Wiley. I realise that at a young age it's just another school, though I imagine by secondary, the social dimensions will be more apparent.

freddiefrog Tue 23-Oct-12 17:06:21

I don't really understand to be honest. State school is 'is not so bad'

My eldest DD is in year 6 and we've spent the last couple of weeks looking round secondary schools. Not once has she questioned the system or asked why she can't go to a private school.

Unless we win the lottery some time soon, she'll be going to the same state with great facilities and results, secondary school as the rest of her friends

She knows they exist but never pontificated on them

I'd love to send her to private school, we can't. She'll get over it I'm sure

RichTeas Tue 23-Oct-12 17:08:20

Thanks Bigus, that is very helpful commentary.

mummytime Tue 23-Oct-12 17:08:44

The only time my son mentioned it at that age was when his best friend moved to a Prep school. I did explain carefully that I would never send him to the prep school his friend went to (I left out the "even if it was the last school on earth" bit).
State is not necessarily worse than private. I know people who could well afford Private all the way through who send theirs to DCs primary instead, and then private. Others who send theirs to private then DCs Comp. Others who only bite the bullet and go private when they can't get their kids into DCs schools.

But if you hate State schools that much maybe you need to see if you can: downsize your house and/or generate extra income.

5ThingsUnderTheBed Tue 23-Oct-12 17:08:46

So is he at state school now? If so, won't his friends from state school be going to state school.

If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Get out your own arse and realise that state school is not the end of the world.

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Oct-12 17:09:15

Ah yes, the social dimensions. If only mummy and daddy had ponied up for St Posh's, I could be floating about in Barbados with Tilly right now...

I still don't get your angst OP, sorry.

RichTeas Tue 23-Oct-12 17:10:59

Well Wilson, at least you do get that I have angst. wink Thanks anyway for your advice.

gelo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:13:27

Interesting dilema. I would simply say that education is what he makes of it and that with your help and support and sufficient motivation from him he can achieve as well at a state school as an independent and leave it at that.

From the other side I remember my dc being completely flummoxed when they realised we paid for them to go to their school when there was a free one up the road. They clearly thought we were quite mad.

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