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Private schools - want to shout IT'S NOT FAIR!

(1000 Posts)
Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:22

Went to PIL last night and heard all about sil's children's school. One of her boys is already attending a fantastic private school. Just found out his two brothers have also got places at very good private schools.

In the mean time my dc's are in classes of 31 at the local state school. My youngest needs additional support (sn) but isn't statemented (diagnosed but no statement) so doesn't get it. SIL's middle child has got into a mainstream private school that has outstanding support for children with dyslexia, which he's been diagnosed with. And will be in classes of 18.

Our middle ds is musically talented but there is really poor provision for music teaching at his state school and very few children there are learning an instrument. We struggle to pay for music lessons for him outside school.

Is it wrong of me to feel eaten up with jealousy and anger at the unfairness of a school system which privileges the children of well-off people so openly and seemingly without anyone else seeing it as something that's wrong or deeply, deeply unfair?

How would you explain to a group of children: you lot over here will have XXXX spent on your education, and lots of opportunity to develop your talents, and you lot over there will have about half as much spent on you, and will have much less attention from the teacher because there'll be twice as many of you in the class. Oh, and you kids with sn or specific gifts - unless your parents have money, you probably won't get the help you need to thrive educationally.

I know it's the way the world is but at the moment I feel bitter about it. Really really bitter. And jealous

Every time I go to my PIL's and have to hear about all the amazing thing SIL's dcs are doing at their school, their academic achievements, I want to go home and hide under the duvet and cry.

We'll never, ever be able to afford private education. We'll never be able to afford to move to an area with really good state schools. We'll never be able to get our children into church schools as we're not church goers, and our local grammar schools (2) are bursting at the seams with children from the local private prep schools, who bus their students in to take the 11+ en mass.

It's just so fucking unfair. It really is. I just want to get that off my chest.

That is all.

Hullygully Mon 04-Feb-13 11:00:51

Of course it's unfair. And wrong. All systems of privilege based on ability to pay are unfair.

GooseyLoosey Mon 04-Feb-13 11:02:31

I feel for you, but YABU.

Is it unfair that some people have bigger houses than others or go on better holidays? Do you want to live in a society where no matter how hard you or your children work you or they can never have anything more than anyone else? I don't.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Mon 04-Feb-13 11:02:36

Not all high achievers come from private schools.

Lots of state schools are excellent. Sounds like maybe your school isnt the greatest for your kids....what are the other state schools like around you? I am lucky in that where I live all the secondary schools are excellent and so my DS will do just as as well as say someone his age whose parents can afford to send them to a private school.

I think you maybe need to look around at the state schools near you and see whether there are some which suit your kids better if that is an option.

nefertarii Mon 04-Feb-13 11:06:23

The most intelligent people I know when to states schools. They are are amongst the most intelligent people in the country.

The fact is there will always be things that richer people than you can afford.

The only option would be communism. Which I don't fancy either.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 11:06:39

Of course YABU! Do you think you should have a bigger house, because it's unfair that others have bigger houses than you? Do you think you should be able to afford a yacht, because it's unfair that people better off than you can afford to have one? Grow up and be grateful that you live in a country where schooling is provided for free, along with healthcare.

chocoluvva Mon 04-Feb-13 11:07:07

I agree - it's very unfair.

How about investigating scholarships for a music school for your middle child - are you within reach of a cathedral school, Purcell or Chetham?

Or a scholarship to do the Academy of Music junior school on saturdays?

There are also orchestral summer courses which offer grants.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:07:15

YANBU it is unfair. BUT there is a lot to be said for getting an education with a wide mix of people from different backgrounds. Great experience for the workplace and developing empathy. And yes also how to deal with difficult people from difficult backgrounds. Also better ability to work on own back at uni. Not being sheltered from poverty etc. If a kid is going to do well they will do well anywhere. And I always a think a child from state school getting top grades has done better than a child from private school because they have done that without the privileges. Universities also are under pressure to take more state school kids so being private can actually go against you. A relative of mine paid thousands to send his kid private, she did OK but no better than another relative's kid who did well at state and is at Oxford because they were impressed with him doing well from a 'bad' school. Also many state schools are involved in schemes with unis to get more state kids into good unis.

juneau Mon 04-Feb-13 11:09:14

Oh FGS it's not unfair! Her DC have every right to go to a private school too - but like many things out there that are desirable you have to PAY for it! Do her SIL's DC get this wonderful schooling for free? No. They get it because their parents pay a lot of money for it and no doubt go without other things in order to pay for it.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:09:33

'Do you think you should have a bigger house, because it's unfair that others have bigger houses than you? Do you think you should be able to afford a yacht, because it's unfair that people better off than you can afford to have one?'

Big difference between material goods though and children's education. I think the thing is some people want their child to have an advantage over other kids. If the option was for everyone to have as 'good' an education as their child they wouldn't want it.

nefertarii Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:02

Oh and my dd goes to states school. Its excellent.

I actually think the problem isn't private schools. Its that state schools are so ranging in how good they are and what support they offer.

There would be less demand for private schools if there were more schools like my dds. It offers excellent support for children with additional needs is all round an excellent environment for children to be in, whilst getting the most out the children educationally.

we are lucky. I could send dd to private school but no way would I take her out of this school.

jellybeans Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:15

And it is fine to have an opinion without massive overreaction in response or put downs!

McNewPants2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:43

When has life ever been fair.

Hullygully Mon 04-Feb-13 11:12:58

11.30pm June 10th 1484

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 11:13:45

I don't think you are being unreasonable, but I also wouldn't let yourself be consumed with anger and jealousy, as its not worth it. Myself, DH, and the majority of our friends are products of state schools, with degrees, professional qualifications and are in top 5% earners in the country. Which I hasten to add is not, in my view, the only definition of 'success' but it does seem to be the definition used on here. I myself had pretty dreadful schooling but had the right home environment which allowed me to do what I wanted to do. My DDs will be state educated and I think they will be just fine, even though we could probably afford private if we juggled things.
On a practical level, I know very little about sn, but I do know a bit about dyslexia. Are the school not obliged to make reasonable adjustments? Someone who worked for me was diagnosed and it would have been contrary to the DDA for me not to make adjustments? Are there other routes you can do down / appeals you can make to get the support your dcs need? I am sure other mn'ers will be along who can give specific advice.

Tailtwister Mon 04-Feb-13 11:13:54

YANBU OP. The variation in the quality of state education is a joke. Unfortunately money is a huge factor, whether it's to buy a property or rent in a good catchment area or to pay private school fees. Those who are fortunate enough to be in a catchment with a good school will always harp on about how fabulous state education is. Yes, it is for them, but not all schools are equal are they?

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:37

i dont think its unfair,its just a shame that state schools arent all good,its not the private schools fault!

nancerama Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:51

I went to private school. I hated it and was bloody miserable, but my mother constantly harped on about how fantastic it was to anyone who would listen.

It took me years to pipe up and tell her I wasn't happy because I knew how much money was being spent on my education and I didn't want to seem ungrateful.

Your SIL may well like the idea of private education more than her DCs.

Themobstersknife Mon 04-Feb-13 11:16:24

Sorry if I have misunderstood. I have re read your OP and realised it is not your DC who has dyslexia I don't think?

elizaregina Mon 04-Feb-13 11:16:51

The right home environment where the children can cocentrate on themselves and work etc is really paramount.

It doesnt matter if private or state, if the child goes home to consuming problems and gets dragged in, the chances are they will do less well at school.

Feeling Jealous and angry is no help to anyone.

You should be looking at the positives and what you can do - rather than what you cant.

TheFallenNinja Mon 04-Feb-13 11:19:51

Yeah, I think YABU really.

I suppose if I could afford a private school I would but really for the following reason

1. You are now a paying customer and have a proper voice.
2. No social experimenting.
3. The shoe is on the other foot
4. They are far more accountable to you when they take the money directly from you.

Whether children get a "better" education is open to debate.

MidniteScribbler Mon 04-Feb-13 11:20:08

YABU because you are focusing your anger in the wrong place. It's not your SILs fault that she has chosen to spend her money on providing the best education she can afford for her children.

You would not be unreasonable however if you asked why the government doesn't make education a priority and ensure that all schools have top quality resources and access to support for children with sn as required.

JuliaScurr Mon 04-Feb-13 11:21:31

of course it's unfair. The croneyism engendered is corrupting - how many in current govt went to Eton? These people are running our country because their parents bought their way to power. Fair??? Don't make me laugh

Abra1d Mon 04-Feb-13 11:22:02

Stop moaning and start investigating bursaries, of which there are lots, at many excellent private schools.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Feb-13 11:24:59


Yes I get that people have bigger houses etc(believe me I've got several friends better off than us living in masseeeeeve houses)and I couldn't give a stuff however education is different.

All kids should be given a level paying field.I read that rich parents are spending thousands on tutoring on top of prep school fees to get their kids into the top schools.I strongly suspect that the vast majority of kids with a prep school education coupled with hours of tutoring could pass the 11+ so parents are simply buying advantages.It's wrong which is why I think anti private school measures are vital.

I think privately schooled kids should be penalised when applying for uni and banned from applying to state grammars.If parents don't like it then they always have the easy option- put them into the state system.

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