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To think that sending one child state school and one child to private school is child abuse

(240 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 27-Feb-14 12:19:46

Obviously if there is substantial special needs and there is no choice to send a child to a state school then that is completely different. Private schools for children who require a statement are difficult to find and to persaude the LEA to fund.

A neighbour of mine has chosen sent her eldest son to an expensive private very selective secondary school. The child has a partial scolarship and bursery, but they still have to find a couple of thousand pounds a year. It is a huge financial struggle. They cannot afford to send the youngest to private school. They have made the decision to send the youngest to state school as he is less intelligent. They have decided that the youngest child is less intelligent at the age of seven.

I feel that giving a child a private school education because he is deemed to be more intelligent than his sibbling is favourism. It must really hit the self esteem of the state educated child that they were not considered worth investing in. There are plenty of mixed ablity private schools with good results in my area. As the children get older they will notice the difference in resources and life experiences the other child has.

Jinty64 Thu 27-Feb-14 12:29:16

Whoops *attain

ScarletStar Thu 27-Feb-14 12:29:28

I think it's a shitty thing to do to the children but it's definitely not child abuse. It's only child abuse if you're the middle class mother character from Catherine Tate!

ComposHat Thu 27-Feb-14 12:29:32

You really shouldn't belittle the term abuse with an example like this.

I tell you what, if you think this child abuse, I suggest you phone the duty social work team and see what they say. (After they have finished laughing).

As it is, you've completely negated any discussion on the issue itself by your absurd use of the word 'abuse'.

Flexiblefriend Thu 27-Feb-14 12:29:56

It is certainly in no way abuse. It is not even definitely favouritism. If the older child is significantly more academic it may be that they will benefit from the private school in a way the younger one wouldn't.

ReallyTired Thu 27-Feb-14 12:30:14

The child is not on a full scholarship. His parents still have to find a huge difference. There are costs as well school fees. (Ie. travel costs, expensive school uniform, extras)

ReallyTired Thu 27-Feb-14 12:31:11

Surely a less academic child will benefit from private school. It could be argued that gifted child would do well at a selective grammar.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 27-Feb-14 12:31:47

The way you describe it in your second post I do think you have a bit of a point. If finding the extra is a struggle then the whole family suffers. It also begs the question what will happen in the future if the scholarship or bursary reduce in value or if there are extras to pay for meaning that the younger child is denied extras.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 27-Feb-14 12:31:57


Dd has a bursary to a private school due to a particular talent she has.

That school would not be at all suitable for ds as he doesn't have that talent & wants different things from a school.

He probably will go to a private school for secondary (we can afford full fees for him because if dds bursary) but equally he might go to a state school if we feel he'll thrive in a less pressured environment.

carabos Thu 27-Feb-14 12:32:12

We chose schools for our two DS based purely on what was right for them. DS1 was very bright, very sporty, got a bursary to a strongly academic / rugby independent school and had a successful, happy time there.

DS2 no way could have coped in an academic hot house. He is musical, arty -farty, low-key with great people skills. We live in a small town within walking distance of the only secondary school - which happens to be a good comp. He went there and was so happy that he didn't want to leave at 16 despite having not-great GCSEs.

The school understood him as a person and allowed him to stay on because even though he had the minimum qualifications for sixth-form entry, they really valued his other skills - they sent him on a course which enable him to be the go-to guy for advice on drugs and stuff like that for other students.

It is far far too simplistic to regard private as "better" and therefore a matter of unfairness for one child over another. We believe that the independent was "better" for DS1 and that the local school was "better" for DS2. Both made lasting friendships, both achieved their potential. Both are happy with the decision we made for them.


diabolo Thu 27-Feb-14 12:32:27

Are you quite sure of their reasons OP? Has your neighbour told you this using those words about their younger child or have you guessed?

It's not child abuse, but it's not what I would do.

derektheladyhamster Thu 27-Feb-14 12:32:46

oh dear sad

My eldest goes to a private school (academically selective), on a very substantial bursery, my youngest will be going to the local comp because he didn't get into the private school. I look at it in a similar way to one child getting a grammar school place and the other not.

insearchoftheFlumFlumTree Thu 27-Feb-14 12:34:42

YABVU. We have one at private school, and will send our younger DC to our (very) local state primary. Neither has significant special needs, although they do have different interests and aptitudes. I genuinely believe that we have made the best decision for each of them. It's not ideal for me, longer term, to have both of them in different schools (and down the line we may look to reassess this, but possibly by sending both to a state secondary), but we have chosen, weighing up everything for our children, the best schools for each of them. Your post is offensive.

5Foot5 Thu 27-Feb-14 12:34:52

YABVU to call it child abuse.

Having said that I can think of lots of reasons why a parent might decide one of their children would benefit more from private education but intelligence isn't one of them. In fact I would have thought the less able child more likely to benefit since the more able child is likely to do just as well in a good state school.

ksrwr Thu 27-Feb-14 12:35:24

totally 100% disagree
in my family some of us went to private school some of us went to state school
it was a decision based on each child's strengths, interests, and what was right for them as an individual.

bakingtins Thu 27-Feb-14 12:35:25

It has potential to cause real resentment between siblings if they are not give the same opportunities, and I think it's unfair to have written off the younger one as not academic at seven.

Child abuse, though?? YABU.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 27-Feb-14 12:35:57

Definitely not child abuse. I'd stop worrying about other people's business OP.

MrRected Thu 27-Feb-14 12:37:19

Really tired - did you read my post @12.26?

Or is this another OP - AIBU??? A=yyabfu!!!
OP - doesn't give a toss that 99% of respondents say Yabfu!!!!

Crowler Thu 27-Feb-14 12:38:00

I would do the same for both of my children - state v private is a pretty big fork in the road & I think you could safely assume it would lead to major resentment.

There's tension between state & private children in the corner shop after school!

MrRected Thu 27-Feb-14 12:39:01

Where on earth do you shop Crowler?

Lottiedoubtie Thu 27-Feb-14 12:39:07

Depending on how it is handled within the family it is potentially unfair and certainly favouritism.

Abuse though? Come off it.

Crowler Thu 27-Feb-14 12:39:09

^By "the same" I mean both would go private or state, I wouldn't mix it up.

Fakebook Thu 27-Feb-14 12:39:15

Ffs. No. This isn't child abuse. If you need someone to explain to you why it isn't, then you really must be thick.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 27-Feb-14 12:40:49

Of course it isn't child abuse.
I personally couldn't send just one or two of my three DC to a fee paying school, but that's my choice for my family. How other families do things is up to them.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 27-Feb-14 12:40:50

If a parent chooses to do this then I do think they need to be very aware of ensuring fairness in other areas.

It reminds me of a thread a while back where older sibling had a very expensive hobby. For the time being all was fine as the younger sibling was still at the soft play stage. However problems were going to arise if the younger sibling also wanted to try an expensive hobby as family funds were simply not going to stretch that far.

What will happen when the school trips come up? I can see large problems appearing. Do you stop older sibling from going on expensive trips but allow younger sibling on the grounds that older sibling's education is more expensive?

lainiekazan Thu 27-Feb-14 12:40:53

Not child abuse, but likely to cause parent abuse further down the line. Perhaps parents do it for the best reasons, but it is never, ever fair to give one opportunities above and beyond any other offspring.

If one child gets a bursary/passes 11+ and another doesn't, then parents should try to even things up somehow with extra-curricular activities.

I have seen so many instances of people steaming with resentment about their lesser education even when they are in middle age.

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