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To wonder if those of you who privately educate your DC would prefer that they end up with a DP who is also privately educated, or woould you genuinely, hand on heart, not care?

(136 Posts)
mscheddarandrioja Sun 02-Nov-14 10:40:16

In case you are wondering why I am asking, I am relatively new to MN, but there seem to be an awful lot of debates about state v private, boarding or not boarding etc, which ahs got me thinking - probably overthinking!

My DC1 went to a well known public school, but as it was primarily a boarding school, and it was not very conducive to family life in some respects - a very long school day (even the 'day boarders' had beds at school!), as well as school on Saturdays and bank holidays. There seemed to be very little time for a life away from the school.

By the time DC2 was ready to start secondary, we were in the catchment area for an outstanding state comprehensive (so outstanding that Ofsted doesn't even inspect it any more), now an academy for languages, music and G & T (which, thanks to MN, I now know is not gin and tonic!). I am very happy with the education provided and the language tuition is distinctly superior to that provided by DC1's school.

However - and I know that this probably reflects badly on me - I do worry sometimes that DC1 will have some social advantage which DC2 will not, which makes me feel guilty that DC2 didn't have the same opportunity - although DC2 had a place at the same school as DC1 but was put off and didn't want to go as DC1 was always complaining about the long hours, being pressed into compulsory sports teams etc.

On the other hand, I am aware that being privately educated can be a bit double edged, in that some will also judge unfavourably - there appears to be a strident minority on MN who are anti private school, on principle.

This issue is troubling me now, because we are at the stage of applying to 6th form for next year. I am wondering if DC1 should stay at the present state school - which is excellent academically - or apply to the DC1 school. There are no other options really, as I wouldn't consider sending my DC to boarding school unless they really wanted to go, and neither did.

Sorry if this is long and please ignore if you think it is a first world problem and trivial!

Floggingmolly Sun 02-Nov-14 10:43:26

You think you may have bought your first child's way into an elite social class that will be forever closed to your second?

generaltilney Sun 02-Nov-14 10:45:54

I know that my PILs welcomed me (state educated) as a partner for their privately educated DS with arms so wide open they practically touched the sky, but then he was 39 at the time and they'd given up hope grin

Bonsoir Sun 02-Nov-14 10:46:27

I think you are overthinking this!

If your DC is happy at a good school that will prepare him/her well for university entrance, don't risk upsetting him/her. If your DC isn't happy, look for an alternative.

Hulababy Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:03

Hand on heart, which school my DD's future partner(s) come from will not be of concern to me. Once she is at university and then into work, I doubt it will even cross my mind which school anyone attended tbh.

However, DD's school is not one of the well known elite types and neither me or her dad went to independent schools of any form.

Bonsoir Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:06

My DP and I have drawn on our combined wide range of educational experiences to concoct the best possible cocktail for our DC. Private school a l'anglaise has definite things going for it - but it is not some holy grail without which DC will forever be excluded from the best bits of life and what the world has to offer!

Rosa Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:22

I was privately educated husband isn't . I personally have friends that went throught both sides of the system. I often feel some who went private really haven't got a clue about real life and reality...others with a first from Oxford in high paid jobs are 'normal'. Its very hard to decide as at the end its diwn to the individual. My dds will not go private as there is no opportunity to do so here. I just hope we can provide a good education and solid background with opportunities for them to progress as they want to in life.

LosingAllTheLego Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:27

Well DH and I were both privately educated but I'm as sure as can 've that his parents know nothing about my education and the same with mine.

We both do very very similar jobs which are probably not traditional for folk from private school so perhaps our parents both think our spouse is state educated. I don't know. Never thought about it!

mycatlikestwiglets Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:29

Although my DC aren't yet school age we are considering private education. I have to say the prospect of my DC ending up with non-privately educated partners has not featured on my list of possible concerns hmm. What a strange thing to be worrying about OP. You know that there are decent people out there who <shock> aren't privately educated, and that privately educated people can and do mix with state-educated people, don't you?

NerfHerder Sun 02-Nov-14 10:52:54

I genuinely would not care- what I want for them is a partner that respects, loves and cherishes them, those are the important things.

Bonsoir Sun 02-Nov-14 10:56:54

I also think, judging from my perspective as an adult and observing my peer group choosing schools for their DC, that there is a significant segment of parents who choose private schools because they have status-anxiety issues, rather than valuing the intrinsic educational value of the school. Do you want your DC to grow up in a frenzy of status anxiety?

Triliteral Sun 02-Nov-14 10:57:04

Hand on heart, I want my children to marry someone who makes them happy. I definitely don't think happiness is related to whether someone went to a private school or not.

ElleMcFearsome Sun 02-Nov-14 11:01:03

100% what NerfHerder and Triliteral said. Same as I wouldn't care what race, religion, gender etc that my DDs future partners were. Only that they were respected and happy.

raltheraffe Sun 02-Nov-14 11:01:40

I would argue that the DC at state school has a social advantage. That DC has mixed with people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

I can afford (just) to send ds to fee paying school, but I will not do this on that basis.

MintyCatLeaf Sun 02-Nov-14 11:02:28

I was privately educated. DP was not.

We met in medical school.

We are both successfully engaging in medical careers.

Secondary school means very little at this point.

FluffyMcnuffy Sun 02-Nov-14 11:07:47

Unless your child has gone to Eton/Harrow or such the like, I doubt anyone in the real world will give a shit.

cerealqueen Sun 02-Nov-14 11:09:04

YANBU. DC2 might marry somebody from a lower social class who has worked hard to get an education and better themselves. Dreadful.

Honestly? DC2 better off for going to more representative school.

SomeSunnySunday Sun 02-Nov-14 11:09:57

I couldn't give a monkeys. I was mainly state educated, DH was privately educated (throughout). One of our DCs is privately educated at present, the other is at a state primary. We genuinely feel that we have chosen the best school for each of them. I would like them, ultimately, to have happy and fulfilling relationships but I don't think that the school with their partner went to will have much impact on this! They both have lovely sets of school friends at the moment, and honestly, the general social competence of their respective friends is fairly similar - if I didn't know, I probably couldn't tell you which ones were at the private school and which at the state primary.

Mintyy Sun 02-Nov-14 11:13:13

I love Mumsnet for a glimpse into how other people think!

I'm also intrigued by a state school which is so outstanding that Ofsted don't even inspect it any more.

YvetteChauvire Sun 02-Nov-14 11:16:42

I agree with everything bonsoir is saying.

I have experienced this from the other side. I was privately educated at a well known school where my parents thought I would befriend the right sort of people. Luckily for me the school was excellent and I did well there.

My parents (father in particular) would have not been happy if my husband had been state educated. They are both from monied 'old' families and they encouraged us (their children) into choosing partners from 'good' family backgrounds who were privately educated and had been university. It was a lot of pressure. We all obliged.

I remember having a thing for a man who was in the building trade but I didn't bother pursuing it as I knew there would be a massive family fall out.

My children attend private schools, they like their schools. I hope they meet partners who like, love and respect them; where they went to school would not concern me.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 02-Nov-14 11:17:47

I was privately educated at primary and state educated at secondary. No wonder I'm confused.

XH was privately educated all the way through, but is still an idiot. DC were all state educated and are not idiots, except sometimes, but who isn't?

(I suspect the "Ofsted doesn't inspect it" thing was a bit of hyperbole.)

BlinkAndMiss Sun 02-Nov-14 11:23:15

Me too Mintyy! OP I don't think that's entirely true...

You do realise that colleges and universities accept non-privately educated people too and that your DC may end up with partners who went to (shock horror) a comprehensive school, right?

Your OP sort of makes sense, being concerned about providing the same educational opportunities for both DC seems like a valid concern. But when you put that with the title of it, WTF? Why is that your primary concern?


hackmum Sun 02-Nov-14 11:23:17

Mintyy: "I'm also intrigued by a state school which is so outstanding that Ofsted don't even inspect it any more."

I was surprised at that. However, I have just found the relevant Osfted document (

"19.Certain schools are exempt from section 5 inspection, although they may be inspected under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 (as amended). These schools are known as ‘exempt schools’. Regulations specify that maintained primary and secondary schools, and academies, that were judged to be outstanding overall at their most recent section 5 inspection are exempt from future inspection under section 5. This exemption also applies to an academy converter school whose predecessor school achieved an outstanding grade overall at its most recent section 5 inspection. Certain types of schools cannot be exempt schools. These are special schools (including maintained residential special schools and non-maintained special schools with residential provision), pupil referral units and maintained nursery schools."

Pico2 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:23:46

If I think about my friends, I struggle to remember who went to what kind of school. That's if I have ever known.

The only person I know who really cares went to a third rate independent school and I think has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his underachievement in life (his perception of underachievement, not mine). He bangs on about sending his children private and is aghast that others don't.

What I want for my DD is for her to lead a relatively happy and relaxed life. That is more likely (in our position) to come from attending the local schools than more distant independent ones.

mscheddarandrioja Sun 02-Nov-14 11:25:38

Sorry, I meant that the school is no longer subject to routine inspection by Ofsted.

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