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Private v state school

(81 Posts)
Beautifulbabyboy Mon 08-Dec-14 17:15:22

Right this thread is not what you think, it is NOT about which is better blah blah....

However, I have been talking to my friends, who are a mixed bunch some have kids going to state school some have kids going to private school. There seems to be an over-riding concern by those who are sending their kids to state schools, that even if they could afford the private school fees they still wouldn't be able to "keep with the Jones's".... And would feel uncomfortable re kids parties/what car they drive etc....

This hadn't crossed my mind... I don't care if my family is the richest or poorest at what ever school they end up going to. AIBU? Would this bother you?

Bluestocking Mon 08-Dec-14 17:17:19

You might not care, but your DCs might not like it. I was acutely aware that I was pretty much the only girl in my year who didn't have two foreign holidays a year, riding lessons, etc etc. I don't think it did me any harm in the long run but it wasn't much fun at the time.

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 08-Dec-14 17:19:18

Interesting. I had been thinking about it from a parent's perspective, that that sort of stuff isn't important. But as a child such differences might be upsetting at the time...... True.

black2cat Mon 08-Dec-14 17:20:38

It would definitely bother me and I would be highly unlikely to educate my child privately for this reason.

Eastpoint Mon 08-Dec-14 17:23:01

That sort of thing probably depends where you live, we are in London and the cost of housing is so high that most mothers work & I think most families only go on one foreign holiday a year. Often children go to stay with grandparents in the holidays or with friends who have holiday homes in the UK.

Gatehouse77 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:24:31

Having been one of the 'poorer' people at private school, I'd say it's a load of nonsense.

So, we didn't go on foreign holidays, or even the 3 holidays a year many seemed to have. We didn't go on school trips (other than educational but they were rare in those days) or wear the same clothes. Our house was big but knackered. It was a case of suck it up, buttercup!

My children go to state school - some children are wealthy, some are not. Neither myself nor my kids value people for the things they have but the people they are. Something that seems increasingly on the decline in our current culture...

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 08-Dec-14 17:25:24

But why would it bother you black2cat? I would hope my kids are nice kids that other children want to be friends off regardless of their material possessions or lack of?

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 08-Dec-14 17:26:05

Doh bad grammar "friends with"... (Showing up my education!!)

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 08-Dec-14 17:27:45

That's what I thought gatehouse, but in real life I am in the minority in that school of thought...

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Mon 08-Dec-14 17:29:47

I've just asked ds2(10) if it bothers him that he's poorer (not poor) than the majority of his school friends and he said 'no, why would it'.
Most of the parents don't treat us any differently either and to be honest I don't give a crap about any that may choose to. No one is outright rude either way so I'm none the wiser.

pommedeterre Mon 08-Dec-14 17:30:25

My dh got a bursary to a private school. He remembers vividly the class being asked to write an essay on a recent plane trip. He'd never been on a plane.
He also remembers the time he was the only one in the year to not be on a week long residential trip. He spent the week in the library.
I do think you have to be a little careful.

IvySquirrel Mon 08-Dec-14 17:30:43

My DC are the poor kids at a private school. They are fully aware of who is richer/poorer. They don't care and neither do their friends.

WyrdByrd Mon 08-Dec-14 17:32:30

My DH has worked in private schools for the last 14 years.

One of the main reasons we didn't take advantage of the generous staff discount to send DD to his previous school was the fact that we couldn't hope to afford all the additional extra curricular activities & school trips.

Of course it doesn't matter in theory and shouldn't in practice but we all know how important fitting in is to most kids.

I think it's very sensible to consider that aspect of things before deciding state vs private.

Gatehouse77 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:33:59

beautifulbabyboy I'll join you in that minority ��

WhereIsMyHat Mon 08-Dec-14 17:35:50

If I had enough money to send the kids to private school vs a bigger house/ more holidays i would choose the former. I would be of the opinion that everyone's circumstances are different and while we may not have as much money as others, we also might not have the least money either. I would hope that my children would be able to cope with this.

I actually know a family who have a house in a not so good area to afford sending their 4 to private school. They seem happy with their decision.

Parsley1234 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:35:53

We are the poorest by a mile at my sons prep school normal there would be £2million houses, swimming pools, ponies, foreign holidays every half term and main holidays and beginning of year 5 my son felt really fed up saying he was the poorest I sat him down said I wasn't going to lie to him we are poor compared to his peer group but compared to most of society we were rich however if he really did hate fealing that way he cd move at end of the year. To weeks later he was over it saying there were more important things than money and also things may look a certin way and not be that way atall.

amicissimma Mon 08-Dec-14 17:36:59

I have friends with children at state schools and friends with children at private schools. In and out of London. Some have more disposible income, some have less, at each type of school. I've only heard of it being an issue once when my friend's DC was teased for not having the latest designer trainers; this was at a state school.

Preciousbane Mon 08-Dec-14 17:37:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

black2cat Mon 08-Dec-14 17:38:03

Beautiful - because fitting in is important to a child. I wouldn't for one moment expect a group of children to be standing around discussing how much tax their parents pay but things like sports, foreign travel and hobbies would all have to be severely curtailed if not sidelined altogether were I to send my child to private school.

Interestingly I had the opposite problem as it were at school. I was the only child who went abroad and was known as someone who "lived in a big house." We weren't rich but by the standards of the town - held in an iron-fisted recession in the early 1990s - we were.

thornyhousewife Mon 08-Dec-14 17:38:48

My kid goes to a private school and we are probably the least monied family there. It hasn't been a problem at all, it's a really nice school with not many flashy parents at all really. More boden than wag.

We have never been on a foreign holiday, can't afford second car, buy second hand clothes etc.

If my kids grew up miserable about it I'd ensure they got some fucking perspective! In nicer language obv.

Discopanda Mon 08-Dec-14 17:41:19

I think it's more the other parents that care about the car you drive, where you go on holiday, etc. I was the poor kid in my year at school and none of my peers gave two hoots about it. State schools can be judgmental too.

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 08-Dec-14 17:41:31

But there's always going to be someone with a bigger house/better car/more holidays/more expensive gadgets than you, wherever you go, be it at school, at work, in social situations. You're on a hiding to nothing trying to get to the top, cos there'll always, always be someone higher up smile

redskybynight Mon 08-Dec-14 17:43:43

It bothered me when I went to private school and my parents couldn't afford lots of the things the other children had. In retrospect, I think this was partly personality - a different type of child would have shrugged it off.

It does bother me as a parent that there are expectations to keep up with. For example (based on the private school my brothers' DC go to), every child buys a costume for the nativity play - home made not good enough, every child had to have a christmas jumper (tinsel on any old jumper not good enough), party bag gifts expected to be of a certain standard. To be honest it bothers me that these are expectations -because I don't want to mix with the sort of people where these things are expected, rather than because I couldn't provide them.

Tykeisagirl Mon 08-Dec-14 17:45:25

It wouldn't bother me if I was the only parent driving a clapped out car or not owning a second holiday home, but I wouldn't want my DD to be judged and pitied for being "poor".

DD goes to a state primary in the middle of a very affluent MC area. There's a definite undercurrent of the wealthier parents sticking together, creating cliques and making sure that their DCs only play with children who come from the "right" families. I can only imagine that this is magnified at private schools.

black2cat Mon 08-Dec-14 17:45:45

It isn't about getting to the top, but not wanting your child to be the ONLY one who didn't go skiing, the only one who doesn't live in a house costing more than a million, the only one who <insert any other costly activity>

I don't think it's the money as in the bank balance that troubles people, it's the fact that lack of that money will mean some activities and interests will be off-limit to their child.

I have to admit when I started university I felt rather isolated by the fact I was the only girl (on a corridor of ten) who hadn't been educated at a private or grammar school. I did find some other state-educated people eventually, but even they had mostly gone to "good" (church or otherwise selective) schools. I barely met anyone who had been taught at Bog Standard Comp as I had!

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