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How do you decide between private school or state school?

(490 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Hecegoza Tue 10-May-16 14:29:37

I'm so torn... There's a lovely prep school, relatively close (15 min drive) and it only has 123 students - from age 1-11. I'd want mine to start at Pre-Reception.

It's very family-like and has great pastoral care (which I think is more important than results, for sure).

It's reasonable price - it's £21 a morning session for Pre-Reception and then £2,900 each term up to Year 6. That includes lunch/swimming, etc.

Then there's an 'Outstanding' state school which is walking distance, it's a lovely newly built building. Then friends he met at school would most likely be in his village too... So that's a bonus, and most likely to go to the same secondary.

I'm struggling to decide sad if your kids go private, why is that? If state, why did you pick that? I feel they both have good benefits!

zzzzz Tue 10-May-16 14:33:32

where do you want him to go to secondary?

What would you do with the £60,000 to £70,000 if you didn't spend it on primary education?

If he has any SN state is almost always better.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-May-16 14:34:50

I picked state because:

a) I have ethical issues with private schools
b) I'm not convinced they are that much better, they just filter out the riffraff
c) Can't afford it without giving up other things - would rather could afford to do things with DD outside of school.

Dellarobia Tue 10-May-16 14:35:24

You're post reads as if you'd want him to go to state secondary either way, is that right?

If so, then I'd go for the state primary.

limon Tue 10-May-16 14:36:53

I would never entertain the idea of a private education, ethically and because I don't believe they provide a rounded preparation for adulthood.

Dellarobia Tue 10-May-16 14:37:24

Arghh - your not you're!

SirChenjin Tue 10-May-16 14:37:37

For the same reasons as ItsAllGoingToBeFine - although as we have 3 DCs the cost of sending them all to private school was the major deciding factor. Even if we could have afforded it, I don't think we would have for reasons 1 & 2.

whois Tue 10-May-16 14:39:00


Fit of the school to your child.

Secondary plans.

How well things like wrap around care work.

Personal ethics and how much value you place on private v state.

Micah Tue 10-May-16 14:39:15

£10k a year is how i decided. Unless you are rich enough you'd barely miss it, find a good state school.

PansyGiraffe Tue 10-May-16 14:43:30

What you want for your three year old (small, family like atmosphere) isn't necessarily what you'll want for an older child. And don't assume that a state primary can't have good pastoral care just because it's bigger.

For us there is no way I'd go down the road of spending that much money - I'm not convinced that my children would benefit more from spending it on their primary education than they would from spending it on other things. (Which is not to say that, if I really felt it was the only thing that was right for my children, I wouldn't or couldn't make the sacrifices to spend on that.)

Also whilst you're happy you can pay at current rates, are you happy you could pay if fees go up (and they will) faster than inflation? I would not want to have to pull my child out of a school where they were settled because of the finances.

FlyingElbows Tue 10-May-16 14:44:46

Private schools do not necessarily filter out the riff raff. They just have riff raff with money! You can get a whole new flavour of awful people at an independent school. Mine went to the same private school I went to but we took them out for a mixture of reasons. The very long commute was doing them no favours and costing us a fortune and then my husband lost his job and we couldn't afford for them to stay. If money had been no object then I'd have been happy with the school. Now they all go to the same campus and while the riff raff are poorer and the classes are bigger they're all thriving and settled. It's just a case of choosing what suits your life and your child.

Hecegoza Tue 10-May-16 14:45:46

I am mostly drawn to the class sizes - they are tiny... Very maximum is 13 per class.

I also like the extra activities, so he will be able to find that thing he enjoys.

With regards to secondary, yes, probably state as I don't like the pressure private give for GCSEs (the big private schools). Same with grammar, the pressure is huge... So that would only be if he asked to do the 11+.

Money is okay, we would be able to afford it.

peppatax Tue 10-May-16 14:49:02

limon on what basis? I doubt the current SATs palaver is creating children who are well rounded for adulthood in the state sector.

OP - it's all about the school. I personally chose private school for DD on the class sizes and support she gets, not to mention the opportunities for learning she just wouldn't get offered in state school. Even if she ends up moving, her grounding in learning and confidence in herself from private school would not have been achieved in even an outstanding primary school. This may be due to the specific school she's at but you can see the differences with children she was previously at nursery with that are now at state school.

BreakingDad77 Tue 10-May-16 14:55:53

Affordability, we earn too much to get a scholarship and not enough to be able to afford it.

If you can go for it.

SirChenjin Tue 10-May-16 14:57:19

her grounding in learning and confidence in herself from private school would not have been achieved in even an outstanding primary school. This may be due to the specific school she's at but you can see the differences with children she was previously at nursery with that are now at state school

I forgot to add No. 4 - parents like peppa who come out with this sort of baloney.

whatsagoodusername Tue 10-May-16 15:00:12

I agree it's all about the school.

We are sending our DC to a private school. It's got great pastoral care, really concentrates on confidence and polite behaviour, and has small classes (14 children, 1 teacher, 1 full time TA) - these were very important to us for DS1 in particular. He would have been overlooked in a large class - he's not great socially, had glue ear, speech delay, and is naturally very quiet and happy on his own, but does pretty well academically. In a large class, a quiet child who does all right does not generally warrant extra attention from the teacher and we could just see him falling slightly behind every year without anyone really noticing until he was very behind and too late to fix it easily.

We were lucky our private school is a 5 minute walk and most of the children live within 2-3 miles so reasonably local. The families are also quite down-to-earth and normal.

I would have been perfectly happy to have very different DS2 in the local state school, but I'm not doing two school runs, so off to private he goes.

LoveFromUs Tue 10-May-16 15:00:46

My 6 year old is currently at an exclusive private school and my younger son will be joining him. I attended a state primary school and secondary school which I didn't enjoy one bit, so a state school was never an option for my boys. Private schools have rules in terms how the students are to behave and behave towards others, which many states do not have, and of course smaller class sizes and extra support is always there if you need it and much better facilities. My son leaves the house with a big smile every morning and I have no worries about him whilst he is there.

peppatax Tue 10-May-16 15:01:59

OP asked what made the decision for parents whose children do go private. I answered on the basis of what is best for my daughter. She'd have been lost in a class of 30, as I said - I only use the comparison of her former peer group for reference as she was behind them at nursery but the rate of improvement has been significant.

SirChenjin Tue 10-May-16 15:03:53

Looks like peppa is not the only one.

An exclusive private school? You mean, there are exclusive private schools and bog standard private schools?

happygoluckylady Tue 10-May-16 15:09:26

Private schools have rules in terms how the students are to behave and behave towards others, which many states do not have

This made my day. Yes, you should see how feral my daughter's classmates are. Those state school kids huh...! Honestly, take a look at yourself. Talk about nonsensical generalisations.

peppatax Tue 10-May-16 15:12:45

Wrong place to post OP - try education rather than AIBU if you want to hear answers and not have holes picked in responses

Hecegoza Tue 10-May-16 15:13:41

Yes, sorry I didn't want this post to offend or cause an argument, just thought more people would see it here!

SirChenjin Tue 10-May-16 15:14:55

I know happy - it's laughable. All these poor, shrinking state school kids with poor self confidence, lack of manners, no support, rubbish facilities and no respect for others sad

peppatax Tue 10-May-16 15:16:59

Happy for you to PM me if you have any questions so you don't have to scroll through all the rubbish

honkinghaddock Tue 10-May-16 15:19:26

My son (severe sn ) would never have been accepted in at a self funded private school. He now goes to an independent special school but his place is not funded by us. The local private school's results (goes through to 16) are no better than the 'better' local state schools.

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