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AIBU to ask if private school fees are worth it?

(27 Posts)
Thedeepbluesea Tue 07-Jun-16 16:14:41

Just that really. My DS is in reception at an outstanding ofsted rated state school. His writing is diabolically terrible, his reading virtually non existant and an absolute battleground and maths the number 20 is still omitted when counting hmm.

I am considering private school. I see the benefits of the facilities, smaller classes, peer group, better trips than i get to go on. But is it academically teally that different?

Perhaps DS is just not academically gifted?

PNGirl Tue 07-Jun-16 16:22:56

I think reception is a bit early to make any judgements about his abilities. In my personal opinion, however, it isn't worth it for an academically middling child during primary school years if they already in a good primary.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 07-Jun-16 16:29:46

Have you asked his teacher if she has any concerns about DS's progress?

FWIW, DD is also in Reception - none of the children have especially tidy handwriting just yet! confused That comes later surely?

As for whether private school fees are worth it - it depends so much on your child & the private school you're thinking of.

80Kgirl Tue 07-Jun-16 16:30:32

Obviously, not all private schools are the same, and you have to match the child to the school, but yes, I think it is worth it. Of course, even if it is value for money, you still can't opt for it if you don't have the money in the first place. It's really very expensive, especially if you have to fund it out of earned income.

SpaceDinosaur Tue 07-Jun-16 16:31:54

How much do you do with your son at home to help him to "practice"?

nobilityobliges Tue 07-Jun-16 16:44:29

I went to a mediocre private school (former grammar) in the 1990s and early 2000s. The good things were that it offered Latin and Greek, was all girls (which I liked), small classes (max 25) and there were no really disruptive kids in classes.

Other than that I don't know if it was worth it - I actually think that the teaching is probably better overall in state schools since the teachers are constantly being assessed. I think that there were a lot of shit teachers in our school who coasted by since the kids were well-behaved and would generally be encouraged by parents to study etc. Also, two of my near contemporaries are now in relationships with teachers that began when they were in school -- absolutely shocking safeguarding, perhaps things would be different now but again, I feel like state schools are probably more on top of this kind of thing on average. Also, stuff like our head of year when we were 13-14 telling us she could "see it in a girl's eyes" if she was not a virgin - I'm sure this wouldn't happen in the state sector.

Facilities - I think if you're sporty this prob makes a difference, but I detested sports.

The people - honestly a lot of the people in my school had been sent there so they wouldn't have to mix with people in state schools. There was a lot of snobbishness (completely unjustified because apart from anything else it wasn't like anyone at the school was exactly aristocratic). I think it's good to have a mix of social backgrounds.

If I had the choice, I would probably only send my kids private if the local state school option was "poor" or otherwise really concerning. Or maybe if I had a shy girl who I thought would do better in an all girls environment. Or I guess if there was a particular private school that I thought seemed really great. I don't think that private school is anything great in itself though.

nobilityobliges Tue 07-Jun-16 16:47:15

Oh but actually, my parents have said that if they could choose again they would send me to the same private primary but might not have bothered for secondary. I was academic from a young age and they reckon that I thrived being pushed in primary. Once you're in secondary, I think that being pushed academically by school makes a lot less of a difference, because the academically talented will be able to direct their own study anyway. So tbh I think you might have more of a point about primary.

HairyMuffandProud Tue 07-Jun-16 16:49:15

Op reception IS far too early this sort of worry.

Ask the teacher about his progress, do some research on other targets for his age and see how he is, ie rule out any other issues.

My dd was pretty much like yours, and from late year 1, was when she blossomed and is now top sets at everything. We were very lucky she was sept born too.

srslylikeomg Tue 07-Jun-16 16:51:56

I went to private school and I was concerned when my eldest was in reception - they just didn't seem to challenge them, they just didn't seem to do ANYTHING academic. I looked at private schools. I realised we couldn't afford private schools. I looked at the curriculum: Early Years in essentially playing and self motivation plus phonics. Which are an amazing and solid foundation - as I now know as my DD is in year 2 and is flying. Reading well, writing well, maths is challenging. Stick it out til your DC is 7 and hits 'juniors' if you are still concerned: move em then I'd say.

NotYoda Tue 07-Jun-16 16:52:34

Is this real?

Really?

He is 5

Helloitsme88 Tue 07-Jun-16 16:54:40

He's in reception. Let him PLAY and worry about the rest later. Unless the teacher has concerns herself and is telling you something is wrong then leave it be. (I am an EYP myself)

AnUtterIdiot Tue 07-Jun-16 16:56:16

How good will his writing be at 5?!

Helloitsme88 Tue 07-Jun-16 16:57:40

Omg am I really reading these comments. You know some countries kids go to school aged 6/7/8 and not 4/5. They are slower to begin with but by the time they are 14 they have caught up and are ahead of English children academically. England also has the highest rates for teenage depression. Yes it's great to challenge kids and they do become bored but what's wrong with just playing and learning through play and forming relationships with other peers and other adults. Who cares if they can't yet read and write. Playing is the best form of learning.

NotYoda Tue 07-Jun-16 16:59:00

The best things you can do for him now, OP, is to talk to him, let him lead you in play, read to him and sing with him

PeteAndManu Tue 07-Jun-16 17:04:17

At 5 his writing will depend on how developed his fine motor skills are and boys typically develop these later. Whilst you can help develop them he will develop them at his own rate. DS is a summer born and his writing is awful but it has no bearing on what he wants to say (it's just really hard to deciphers).

LIZS Tue 07-Jun-16 17:11:00

Moving him to private will not automatically make a difference. It may simply be an issue of maturity and practice which will rectify itself in time rather than either the teaching or SEN. Unless you speak to the teacher and find out if they have any concerns, you won't be any better informed regarding his progress. EYFS is about developing skills in readiness to learn rather than formal learning.

Thedeepbluesea Tue 07-Jun-16 17:11:28

Thanks for all your replies. To be honest my phrasing was a little tongue in cheek (although true). But my question serious

His school only goes up to end Y2. Then i need to decide what to do. But i also have DD too, so what goes for him will also go for her.

He does actually excel at anything he is interested interested in, nature, science anythong physical. Again i wonder if private school would enable him to focus on these things. Ive no doubt he will crack the rest just fine.

Teachers say he is doing well. I am just not certain what the benchmark is.

Space dinosaur you make a good point. I do try and practise but work FT. By the time we all get home evrryone is a little frayed and enjoying each other in downtime is preferable to a row.

HereIAm20 Tue 07-Jun-16 17:13:05

As with state schools some private are good and some are not. It will depend what you have available in your area. Our son did KS1 in local school, then moved to an all round independent school for yrs 3-8 by which time we realised he was very academic and he switched at yr 9 to a superselective because it was the right school for him. Just keep reevaluating at each stage and do what you feel is right for the individual child.

superbaghag Tue 07-Jun-16 17:13:21

Is this real? I'm suspecting not but if it is would you like me to go and dig out my DS's reception year book and take a photo for you? He couldn't write or read more then one word a page books by the end of Reception year and is now going to Oxford in September.

Honestly chill out our your going to give yourself an ulcer over the next 13 years.

eurotrash Tue 07-Jun-16 17:18:06

In my experience, no, it's not worth it. Ds is just finishing reception in private and we are moving him out to state. Private is good, don't get me wrong, but not worth the price you pay for it. Teachers are more rigorously checked in state, they become sloppy in private as it's easy teaching (I know personally!). Safeguarding is dreadful, they get away with stuff that would never happen in state. It's also very sheltered and narrow socially, ds has asked to go to another school....

arethereanyleftatall Tue 07-Jun-16 17:26:39

Depends on the schools. Round my way IMO the state schools are better than the private.

sue51 Tue 07-Jun-16 17:29:12

It all depends what is available in your area. An outstanding state primary would trump mediocre prep for me.

PotteringAlong Tue 07-Jun-16 17:30:44

You can spend £250k on education but, ultimately, it won't make him cleverer.

Renniehorta Tue 07-Jun-16 17:30:56

Far too early to be making judgements on progress. Especially as you have a DS.

My DS was no nearer being able to read at the end of reception than he was at the beginning. I was so stressed. I just let things slide over the summer holidays. When he went back in September he could read. At this stage I think that you just sometimes have to wait for physical/ cerebral development to kick in.

Don't panic just give him time!

NotEnoughTime Tue 07-Jun-16 17:35:31

If your DS was in YEAR 5 I could understand your concerns but AGED 5?

Honestly I really wouldn't worry. He is still very young. However I will point out for the sake of transparency that I'm someone who thinks children shouldn't even go to school at 5 (IMO it would be much better if they were 7 or 8) or if they do go to school then it should be 99% about socialising and playing.

Try not to worry OP-easier said than done I know smile

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